Porter Block

Porter Block

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"The New York City-based band's driving beats and catchy choruses are what rock 'n' roll is all about." - Performing Songwriter

Biography

The Washington Post describes Porter Block's music as, "catchy melodies and buoyant harmonies...a vocal blend that occasionally brings to mind Barenaked Ladies and a collection of lyrics that are mostly upbeat and innocent."

Peter Block and Caleb Sherman grew up just blocks apart on New York City's upper east side, but never met each other until 2003 when their musical worlds collided. Finding they resonated as songwriting partners, together they created the quartet Porter Block.

Peter Block grew up in a musical house - his mother was a Chamber music graduate in piano - and his initial venture into music was contributing musical shorts for advertisements and films, eventually forming his first band, Tripasaurus vs Blockhead in 2003. More recently, he collaborated with ADM from the Lordz of Brooklyn, and Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips of LUNA. Caleb Sherman made his band's first record with legendary producer Bernard Edwards. He then went on to lend his production talents to artists in Nashville to New York. (Her and Kings County, The New Black)

Two years since their debut album, "Suburban Sprawl", Peter Block and Caleb Sherman decided to make their follow-up in a completely different way, holing up in a studio with the band, tons of vintage analog gear and the goal of creating an album full of songs that sound great live. In other words, make an album the old-school way.

Knowing how important the recording environment is and aware of how much time they would be spending there, the duo built a live recording space in Brooklyn, The Carriage House, and filled it with retro gear they had collected over the years. Locking themselves in the studio for four months, the band emerged with about thirty songs that needed to be whittled down to ten.

A tour with The Samples gave Porter Block a chance to road test the new material. They returned to the studio to record the ten solid crowd-approved songs bringing in drummer Steve Holly (Paul McCartney, Ian Hunter) to add his distinct muscular drum sounds.

The resulting "Off Our Shoulders" is a rock record filled with catchy power-pop melodies, harmonies, driving guitars and a powerful back beat that one can imagine hearing both on the radio and blasting from a car's stereo. The radio-ready songs were developed out of simple stories. "All of Who I Am" sounds like a love song to a girl, but turns out to be about a Martin Guitar. "Sun Goes Down" was inspired by the famous Howard Cossell line "down goes Frazier" and was written as a radio broadcast of a boxing match. "Happy Everything" came from a holiday card and its overly perky sentiment conjured a cynic's perspective on the holiday season.

Porter Block was a 2007 New Music Weekly AC Best New Group of the year nominee. They also contributed to the popular, Guilt By Association compilation alongside Devendra Banhart, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Mike Watt, Jim O'Rourke, among others. The band toured the East Coast with Deep Blue Something this winter and will be heading out on tour again this Fall.

Lyrics

While You Can

Written By: Peter Block

The clock above is ticking
And it's so loud your ears are ringing
And you feel tired
So tired
Time is ever fleeting
Like a heartbeat
Barely beating
Want to feel inspired
While you can
Paint a picture
Do the laundry
Make your stand
Leave your mark
So they know
You've been there
While you can

Have you ever had someone?
Are you proud of all that you've done?
Did you get through? What did you do?
Mother nature's calling
And the Indian is crying
And it's last call
Did you hear last call?

While you can
Paint a picture
Do the laundry
Make your stand
Leave your mark
So they know
You've been there
While you can

Discography

Suburban Sprawl - 2007 - Engine Room Recordings 2007
Solitary Hotel EP - 2007 - Engine Room Recordings
Off Our Shoulders - 2008 - Engine Room Recordings

Set List

Porter Blocks set ranges from 45 minutes to 3 hours playing a mixture of original songs and covers including:

Night Moves - Bob Seeger
Margaritaville - Jimmy Buffet
Horse With No Name - Neil Young
Running on Empty - Jackson Browne
Sundown - Veruca Salt
There She Goes - The La's
Sailing - Christopher Cross
Take the Money and Run - Steve Miller
The Waiting - Tom Petty
Cruel to be Kind - Nick Lowe
Pina Coloda - Jimmy Buffett
Something - Beatles
Jenny 867 5309 - Tommy TwoTone
Only the Lonely - Roy Orbison

and more.....