Gagged In Boonesville
Not Not Fun
Providence, RI, garbage-artisan savant Russian Tsarlag (a.k.a. Carlos Gonzales) should need no introduction at this point—he’s been trucking his moldy fruit cart of sewage-pop and bad acid storytelling across the American wasteland since longer than most people have had an email account. Yet over the past few years his uniquely zombified scrapheap songcraft has fermented into its ripest and most reflective forms, none more so than his latest bleach blanket odyssey, Gagged in Boonesville. The album tells the sordid tale of a huge tenement apartment building whose residents are mentally poisoned by an ancient poster of Medusa haunting the basement, not to mention the unruly pack of rabies-stricken stray dogs living in the courtyard. (Shit’s pretty bleak in Boonesville, clearly.) Given the backstory, it’s fitting that the LP’s nine tracks traverse a more melancholy, meditative dimension of the Tsarlag multiverse: dumpster-scrounged fifth-generation new-wave demos (“Gagged in Boonesville,” “Play This Tape Again”), homeless mutant campfire dirges (“This Waltz”), cyborg-mumbling depressive ambience (“Become Solid”), even a cockroach-covered piano ballad (“Island of Lost Souls”). It’s all here, echoing down the derelict stairwells—another fascinating, unclassifiable chapter in the Neverending Story of Tsarlag. Read it or weep.
Midnight At Mary’s House
Not Not Fun
***Vagabond American legend CARLOS GONZALEZ drops his first NNF full-length, and it's 10 of his greatest junkyard surf-slime tunes of all time. Edition of 500.
Classic Dog Control Booth
Not Not Fun
“The mid-aughts were something of a minor heyday for musical freakery untrammeled by the concern (or potential) of standard music-as-commerce success, and damn if that didn’t allow for some much stranger strangers to step up to the mic. These days the ‘biz’ has ebbed back to a more trad pop/product faux-indie status quo, but there’s still a small pack of unsung legends keeping shit immensely real, and almost none have kept on the long and winding path as vigilantly as Russian Tsarlag aka Russian Tsarcasm aka Carlos Gonzales. A visionary visual artist/cartoonist as well as a tireless traveler, the Great Tsarlag Roadshow has hitchhiked its wares through thousands of moldy basements and trash-art toilets over the last decade, and each fresh coat of grime seems to have only enhanced his singular strain of mutant zombie-rock. Like a lot of 4-trackers, the Tsarlag discography runs deep as a prison ditch but it’s dense with dirty jewels, and his latest, Classic Dog Control Booth, is no exception. Two bizarre, esoteric sides of minimalist swamp-surf and bedroom field recordings, CDCB is pure 180-proof Tsarlag, and a bright beacon of weird in a world gone generic. Get hip to his bleach party."--Not Not Fun