Saturday, September 30, 2006

OMFG, etc.

(Revised slightly - with mp3 download added - 1 October 06.)



Hey, This Is Spicealicious!

Maybe next time they can slot us into a pop-up for a Michael Savage screed, or superimpose us into buckets of septic lard...

(Note from art deptartment: How much lard would we need?)

"The band also features animatronic gizzards, and suspendered bartenders!"

A helluva thing to stumble over after watching The Science of Sleep...

The Spin.com piece may be found here. Reading it (or, better yet, having Chris Grier read it to me during a riotous cell confab) was an almost comfortingly abstract exercise.

Chris's accompanying mashup may be found below. Spin invented the "Noon and Eternity Overture" title; CG wanted it to be called "Pink Sock." We have provided it to you as its creator desired...

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To Live and Shave in L.A. - Pink Sock

Remixed by Chris Grier for Spin.com from elements extracted from Noon and Eternity.

Time: 2:54 / File size: 6.67 MB / Ripped at 320 kbps

---

Everyone well? I'm recovering, slowly. (Not from the above, mind. Still no word from Evan...)

TS

Thursday, September 28, 2006

I've Known More Than a Few Emilys...

I've been watching Clean obsessively of late; Olivier Assayas' film strikes me as being bracingly, rigorously unsentimental. Maggie Cheung... No words.



(The title shot, featuring second unit location tableaux of Hamilton, Ontario!)

The scene with her onscreen son in the Parisian zoo - their discussion of drugs, particularly - is astounding.



Nick Nolte's performance is equally arresting. Such presence...



And yes, Béatrice Dalle. She's insanely gorgeous in the film. I remember queueing up to see Betty Blue/37.2 le matin a number of times on its American release (1986), but I much prefer her in middle-age. She inhabits herself with such aggressive aplomb. (And that face...)



Clean builds, builds... A brilliant denouement.



After this, I intend to dig into Assayas' Demonlover. I ignored it utterly on its release; my mistake.

TS

Freaked and Tweaked...

(Revised 28 Sept 06.)

I'm still here, still cowering, but gradually regaining bipedal bearing and the old mangled savior-faire. Took a week off to crawl, muttering, through the muck, but with Shavian obligations looming ever larger I was forced to shear pubes and twist life into a reverse cowboy. Gotta walk before you can slither...

Updated the TLASILA domain earlier; look out for Noon and Eternity/Horoscopo-related pieces in the forthcoming weeks in Skyscraper, Dusted, and the online edition of Spin. (Chris Grier created a rad Noon mashup for the latter.) In late October I'll be touring with Black Meat on their mini-trek through the NE; the next To Live and Shave in L.A. tour begins after Thanksgiving. A precise itinerary is currently being lashed together... Coordinates will be posted.

Doing a remix for Xiu Xiu, and working against the clock to complete plumbing and exterior molding for Savage Land's release of Les Tricoteuses. A helluva lot of material in the offing.

No longer on life support: according to the ever-brilliant, perpetually sick-ass Gerard Klauder, Smack Shire will soon be gearing up again. About bloody time! Several perplexing releases in queue.

There's more, but I'm forgetting it at the moment.

Haven't yet heard from Evan (my son). Reckon he's either in Kuwait or on the Iraq/Syrian border. Such an incalculable bummer... Cruel ironies are stacked to the ceiling.

Tom

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(Below, a mordant swath of toilet stall collage from the men's room of the Underground, Hamilton, Ontario. Photo by TS, September 3, 2006.)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Spam and Its Discontents...

I love the new address-harvesting babe-bots that have recently cropped up on MySpace. Really quite clever.



Pity the dolts who leave comments for them, however...

TS

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Dull Thudding Syncs with Spiralling Numbness

Ohh, I'm definitely hungover. Graham and Bobbie (accompanied by Travis, the jovial Black Meat bête noir) treated me to much fine ass and accompanying strangeness at the Oasis Goodtime Emporium, a typically stodgy strip joint on Atlanta's bleak eastern industrial perimeter.

