Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Noon and Eternity: Out Today!

(Amended 21 Nov 06.)

Happy Halloween, ghouls...



Today is the day. Hope you'll enjoy the album.

We're up against K-Fed and Isis, but we'll manage.

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Availability: both Amazon and Barnes & Noble apparently offer it, and your local indie/undie stockist ought to have already purchased it, but I'd recommend Forced Exposure or Midheaven. The latter isn't yet listing it, so my default preference will be the former. I've heard that Borders has ordered it as well, but I've received no confirmation. Export copies are being shipped to Europe and Asia; there will be a double vinyl release exclusive to Australia.

Here's the Forced Exposure link.

TS

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Early critiques:

01

BASS GUITAR

Noise punk iconoclasts TLASILA have run through several different lineups over the years; for this four-song hour-long set, the core triumvirate of Tom Smith (vox), Ben Wolcott (oscillators) and Frank “Rat Bastard” Falestra (bass)* return for a way-out ambient foray into the abyss, with Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore diving in headfirst.

Addenda:

* Rat doesn't play bass guitar on the album.


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02

THE AQUARIAN

Iggy Pop was inspired by his father’s electric razor and TLASILA’s Tom Smith was inspired by his father’s racecar track.* The influence of noise in their respective childhoods was obviously different, and it shows, as Iggy Pop makes noisy rock and roll, whereas Smith makes noise with a rock and roll aesthetic. More famous members of this noise collective include Rat Bastard**, Andrew W.K. and Thurston Moore. I know, you’re probably thinking— Andrew W.K.and Thurston Moore— how did this happen? But what occurs is the creepy vibe of Sonic Youth’s soundtrack to the Manson family murders, Bad Moon Rising, combined with composer Alvin Lurcier’s “I Am Sitting In A Room.” The dark tones, dissonant guitar, methodical drums and distorted vocals are nightmarish at times, creating an otherworldly feeling. The CD’s sleeve is also somewhat ironic, with photos of track trophies, humorous fictional bios and song lyrics written out in italics like on pop records.

In A Word: Surreal
Grade: Fuck Grades

Addenda:

* My father owned a stock car, and subsequently formed a racing team.

** Rat loves this line.

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03

PAPER THIN WALLS

A new album by To Live And Shave In L.A. gives us the barest excuse needed to talk about the Miss High Heel record, a hectic noise “supergroup” that featured much of the mid-’90s Skin Graft stable as well as TLASILA founder Tom Smith’s distinctive tape sputter and vocal expulsions. Their one 1998 disc on B-Sides was a skull-splitter, and a big chunk of that split was thanks to Smith’s glam dandyism and his tape editing technique, which was as simple as scanning mainstream pop radio and pressing the “pause” button a bunch whilst recording. This was, as Smith chronicles on his official website, an emergent technique based on his conception of dub. It also fits his lyrical methodology, a borrowing of the William Burroughs cut-up technique to create free-associations snarl-spat in a vaguely Tasmanian Devil manner. Smith was the forerunner of a brutal type of distinctly Floridian freak show (running with the same posse as Harry Pussy, Pussy Galore and Cock ESP)* that even its adherents admire at arm’s length. Partnering with Rat Bastard (Laundry Room Squelchers), the core of TLASILA has been reconstituted since the group’s demise in 2000. The wave of spin-offs (Wikipedia counts at least seven) that were not Smith-sanctioned actually started with the Weasel Walter/Rat Bastard-generated To Live And Shave In L.A. 2,** which is rumored to have nailed the coffin in the Bastard/Smith partnership.*** The line up of the 2003 reformation is represented on the new Noon and EternityAndrew W.K. on drums, longtime compadre Don Fleming, SightingsMark Morgan, veteran Ben Wolcott, Thurston Moore and Chris Grier. The product is surpassingly slick and sick, taking full advantage of the Echo Canyon studio and outcreeping even the new Scott Walker. It’s the most accomplished TLASILA to date, which seems counter to Smith’s anti-music legacy.**** Whilst noise boners are a-poppin’ across the mediascape, they’ve made a freaking lounge disc. It’s pretty great. The 19-minute “Early 1880s” from Noon and Eternity gets another loving makeover here in this edit/remix. Backwards masking meets the long-lost glich meme in a dub tunnel that loops Smith’s warble and wail into a bad-trippin’ house diva. This vowel-stretching, digital direction should not be a surprise considering Smith's involvement in the Mego project OHNE (with Dave Phillips, Reto Mader and Daniel Lowenbrucke). Still, it’s strange how even the chaos of this TLASILA is comparatively subtle when put against the generation of current noiseniks, or even their own past practice.

