Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Horoscopo Tour: Day 1

In my skivvies again, getting ready for bed. Rehearsed at Ultrasound on W 21st for four hours; we wrote two new songs and mapped out a much different arrangement for "Mothers over Silverpoint." Nervous as hell about the upcoming dates, but in the best possible sense - it's the uncertainty that offers such unbridled elation.

Rat's stuck at Miami International, waiting out the remnants of Tropical Storm Ernesto. Flight restrictions won't be lifted until tomorrow afternoon; he should arrive at Newark around 8:30 pm.

Really starting to pass out... More tomorrow!

Tom

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Horoscopo Tour: Day 0

Can't fucking believe I'm awake... Made it to DC fairly late last evening; ominous tableaux sprawled in crude relief. Drove past the impact point of what must have been a vicious rear-ender... A young woman who seemed to have absorbed much of the energy from the impact slumped on the edge of the retaining wall between opposing lanes of I-95. She leaned on the shoulder of a samaritan, then collapsed as we pulsed through the debris field... The top floors of the Pentagon topped the horizon line. Trudged past the monuments to the east, then found our way to Ogden and the welcoming bosom of Grier and company... I'm in my Calvins and organic apple cider awaits. Rehearsals begin at 2:30...

TS

Monday, August 28, 2006

Horoscopo Tour: Day -1 Continued...

Made it to Atlanta... We nab the seven-seater five hours from now, shake off the sleep dust, and peel out onto I-95 for the trip to retrieve Grier in DC. If the NJ Turnpike is at all forgiving we should be convulsed atop AWK's stoop before midnight. Rehearsals kick into gear on the 29th. Wish all of you could ride up with us, but customs regulations forbid transporting 2,815 blood-soaked aesthetes across borders in a fam-sized van. Oh fucking well... The new alb looks (and tastes) great; neue t-shirt ditto!

Cotton-mouthed, I remain,

TS

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Hamilton View: Interview Transcript

Hello Again,

Below, please find another online interview with an arts journalist from Hamilton, Ontario. Adam Grant submitted these questions last evening for the View, Hamilton's alt-newsweekly. When Mr. Grant's copy appears in print I'll repost for comparison/contrast.

My responses are too over-the-top for my liking (I've become an ascetic bore in the last few years), but the View wanted protracted zazz... Biz iz biz.

TS

---



1. I've seen your band's sound described as Experimental, Noise Rock, Sound Collage and Avant-Garde -- how would you best describe it?

We refer to it as Pre. In all things, a becoming, an unknowing… L’Éternel Retour.

2. Because of how complex your music sounds, how complex is it to make?

Practice mirrors process.

Creating the sonics isn't terribly abstract - one has only to open one's mouth, or place one's hands on a key, a fret, or a dial. (That noted, many of us have received formal training, and each of us has practiced his craft with artisanal focus and intensity for years, decades.) The rigors, however, are primarily compositional. Post-production is an arduous affair; The Wigmaker took five years to complete, while Horoscopo required four. Each demanded thousands of hours of labor. Noon, a relatively pain-free album, took nearly a year to complete... We've learned to develop projects in parallel; there's always something on boil.

3. What kind of audience does your music attract? Is there a common thread?

Everyday folk, a healthy cross-section. They seem to know their authors, wines, footwear, skin diseases, and conspiracies.

4. What has drawn you to choose this style of music over the typical sounds of general drum, bass, guitar rock and roll bands?

I was fortunate to have mentors – they introduced me to Sun Ra, Stockhausen, and the Miles Davis of On the Corner and Agharta before I was ten. My path was thus set long ago. The other members have their own, similar stories.

More specifically related to my experience? I was tremendously influenced by environmental sound. I grew up in a small agricultural town in southeastern Georgia, about 40 miles north of the Florida border. My parents lived less than a mile from a two-lane intrastate highway; the asphalt had a distinctive sonic signature. Although ours was a musical household (my mother and sister played piano, and the television and stereo were always blaring country, gospel, and pop music), the melodies I fell in love with were those of tractor-trailers tearing atop narrow roads at night. The highway would rise in a keening, spiraling salute, and echoes would waft the high-pitched swathes of sound across the fields and into my bedroom window. Those hisses evoked mysteries, unknown futures... My father owned a racing team when I was still quite young, perhaps eight or nine, and the deafening, demonstrative, repetitive drones of the quarter-mile speedway profoundly informed my aesthetic. (I had a PhD in noise before "noise" existed, at least in the post-Russolo sense.) I studied music throughout high school, but really got into gear when I entered university. I enrolled in an electronic music program; later, I became a DJ at the campus radio station. Those years (1974-78) were formative. (The tapes made in the electronic lab and those created surreptitiously at the station's production studio still exist, and will be released in the next few years on a variety of labels.) The initial punk explosion (1975-1978) was very important, but otherwise, I've abjured rock. It's never been terribly interesting to me. Instead, I've followed my instincts.

