Surfer Blood - "Weird Shapes"

Florida power-poppers Surfer Blood announced a new album last evening, which means, among other things, that it’s time to start thinking, once again, on how we feel about this. Pixies producer Gil Norton helmed the new LP Pythons, and Elliott Smith collaborator Rob Schnapf mixed it. First single “Weird Shapes” is a fuzzy and muscular Weezer-esque jangle, and frontman John Paul Pitts calls it “a left of center pop song about someone who is about to go through a manic episode.” Listen to it below.

Download the song from Surfer Blood’s website. Meanwhile, Pythons is coming sometime this summer from Warner Bros.

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Comments (41)
  1. I think I like this, but it’s hard to say ever since I found out Pitts was a girlfriend beater-upper.

  2. weird – I was just looking this up again yesterday because of the recent chris brown incident… which… obvs….. does not bode well for my listening of surfer blood…. which ….once…..was one of my favs….yet, now…..

  3. I’m glad you didn’t ignore the past domestic abuse arrest story, because all other coverage I’ve read about this has. Personally, I don’t believe in paying attention to them anymore and am a bit surprised anyone is, although I gave listen to the track once and it wasn’t bad. If the indie-centric press is going to constantly berate Chris Brown as being a terrible person who doesn’t deserve our attention, which he doesn’t (unless it involves our beloved angel, Frank Ocean) then do the same for women-beating indie pop rockers.

    Also, Stereogum has a virus when you visit that sometimes redirects you to a fake Adobe page and wants to install a virus. I’ve encountered it on my laptop at home, I’ve encountered it on my desktop at home, I’ve encountered it at work. I sent out an e-mail your way about this, but I don’t think it was taken seriously. I don’t think three computers from different locations could be wrong, though.

    • I’m glad the Adobe issue wasn’t just me. I just posted a comment on this story on FB, hopefully GumTECH can figure this thing out.

    • Just adding that this happened to me as well, in both Firefox and Chrome.

    • Had the same issue as well when clicking to post from my Netvibes reader on Chrome. Thankfully my virus software caught it before any damage was done…

    • So, do you listen to and like John Lennon?

      • john lennon is dead, so buying beatles records doesn’t benefit him financially. but, the hero worship of lennon is ridiculous and his solo music is terrible.

      • No, I don’t, and not because of any wrongdoings he’s done in the past but because I can’t stomach anything Beatles. But now you offer me a better reason.

        Look, I get your flawed point — We could go on and on with this list: R. Kelly, Michael Jackson, G.G. Allin, etc. but it’s 2013, and if you’re okay with supporting a so-called man beating the shit out of a woman all because his “art” results in half-decent indie rock songs you want to stick on your iPod, then you have a really messed up way of assigning value to humans.

        • i think we’re just trying to assign value to a rock n roll band. at least that’s what i’m doing. i didn’t start liking surfer blood because i thought the singer wouldn’t hurt a fly. i also can’t stop liking someone’s music because they’re an asshole. what if you found out your all-time favorite band/singer/whoever did the same thing? would you stop liking them and chastise others for continuing to like them? i’m not defending John Pitts.i just like his music.

          • Most musicians are assholes, but I think in this case, it’s what exactly that makes him an asshole that is what makes both he and his music completely undeserving of anyone’s support. I can put up with drug addicts and drunks who are otherwise harmless to everyone aside from themselves, I can put up with sluts / man whores, I can put up with greed and big egos a la Kanye and Billy Corgan, but think of it this way: If your dad or brother was a musician, but he hit your mom or sister, would you be okay with him enjoying any level of success from what he did with his life?

            My grandfather was a big band / polka musician who wrote a few songs for a few moderately successful rock bands back in the 60s, but he used to beat my grandmother while she was pregnant, and was an absentee father to my parent after my grandmother passed away at a young age due to cancer, because he had already began a new one while she was on her death bed. I never had much of a relationship with the guy even though I’d see him every so often at a family function, but it was hilarious that as soon as he died, everyone only talks ’til this day about how great of a musician he was despite the fact he wrecked his family. It’s total bull.

        • Lennon was just used as a reference because most people adore him. I don’t think my point is that flawed, unless you are the rare exception that supports art made be only “perfect” people. What about Polanski, Burroughs, Chaplin, Woody Allen, Sean Connery?…like you said the list goes on and on.

          I agree with you that Surfer Blood’s music is half-decent indie rock, but what does that have to do with anything? If it was your favorite musician, filmmaker, artist, author, would it be ok then? I understand the outrage, but question how militant you are about the issue? Or do you decide whose art is good enough to overcome lapses in moral behavior arbitrarily?

      • It’s not exactly a good comparison, Chad. First of all, there is a link to the domestic abuse article right on the page being all “Hey, remember this?” Second, an artist like John Lennon has the benefit of a widely known and expansive catalogue to judge against his shortcomings as a human. All I pretty much know about Surfer Blood is a handful of decent indie-pop songs and their abusive lead singer. I read a little while ago, an article co-written by Chuck Klosterman where he made the point, in instances of celebrity crime/flaws, we don’t judge the person (because we don’t actually know them) what actually happens is that person becomes an example of the act. You might say people are being self-righteous by making that association, but arent you being self-righteous yourself for pointing it out the way you are?