Addenda:

* Neither Pussy Galore nor Cock ESP were natives of Florida.

** The late Gerard Klauder's TLASILA 2 predated Weasel Walter's TLASILA 2 by several months.

*** Rat and I made nice in 2001. We'd buried the hatchet - never particularly sharp nor thrown with accuracy - two years prior to taking TLASILA out of deep freeze.

**** Sez who?


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04

PLAN B

There’s Noon and Eternity by To Live and Shave in LA (Menlo Park): noise outlaws Rat Bastard, Tom Smith, and collaborators Thurston Moore, Don Fleming and Andrew WK assemble for a suite of blasted, post-Beefheart clatter and face-hits-the-concrete sonic layering.

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05

LA ALTERNATIVE

Far from a local band (literally)– their lengthy name reportedly lifted from a vintage porn flick –Florida’s To Live and Shave in LA are releasing what may be this year’s most under-the-radar comeback album.* Emerging in the early 1990s with a string of vinyl platters and track-crammed single CDs (including works never-to-be released due to several prematurely belly-up labels),** the band dissolved in 2000. But from the vacuum surfaced The Wigmaker in Eighteenth Century Williamsburg, a double disc set slowly mulled by the band over eight years before finally being served up in 2002 to heaps of praise.*** In the following years TLASILA’s core trio of Tom Smith, Rat Bastard and Ben Wolcott regrouped for live shows and slowly amassed a formidable cast of collaborators that nearly tripled their membership. On Noon and Eternity, one of the many pleasures afforded by this new, expanded brood of audio generators is the previously unthinkable pairing of Thurston Moore scraping away his astral-tuned Fender to the heaving drum fills of Andrew WK. Hardly enamored of the hissy sheets and barbed blocks of white noise favored by most of today’s noiseniks, Noon and Eternity is comprised of four monoliths that linger over a menacing grey void. Drums rattle and toll as splotches of distortion and flashes of mangled radio voices swim through errant electrical currents. Most notable, though, may be Tom Smith’s total rejection of the genre’s equivalent to metal’s cookie-monster vocals: the bile streams of caustic barf. Defiantly, Smith sings in an elastic, writhing croon/moan that is rarely hinged and always fascinatingly erratic. In fact, Noon and Eternity plays largely like the distant, all-American cousin to Scott Walker’s avant baroque The Drift. Both are troubling, dense records of alien provenances characterized by abstractly sketched suites of explorative voicework, obtuse words, haunting stretches of twisted sound (Walker even refers to The Drift as being, wait for it, “shaved-down”) and doom-bearing silence. Noon and Eternity is a slow walk through the shock corridor that is contemporary life.

Addenda:

* Only Rat lives in Florida. Tom left in 1996; Ben in '99. Don and AWK live in NYC; Chris resides in DC, Mark's manse is located in Detroit, and Graham's crib is nestled in the Atlanta suburbs. Ben lives in Los Angeles, and TS hunkers down in southeastern Georgia. Thurston and his fam call Northampton, MA home; Rich Russo gets down to the Tampa sound.

** Two TLASILA albums licensed to labels that went bankrupt in the 90s will be issued in 2007 on the Savage Land imprint.

*** Wigmaker was five years in the making, not eight... A rough haul nonetheless.


06

SCHLENDRIAN

Noon & Eternity: Das legendäre Avant-Noise-Kollektiv ist eine der erstaunlichsten Blüten amerikanischer Musikgeschichte. Subversion pur. Sogar MySpace streicht die Segel und und gibt einen „Das gesamte Album in 4 Minuten“- Teaser nicht frei. Muss man TLASILA verstehen? Nein. Man muss sie wirken lassen. The real Avantgarde is smiling. Ja. In den besten Momentenallerdings bleibt es fröhlich im Halse stecken.