5. What should fans expect from Noon and Eternity that may be different from the releases you've put out in the past?

Our listeners know better than to pose such questions.

6. With having this band up and running since '91, how do you measure your own artistic evolution, as well as the bands?

We’re indeed evolving, but we must leave it to others to make such judgments.

From a pragmatic standpoint, I can say with certainty that we've both refined and broadened our approach. We're unafraid of change; we welcome dissonance.

7. How important is it for you to be musically different from the mainstream?

We’re not in opposition to anyone’s aesthetics. We prefer instead to vilify the shortcomings we perceive in ourselves.

(This one is answered truthfully, definitively. We don't think of things in this manner at all...)

Why are music lovers drawn not only to chart hits but also to sounds produced and distributed on the periphery of an-ever splintering industry? Could you imagine wearing only spiked golf shoes for the next three years, or eating only frozen peas, or drinking only molasses? We don't assume our audiences are dullards. On the contrary, we see ourselves within their ranks. We were relentlessly eclectic in our youth, and it makes sense that the majority of them share that sense of curiosity today.

8. You have a chronological remix album on the way, what made you want to embark on such a project?

I dreamt the narrative in Zurich, Switzerland, June 2002. Four years later…

Horoscopo was created from many thousands of elements extracted from our 17 officially released albums and many other unreleased recordings, dating 1991-2006. More than anything it's a soundtrack to the screenplay I dreamed (while on tour with my other, European group, Ohne, in 2002), and a problem-solving exercise. (Much as Where a Horse was in 1998.)

9. How was it working with Thurston Moore? How'd you get him interested in joining up with you in the studio?

Thurston is a long-time friend. (I’ve known him since 1984.) He suggested we record at Sonic Youth’s facility, and we asked him in turn to contribute to the project. Noon wasn’t our first collaboration with Thurston (there’ve been other, minor key entanglements through the years), but it was certainly the most satisfying.

10. How did Andrew WK become involved with your band? What has he brought to your band artistically that wasn't there before?

I’ve known Andrew since 1996. He joined TLASILA in 2004. He brings himself.

11. Is there any concern based on Andrew W.K.'s popularity that people may be attracted to your band because he is now involved with it?

Of course not. Andrew’s fans are eclectic (and welcoming) to a fault.

12. How much time do you personally spend in a studio?

At least fifty hours per week. I prefer pajamas in the domestic trenches.

13. I see you have a bunch of projects/releases lined up for the year ahead - could you provide some info about them?

Horoscopo drops August 25 through Blossoming Noise; Noon and Eternity arrives on October 31 via Menlo Park Recordings. Three CD releases are scheduled for the French imprint Savage Land in 2007 (two archival recordings and the TLASILA/Kevin Drumm collaboration)… Many of our favorite IDM /electronica artists will be tearing the stuffing from Noon for a redux remix album, and Menlo Park plan to issue a three-disc retrospective box in ‘07 as well. There are others - I can’t quite keep up with them all. We’re fortunate sons.

14. What should live audiences expect from one of your shows?

This time, more Aeolian harp in the monitors...

Mania is a typical byproduct. There was a great deal of ass-shaking in 2004; we anticipate low-boil smoldering during this trek.

15. What do you want people to know about To Live and Shave in LA?

We desire concision, but we usually end up sleeping with concussion. Liberally inked roller derby girls receive steep merchandise discounts.

---

Merci, AG.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Slug Pro Easy, Vibe at "No"...

(Amended 25 July, 2008.)

Pussy Galore - Oven Bait (original version)


Oh my goodness... No excuses offered. Just download and let yr tiny minds be blown.



---

(135 MB, ripped @ 320.)

Here.