        • So geniuses have full reign to hit women? That’s weird logic. I, personally, adore Lennon’s music, and could care less about Surfer Blood. I just find it interesting where people, arbitrarily, draw their lines in the sand.

          • Michael_, you lost me at “most musicians are assholes”

          • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

          • i don’t think Chad’s on a high horse at all.

          • Sad to read you never reached the second paragraph, Tim. It sounds to me like what this comes down to is where each of us individually draws the line between tasteful and distasteful. I’m not going to knock on you if you want to support this, but I don’t think its fair to lecture others why their train of thought over their beliefs against it are entirely wrong.

            At the core is the old adage “never meet your heroes,” not to say Surfer Blood dude was ever one, but if we knew everything about the personal lives behind all of the musicians we listen to, we’d probably find a reason to hate them.

          • Michael_, i did read your whole post. i’m sorry that happened to you and your family. but it doesn’t make most musicians assholes. and like i’ve said, i’m not defending John Pitts or his behavior. i just like surfer blood’s music. it’s tough to reconcile loving the art and hating the artist. cuz ya want to love both, cuz you’re human. ya dont want to like something a dickhead made cuz then you feel like a dickhead.

          • The “most musicians are assholes” was a comical generalization, and that little thought actually came to my head from the words of the owner of an indie label believe it or not who admitted that working with their own musicians at times was tough because of their behavior, so don’t read too much into that statement. Always a pleasure, Mr. Curtin.

    • I honestly can’t believe people are so interested and think they know what happened in someone else’s personal life. The fact is, these guys write some really great, catchy, pop tunes. Can’t it be left at that? There are many far worse music industry folks in the past 50 years than Pitts. Yeah, hitting your girl is a terrible, terrible thing that warrants police action and aftershock from personal relationships, but does something that was most likely a huge mistake warrant everyone on the planet the right to hate this guy they don’t know AND his band? No, i don’t think so. That’s pretty stupid.

      People make mistakes, especially fucking rockstars. Give the dude a break.

      And SG, why you guys be hatin’. the world’s not all about beef. lol, “beef.”

      Weirdos.

  4. Had the same issue as well when clicking to post from my Netvibes reader on Chrome. Thankfully my virus software caught it before any damage was done.

  5. YES finally! pretty good song, too. hopes are high for this record

  6. This whole argument about not liking someone’s art, because of the person they are, is understandable, but ultimately seems arbitrary with most of you. Do you enjoy John Lennon’s music? Roman Polanski’s films? Sean Connery? William Burroughs’ books? The list goes on and on. If you discounted the art of morally-reprehensible people, you’d be throwing away a lot of the stuff we consider great. The art shouldn’t be judged against the artist, unless you’re going to do it across the board.

    • yep. also, the beholder of the art shouldn’t be judged against the artist.

    • Yeah, I see what you’re saying Chad. At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter. But the domestic violence story is still pretty fresh in mine and everyone elses’ mind. Personally, your art needs to overcome any shortcomings you have as a person. I’m not sure if I like Blood Surfers enough for them to pass that test. And Chris Brown certainly doesn’t.

      • So if you’re a genius, you should be able to have carte blanche? I don’t think you meant it this way, but the subjective quality of someone’s art shouldn’t be the test of forgiveness?

        Personally, I don’t Chris Brown’s music because, in my opinion, it’s awful. I also don’t care for him personally, since after beating the piss out of Rihanna, he’s shown no remorse, and has even been belligerent to anyone that’s called him out on it.

    • I couldn’t care less that he beat his girlfriend, sure i don’t approve it, but I really like Surfer Blood and I wouldn’t stop listenning to songs I like because of something like that. And I think it is a little unfair to mention it in every news about them.

  7. I’m impressed he found a way to play guitar with his fist in his girlfriend’s mouth.

  8. Their music has always been decently enjoyable, but I frankly don’t feel much of a need to keep up with them after that incident. If they were better, maybe it would be more of a moral dilemma.

  9. I’m usually an advocate for separating someone’s art vs. their personal beliefs, but that TOTALLY has limits. I believe that he crossed that limit in a way where their songs are tainted, which is sad, because I was a big fan early on. Adding to this, they don’t seem to be engaging me with each new release, but just reiterating the same ideas over and over.

    • By “personal beliefs,” I meant actions or life or something else. Though I guess beliefs is also relavent.

    • I’m not sure why this is getting downvoted. The debate around someone’s art vs. personal life is always posed as black and white, with people saying it doesn’t matter if an artist is a bad person against people saying it ALWAYS matters. Tentatively taking one side but acknowledging the limits of that side’s arguments is the ONLY rational response.

  10. All else aside, I am a bit surprised at the lack of enthusiasm for Surfer Blood’s music. I thought astrocoast was the best indie rock album of that year and one of the best of that type in quite some while. Tarot classics not too shabby either.

  11. anyone still dig Michael Jackson? dude was shady too

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