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07

KFJC ON-LINE

Tom Smith and some superb friends churn out a new *studio* release. Still Tom’s got those lectro-huskified vocals that get stretched like silly putty through your headphones. I try hard to follow the lyrics without the sheet, and I’m lost in an elastic maze. And it should be pointed out that even armed with the lyrics, the maze then takes on a whole other dimension. Meanwhile the music is built like a tactile dome: pushing up against your eardrums, guitars sound like damaged aircraft trying to take flight before the runway tarmac melts into the earth. Are these the dreams of sirens? Was this recorded whilst under siege? Barricaded in a studio, and not enough food for all the musicans? The drummer Andrew W.K. had to eat one of his own sticks eventually, often he’s left clubbing out a death march to hold the center while radioactive bursts of sound ignite space. But Tom’s loony croon, along with lyrics that invite investigation rather than hammer down an idea, remain the huge attraction. This feels like a protest album, without being boringly plain-spoken. A trophy (as opposed to atrophy) release, topped only by the inner artwork by Oscar Perez.

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08

CHORD MAGAZINE

(Fans of Nick Cave, Young Gods, and opiates take note.)

Rating: 4 out of 4.

Not a band as much a collective, not a collective as much whoever decides to get with founder Tom Smith at any given moment, the oddly-monikered To Live and Shave in L.A. (TLASILA to their friends) has existed in one form or another since 1990. Smith, usually with a core featuring Ben Wolcott and Rat Bastard, has released a seemingly endless stream of tiny-label discs that explore avant-garde soundscapes and man's inhumanity to man, or something. Much like Negativland, each of the group's releases seems to have a life of its own. Noon and Eternity welcomes a star-studded menagerie to the fold - Don Fleming of B.A.L.L. joins Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore, and beer-commercial rocker Andrew W.K. plays drums! - and the resulting cacophony seems as much performance artistry as it is music. Odd samples and electronic flashes of sonic light blaze across downtuned post-Sabbath guitar skronk, while a maniacal baritone voice rants and raves in barely decipherable tones for the better part of the entire disc - four songs in 66 minutes, and good luck figuring out when each one ends and the next one begins.* This is not music to drive to, nor will it appear on a snazzy mixtape.** But if you put your headphones on and close your eyes, you may just see God.

Addenda:

* There are two seconds of silence between each composition.

** People have driven to the album.

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09

JERSEY BEAT

After seeing the track lengths of this album I'm not going to lie, I shut off instantly and then I heard the album itself. Thurston Moore and Andrew WK need to stick to their day jobs. If I wanted long songs I'd have put on Starkweather or Neurosis, if I wanted interesting music I'd have put on Throbbing Gristle or The Buzzcocks. Despite having at least one musical innovator I know of off the top of my head, this is nothing new. Each track is a dense offering of atonal whaling and crooning breaking through a reinforced wall of aural psych out seemingly cobbled together for the sake of making something "challenging". This is the equivalent of reading a novel written by an academic who should have stayed that way. Maybe it's my age or overall uptightness that won't seem to dispense into the jam band miasma my friends find themselves in. I still enjoy the old art + rock = art rock equation (note the rock element in the formula), I'm not ready to hear the soundtrack to an art student's exhibit of his/her master's thesis. *

Addenda:

* There are no female MFA candidates in TLASILA.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Ugh...

Returned late Sunday. GK's funeral was dire, almost repugnant. After the service I felt as if I'd been throttled... Can't imagine a family less in tune with the life of one of their own.

We (Gerard's muzak-world friends, that is) decided to cobble together an emergency wake and soon began waterboarding sorrows. Lots of booze, tears, absurd anecdotes. I wanted to jump into the pool, especially seeing as it had long been drained, but the grim pall held me in thrall. More shots of tequila, more blather about the dead.

Churchill's was kind enough to open a tab in Gerard's honor. Those of us who made the half-sloshed trek from Kendall to Little Haiti comprised what was likely the least-appropriately attired mob in the club's long history. (Unless one discounts the semi-regular parade of UM Two-Tone clones and Rat's Blues Brothers tribute projects.) Afterwards, Melissa Amodeo, Dan Hosker, Lauren Uszko and I decamped to Lauren's mom's spread in Lauderdale. Finally went to bed at 6 AM, woke up at 2:30 PM. First time any of us had slept well since GK's suicide.

I didn't remove my mourning clothes for 48 hours. None of us felt like changing... But, finally, we agreed to let GK go. He hated that tie of mine anyway.