Head's (hell) bell(es) are pealing...

We left at 3:45. Bobbie began speaking in Laotian, and the Phillip Glass CD was yanked from the player in favor of a Morbid Angel chestnut. Dropped Trav off at his swank cul-de-sac, and zoomed through scenic Lilburn to the bucolic Moore manse. Downed an Odwalla to restore whatever shit I'd lost hours before, and passed out. Brain was in violent opposition to body; mind won the morning.

Much dissonance in my life at the moment, but also much insane positivity. I welcome life's errant vicissitudes, its warming neutrality. I exist, regardless. Fuck fear.

TS

U.N.: Iraq Civilian Deaths Hit a Record

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The number of Iraqi civilians killed in July and August hit 6,599, a record-high number that is far greater than initial estimates suggested, the United Nations said Wednesday.

The report from the U.N. Assistance Mission in Iraq's Human Rights office highlighted the sectarian crisis gripping the country, offering a grim assessment across a range of indicators - worrying evidence of torture, unlawful detentions, growth of sectarian militias and death squads, and a rise in "honor killings" of women.

That raises new questions about U.S. and Iraqi forces' ability to bring peace to Baghdad, where the bulk of the violent deaths occurred. Iraq's government, set up in 2006, is "currently facing a generalized breakdown of law and order which presents a serious challenge to the institutions of Iraq," it said.

According to the U.N., which releases the figures every two months, violent civilian deaths in July reached an unprecedented high of 3,590, an average of more than 100 a day... The report attributed many of the deaths to the rising sectarian tensions that have pushed Iraq toward the verge of civil war.

"These figures reflect the fact that indiscriminate killings of civilians have continued throughout the country while hundreds of bodies appear bearing signs of severe torture and execution style killing," the report said. "Such murders are carried out by death squads or by armed groups, with sectarian or revenge connotations."

The report said torture was a major concern in Iraq and the bodies showed significant evidence of it.

"Bodies found at the Medico-legal Institute often bear signs of severe torture including acid-induced injuries and burns caused by chemical substances, missing skin, broken bones (back, hands and legs), missing eyes, missing teeth and wounds caused by power drills or nails," the report said...

Complete article available here.

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Happy Happy!!!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Another Goddamned Hotel (And Yeah, More Irony...)

Hello...

On my friend Patrick's off-handed recommendation, I strayed into Metropolis, Illinois around 11 p.m. When a fog bank descended over I-57/24, I decided to stay the night...

Yesterday was as grim as I imagined it would be. Didn't have a lot of time alone with Evan the previous evening - four hours, I suppose. We drove onto Fort Riley, bought booze, and decamped at a dire Days Inn (the only lodging available) to talk music, women, our shared pasts, and Iraq. I'd bought one of the new Nano 2.0 units for him the day of my departure from Atlanta; as Evan filled it with trance and dubstep in anticipation of his 17-hour flight from Kansas to Kuwait we guzzled Beam and Coke, took the expected blurry, poorly composited photos, and laughed between annoying cell calls.



(Evan Smith, early on the morning of September 18... It's all a blur. Razr snap by his dad.)



(A fetid Days Inn about to be razed by Cyclops' disinfectant gaze...)

Around 2 a.m., the lil' doppelganger had to retire. I could sense bedbugs seething just inches below tawdry, tattered sheets (I wouldn't fuck one of my irregularly scheduled punk girlfriends in so rancid a dump - a brick pile salted with radon ices and asbestos seasonings would be more hygenic), so I slept on the unturned queen and entertained vague, unappealing dreams.

Evan knocked on my door at 8 in full combat dress - a bit of a jolt, as I was wearing naught but nuthin'. I felt like some poor Sadr City slob who'd just had his home broken into by soldiers very much like the one gesturing before me... Cleaned up, got dressed, and we drove again to Fort Riley for the send-off / meltdown. Lots of wives and girlfriends (many of whom were very pregnant), a smattering of family members, and rows of rucksacks and body armor upon which were stacked Kevlar helmets and boxes of Army-issued (Oakley) polarized lenses.