---


01 Intro A
02 HC Rebellion
(long studio version)
03 Why Would I Say It to You?
(University of Maryland, 21 Dec 85 - first gig)
04 Die Bitch
(Nightshade Cafe, Greensboro, NC, 4 Jan 86)
05 HC Rebellion
(Westminster Basement, Washington, DC, Nov 85)*
06 Fuck Ian MacKaye
(Peach of Immortality with Julie Cafritz, live, 9:30 Club, DC, 8 Dec 85)
07 Fuck Ian MacKaye
(Westminster Basement, Washington, DC, Dec 85)
08 Outro A

09 Intro B
10 Shitrain
(Ca Chapel, Tallahassee, FL, 10 Jan 86)
11 Fuck Ian MacKaye
(Wuxtry Records, Birmingham, AL, 13 Jan 86)
12 You Look Like a Jew
(Wuxtry Records, Birmingham, AL, 13 Jan 86)
13 No Count
(Wuxtry Records, Birmingham, AL, 13 Jan 86)
14 Teen Pussy Power
(Wuxtry Records, Birmingham, AL, 13 Jan 86)
15 Why Would I Say It to You?
(W.C. Don's, Jackson, MS, 16 Jan 86)
16 Teen Pussy Power
(7:30 Club, Jacksonville, FL, 12 Jan 86)
17 Cunt Tease
(7:30 Club, Jacksonville, FL, 12 Jan 86)
18 Spit and Shit
(Westminster Basement, Washington, DC, Dec 85)
19 Outro B

* Westminster Basement was the dank rehearsal space shared by Peach of Immortality and Pussy Galore in 1985-86.

---



---

Cheers,

Sumner Redstone

Monday, August 21, 2006

Hamilton Spectator: Interview Transcript

Hello... Just finished an online interview with James Tennant of the Hamilton (Ontario) Spectator. Below, the raw transcript. When Mr. Tennant's copy appears in print I'll repost for contrast.

To Live and Shave in L.A. will be performing at The Underground in Hamilton on September 3rd.

---



HS: Obviously there was a point, back perhaps as early as the 1970s, when you could have gone on to make “rock music.” Weren’t you in a band with Mike Stipe? Anyhow, you chose this route. Why were you more interested in experimentation than rockin’ out? Many people don’t get it (The number of times I’ve been asked why I like, I dunno, Otomo Yoshihide… How do you answer that?)

TS: From the age of ten I knew this - whatever "this" is - was my path.

Michael was a member of my earliest group, Boat Of. We existed in Athens, Georgia from late 1979 through the summer of 1983. Stipe ceased to be involved in any serious sense in late '81 (when REM began their ascendance).

I've always followed my instincts. Besides, rock had already been done, and quite successfully/dreadfully.

HS: There was a period when there were supposedly a dozen bands with similar names and/or tenuous relations with the original TLASILA. What exactly was up with THAT period?

TS: There were only seven clones of which I was aware: two TLASILA 2s, a 3, I Live in L.A., Born in East L.A., I Love L.A., and TLASILA 1975. The first T2 began as a prank, and the second T2 rushed to beat the first with a pair of homemade CD releases. The first T2 then embarked on a short tour to promote a bootleg recording of a TLASILA radio session from 1999. Afterwards, the homage/copycat floodgates opened. Born in East L.A. changed their name to "BIELA or Belial" and stuck around for a few years, if I'm not mistaken. For the rest, it was all over after a few months (or a handful of press releases).

Oddly enough, the aforementioned boot is set to receive a belated release early in 2007 on a Belgian label. We have embraced the album, and will consider it one of our own.

HS: Tell me about the latest incarnation of the group. How did you all come together? It seems to be a mix of friends, like-minded acquaintances etc…

TS: Yes, we're friends, like-minded pro bowlers. We share a similar aesthetic.

HS: We’ve got an audience here (the readership of this paper) who likely have no idea what in the world you’re doing. It isn’t “noise” per se. How would you describe the music to TLASILA to the average person?

TS: It's a synthesis of personalities, influences, and modes of expression, like any other collaborative ensemble. We prefer the audience determine what they're hearing. Taxonomic markers are redundant. Genre is obsolete.

HS: In an experimental ensemble such as yours how vastly different (or not) is the live venue vs. the studio? How much is improv? After you’ve recorded something does that become the “definitive” version of the “song” or do you even have “songs” in your opinion?

TS: We have songs... You'll hear at least a few of them during our tour.