Spoke frequently with Paige Flash and Elyse Perez throughout the week. (Paige and I talked for four hours alone on Wednesday...) Incalculable sadness. Elyse, Mel, and Paige - the Squelcher gals I met in one wet, horny cluster in 2000 - were gutted by GK's death. (I lost it before the service myself... One look at the memorial photo board and I was a goner.)

Nandor Nevai arrived Friday evening. Great to see him again. He's looking much healthier... His Klauder stories were priceless. Too many metal vocalist references for the assembled mourners, but otherwise, spot on.

It took me ten hours to drive the 490 miles to Valdosta.

No pix, and that's just as well.

TS

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

GK's Demented Art (Part One)

Until we've had an opportunity to sift through Gerard Klauder's personal archive, there may be no way of knowing the number of (extremely) limited edition albums he created. The years 1999-2001 found GK especially prolific, with dozens of releases spilling out of his sick, twisted lil' mind. Our intent is to craft a sufficiently appropriate posthumous compilation...

Fuck, I'm getting choked up just typing these words. It's insane that he's dead...

Below, a photo taken of Gerard in Atlanta on March 17, 2006. We spoke just ten days ago, but his visit to my then-girlfriend C2's home in the Decatur suburbs was the last time we got together. The image I've chosen is blurred, but it captures his dissonant, brooding complexity...



(Gerard Klauder, March 17, 2006, at rest in Decatur...)

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(An exterior view of Same, a five-disc album from 2000, one of dozens GK created in that very fruitful year.)



(Gerard beat Weasel Walter's TLASILA off-shoot to the release gate by rushing not one, but two warped TLASILA 2 albums into the uncomprehending void. Pictured, the sleeve to 2001's The External Organ.)



(GK's second TLASILA 2 release from 2001, Commmiinggg! and Rember'd the First Man or Astro-Man Album. Yup, he was one sick, splendid fucker...)



The evening I first met Gerard (and Elyse Perez, and Melissa Amodeo, and Paige Flash, and the great Tom Gongola, better known by his friends as Tom G), he was brazenly hawking an unhinged loop mashup entitled Tom Smith vs. Squarepusher. We'd convened with Rat Bastard in Tallahassee, Florida to Squelch for a motley coterie of proto-noise hounds at the Cow Haus - one of the most memorable evenings of my life...

(Pictured, Gerard Klauder's Tom Smith vs. Squarepusher CD, from 2000.)

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There will be other posts forthcoming.

The Smack Shire web site is still up and functioning, although the less acute will perhaps believe otherwise.

Love,

Tom

Monday, October 23, 2006

...

Rat Bastard called half an hour ago with news of Gerard Klauder's death. I'm stunned...



His intellect was fiercely acute, his aesthetic intuition second to none. One of the coolest people ever...

Goddamn, what a fucking tragedy...

Gerard and I started The Smack Shire and Memories of Underdevelopment together. He was erratic, half-crazed, blessed with every material comfort yet often convulsed with doubt and self-loathing.

He "got" me, understood my music, my mind, my sense of humor. I thought he was hilarious - droll, acerbic, just fucking brilliant...

From 2000 to 2001 we turned his three-story quayside townhouse in North Miami Beach into a sort of Bizarro World Playboy Mansion. (The welcome mat might as well have read Bipolar Grindcore Whores Only...) Man, those were great, wasted days. So many amazing people passed through those doors (or, passed out in the elevator).

I'm at a loss.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Black Meat: Studio Pix

Travis, Graham, Tom, and Bobbie from the second week in October, Blossoming Noise HQ, Atlanta... I'd promised these last week, but things, as ever, have been hectic.

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(GM, sliding through space and time.)



(Tom's sweet spot...)



(BM, rounding up the dogs, keeping tabs.)



(TM, prepping for the Kansas medley...)

Friday, October 20, 2006

As Promised, Pox...

Below, find four images. The first pair come from the October 13th concert at the Haunted Barn, Hollywood, CA. Ben Wolcott's Oscillator project performed at last Friday's show... The second were pulled from the October 17th event held at Eyedrum in Atlanta. Black Meat debuted its trio lineup there. (Ben, Graham Moore and yrz truly are members of you-know-what as well...

TS

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(Oscillator, in the throes, October 13, 2006. Photo by Louisa Van Leer.)

(Buffy Visick, live at the Haunted Barn, October 13, 2006. The rear projected image was created by LA-based director and TLASILA Miami-era pal Rodney Ascher. Pic by Ms. Van Leer, another Miami friend, also long transplanted to SoCal...)