(The array... Ft. Riley, Kansas, September 18, 2006.)

The unit was fairly consumed with the preparation of its field kits, but friends and family snaked through the procession unimpeded. Every ethnic sub-category was represented, but not many Christopher Hitchens or Laura Ingraham types seemed to be suited up. (Gotta love those warhawk cunts...)

Tears were flowing; Evan and I traded quips. At 11:15, they were whisked away, and that was that. A numb drive back into dreary Junction City. Gave Dawn a goodbye hug, jumped into the Jeep, and eight hours later, Metropolis... Now, I don't know what I'm feeling.

Check-out's in half an hour - more, including pix, the delayed TLASILA tour recap, and overdue toliveandshaveinla.com updates, later this evening. (Or, tomorrow. Graham and Bobbie have promised to take me to a strip club later tonight... I need the diversion.)

TS

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A Newer Trail of Tearz...

Hello...
I'm writing from a third-floor suite of a hotel alongside I-70 W, about 180 miles east of Kansas City, Missouri. Drove twelve hours from Atlanta to get here... Sounds rough, but the rental agency gave me a free Jeep mid-SUV upgrade; the drive was a breeze. I've been listening to Motoro Faam, The Drift, lots of dubstep, the Adverts' Anthology, selections from the Blossoming Noise catalogue, the Shave 'FMU broadcast (picking bits of it apart for analysis - lots of work ahead), Close Calls, the Danger Mouse/Banksy guerilla version of Paris Hilton's debut CD (not a remix, more of a piss-take that transcends its intentions - it's superb, unrelenting), other stuff...

Otherwise, I've had far too much fucking coffee.

What the Hell am I doing here?

My son leaves for Iraq on Monday.

I'm meeting he and his wife tomorrow for dinner in Junction City, and then she and I will see him off on the morning of the 18th. Yeah, I'm sad.



(I may look ridiculous, but this is exactly how I feel. Fuck the world...)

Why not fly? I wanted to know the route. I need to be able to map my anxieties. retrace this bitter mood of desanguination... No blood left whatsoever.

But, I'm certain we'll joke around, shoot the shit, take the usual goofy pix, and try not to make much of it. Or, I'll cry like the emotional freak that I am, shit my trousers, etc. All the righteous manly stuff for which I'm idolized...

Ironies a-plenty. Evan loathes that cocksucker Bush as much as I (or anyone with a semblance of cerebral activity should), but he's an idealist and an outdoorsman; he's following his instincts, and who am I to object? (I know he's read lots of Hemmingway...) We've spoken of his decision to join the Army, sign up for the infantry, and volunteer for the most dangerous fucking imaginable duty - escorting convoys on their daily sojourns outside the Green Zone - for months on end. I understand him completely, but it doesn't make the situation any less insane... I love him without reservation. What can I say? It's his shocking move, a defining lunge. Dawn (his wife) and I just want him back sans perforations, bionics...

I'm fast-forwarding to 10:30 am, CST - a strong thunderstorm rages outside; hail producing systems are likely in the afternoon. Fucking Midwest... Good thing my ride is parked 120 feet from the front fucking lobby... Wireless cutting in and out.

At least the weather matches my mood.



(Ahhh... Balmy Missouri.)

TS

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Download: TLASILA Live at WFMU, September 12, 2006 (complete)

To Live and Shave in L.A. - Live, WFMU, Jersey City, NJ, September 12, 2006.

(Recorded September 5, 2006 at the WFMU studios by Gil Shuster; premiere transmission September 12, 2006. Host: Brian Turner.)

Get the file here.

01 No Such Luck
02 Authorized
03 Mothers Over Silverpoint
04 I Prefer Pestilence
05 Samson Scolded Delilah

Personnel:

Rat Bastard: small electronics, radios and quad mixer
Don Fleming: guitar
Chris Grier: guitar
Graham Moore: laptop and treatments
Tom Smith: vocals
Andrew W.K.: keyboards
Ben Wolcott: oscillator and treatments

Edited from the master broadcast recording by TS.