"Horoscopo" is an intensive recapitulation and deformation of previously recorded material, spanning the length of our recording career (1991-2006); "Noon" was cut live in the studio. We neither cleave to nor abjure any tool - all paints, brushes and canvases are at any artist's disposal. Analogue, digital, remixed, burned direct to disc - it's ultimately tangential. Content is everything.

HS: You mentioned that Noon was about the climate of fear we live in, and you talked a bit about your personal connection to that fear. What was foremost on your mind as you made the album? Is there a ‘message’ per se, or was it more about simply capturing the musical equivalent of this fear?

TS: We represent that percentage of Americans who were dismayed and revulsed on the occasion of Bush's re-election. We wished to express this, and decry the oft-exploited and aggravated climate of fear, but without noxious hectoring and finger-pointing. It's method revulsion - we became Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Cheney, and expressed the rot from within...

---

Kudos to JT.

See you all later,

Tom

Galling...

Check out the second email header... Amazed that he can type in the cramped confines of his coffin, dead, in Hell, blowing Cal Jammer while simultaneously being blown by Shauna Grant, but legend has a tendency of animating more than desiccated flesh. (Not to mention the question of infernal wireless connectivity.)



I suspect Merle's hand, of course. Все хорошо...

---

Actually attended a noise show last night in Tallahassee. "Woeful" doesn't quite describe the vibe (the festivities took place within the bleak confines of a darkened mom and pop gyro joint at the ass-end of a squashed strip mall which perched, forlornly, on a concrete terrace adjacent to a McDonalds!), but discontents were balanced by one luminous shard of parking lot vérité. (And a manic, ameliorative performance at 11:30 by Atlanta's Black Meat, very much in the vein of Evil Moisture, sans late-90s costuming and Andy Bolus' relevatory violations of circuitry...)

Drunken FSU co-eds and their stolid identi-dates paraded through the shop's asphalt overhang on their way to and from a disco bolted into the restaurant's bowel. Suffice it to note that each was appreciably more attractive than the 17 Pepsi swilling Taint completists huddled within the falafel emporium. (Well, one of the four chicks in attendance wasn't too noisome, and one-half of Black Meat is vegan, but most had obviously been connected to beef tallow life support for decades.) Stereotypes held fast, and hours crawled, collapsed and expired.

While a black-garbed, Caucasian nerdnik sputtered proscribed narratives inside, two white-clad African-American panhandlers got into a brief, bitter argument outside. The divide between inert figuration and despair seemed, at that torpid moment, without limit. At least Lucas Abela eats glass...

--

Bought the newly-issued Apocalypse Now: The Complete Dossier DVD... Watching the second disc now. Lovely. The deleted scene illuminating the relationship between Colby (Scott Glenn, little more than a cipher in the original 1979 version) and the Photojournalist (Dennis Hopper, of course) is especially warped.

TS

Friday, August 18, 2006

Noon Fever Sweeps Central New Hampshire!

Our publicist is already earning her keep... Go here.

Sections of the Pitchfork piece (on Noon and the Canadian trek) appear to have been written on an acid-drenched stoop near the intersection of Haight and Hacky Sack, but truths permeate.

There's a new, exclusive mashup available as well.

---



(Above, the inspiration for Horoscopo - Ray Danton's DMT-suffused, 1966 Italio-Spanish Bond knockoff Secret Agent Super Dragon. Snap of Tom's one-sheet courtesy S. Mike.)

Oh shit, it's raining. Gotta roll up my car windows!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Horoscopo Tour Update (Terminal Version)

(Posted August 17, 2006; updated August 18.)

Friends, we're arriving at 60% strength, but we're arriving nonetheless. I'd rather give virginal audiences the full seduction, but if you won't fault us for skimping on lobe licks and thigh strokes, we promise to press your dirty little coital utterances super-close to our hearts...

We're visiting in support of our chronological (1991-2006) remix album Horoscopo: Sanatorio de Moliere. If you've an opportunity to join us, we'd love to see all you freak-ass Canucks in force. (Yanks, ditto, and Hezbollah regulars, ex-Mossad drag performers, Norman invaders, North Korean stenographers, etc., as well.)

