by carl wilson

Live and Shave

This seemed worth hoisting off Stillepost:


With Polmo Polpo, Gastric Female Reflex, Dollarama, Sneaky Dee's (431 College Street), 8 pm, $10 Adv at Rotate This & Soundscapes on sale now. Though they're essentially an obscure noise band, the W.K. brand name will no doubt pack the place. (For those who don't know, noise is actually where Andrew W.K. started - he also was associated with Wolf Eyes and produced a noise zine. Which puts his schtick in a different light, maybe.) For more info, seek ye here.

| Posted by zoilus on Thursday, July 27 at 08:31 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (5)



Ok, I hadn't caught up on their recent clashes w/ the noise fundamentalists. But since I'm not a noise fundamentalist, I often use the term in a pretty sweeping way - like, John Cage to Sun City Girls to breakcore. I could have said psych-art-noise or something I suppose. Likewise, "obscure" is a term I'd apply to 90 per cent of what gets covered on this site. So neither of them were perjorative nor, in a post of a couple of sentences, meant to be exhaustive - only that TLASILA is obscure relative to the Blender-type celebrity of WK's other guise, which is likely to bring in people who aren't ready for what they'll get. But thanks for the interesting comments.

Posted by zoilus on August 8, 2006 01:48 AM



Hmmm... Your reality, perhaps. TLASILA have distanced themselves from the noise clique for more than a decade. Any cursory walk through the mountain of press the group have garnered over the years would indicate as much. The characterization of the group as a "noise band" is woefully inaccurate.

I saw them at No Fun 1 and twice during their God and Country Rally! tour (in Providence, RI and at Tonic in NYC). Both were extraordinary experiences. At the former event they delivered a blistering, completely unexpected drum and bass (!) set that left smug noise Philistines enraged and the audience joyous and utterly spent. The GACR tour dates were equally crazed - they received three encores at Tonic, and the audience, which I feel honored to have been a pert of, refused to let them go without a fourth. Instead of continuing, the band instead thanked us, genuinely, profusely, and begged that we allow them to "collapse quietly and die." Class.

Andrew W.K. is a very cool drummer, but his "schtick" had zero to do with TLASILA's performances. He was part of the band, nothing more, nothing less. Reality, mom ami.

Online zine Blastitude described their Chicago performance, which I'm guessing was similar in content to the ones I saw a week later, as "To Live and Shave in Lagos," pointing out the heavy Tony Allen/Africa '70 vibe (!!) the group emanated during their sets. Not many noise acts can even begin to identify such influences, much less inculcate them and put them into practice.

If anything, they're neo-concrete pyschedelia with heavy Fourth World and glam influences. There are dissonances, of course, but no full-on noise barrages.

(Tom Smith's penchant for stylistic disruption is also well documented. His most famous quote, uttered in the band's 2002 Wire interview, was "Genre is obsolete." Enter into their universe with that knowledge and the urge to evoke "noise" melts quickly away.)

Perhaps this knowing refusal of noise conventions and their desire to promote a genuinely eclectic aesthetic is the reason they are slowly, relentlessly, emerging from the obscurity you first ascribed to them.

Go check them out, and then make your determinations.

Love your writing. Keep up the excellent work.


Posted by Mathias Phauss on August 7, 2006 06:49 PM



I was by no means suggesting the band was a "scam." By obscure I simply meant little known outside hardcore noise circles. Of course they're very big within those circles. Acknowledging the smallness of those circles isn't to endorse the mainstream nor is it to condemn the margins. It's just being able to see reality.

Posted by zoilus on August 7, 2006 05:01 PM



I'm certain the many fans of TLASILA would take unbrage at your characterization of them as "obscure" - they have 15 albums to their credit, at least two of which are considered "masterworks" ("30 Minuten Mannercreme" and "The Wigmnaker in 18th Century Williamsburg"), have been around since the early 90s, and are considered - quite correctly - as one of the wellsprings of inspiration for the recent convulsion of global neo-noise activity. While obscure compared to, say, mainstream arbiters who promote and defend the likes of Barenaked Ladies, they are very well known in those pesky certain circles. Andrew W.K. was a friend of group founder Tom Smith for 10 years before the former joined their storied ranks. Reports indicate their two forthcoming albums raise the bar set by "Wigmaker" even higher... Fear not, Zoilus - they're no scam. Of course, one girl's vegan stew is another writer's stomach flu.

Posted by sylvia on August 7, 2006 09:57 AM



I don't think AWK is at all the meathead he makes himself out to be...he has a fair bit of musical training, if I'm not mistaken, and there's something genius about the limits to which he takes the "metal will save you" gimmick...

Posted by matthew on July 31, 2006 05:14 PM




Zoilus by Carl Wilson