(Travis Morgan, sauved out for the noizz boyzz, October 17, 2006. Photo TS.)


(Black Meat's stage setup at Eyedrum, Atlanta, October 17, 2006. Pic, as above, by Om...)

Horóscopo: Bons Mots et Longueurs...

(Amended 1 Nov 06.)



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01

MUSIQUE MACHINE

This is my first experience with the wonderful dense and almost airless sound of To Live and Shave in LA. Their sound really is audio overload of the truest form - sounds, melody, voices and singing come at all angles; quite what it all means I’m unsure, but it certainly keeps one's attention and works as great delirious audio acid trip.

There seems to be some sort of story/concept behind it all (this from the press release) :

Horóscopo, Vatican temporal assassin, is ordered to fall 300 years through time to prevent Jean-Baptiste Poquelin (Molière) from writing the scabrous Tartuffe. A portal divides, doors fly open... Horóscopo’s eyes roll back into his head, and an empty scabbard clatters across marble. "Taisez-vous, et songez aux choses que vous dites." The Nightgaunts descend...

Which to honest is just as odd and bewildering as the sound of the album itself, so the best thing to do is just let it all rush out at you like a sped-up film as your ears pick out strange melody flourishes, weird mumbled diloguloge, and every other sound element you can think of. This truly must have taken hours upon hours to construct, but this isn't just random audio rubbish piled on top of each other - there seems method to the madness, but quite what it is is unsure. Seemly using elements from their older material, among other things, to make the album... You almost feel like your part of some strange sound experiment, or maybe trapped inside one of those old Victorian machines that were meant to make the mad sane; strapped into a seat, images whiz by and by at seemly faster and faster speeds.

Really I’ve not heard anything quite like this before maybe the closest comparison would be a Nurse With Wound collage track on speed. But, To Live and Shave in LA very much have therir own take on chaos - whether any of it makes sense is another thing, but I’ll enjoy trying to figure it out over the coming weeks.

All that’s left to say is if you enjoy sound collages with a distinctive odd air, apply here. To hear sample tracks and buy direct go here .To be even more puzzled and confused, go to the band's website here.

KUDOS: 5 out of 5

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02

ANIMAL PSI

When I was a kid I was reading a copy of Ben Is Dead when I came across a review of the first Three Mile Pilot LP. The entire review (keep in mind, this was 1993) said, quote:

Sounds just like The Replacements. Where’s my check?

I read this over and over. I was totally into 3MP (see?), yet at the same time strangely attracted to the arrogance of this “review”. I thought, “one day, I’ll be a dick too.” Now I’m inadvertantly asshole enough in real-life (57% according to one online – and therefore bulletproof – quiz), so I chose to pay homage without transgression. I’ve taken liberties with the reference, and indeed the newest release by To Live and Shave in L.A. actually does sound a whole lot like Shalabi Effect at their most experimental and the closely related work of Et Sans (see: musique concrète, sound verité, extreme cut-and-paste). Compiled of recordings from the last four years, the concept of Horóscopo: Sanatorio de Molière is characteristically high (from the Blossoming Noise website):

Horóscopo, Vatican temporal assassin, is ordered to fall 300 years through time to prevent Jean-Baptiste Poquelin (Molière) from writing the scabrous Tartuffe. A portal divides, doors fly open... Horóscopo’s eyes roll back into his head, and an empty scabbard clatters across marble. "Taisez-vous, et songez aux choses que vous dites." The Nightgaunts descend... - Got it!

This incarnation of TLaSiLA features: Tom Smith, Rat Bastard, Ben Wolcott, Don Fleming, Mark Morgan, Andrew (WK) Wilkes-Krier, Chris Grier, and special guest Thurston Moore. The music is such an authorless tangle, it’s impossible to parse who contributed what; I can only say that if any of those names pique your interest, you will not be disappointed.