CANADA

September 1 Montréal - La Sala Rossa / MEG Fest / more info

with: The Other Thing and Dreamcatcher

La Sala Rossa
4848 St Laurent (corner of St Joseph)
Montréal, QE
8:00pm $10/12
(514) 284-0122

September 2 Toronto - Sneaky Dee's

with: Polmo Polpo, Gastric Female Reflex and Dollarama

Sneaky Dee's
431 College Street
(southeast corner of College & Bathurst)
Toronto, ON
9:45pm $10
(416) 603-3090

September 3 Hamilton - The Underground

with: Offensive Orange and Sailboats Are White

The Underground
41 Catharine Street North
Hamilton, ON
9:00pm $10
(905) 527-7488

USA

September 4 New York City - Tonic

with: Richard and Jon of Sightings and Newton

Tonic
107 Norfolk Street
(between Delancey and Rivington on the Lower East Side)
New York, NY
8pm $8
(212) 358-7501

September 5 Jersey City - WFMU Session with Brian Turner

Airdate: September 12, 2006 3-6pm

September 6 Brooklyn - The Syrup Room

with: Tall Firs and FFFFs

The Syrup Room
100 Ingraham Street
(corner of Knickerbocker)
Brooklyn, NY (East Williamsburg)
time + cover: TBA
(917) 608-2467

The band: Rat Bastard, Ben Wolcott, Don Fleming, Andrew W.K., Chris Grier, and yours truly, with Graham Moore along as stage tech and merch tout. Mark Morgan and Rich Russo will join us in November; Don will only be performing the American dates. Next time, mes amis!

TS

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Elated When Friends Excel?

You should be.



(AWK's Close Calls with Brick Walls.)

Yes, I'm excited beyond rational limits of joy when compañeros shove the known or expected to the Oort Cloud and redefine and extend those qualities I initially admired in them. Andrew's new album, Close Calls with Brick Walls, straps an ion engine to the sagging fanny pack of perceived knowledge... It's been a boundless leap from the whacked-out noise cassettes I first heard in Ann Arbor way back in '95 to the stunning vistas of "The Moving Room," "This Is My World," "Hand on the Place" (with its truly spectacular vocal), "One Brother," or "Can You Dance with Me?" I'm extraordinarily proud of Andrew's achievements (Hell, I'm old enough to have fathered his rangy ass, so my semi-paternal chest-thumping ought necessarily be excused), and honored to confront, destroy, and transmute limitations beside he and our other maniacal fellows in the contemporary edition of TLASILA.

Just last week I remember becoming terribly annoyed after reading a Canadian blog entry (forwarded to me by Rat's lovely girlfriend Veronica) which distilled the whole of Andrew's career and his contribution to To Live and Shave as "shtick." Of course, AWK would have been annoyed as well, but that irritation would quickly be released through an absurd, throwaway comment or nonchalant shrug. He understands, perhaps more than anyone I've ever worked with, that the harshest critique often says as much about the veiled desires (and roiling disquiets) of its author as it does the shortcomings of its intended target. Such awareness in someone so young is genuinely rare. (Graham Moore is another early 20s dude who seems far wiser than his years.) Regardless of all that, I was fucking PISSED after reading the post. (Oh well, I'm an emo cripple...)

Distillation: Walls is an insane advance from the much-loved but perhaps too familiar sonic tropes of Wet and Wolf. From this rarified remove (a cluttered office in a small town at the bottom of a third-rate state), it screams.

"Las Vegas, Nevada"! "I Want to See You Go Wild"! The sick, sick intro to "When I'm High." I'm laughing now just thinking about them. A cardiac needle, filled with JOY, rammed right into my one good blood-flecked eye. "Mark My Grace" (another lacerating vocal perfomance), "Into the Clear"... "Slam John"'s perfect instrumental break... YEAH!

You gotta get those four Korean bonus tracks... Too good to be true. Cherie's fantastic vocal on "I Want Your Face"... Oh my God! What an evisceration! Andrew's songwriting is easily on par with Ron Mael's. Can't believe I'm writing this, and I know it may strike some as over-the-top, but fuck it. With Close Calls, AWK seems to have utterly cracked the Sparks code, and raised it several orders of intricacy. (Minus the dopey, post-Indiscreet punning, that is.)

You think This Heat is badass? John Fucking Fahey? Are you mad?

Consume and EXPLODE, because this is the real Avant-Garde.

Can't reiterate this mantra enough. Mere rigor is insufficient. One must create a SYNTHESIS...

Kudos to AWK, our own Don Fleming, and everyone else who worked on the album. No bullshit (it's not in my character to lie to friends about their work), no sucking up (no need to), nothing but unadorned delight.

