Feels like Tearism


TEARIST – Civilization

I just don’t have the time to give this band the words they deserve. I saw them play last Saturday and it was one of the best shows I’ve been to in ages. They are the real thing. The music seems to consume them when they are on stage. I was up front for the most of the show and I looked in Yasmine Kittles‘s eyes. She was was in an almost trance. I’ve never quite seen anything like it. If she’s faking it and it looks authentic, does that make it real?
While they are being lumped into the witch house genre (yes, fourth post on this page to mention this genre), I don’t think the label is totally appropriate. The scene at Show Cave where they played, definitely has an aura of witchiness about it and is known as the Los Angeles location for bands of this multi-named genre (the others being rape gaze, haunted house, drag).
I must admit, while I’m not much for scensterism, I actually felt quite comfortable there, lots of black clothes, asymmetrical haircuts, a sorta a urban gothic mixed crowd, gay and straight, White/Latino/Asian, young and old and people dancing. Yes, I said dancing and for real, like moving more than a few inches back and forth. Not even those crazy dubstep beats get the crowd moving all that much at Low End Theory (another Northeast LA club I frequent). There were dudes going crazy like apocalyptic dancing, in their black leather jackets and their dark hair flopping about. After awhile though, I stopped noticing what was going around me and got lost in the beats and Yasmine’s on stage acrobatics. And then out came the pieces of metal percussion she is becoming known for, her signature metal pipes that she bangs together in the most brutal and rhythmic ways.
At one point, she and the pipes come tumbling off the stage and land at my feet. She’s rolling around the floor with her mike, the sound coming out of her just as deep and vibrant as before. Then she jumps up and whacks the metal pillar I’m holding onto. Whoosh, the air rushes across my face and I jump back and smile. What a way to go, I think to myself, death by percussion. After, the song finishes, the circle of audience doesn’t move and looks at her metal percussion instruments strewn across the floor. She’s sitting on the stage. And there’s this weird moment where we all wonder if we should pick them up and hand them to her. It seems as if she’s waiting for this but none of us move. It’s almost like they are sacred objects not worthy of our pedestrian touch. After a minute she picks them up and the show is done. My friend says “Geesh, someone could’ve helped her out!” She doesn’t need our help.

Interview with Yasmine Kittles here.


TEARIST – Break Bone

pics from the show:

One thought on “Feels like Tearism

  1. thesecretlivesofcats says:

    Metal Pipe: It’s just that in LA we have our walls up and when someone interacts with us unsolicited we don’t know what to do. I hear it’s like that here and in this one tiny town in New Zealand that’s mostly trees…so it has nothing to do with the alienation of modern man amongst the urban sprawl.

    I don’t mind labels, but I don’t think any of the bands we have seen sound like what I think Witchouse is (except SALEM). More of a primal dance from/against “The Motherboard” than a smokey strobe in the horror aisle. Credit must also be given to William Kai Stangeland-Menchaca(?!?), the music man. It’s very angular stuff that doesn’t sound like it comes from loops or formula but more coaxed and triggered to get it to move. I really liked this band, but I want to hide my enthusiasm right now because I want to be cool. It’s so early. That said, what a fucking great show that cut through a lot of the bullshit. Finally.

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