Russian Tsarlag on Drinking Toilet Water and Making Necessary Music; Snooze Theatre Show on Friday

Russian Tsarlag, AKA Carlos Gonzalez, describes the music he makes as "necessary and pathetic." Since self-deprecation will likely get you everywhere in life (just ask Conan O'Brien), Russian Tsarlag is clearly on his way somewhere.

The Tampa musician started recording original music at the tweeny age of 13. He says, "The process is

still about as crude now as it was then. My project started under the

name Russian Tsarcasm in 2002 and morphed into Russian Tsarlag in

2007." He's made music under many monikers with, as he calls them, "half-baked weirdo bands." These include (we're listing all the ones he mentioned, because who doesn't love a good band name?) Byron

House, Hepatitis Youth, Dynasty, Swamp Tease, Crotch Council,

Holographic Dog Disease, Bread Fangs, and Pediatricide.

Nelson Hallonquist of Cop City Chill Pillars, Low Level Lazer Radiation, and West Palm Beotch Records is organizing the Snooze Theatre's Friday-night show, which includes Russian Tsarlag. Hallonquist says, "Tsarlag is a unanimous favorite of all of us, but his reach is pretty impressive outside of Florida." Gonzalez has released albums on the Not Not Fun, Night People, Hot Releases labels recently and tours about once a year. 

Gonzalez is a fan of Cop City as well, "Cop City played in Tampa, and we all fell in love with them. Their music is mind-bending, and they're the chillest dudes in Florida." He's also keen on the scene in Tampa, calling it, "very diverse and wild. Everyone's ripping it from their own angle. It's a dream." 

His take on performances is nicely honest. He describes what to expect of him onstage: "A youngish man sways faintly in high heels to crude, repetitive music." And who could ask for more? As far as prepping for such intense displays, "I like put my makeup on in the bathroom and stare into my own eyes for far too long. Sometimes, I lick the walls a little bit or drink toilet water and gag." Ah, the romance. 

"There's no guarantees with performance," he says of playing different venues. "Any place can wind up being magic for some wild reason, and sometimes the places that are supposed to be the 'sure thing/cool gig' wind up being completely dehumanizing." Likely, the show at the Snooze will not be the latter. 

"The best thing about music," he concludes, "is there are no limits or rules and many times all the 'wrong' ingredients can be combined to make something that feels 'right' for some unexplainable reason." 

The show starts at 10 p.m. at the Snooze Theatre, 798 Tenth St., Lake Park, on Friday, March 2. Entry is $5. Tracey Trance from Iowa City will bring DIY electronics to the show with Cop City Chill Pillars, and Weird Wives, and this will be the first performance for Dim Past.

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Liz has her master’s degree in religion from Florida State University. She has since written for publications and outlets such as Miami New Times, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Ocean Drive, the Huffington Post, NBC Miami, Time Out Miami, Insomniac, the Daily Dot, and the Atlantic. Liz spent three years as New Times Broward-Palm Beach’s music editor, was the weekend news editor at Inverse, and is currently the managing editor at Tom Tom Magazine.
Contact: Liz Tracy