Awesome job, Andy! ;)



(Andrew and company backage at the Hard Rock, Orlando, approx. 25 minutes before showtime. "Jazz hands!")

TS

Squeezed...

Crazed momentum... I feel like a pasty fanboy about to botch a Videodrome reference. Fifty emails a minute, eight hundred eighty-six albums owed, one Pro Tools convolution per seat shift. Oh well, better to have to rush everything than be friendless and weeping over a Coil compilation in one's basement pity bunker... (Wait a minute - I am friendless! And how the Hell do you get out of this goddamned mausoleum? John Balance died?)

TLASILA's new publicist has been cracking the whip, and as a consequence our MySpace remix strategy (creating a continual flow of deformations rather than post previously released tracks) is now being expanded to include requests from online zines, offshore banking consortia, etc. In the next week (or perhaps sooner) you can listen to newly forged (long-form) Noon mashups at both Pitchfork and PaperThinWalls. Whether the effort will bear any but the bitterest of fruit remains to be serialized.

Glory Be Dept: Chuck Roberts apologized to Ned Lamont - on air, even, with actual semi-humility, even! Consult Crooks and Liars for the citation. Color me agape.

Canadian woe foreshadowed? We've had to shrink the group from septet to quintet for the forthcoming series of dates up north. It stinks, but we've no choice. (Time to put that "collective" spittle into action.) Rat, Ben, Chris, Andrew and I will be dropping in on Montreal, Toronto, and Hamilton; Mark and Rich will be sipping lattes and resting up for November. The former colossus is hardly a third wheel, and after recently seeing the latter in full flail with AWK in Orlando I can readily vouch for his indispensability. Alas, the logistics are all fouled... As for Don, some may recall he's been busy on an archival restoration project (transferring Hunter S. Thompson's original reel-to-reel interview/research tapes from Hell's Angels and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas! - how the f#%$ does he land such plum gigs?), and will only be available for the NYC dates. Graham Moore from Blossoming Moore, no stranger to this blog, will be along for the ride as our merch overlord. He'll likely be armed with the bulk of his label catalogue, so hit those ABMs, dear droogs. You might even wish to purchase items from the TLASILA buffet... As always, free beverage with church bulletin.

Bummed, but with no real right to complain, I remain,

TS

--



(A Razr phonecam framegrab from Turk Pipkin's superb documentary Willie Nelson: Still Is Still Moving. It aired on the local PBS station over the weekend.)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Auto-Generated Huzzah

Today (August 15) marks the second anniversary of TLASILA Blog!

Yipeeeeee!!



(Rattus and Morg Markan backstage at Flywheel, N'hampton, MA, September 16, 2004...)

TS

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Warming Up to the Chill...

I've been taking it easy since the Miami trip. Lots of dithering re upcoming tour, mainly organizational stuff. Probably go as a five-piece to Canada (Ben, Rat, Chris, AWK, and myself), and save the debut of the octet for the States in Nov-Dec. We'll have Horoscopo in hand on the 25th, and new t-shirts as well. Scads of releases on the horizon - it's almost overwhelming. You musn't think I'm complaining, of course. I remember the days when the silences were truly deafening...

Listened to the expanded Korean version of Andrew's Close Calls with Brick Walls for the first time late last night... Wow. If you're still a doubting thicko, you deserve forced rehab with Mel "I Own Sobibor!" Gibson and Robin "Unfunny Since Garp" Williams. It's my favorite of the major label trioka - just fucking excellent throughout. Way to go Andy! (Uhh, Mr. Wilkes-Krier. Sorry.)

Can't believe that CNN Headline News co-cocksucker Chuck Roberts referred to Ned Lamont yesterday as the "Al-Qaeda candidate." ¿Qué? Amazing. Bernard Shaw must be weeping into his oat bran. As this presidency descends further into ignomy, so too does the Fourth Estate. It would be shocking if we weren't already numb to it.

With the death yesterday of the original softball-lobbing chat show host Mike Douglas (who was ogled religiously by my mom, and millions of other 60s-70s hausfrau), the New York Times reminded us in their obit that Douglas' executive producer was one Roger Ailes, the very same troll who engineered Fox News' lamentable rise to cable ratings dominance. Oh well...

Trading my H3 for more tofu, I remain...

TS

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Close Call with Mordant Pall

Back home in Georgia...

