Monday, November 27, 2006
Thus, a toast to quietude... Watched Rossellini's Open City (three times); listened to a lot of new music (the 8xCD3 Hymen compilation Travel Sickness was top of the day's pops); worked on the forthcoming TLASILA C-60 release for Teenage Whore... Two more minutes wrapped.
Not much else going on; Monday should provide a flurry of tour-related activity.
Les Tric await(s) my ministrations, so I must be off. (Only four tracks to go.)
Thijs van Leer,
Friday, November 24, 2006
Evan, keep your head down.
(Musical theatre, opera, and other increasingly abstruse popular arts demand much of their creative talent; Comden, here pictured in 1944 with composer Leonard Bernstein, choreographer Jerome Robbins, and her writing partner of 50 years Adolph Green, made such exertions seem effortless... Comden-Green's "On the Town" must now appear as alien to contemporary fans of Fe-Mail as Coum Organisation would have to late '60s attendees of a Swingin' Medallions performance...)
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
TINY MIX TAPES
Noon and Eternity
Menlo Park, 2006
To Live And Shave In L.A.: Starring Tom Smith's voice.
That's a plausible summation of TLASILA's recorded output. Not exactly helpful and definitely not thorough, but it is more or less accurate. Of course, Tom Smith has been the proverbial Nick Mason, or Anton Newcombe, of the band. That is to say, the only constant member.* And like Newcombe, and not so much like Mason — the alpha and omega — one can, and must, track the evolution of the group through him. So, we go into any TLASILA record with a curiosity as to what TS has dreamt up. And to wit, being a rat of Hamelin has been a worthwhile pursuit: from the collagery and unhingedness of 30-minuten männercreme to the singular brutality of Vedder Vedder Bedwetter to the (comparably) restrained musicality and techno of Amour Fou on the Edge of Misogyny. This brings us to the shining moment of the new millennium's musical output, The Wigmaker in Eighteenth Century Williamsburg. It is this album that wins TS's abhorrence of the explicative "noise" acceptability and furthermore drives you to reconsider appreciating anything that bills itself as noise. There can surely be no music that is simultaneously so pummeling to your visceral senses and so utterly exquisite. Every horrible sound is heard in perfect fidelity, every sonic contrast thoroughly effective. We are thus formally introduced to the real star of a To Live and Shave in L.A. record, Tom Smith's curatorial abilities.
Noon and Eternity marries these two forces in a heretofore unfamiliar way. The previously raw tumult of Tom's vocals has been replaced with disciplined concordance with the whole. No longer fettered with his dense and verbose poetry, his voice can work purely as the worthy instrument that it had only inconsistently been before. And whatever the motives may be, Noon and Eternity is eminently listenable for almost any audience that might be inclined to listen to a TLASILA record, or read this review for that matter. While indubitably canonical, it strikes far out from the pack; it does resemble the new form of psych that the press pack suggests. Rarely does the intent turn to abrasiveness, and if it does, it is entirely justified as part of an arcing narrative. This is the most conventional and, meanwhile, possibly the most completely realized To Live and Shave album. Not quite (nearly?) the achievement that was The Wigmaker, Noon and Eternity ought to make waves not quite as big, but further reaching, this time as a result of Tom Smith and TLASILA as a whole.
* Rat has been a member of the group from the outset; his tenure is of equivalent length to mine (TS), 1991-present.
DJ Hidden - Dead Silence EP (Fear Records UK, 12'')
This is fucking wicked.
Here's a taste of the AA side, "Radiosilence."
(Above, Noël Wessels, aka DJ Hidden. Pic pilfered from discogs.com.)
I remember running into Kim Gordon at an early NYC screening of the director's lamentable Prêt-à-Porter. Simultaneously we yalped "What are you doing here?"
(I'm certain everyone was asking some variation of that afterwards...)
Yeah, wish I'd given those eight clams to charity, but I'm happy to have paid limpid trust fund ducats to peep the good ones. (Fuck, I even saw Quintet, H.E.A.L.T.H., and Images! First-run, yet.) Didn't have it in me to view much of his post-70s ouevre, nor did I possess the fortitude to wade through the becalmed tide of NPR homunculi who gamely queued for A Prairie Home Companion. (My loss, most likely.) Still and all, good sir, you did well.
(Above, a Yugoslav one-sheet for 3 Women. Below, the poster for Altman's teen-exploit demi-wonder The Delinquents...)
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Manu (the proprietor of Savage Land Records) has now added TLASILA to the label's roster of artists, or at least has begun hinting that there's a release lurking. I'm guessing he's waiting for my over-meticulous ass to finish the goddamned album already.
Monday, November 13, 2006
Our booking agent's ironing out the final details of the December tour in support of Noon; we'll be organizing the West Coast trip (scheduled for January) shortly thereafter.
Still haven't sloughed off the chest cold, or whatever the fuck it is. Had my annual physical on Wednesday, and my doctor said I was in perfect health. Thus, confusion reigns... Our next album will be an extended meditation on the politics of phlegm.
Working overtime on the final mix for Les Tricoteuses. I promised the master to Manu at Savage Land a month ago... Merde! I'm too obsessed for my own good.
Bygones Dept: I've officially broken bread with Weasel. Once and for all, about stinking time. After GK's suicide, I refuse to entertain absurd grudges... We'll cross-promote the reissue of the TLASILA 2 album, basking in the (limited) glory thereof. Yeah, it's just a TLASILA radio session from '99, but so what? WW mixed the hell out of it... Excuse me while I touch up my rainbow appliqués.
