Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Groggy but Unperforated...

We made the drive from NYC to Atlanta in far less time than expected - Patrick drove like a fucking demon and we pulled into Blossoming Noise HQ in time for Graham to catch the tail end of the WFMU broadcast (if he finished hauling in the newly deposited boxes of Blind Cave Salamander's eponymous disc and White Mice's Excremantraintraveinanus album, that is). Another three hours of road hogging and we found ourselves in arboreal South Georgian redoubts. I bade M. Spurlock adieu, checked messages, then collapsed...

Rat will be wearing the cute pink mixer/producer's apron for The Cortege; the Night Ranger EQ curves await! I've been white-knuckling the reins long enough, and it's time again for a fresh, demented perspective. In this war correspondent's biased opinion, Andrew and Don did a brilliant job with Noon, and I'm certain Mr. Falestra will carve The Cortege into either a cultural apotheosis or 600-story soy turkey. Either way, you, the hopelessly addicted consumer of genre-free froth, are the winner!

The Goodbye Blue Monday gig was agreed to as a favor to Atlanta-based sound poet and hard drivin' biker The Subliminator, and we were happy we made the call to comply. GBM is a long, narrow arts space/internet cafe/jumble shop situated under the L tracks in Bushwick, Brooklyn, with a doleful but nonetheless welcoming ambiance. The cramped room opens into a equally crowded patio/iron works, with views of adjacent, threadbare apartments and little else. In Bushwick, even a sliver of atmosphere seems to suffice.

Tony Conrad came to the gig and videotaped our set! I didn't recognize him, being the blind and brain-fogged cur that I am, but Graham spotted him straight away and spoke to him afterwards. The stage was stuffed with the remnants of the Cortege team: Kelly Jamison and Mark Shellhaas, Misty Martinez, the über-ebullient Nandor Nevai, Chris Grier and Graham Moore, Rat Bastard and myself, along with Miami expat (and hip-hop vid choreographer/Namaste yoga trainer/Casio keyboard addict) Jessica Vile and James Kritzler of Austrailan neo-no exemplars ON/OXX. (Patrick Spurlock would have performed, but the club didn't have a D/I box for his electronics array.) My head was fucking killing me after three days of intense tracking (we re-recorded The Cortege in its entirety for WFMU earlier Monday), but I resolved before our evening-closing set not to puke down the bell of Misty's sax, and we managed to perform seven of The Cortege's eleven songs before Nandor drove the TLASILA front loader into the Mariana Trench with a pair of crazed, two-minute improvised 1-2-3-4 encores. My final words to the audience were "hair is for the homeless," and that was that. Mark Morgan attended, but sat the firefight out, preferring to peer through closed fingers on the sidelines. "I haven't seen To Live and Shave in L.A. from the audience's perspective since 1999," he said, and thus he and Sightings bassist Richard Hoffman grimaced into the shambolic din. Honored by their presence, as always. Caveat: the show wasn't meant to serve as our RAOA audition piece. It was done strictly for fun, and for no fee. That noted, duds were outnumbered by close (and often semi-ecstatic) approximations of selections from the Cortege playbook.

Photos from the Think Tank and WFMU sessions and the Goodbye Blue Monday festivities to follow.

Maude:

On Friday evening Mark Morgan and I decamped to Sightings' rehearsal space in Brooklyn to record demo improvisations for our new duo project Maude. Accompanied by Patrick Spurlock (who tracked the session straight to laptop), we laid down 45 minutes of material. About a quarter of the demo seemed release-worthy, so look forward to an eventual ejaculation/exclamation. We might even get around to mounting a duo tour of the States in 2008 if our respective schedules clear.

Best,

Tom

RIP Hilly...

Obit.