Rat and I finished recording yesterday around 5 PM; we have five new TLASILA songs in the (virtual) can.



(Frank Falestra and hyper-animated machines, recording new TLASILA tracks at the Laundryroom, Miami Beach, August 6, 2006. Snap TS.)

Packed the kit, bade Rattus and his sweetie Veronica adios, then drove over to 43rd where I'd earlier scheduled a dinner date with a favorite ex-girlfriend. When I arrived she was off on an errand, so I used the opportunity to drop by Publix to stock up on vegan-friendly vittles. While stuck at a light on the Indian Creek drawbridge I was creamed from behind by a goddamned SUV. I quite literally heard the BLAMMM!, and thought for certain that my ride had been gnarled beyond repair. The impact really stunned me - it took a few seconds for my brain to return to normal. I got out of my car just as the driver of the SUV emerged. An attractive, rail-thin Latina, late 20s, exceedingly apologetic. She'd been fucking around with her dog when she collided with me, and was ready to write a check on the spot. (Did she not have insurance? Thoughts of this season's most memorable Soprano's homicide gag briefly flashed before my still-jittering orbs.) Surprisingly, the only damage I incurred was a bent license plate, and an interesting pattern of sawtooth wave scratches below the truck keyhole. I was doubly stunned... I checked the undercarriage, examined the hatch and associated mechanisms, looked for leaks... Nada. A scurrilous angel must have been looking out for my semi-satanic hide, as I walked away 99% clean.

We nonetheless exchanged info, and she offered to treat me to dinner, but at that juncture I preferred to get the fuck back to HQ for a shot of absinthe and sweet discombobulation. Of course, that cocktail was sitting beneath my office bar some eight hours distant, so I made haste for I-75 North. After making my way through the toll gate, I sped through Alligator Alley. A colossal thunderhead was boiling ominously to the west, strobes of lightning casting its upper, reticulated reaches in garish relief. Then traffic slowed to a lurching, drunken creep. I was relaxed, despite the jolts encountered an hour earlier - new drum and bass plates were blaring, and tropical dusk hues bruised the sky.

State troopers signaled our stalled parade to merge right, and then I saw the yellow body bag. Some poor bastard wiped out along the Alley - the car (it looked like a Pontiac GrandAm) must have flipped four or five times before coming to rest at an eerie vertical. The victim had obviously been ejected through the auto's windshield, and Death gnawed on another rack of ribs.



(Just before sunset at the first northbound Alligator Alley rest area off I-75, August 6, 2006. The accident site was a mere 15 clicks up the road...)

What a freakish, grisly afternoon...

Started to tire around Ocala, so I pulled into a hotel at 2 AM and just sat there for a while. Danielle Collins (the NYC couturier/playwright/starmaker now resident in LA) rang my cell a few minutes later and we spoke until 4... Didn't mention anything about my afternoon, for in retrospect it seemed rather less harrowing than that experienced by the unfortunate occupant of the upended vehicle, or any of the citizens of Darfur, Beirut, Kabul, Baghdad, Haifa, etc., who've been dealing with whole other orders of inconvenience.

Best,

Tom

Sunday, August 06, 2006

PS 14, Miami, September 5: Dino Felipe/Ha Ha Help

Hola Mamita!

Still in South Beach, visiting with Rat and Veronica at the Laundryroom. Great evening out last night - we went to PS 14 to catch Dino Felipe and Ha Ha Help strain against the proletariat trappings of 80s nostalgia. Bromides are often planted in the textual periphery of the MIA u'ground, but our protagonists refuted fish fingers.



Kind of a neutral space, a billiards table near the front, small bar, a few sofas with early 90s (faux-faux deco) design flourishes, narrow box of a stage, a disc attendant standing half-forlornly adjacent to the courtyard exit (where another jock, one DJ Hot Pants, a local exemplar trading and rather blankly resplendent in beige period tack, held dozens in thrall with hoary Hall & Oates 12" mixes).

The unnamed staff DJ was surely grunting astride the riser; although one must admit that hearing Berlin and Depeche Mode in certain settings (and in proper dosages) works wonders with endorphine distribution, an ill-posited Motown medley and the obligatory Smiths O² snuffer brought (mild) happiness to a skittering standstill.

Jeff Rollason (Curious Hair) was along for the ride, and he accorded Ha Ha Help his highest, least alcohol-addled recommendation. The exhilarating gutter-fi duo failed to disappoint.



