Tuesday, February 24, 2009
49. Six Common Tropes of the Music Blog (To Live and Shave in LA, The Wigmaker in Eighteenth-Century Williamsburg)
This album will fuck you up! This album causes retroactive abortion in cows! I took this out in a field and I watched the whole fucking herd of Herefords implode! It was fucking awesome! I was scared to play this album for four years! I acquired (did not buy) this DOUBLE SLAB of shiny shit and stared at it out of the corner of my eye for four years! The force of its mania is such that it bends light and causes monitors to moire! LOOK OUT IT'S BEHIND YOU! That was close! This absolutely impenetrable piece of horror sounds like Rabbit screaming in quadrophonic hell! Actually, fuck that! Rabbit was a pussy! Imagine every noise band in the world! They're pussies too! They don't go far enough! Tom Smith, Rat Bastard and the Other Guy took FIVE YEARS to put this together! It leaves terms like 'maximalism' and 'turn this fucking shit OFF' light-years behind! You want to hear this because you hate yourself! You hate the Jehovah's Witnesses and you hate the goddamn Virginia Tech Hokies! What the fuck is a hokie! It's a castrated turkey! THEY USE THIS ALBUM TO CASTRATE TURKEYS! And so on!
But First, A Little Bit About Lonely Old Me
You know, I don't know why I love this album. It's like a referendum on how absolutely fucking DIFFERENT I am from normal human beings. There's times when I dial this album up on the iPod and go to the Mall. I walk around and look at the the old powerwalkers, the families in Sbarro, the manic Hebrews selling Dead Sea Salt and I think: if they knew what I was thinking they would THROW ME FROM THE VILLAGE. Why am I writing about this thing on a blog nobody reads? Why do I do this? Why do I do this to myself? This album gives me a headache. This album gives me a heartache. This album makes my dick itch. I don't even like it. It's absolutely repulsive. But I guess that's what I deserve.
Wholesale Unattributed Quotation from Wikipedia
To Live and Shave in L.A. (TLASILA) is an experimental music collective founded in 1991 by Tom Smith (the noise musician) and Frank "Rat Bastard" Falestra in Miami Beach, Florida. The "wildly inaccessible"  ensemble has featured Ben Wolcott, Thurston Moore, Don Fleming, Andrew W.K., Weasel Walter, and at least two dozen other musicians and sound artists. Their primary aesthetic assertion posits that genre is "obsolete". Although often categorized as purveyors of noise music, TLASILA have been noted to pursue an unorthodox approach, "construct(ing) songs around an overwhelming plethora of sonic detail, challenging the listener to engage with a surfeit of information," deliberately burring "the line between harsh metal-on-metal noise and abstract musique concrète." Smith's poetic texts "distance" the group "from any potential peers," "scanning like (they) came from some previously unearthed hermetic treatise."
Let's Ask the Bible: "What's the Deal with this TLASILA album?"
Back in the day, when people didn't know what was up, they would open the Bible up to a random page and treat it like an oracle. Now we have the internet, it's easier than ever. So let's check it out:
Who knoweth the power of thine anger?
From the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Ps. 90:11. Matt. 27:45,46. Isa. 53:6. Rom. 8:1. Rom. 5:1. Gal. 3:13. 1 John 4:9,10. Rom. 3:26.
Here Come Some Contextless Facts
Member Rat Bastard plays oscillators on this album, and indeed, the oscillator is usually the only recognizable "instrument."
TLASILA "leader" Tom Smith was undergoing a protracted and messy divorce throughout the conception, recording, mixing and mastering of this album.
Song titles include "New Poem Dramatized For Lux Cudgel," "Fills Mouth And Cunt With 'Pathetic Route,'" "When My Rifle Went Sour With Preposterous Headdress," "Is This Good for Vulva?" and "Song Of Roland A Single Cockscrew Curl."
RIYL a Bunch of Bands the Author Has Not Actually Heard But Whose Names He Is Dropping to Look Knowledgeable
Whitehouse, Monte Cazzaza, Nurse with Wound's early work, Cock-ESP, Nautical Almanac fans will certainly have a lot to chew on with this record.
A Final Common Feature of the "Music Blog"
I fixed the links and now you can get disc 1 of this pile of shit. Thanks to my legion of fans for pointing out my mistake. Unfortunately, all the tag data for that disc has gone to Croatan, but I think the act of looking up the song titles and typing them in will render them all the more precious to you.