40 albums, 1 year, & Mike Townsend hit a Grand Slam
August 6, 2021 9:23 AM   Subscribe

It's been quite the year for blaseball fans, going from a scrappy "566 votes opens the Forbidden Book" to a story finale that abolishes the concept of money. But there'll be enough of that another time. Last year Mike Townsend is a Disappointment was the hot new bop. Let's check in on where the Seattle Garages have gone since being called "the biggest punk rock opera since Zen Arcade" by Bandcamp Editorial.

First off, who are the Seattle Garages?
we are the garages, an anarcho-syndicalist blaseball band from the fictional location of seattle. we make songs about being gay, the apocalypse, and fighting the gods.

What've they done lately?
• They have a Garages 101 album if you just want to start listening while reading!
Fourth Strike Records is a fully independent, queer-run record label dedicated to bucking the exploitative trends of the modern music industry by treating its artists fairly. Our mission is to create a fair platform for LGBTQIA+ artists to collaborate, learn, and share their work with the world in an equitable way. All of our artists own their work into perpetuity, and receive a majority share of profits as royalties. A better music industry is possible, even in this capitalist hellscape, and Fourth Strike records aims to make it a reality. - They started a record label, with 7 & counting bands signed to them and partnerships with musicians like Left at London!
• They have a sold-out vinyl production run coming out with official trading cards!
• They've bundled their discography in time for Bandcamp Friday!

But what are some highlights from this extensive lineup?
• They've released two country albums
• They have an album of original sea shanties & work chants
• Not one, two, not three, not four, but five live show EPs (with another coming shortly 😉)
• Want something more 80's? Neon Fakes has you covered
• "I really just need some lofi hip-hop beats to kill gods to" Good news!
• "This is all well and good, but I need something harder-sounding" - You want CONSUMED, with outstanding vocals work by Lamb
• "What's with this Mike Townsend guy anyhow?" The Mike Townsend Quintilogy
• Ska? Ska. Skarages (vol. 1)
• This is a sports sim, right? How do they play? The Garages Suck, in fact We'll Suck Forever, because success is for capitalists // so every time we fail it’s basically praxis

Previously, Previouslier
posted by CrystalDave (16 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
It's just such a tremendous amount of output, emerging from such an unpredictable creative locus. Like this is the sort of thing you'd (appropriately enough, for Blaseball fandom) write an extensive fictional wiki entry about, detailing dozens of albums and genre shifts and niche narrative fixations by a non-existent Seattle garage band with an obviously far-too-on-the-nose name, except. It's real.

I adore them for having gone so far down their own rabbit hole on this, it's one of my favorite things to come out of Blaseball and that is saying an awful lot.
posted by cortex at 9:52 AM on August 6, 2021 [5 favorites]

One of my favorite blaseball memories was when, at the end of one season, they added a bot to play the fan music to the blaseball discord server and there was a big listening party where people were just enjoying it all together. The bot is still there of course, and they do listen parties for new albums, but that first night was something else.
posted by tealNoise at 11:02 AM on August 6, 2021 [3 favorites]

Wow, how about that last season! Looks like Blaseball had itself a good ol' fashioned apocalypse.
posted by JHarris at 11:57 AM on August 6, 2021 [2 favorites]

you'll have to be more specific
posted by cortex at 12:06 PM on August 6, 2021 [5 favorites]

Blaseball: a series of sport-themed apocalypses.
posted by JHarris at 12:08 PM on August 6, 2021 [3 favorites]

I was grumbling to my blaseball crew that it took until after they changed the label from "beta" to "gamma" for me to realize that this was an end-of-beta event. It was by the book! I've run them, for various supernatural entities' sake! But the story was coherent enough, and devolved in a well-enough-signposted fashion, that I didn't make the connection at all.

It was a hell of a lot of fun, regardless.
posted by restless_nomad at 12:08 PM on August 6, 2021 [1 favorite]

... right. I forgot to mention the Garages getting play on KEXP. I knew I was missing something. That was a big moment for the local band/team/fan-team-base.
posted by CrystalDave at 12:10 PM on August 6, 2021 [2 favorites]

Glad to hear things are still going strong for Blaseball. I had to drop out from following it, because it gave me really weird FOMO to try to keep up with all the weird shit that was happening - like, missing out on incinerations or whatever happening to players on teams I didn't follow or even really know existed would bug me. I guess I wanted to follow it like I would with any sports league, where significant moments and events have some time to linger, but because of Blaseball's 1 season/week schedule, with new rules happening each season (and sometimes in the middle of one), there was barely time to absorb that something had happened before another set of games was on where other stuff might happen/was happening. I couldn't keep up with it (which I think is part of the point of it), but I couldn't let that go either.

Anyways, congratulations to the team behind it for getting to one year, and for all the fans congratulations and/or condolences, whichever is appropriate for whatever team you follow and whatever fate has befallen them.
posted by nubs at 1:49 PM on August 6, 2021

I also dropped from actually playing along to the game to getting 100% of my blaseball updates purely from garages albums, and it’s been an awesome way to keep connected.
posted by q*ben at 3:32 PM on August 6, 2021 [3 favorites]

Yeah - it can be hard to follow. This past Blaseball season had a big "Reset" event that was in part about demonstrating how the game could get too challenging to follow and needed to be accessible to newcomers as well as engaging for the old-timers. So I get the impression going forward they're going to try and improve that aspect.
posted by Emily's Fist at 3:45 PM on August 6, 2021

Two good resources for keeping track of Blaseball (and if you're not on the Discord are nearly essential):
Unofficial Youtube channel Blaseball Blexplained, and
Official Youtube channel Blaseball Roundup, which has its own official character narrating, The Anchor.
Also, we don't really know what this is, but it seems like it might be related to Blaseball's mysterious creator god, Namerifeht.
posted by JHarris at 6:05 PM on August 6, 2021 [2 favorites]

Also, for those on Twitter, @catacalypto @BlaseballNews @SIBROfficial @BlaseballPro and @CatStlats are prime follows for keeping up to date on what's going on. Each team has at least one fan-run team account as well.
posted by rifflesby at 7:17 PM on August 6, 2021 [1 favorite]

AS for the music, this is stuck in my head right now:
who cares
about the bottom line?
we're on a one-way ticket
to party time

posted by JHarris at 12:26 AM on August 7, 2021

Gotta second the Blaseball Roundup - it's hilarious and has its own narrative structure. Quinns and his artist Anni are brilliant.
posted by restless_nomad at 7:04 AM on August 7, 2021 [2 favorites]

Look, I just want everyone to listen to "The Ballad of the Unremarkable Derrick Krueger" and then come over and cry with me. (the video of the live performance is also great (starts at 22:17 if the link doesn't work)
posted by gc at 8:19 AM on August 7, 2021 [1 favorite]

I was really excited to get back into blaseball for season 24, and was truly delighted to participate in the cultural event for the end of the era. As a Flowers fan, it was honestly thrilling to watch our race to the vault, which appears to have been successful by literally thousandths of a decimal point. It was also incredibly fitting for a Boston team to get Montreal Expos'd and lead the league in the only season that did not end in at least one championship.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:46 AM on August 11, 2021 [2 favorites]

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