(Ha Ha Help: Ryan, left, and Rick, aka Leon , right. All snaps from TS's Razr phonecam.)

Crazed falsetto sparrow beats embellished with burn makeup and hungover three-string skritch... Perfect. The duo were unhappy with their performance (they experienced a series of tech mishaps), but from the perspective of this first-timer, I saw no wrong. Rat is expected to record them, and I look forward to new howls from the miscegenation generation.



(HHH look into the void and find it wanting.)

Dino was kind enough to introduce himself prior to the start of the festivities; he began by asking me about the Duotron vs. Tom Smith album, and I liked the little guy straight away. I may be doing some mastering for one of his forthcoming releases, and we spoke about embarking on a future collaboration. Turns out he's big into Dave Phillips/Rudolf Eb.er/Schimpfluch Gruppe/R&G, so the blab quickly turned to Ohne, the pending TLASILA albums, etc. He gave Rat and I copies of his three most recent recordings... Sweet!

The Felipe cabal began their set somewhat tentatively, but as the performance progressed piercing shards ripped through the rickety karaoke gauze, and hellbroth was guzzled by the modest but tightly-pressed audience.



(DF4, gnawing the sonic tendon in 9/16 time.)

In the end, a seldom seen, oddly insistent strain of chaos was loosed. Another goddamned winner.



(Fluttering bone meal and shards of waistcoat pie... More from Dino Felipe.)



(DF, working the Glynnis O'Connor vibe...)

Also finally met Otto Von Schirach; he's agreed to take a Noon track on a death ride for the 2007 remix project. Cool fucking cucumber.



(TS, left, OVS, right; pixelated snap by Oly.)

That's all for now; back at HQ Tuesday.

Best,

TS

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Still Floating...

The AWK gig was excellent. A few very minor tech/performance glitches, but otherwise an outstanding recapitulation (the setlist was 2001-03 intensive, with a handful of Close Calls/Brick Walls tracks thrown in for R&D analysis), and a thoroughly sick-ass experience. Consult the various blog/board posts for confirmation, argument, rebuttal.

I'm in Miami Beach for the next two days recording with Rat at the Laundryroom; I promise to amend this report soon. Until then, here are three of the photos I shot backstage in the minutes before the show began. (I've got an hour of video of as well... Excerpts will be posted as soon as I get back to HQ.)

Twas much fucking fun hanging with AWK, Rich Russo, Cherie, and the rest of the band and crew; the Hard Rock staff presented an ever-so-slight contrast to the enervated buffoons TLASILA have encountered at most domestic venues...



(AWK and DW, royal dopplegangers...)



(Cherie Lily... It was great to see her again; I met her last year during the Noon mix assembly. Andy was wise to bring her into the fold... She fucking wailed.)



(AWK and DW, post-surgery...)

Don't forget about the August-September mini-tour in support of Horoscopo: Sanatorio de Moliere.

August 31 Montreal - Private Loft Performance
September 1 Montreal - Sala Rosa / MEG Fest
September 2 Toronto - Sneaky Dee's
September 3 Hamilton - The Underground
September 4 New York City - Tonic
September 5 Jersey City - WFMU Session
September 6 Brooklyn - Syrup Room

The band: Rat Bastard, Ben Wolcott, Don Fleming, Mark Morgan, Andrew W.K., Chris Grier, Rich Russo, and yours truly...

Later,

TS

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I Don't Know Any O-Town Song Titles, So a Pun-Tastic Heading Seems Unlikely... Nonetheless, I'm in Orlandough!

Yup, arrived too late to hang with the crew, but it's morning, I'm here, and the fates shall shortly merge. Andrew and his band have nothing to do today save shower me with compliments, pose for my photographs, and exhort their audience to do likewise. It's all about meeeeeeeeee, meeeeeeeeee, mee- uh, sorry, got a little carried away. Poor AWK had a seven a.m. call for a radio interview; dismal, but the price one pays for world domination. Much more later...

TS

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The "Horoscopo" Sleeve...

Here's the text-free version of Raphael Leray's illustration for Horoscopo... With Raph's permission, we took considerable liberties in post-production to reflect the deformations experienced by our titular hero during his traumatic tumble. (Buy the Penguin paperback.)



And here's the final version. It's being manufactured even as I kill. (Er, soak quietly.)



Probable release date? August 25th-ish.

Best,

Tom