Thanks for listening, snagging, shagging, sharing...



(The Original Kings of Tragedy, after the final Syrup Room engagement, on the streets of Brooklyn... Rat, Ben, Tom. Photo by Graham Moore, 7 Sept 06.)

---

Tom

Thursday, September 14, 2006

KFJC: Magnificent Cheek!

DJ Dominic Trix (aka Marlan K. from the brill Liquorball*) is, at this very second, re-broadcasting the WFMU streaming feed over KFJC... Hee-larious! A tip o' the moldy Old Crow container to DT and chorale.



TS

(* Apologies for the kudo-deluge, but historians know of my lurve of all sounds L'ball...)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

TLASILA Live on WFMU...

(Text slightly amended and three new photos added 13 Sept 06.)

Hello Droogies,

The session we recorded at WFMU on September 5 (between our Tonic and Syrup Room gigs) will be aired today during Brian Turner's always-goddamned-fab b'cast. BT warns that the sesh will likely be unveiled between 5 and 6 pm, so set your devices and delve into what might portend to be a (rough) preview of the studio follow-up to the forthcoming Noon and Eternity. We assayed a clutch of new songs written for the Horsocopo tour, and re-worked "Mothers over Silverpoint" from Noon... A long day (thirteen takes of "Samson Scolded Delilah" alone), but well worth the effort. Kudos to Brian and the invaluable Gil Shuster for their labors; a huge non-thank you thank you to the too-modest Marisa Handren, who stuck it out for hours on end...



(The studio interior; Shuster fiddles while Graham burns... Pic GM 5 Sept 06.)



(Don Fleming blurs fine lines 'twixt May and Manzanera whilst Smythe's florescent tresses glow grey... Pic by Ben Wolcott, 5 Sept 06.)

WFMU: Upcoming Specials

Their copy (I fixed the NAE typo):

To Live and Shave in LA

Tuesday, September 12th, 3pm - 6pm on Brian Turner's show

Two years later, the insanity that was TLASILA's last session on Brian's show returns. On tour to preview a forthcoming release ("Noon and Eternity" on Menlo Park Records), the long-enduring Noise/Concrete/Freedom Rock/Destructo-Dub/ELP-covering/Crazy Frog-loving crew piles all their oscillators, giant amp stacks, and assorted debris into the WFMU live room and crack it open once more. The band this time out: Tom Smith, Graham Moore, Ben Wolcott, Andrew W.K., Rat Bastard, Chris Grier, and Don Fleming. It's gonna melt your brains.



(Four-sevenths of the Horoscopo incarnation of TLASILA, out on the mean-esque streets of bucolic Jersey City. Grier, Smith, Wolcott, Bastard, and much Ernesto-derived dampness... Snap Graham Moore, 5 Sept 06.)

Unable to catch the live broadcast? Reel in the session archive here. BT will post it apres-show.



(Graham Moore ponders a move from the unstable Mac architecture to the dependable Win 95 OS... Sweet! Pic Ben W.)



(Andrew W.K., TS and Chris Grier decide to dump the oft-rehearsed Steve Lacy tribute medley in favor of the n'er-mounted Overkill cover... Damned executive decisions! Pic Ben Wolcott.)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Tour Wrap-Up and Photo Deluge Later Today...

Hello... I've been sleeping it off since arriving home late on the 9th. Updates will arrive later on the 11th. Fucking ironies...



(Perfect detailing... This flat black, no-frills bile was parked on the curb adjacent to the NYC Choppers shop on Mahhattan's West Side. "Awesome" doesn't quite do it justice. Razr snap by TS, September 6, 2006.)

