Wednesday, March 30, 2005

A Proud Pop Beams...

(Updated 3 April 05.)

Today is my son Evan's birthday (he turns 23), so I'll soon be off to Florida for a familial jubilee. Likely to make a stop in Miami to hang with Gerard (The Smack Shire, Memories of Underdevelopment), Rat Bastard (Whitesnake, The Knack), and assorted other unfortunates.

I'll post pix on return.

All reports indicate amazing weather; my mp3 player is stuffed with Cream, '73-ish Santana, '77 Saints, and David S. Ware. (And 30 or so other albs, the usual jumble of new releases and archival refurbishments... Damn this dirty laundry jones!)

TS

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UPDATE:

Re snaps: here's a photo of Evan and me taken on March 30, 2005. There is a certain resemblance...



It was a delight to loll about the orange grove with my son. It brought back more than a few poignant flashbacks... (I used to cavort with Evan's mum there in our early 80s courting haze - her late father hated me and my music; he had a particular loathing for The Fall's Dragnet). My scion took so goddamned long to get ready (shades of his sire) that the only restaurant available to us was Denny's. As a vegan, I could eat none of their filth, but Evan tucked into a lil' slice of corporate heaven. (My black coffee was semi-hemi-demi-delish.)

I bought him the DVD of the third season of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, amongst other trifles (including Haruki Murakami's novel The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle); we bled from the force of our laugher as "The Broodwich" ambled, insensate.

Hung with GK the next day at Smack Shire HQ in Hollywood. Laid out by the pool for a few hours; the weather was, indeed, magnificent. Biz-wise, we're gearing up for the 2005 TSSR release slate, and readying a second Memories of Underdevelopment album. Later on the 1st we had a great visit with Rat at the Laundryroom on South Beach. The escapade was made sublime with the addition of lovable Schiavo simulacrum Bobby Load, a South Florida punk diehard with delectable self-esteem and "LOOK AT ME!" issues. Dined at Iron Sushi on Washington, then went to Churchill's (the dank fuckhole where TLASILA, Harry Pussy, Frosty, Kreamy 'Lectric Santa, et. al., got their first taste of audience indifference in the early 1990s) to watch the Squelchers (including Mr. Load) offend the handful of fans assembled to cheer a dire tweener Depeche clone duo.

Rained on the drive back, a last gasp of Midwestern winter. Couldn't find a java mug or Florida gator keychain with the name "Elvira" anywhere along the route. Gas prices averaged $2.29, by causal reckoning. Listened mainly to TLASILA Noon and Eternity rough mixes and Santana's Lotus poolside; switched to neue platten for the turnpike. (The Ohmresistance comp., The Distilling of Tragedy into Disposable Art, was pounding my worries into some other unlucky c*nt's head.) My father is ill, my concentration is shot, and my gal is a blue million miles distant, but still, my world is a wonder, and life is fucking great!

TS

Monday, March 28, 2005

Warning!

I've added a Flemish Masters archive to the TLASILA web. Nandor (Nevai) and I got the fucker up and running in 1999; Weasel (Walter) joined a few months later. It metastasized horribly until NN's brain dribbled out from under him on a West Hollywood side street sometime in '02. (I think.) The link gives you the site as it was at the moment the clocks stopped. Nothing has been altered.

http://www.toliveandshaveinla.com/flemmas/index.html

Regards,

Tom

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Panisches Liederbuch (NFF Traum der Langeweile)

No Fun 2005

Two big questions:

Why were we (Sightings/Tom Smith) asked to attend?

There are many possible motives. Primarily, Carlos is an avid and increasingly effective networker. He enjoys the music that he promotes. While he likely prefers Fe-Mail - who I found to be almost perversely inane - over Sightings, he recognizes a need for balance in curatorial presentations.

This is not meant as a slag against Mr. Giffoni; No Fun is his baby, a reflection of his sensibilities. That I in no way share that aesthetic (except, of course, within the narrow aperture of coincidence) is ultimately of little import.