The cover art of the digipak is particularly eye-catching, and I spent a good five minutes staring at it before I realized I had yet to hit play. Track One opens on a collage of death rays, cut-up conversation/crooning, and a little late-night piano melody, all woven through an increasingly pervasive tone-riff. The frequency is always in flux, as this fucked-up radio won’t stay tuned, dialing-in nearby planets and cable satellites. Two intros on a verse and a swarm of digital gnats, the radios continue to shifts, and a glimmering beat actually develops among the alien pulses and bleeps. Streams of liquid spurt through the soundscape and this is all very surrealist. Armies of sound continue to enter at random through track Three, now as a brassy overture bleeds into a traditional minimalism akin to Terry Riley’s live recordings (‘Olson III’ comes to mind in particular). Nothing lasts long on this album, and soon a whole new barrage of transmissions blast through, laced with static and cosmic timbres. Four opens and closes with an exceptionally stimulating series of vocal samples, book-ending a mudslide of thick, greasy rudeness. Either the album becomes more consistent by track Five, or I have just grown accustom to the patterns of randomness, but a theme apparently emerges for each track from this point on; a theme that is introduced early, then slides underneath each successive layer, always audible but more so when new layers are thin or gapped. Seven plays somber like an early requiem, and Eight takes us outside (who knew we were In?) to the sounds of earth-nature, interrupted by what appears to be a five second sample of the history of rock-n-roll, collapsing into a hot, dense little dot.

There are many ways to approach this album, both as a casual listen or a text to decipher; there is certainly too much going on to put into words. This is an exceptionally cerebral album and surprisingly user-friendly, asking no prerequisite from the listener. This is a mature experimental treat for gourmand and novice alike.

Where’s my check?

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03

KFJC ON-LINE

This album is a compiled remix of old works to get fans ready for the upcoming album: “Noon and Eternity,” which will finally feature TLASILA as an octet with newest band members Andrew W.K., Don Fleming and Richard Russo.* These reworked tracks span 15 or so albums from 1991-2006, beginning a new chapter for the band who have not released any new material since the original trio ended in 2002.** Cuts are loopy, grainy and crunchy with a mechanical robotic feel to them. Imagine being in a factory with robots shooting laser pens into your eyes. Frequent high pitched beeps keep your hands close to the volume controls with sound clips approaching unbearable levels at times. Some keyboard/piano clips accompany looped and half-eaten vocals, always surrounded by static, buzzing, churning and cyclical moving part sounds. The chaos and complexity of instrumentation makes sci-fi seem low-fi and empowers people who push buttons. Tom Smith and Thurston Moore could very well be the descendants of men who had to manually sound the alarm. Fine production and use of frequencies often create the sense of real world sounds occurring whirling around our heads. And then you realize its just Andrew W.K. bashing a bottle on your dome...

Addenda:

* Richard Russo hasn't as yet recorded with TLASILA.

** The original trio ended in 1996 when Ben Wolcott left to join Frosty. TLASILA went on a three-year haitus in 2000. The group reformed in December 2003. Ben, Rat and Tom will give a one-off performance as the "original trio" at the International Noise Conference in Miami, Florida in February 2007.

--

04

BRAINWASHED

Pretentious art projects fail mostly on one level: they pretend that their conceits alone will win them accolades. The title of this recording and the description it has on Blossoming Noise's Web site refer to Jean Baptiste Poquelin Molière and a comedy he wrote that was censored from public performance for a period of time. While it doesn't sound very intriguing to me to begin with, the time travel crap added doesn't help, nor does the relatively lame music.

Thurston Moore plays on this record; maybe the Sonic Youth kids can appreciate that. And the band's name is a bit humorous, so maybe all the hip kids will catch on to that and praise the band's "down to earth" front. Then they'll stumble over French names, time travel narratives, an art for the sake of art cover, and bad sound collage and wonder what the hell is going on. I know irony is the new black and that hypocritical cynicism is the best way to win an argument these days, whoever you're arguing with, but nobody is going to convince me that it's worth trying to decode all the nonsense this group has layered into their release for Blossoming Noise. I'm a fan of whacky concepts, but this seems to be less whacky than it is absolutely unintelligible. If the liner notes are to be taken seriously at all, then everything on this record consists of sounds from previous releases by To Live and Shave in L.A. and are remixed in some fashion so as to capitalize on this concept of assassination and literary history. I don't buy it for a second and, after listening to nothing but electronic chirping for an hour or so, I'm not sure how many people will.

