Monday, August 4, 2008

Catholic Block

The second song on Sister is called "Catholic Block."

"Sister" was recorded at NYC's Sear Sound Studio. Sear Sound would also be the home to Experimental Jet Set Trash No Star and Rather Ripped. During the rehearsal stage of the album he band began not only focusing on making their songs more structural and cohesive, but they even came up with a system for putting a song together. The bad would number every part of the song with  a letter staring from A to Z. The charts would be laid out on the floor or taped to the wall. Some songs went all the way to F! "Catholic Block" went only to "C" but Lee admits that several songs on the record had parts removed. The band got so into "building" a song they sometimes built too much! This same process would be used during the making of Daydream Nation.

"Catholic Block" begins with a low sound of guitar plugging in. The song is the most "single" sounding on the album. Once again, a "hooky" riff is used to drive the song along with a definable verse and chorus. A breakdown is used but doesn't "noise out." Its used mainly as a transitional part of the song.

Thurston wrote the song based upon his catholic upbringing, but mostly in a joke sense of humor. Thurston often felt that catholic school boys and girls were the most punk because of their rebellious manner. Essentially, he's singing from the point of view of a rebellious teen punk! Youth?

This song uses two tunings. Lee is laying DDDDAA and Thurston is using F#F#F#F#eb.

Catholic Block saw its first appearance in April '87 and became absent from the set until 1992. The song was played regularly in'95-'96 but began collecting dust until the 2003 Murray Street tour where it was played almost nightly. It springs up in live sets every now and then.

The first video is from 10-13-87 Madison, Wi. The second is from 8-8-06 Toronto.

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