Update, 9:35 pm... Still groggy. Earlier, I enjoyed a two-hour sweat slog at the gym, my first non-stage workout since embarking on the tour. Energies flag nonetheless. Mental fatigue, baby. I'm too wiped to maintain consciousness. Just as we hit our peak in Brooklyn (of all places), the rug was pulled out from under. Then, two solid days of zero-sleep driving, and the resultant return to somber realities. At least the 9/11 remembrance horseshit keeps the lids extra heavy. Anyhow, tour pics and diary entries should pop up on the morrow...

(Assorted tour vidcaps added 12 Sept 06...)



(Chris Grier at the Perv Stop, pre-realization, Upstate NY, 31 Aug 06.)



(Tom driving while doing baritone warm-up exercises; consternation assured. Somewhere in Quebec, Canada, 31 Aug 06.)



(Ben and AWK, wilting; see above.)



(Ditto Rat...)



(CG shocked to find bagels exist north of Houston Street... Snap from Montreal b'fast, 1 Sept 06.)



(Ben delineating finer points of Dade County politics during breakfast, Montreal, 1 Sept 06. Wait... Aren't such expository flights Rat's stock in trade? What gives?! Call the union rep stat!)



(TLASILA soundcheck, Hamilton, September 3, 2006...)



(After the gig, a furtive search for an all-night breakfast joint... Hamilton, 4 Sept 06.)



(AWK, behnd the eight ball, but back in NYC, 5 Sept 06.)



(Some room, somewhere, Earth, 2006.)



(TS in the van, beatific to the bitter end, 5 Sept 06.)



(CG and sex-seeking Shave stalker, Perv Stop, Upstate NY, 31 Aug 06.)



(Grier and TLASILA enthusiast at Korean Christian tea room, Hamilton, 3 Sept 06.)

Hope these'll tide you over 'til later...

Best,

TS

Saturday, September 09, 2006

September 9: Atlanta

Hello Everyone,

The tour has ended, and the associated melancholy will likely soon lift. Still, I'm feeling rather gutted, despite Wednesday's exultation. That's the way it goes...

We'll soon begin pouring through the photos, audio, videos... Ben in particular created an exquisite series of portraits. Evidence of our travels should appear as early as Sunday.

Needless to say, thanks to everyone who helped us in bringing the new material to fruition. It was an honor to perform for friends of TLASILA in Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton, New York, and Brooklyn. We are grateful for your hospitality, companionship, and appreciation of all things insane, risible, delectable, and flat-out fucking bizarre. Great shows, great times... No complaints.

Love,

Tom

Thursday, September 07, 2006

TLASILA @ Syrup Room: Will We See You There?

Venue:

The Syrup Room
100 Ingraham Street
(corner of Knickerbocker)
Brooklyn, NY
(East Williamsburg)
doors open 8pm / $8
(917) 608-2467

Personnel:

Rat Bastard, Don Fleming, Chris Grier, Graham Moore, Tom Smith, Andrew Wilkes-Krier, and Ben Wolcott.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Horoscopo Tour: Day 5

Hello... A brief recap from Toronto. (More will be posted as time allows... Might not be able to touch up the canvas until NYC, however. We're kind of busy - details, details.)

Our Montreal dress rehearsal of the 31st (the "secret loft gig") at Friendship Cove was fraught with more than a few mishaps, but we mapped out the parameters of a spectacular demise. The MEG fest performance on Saint-Laurent's formidable Sala Rosa on the 1st seemed to stir only mild ephipanies, but a pod of blown minds is better than none at all. Last night's set at Toronto's Sneaky Dee's was quite satisfying - we found our footing, although our stark shocktroop boots sometimes flared into Ringling clown clogs.

We stayed last night with Stinktown's sexy, literate Bukkake Katholik crew, and partied hard well into morn. Tons of photos, vid, etc., forthcoming. Days 2-4 will be filled in as well.

Love,

TS

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Horoscopo Tour: Day 3

Hello...

Only time for a quick post.

Here's a link to the first Horoscopo review we've seen:

http://www.musiquemachine.com/reviews/reviews_template.php?id=887

Best,

Tom