I love it when weird bands that have consumed too much acid over the years play with electronic devices. There's always a certain childishness to their work and, if that's missing, a fairly warped picture of the universe supported by a librarian's knowledge of the occult, the underground, or the otherwise ignored. What I do not like is when someone pretends to be just like that and ends up spitting out an hour's worth of wormy noise that doesn't belong together or doesn't fit together in the first place. Anyone can make a bunch of noise and act as though they've just completed a masterpiece: just slap some stupid arty machinery in the background and maybe some people will be fooled! After trying to find some redeeming quality to this record, I'm convinced it doesn't exist. Machine noise, some static, and some really repetitive analog sound bounce around without any sense of intrigue and eventually end in a wash of yelled vocals, half-dead pulsation, and static. The album is consistently flat, even when it attempts to juice things up, such as on "1643." No amount of turning the volume up to eleven will make anything on this record worth hearing.

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So, we have four critiques, four moods.

Which of the authors would most likely enjoy a long day at a nearby beach with family and friends? Which author might conceivably serve as a Senior Needs Specialist for the Columbus, Ohio branch of the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America? Which personable author might invite a neighbor over for tea and spirited conversation? Which embittered, luckless author is most likely not to have brushed his teeth in the past eleven weeks?

You be the jury...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

300th Post...

Hello,

Paper Thin Walls asked for a Noon and Eternity track to review, and we delivered. Sort of. With each of the album's songs so freakin' long, we instead sent a mashed-up edit of "Early 1880s," Noon's second (and most understated) selection.

Voila! Here's their review, which includes a TLASILA overview (and a bonus Miss High Heel appreciation).

Oh yeah, they gave us an 8.0... Break out the Milwuakee's Best Ice!

TS

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Post-Meat

(Edited 22 Oct 06.)

Stirring slowly... Black Meat made its trio debut last night at Atlanta's Eyedrum. Low-key, but effective. The tour begins in Chapel Hill on the 24th...



(The stage, silent, immediately following the set.)



(The tangled web...)

After the gig, we (Bobbie, Graham and I) washed ashore at Buckhead's inimitable Landmark Diner. Not much on the menu for vegans, but the atmosphere more than compensates... Sam Patton (the genius behind the much-missed Blast-Off Video) and I used to regularly convene there for martinis, blather, the hot Bulgarian waitresses, etc. Pardon me while I weep for days gone by...

Cops gather there in the wee hours after closing down their DUI traps in the club district. High-end call girls and their middle-aged marks make it a second home as well. And, as always, one finds pods of gay dudes slathered in glitter mist and more Eastern Europeans than you can shake a bootleg DVD at... A great family joint, no question. Black Meat will return, and soon. Travis will fall in love in a synaptic flash...

xox

TS

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(I've removed the Horoscopo review posts and re-routed, re-framed the thread. The discussion can resume there, should a continuation be necessary. Horse whisperers, prepare your handstands!)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Not a Johnny Moped Kind of Day...

More like Luc Ferrari - it's grey out, dismal; an environmental wash of muted tonalities is required...

The weekend was productive. Wrapped the Air Force remix for Xiu Xiu - have no idea if they'll loathe (憝) or be moved to propose (爱恋)... Afterwards, recalibrated my gear, and resumed work on Les Tricoteuses. No wickedness for the rested.

TS

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Schiz-Vid'd...

Really starting to lose it. Last night I watched Ricou Browning's bleak exploit actioner Mr. No Legs on my laptop while watching G.H. Clouzot's terse, relentless The Wages of Fear on the plasma. Lowbrow/highbrow bifurcation, anyone? To pencil in those few vacant nanosecs I read Dennis Perrin's Mr. Mike: The Life and Work of Michael O'Donoghue. (I'd romped and stabbed through Don Fleming's copy three years ago, but I found one online for $6 and couldn't resist.) Earlier, I sped past the finale of Frank Rich's The Greatest Story Ever Sold.

My head is a WMD, and my hard drive is naught but night soil...

Sadness Dept: Just heard on NPR that Gillo Pontecorvo died... Drat.

Click here for the New York Times' obit.

He directed the seminal Battle of Algiers and shortly thereafter, Burn!, which starred Marlon Brando. His 1979 film Ogro is also pretty mind-blowing, although minor keys predominate.

Algiers has long been hailed as a masterwork and indeed, in my quasi-august opinion, it's absolutely brilliant. (I screened it at VSU in '04 for my faculty advisors and they seemed fairly stunned by it. None of them had ever seen it before... Strange.) Burn! is far more confounding, but its flaws fail to obsure a provocative subtext. Ogro is a Franco-era policier and all the more grim for its muted tone and washed-out palette. Get 'em and watch alongside Click, or New York Minute. Everything will soon become clear...