(I congratulate CG for another successful effort, and bade him not to ask me back should he in future ply more noise wares. 'Taint my milieu.)

Given the aforementioned discontinuities, why then did we agree to participate?

There are three excuses:

1) We took advantage of an opportunity to write and perform together again.

2) We knew how much fun it would be to blow three days of turgid, bellicose horseshit right out of the (Hook's fetid pools of standing) water.

3) We desired to celebrate Mark Morgan's return to the city after he'd endured five months of stewed carrots and Jesse McCartney mixtapes at a sordid Michigan teen ashram.

A prejudice often expressed:

I have long found noise music to be utterly, absolutely, intolerably dull. As hidebound as bluegrass (which I nonetheless enjoy), it is a joyless orthodoxy.

(Which may have been the point for Merzbow, but which seems to elude almost everyone else.)

It is to post-punk what Widespread Panic is to Albert Hofmann.

(In other words, not my cup of vermin. )

As I boarded my flight Monday morning at 6:15 AM, I found my biases had not been derailed.

Owing to our rehearsal schedule (and my general fatigue - no sleep Friday night), I saw only those performances occurring Sunday, March 20, and then only those after 9:30 PM.

None were in any way surprising, provocative, or stimulating. I found myself smiling the odd half-smile, but nothing more.

I would be remiss if I failed to note my regard of Joke Lanz (who I like very much as a person and performer), the members of Double Leopards (they are to be lauded for their exploratory ethos, regardless of the set they delivered Sunday - I'd love to work with them, although after reading this I fear they may not vouchsafe my calling card), and Peter Rehberg (whose duet with Lasse Marhaug was a godawful bore, but whose care in the selection and processing of sounds should not be undervalued).

Pita, most distressingly, cannot look you in the eye during a conversation. Always a warning sign. (Decent chap, though, and all that.)

I enjoyed seeing certain of my friends at the venue, but I was otherwise wholly disengaged from the event. I brought a good book.

End of scene report!

End of scene? Of course not. As we have learned from decades of zombie flicks, the dead, inevitably, become ambulatory. Noise has been dead forever. It has shambled many thousands of miles; it utters its baleful moan, and it congregates with others of its unfortunate ilk.

Me? I prefer John Philip Sousa.



His compositions were crippling in their martial hysteria. "U.S. Field Artillery March"? Total badass.

PS: Did anyone else notice how much weight John Olson has put on? (Canseco jabs, or marriage flab?) And that his new look (Tiny Tim, circa 1971) is marvelous?

Love,

TS

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Alright, Fuckers...

(Revised 12 Mar 05)

Dread descends into dread, within foul caked effluvia of dread, past furthest flung septic shreds of dread. I can see nothing, yet I anticipate everything. It can all go wrong.

My weeks have been your hours. Whole chunks of days stepped on, baby laxatives the beards of preening time-pimps. Washed colors are yesterday's evocation. A palette which must be unpacked, stripped of surrounding tissues, and viewed through an amber overlay. Only spires, radiating brachia. The melanomas whisper, but I'm too timid to listen. He sleeps.

This is the uncertainty I have cultivated. Unfortunately, I got what I wished for - the not-knowing. I must revel in it, inasmuch as one can be said to luxuriate in another's experience of disease, and snap the fuck out of it. Why? This is a moment leading up to the moment, a prelude tricked out in the garish prints of ER attendants, the cracked vinyl face of a rural hospital's examination table. Love demands full participation. The EKG looks like a fucking tackle box.

This, my droogs, is the cusp. We must love in the face of adversity, and learn to kiss death. Stick our tongues down its unforgiving mouth, and come up smiling. Yes, through the goddamned tears. (Cue your muzak. I don't care.) Through the guilt. Through your greatest sacerdotal hits, blooming to malignant life. When your pop weighs 130 pounds you just can't take hoary old horseshit like Whitehouse too seriously...