Lotsa movie viewing: Grigori Chukrai's brilliant (and way sentimental) Death of a Soldier, Bob Altman's crazed 3 Women, and a clutch of films from Universal's Best of Bela Lugosi collection: The Invisible Ray, Black Friday (which for some reason really scared the shit out of me when I first saw it as a pup), and the still-powerful 1932 slaughter-fest Murders in the Rue Morgue. (The first two topline Boris Karloff, of course...)
(Shelley Duvall as the stubbornly oblivious Millie in Robert Altman's mesmerizing 1977 classic 3 Women.)
Haven't slept much in the last year - maybe five hours per night on average. Really starting to drive me batty. Finally broke down and ate the two halves of my last Xanax on Thursday and Friday. It was so cool to observe my body slipping away from cranial tendrils. Seven hours of snooze time both nights. But, what the Hell, might as well stay awake forever. I'd hate to miss anything!
(It was grand to sleep more than usual, but now that the stash is all gone I'll have to rough it. Not that I'd been going hog wild - it took me over two years to eat ten 0.5 miligram tabs! Love is hoarding pharmaceuticals...)
Ecstatic Peace sent out a Best of 2006 poll (and holiday horrors checklist) for contributors of TM's Poetry Journal, EP recording artistes, and associated hacks (that'd be me). Unless something completely sick slides under the screen door in the next few weeks, my fave single remains DJ Distance's Traffic / Cyclops 12" (on Planet Mu); my absolute favorite alb of '06 is Kode9 and the Spaceape's Memories of the Future CD (on Hyperdub). Both fucking stellar. As for the other queries, buy the mag, I guess.
After Tuesday's glorious rout, all the television monitors at the university gym have suddenly been switched from Fox News to Lifetime. (Still, far better to hump the treadmill to Stephanie Powers than John Gibson...)
Enough blag for now. Hope everyone's well.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Spin.com: Everybody's Talking About...
As you're all doubtless aware, Macaca Allen conceded in VA. Now that we've taken back the Congress, it's time for... Fuck, anything not resembling the last sixsixsix years. Fingers and shrapnel-etched stumps crossed.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
And an even holier fuck - AP reports (and MSNBC confirms) that Don Rumsfeld is "resigning," today!
Goddamn it feels good...
You should all know that the D.C. air has an agreeable whiff of blood in it this morning, and I promise you all that If I see Bob Novak in the elevator today, I won't hesitate to flick him in his shrivelled little balls. I feel good today, and I don't particularly feel like being polite to scum.
The 110th Congress convenes at noon on Jan. 3, and a handful of bright people -- who know more about this stuff than I do -- expect the subpoenas to start flying by, oh, say, 12:15. Many evil fucktards are weeping. Craigslist will soon be awash with sublets and free Ikea furniture as the junior greedheads begin packing their Beemers and fleeing town.
Enjoy the morning, and let's all chant our personal mantras to make sure that the hanging chads and whatnot line up to send George Allen back home to Charlottesville, where he can fondle his collection of vintage nooses and mammy dolls away from the public eye. I have particular reasons for disliking that tobacco-chewing lunkhead -- not just his overt greed, racism, and general stupidity -- but they're personal, and we need not go into that just now; this is a bright morning, after all, and I'm feeling perky.
Caught Eastwood's austere, masterful Flags of Our Fathers earlier in the evening. It's performed poorly at domestic feedlots (as of last weekend, a mere $35 million return on a 90 mil investment), but since when did any of you (readers of TLASILA Blog, that is) plop ducats for a Terri Clark or Razorlight alb?
(Okay, Gerard Klauder would have, but for him - and me, if I may be allowed to draft - po(o)p variants were noise, and "noise" was/is soporific.)
Flags is too nuanced, a bit of a downer for flyover yobs. Bobbleheads cite the docudrama's absence of A-list cast wattage has having blunted its BO impact. (By the way, Domhnall Gleeson and Alison Pill have just signed on to star in Saw IV.) Ultimately, who gives a crap about perceived negatives?
Give it up for Clint and absorb an excellent film.
(A phonecam grab from the end credit sequence of Flags of Our Fathers; pic by TS taken November 7, 2006 at the GTC Stadium 16 in Valdosta, GA.)
FYI: Saw Borat Friday; seditious, audacious, utterly brilliant...
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Received an email this morning from Rat Bastard - he's begun a Gerard Klauder archive on his Squelchers web, in the process uploading mp3s and cover art scans from 29 (!) of GK's very limited edition CD-R releases. Each album is presented in its entirety.
Race to the Gerard Klauder Archive.
Good on ya, Rattus. Well done.
Friday, November 03, 2006
My parents and I were having lunch in the living room this afternoon, tucking into a curry while watching the latest sordid developments in the Ted Haggard meth / "massage" scandal. While mom, a lifelong Democrat, laughed at the inanity of it all, dad, a Goldwater conservative, seemed unusually wistful. Mother and I discussed the particulars of the case - its ironies, its potential effect on Tuesday's elections, its effective cancellation of the Kerry fracas, etc. Dad seemed to listen attentively. He cleared his throat, made a sweeping hand gesture, and proceeded to ask about a plot of land he'd once owned 25 years ago in
Alzheimer's is a fucking bitch.