TS



(An unusually animated framegrab from Ricou Browning's otherwise numbing 1981 procedural Mr. No Legs... A dire nihil-fiesta, but no less delightful for its gargantuan shortcomings. Uhh, pardon the inadvertant puns, etc.)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Oscillator: 10/13 Live @ Haunted Barn, Hollywood!

Oscillator will be performing on Friday the 13th at the Barn in Hollywood. Check the flyer below. Our own Ben Wolcott will be on hand to sign your Raudive transducers...

Go see 'em if you're in the 213/310/323/626/818...

TS

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Monday, October 09, 2006

Weekend Rekapitulacija

Hi,

I've been hanging with Graham and Bobbie at Blossoming Noise HQ in Atlanta, enjoying the Moore family's gracious hospitality and devoting nocturnal energies to writing and recording materal for the forthcoming Black Meat tour.

Hit the cineplex on Friday to see The Science of Sleep (my second time, B&G's first), and last evening to be mesmerized by The Departed. Yes, it's Scorcese's best in quite some time. We've plans to infiltrate Jesus Camp this evening...

More gristle forthcoming...

TS

Friday, October 06, 2006

Murder City Daffodils

Compilation construction time is nearly upon us. Menlo Park has commissioned a three-disc retrospective TLASILA box for 2007. What haven't you heard?

1991

My 'Limp' Went Husserl on Me
Spatters of a Royal Sperm

1992-4

30-minuten männercreme

1994

Prostitution Heute!
"Helen Butte" vs. Masonna Pussy Badsmell

1995

Vedder Vedder Bedwetter
An Interview with the Mitchell Brothers

1996

Commmiinnggg! and Practis'd the Black Art*

1997

Tonal Harmony
Sleep
Les Tricoteuses*

1998

Where a Horse Has Been Standing and Where You Belong
Peter Criss vs. Peter Christopherson
Amour Fou on the Edge of Misogyny

1998-2000

Tony Conrad, Fat-Ass

2002

The Wigmaker in Eighteenth Century Williamsburg

2004

God and Country Rally!

2006

Horóscopo: Sanatorio de Molière
Noon and Eternity

2007

Piper's Son (TLASILA/Kevin Drumm)*

(*Savage Land will be issuing Les Tricoteuses, Commiinnggg!, and Piper's Son in 2007...)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

New TLASILA photos from Montreal MEG Fest

Taken by Marie-Hélène Tremblay at Sala Rosa, Montréal, on September 1, 2006.

To Live and Shave in L.A.'s set marked the opening night of the three-day MEG Festival...

TS

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(The Rat Bastard...)



(An awesome peek, stage left: Frank, Chris, and AWK.)



(Graham, sans hair fan...)



(Ben, sending flares as usual...)



(My favorite shot, although I appear to be off my fucking nut... Andrew, BW, moi, GM, Rat, CG.)



(Rico... Suave! Greer in mid-Greeritude, Sala Rosa.)

Allah Hearts Xiu Xiu...

View this video.

Do something similar, wherever you live, NOW.

Disrupt, if only for a moment...



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Ciao until tomorrow,

TS

Desperate Fucks, Desperate Measures...

(Amended October 5.)

From the Brad Blog, an astounding screengrab from FNC:



Story may be found here.

News Flash!

Fuck, there's more... This is the FNC/GOP spin strategy for the Foleygate peddo scandal?

Found at Wonkette:



And later, at Talking Points Memo, evidence of the Associated Press's ascendence to the summit of the nude spin pyramid:



Shameful as fuck, and so very bizarre...

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I loathe Leno, but last night's show seemed to have some spark. Wanda Sykes's segment is worth a YouTube link (courtesy of the Jack and Jill Politics blog)...

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TS

Monday, October 02, 2006

PERVasive...

Excellent post from the Bring It On! blog:

Republican Pedophilia: A Long but Distinguished List

The first three paragraphs follow.

TS

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Republican Congressman Mark Foley abruptly resigned from Congress after “sexually explicit” e-mails surfaced showing him flirting with a 16-year-old boy.

Republican executive Randall Casseday of the conservative Washington Times newspaper was arrested for soliciting sex from a 13-year-old girl on the Internet.

Republican chairman of the Oregon Christian Coalition Lou Beres confessed to molesting a 13-year-old girl.

(The list goes on and on and on...)