Monday, June 30, 2014

Words Fist Fractures...

To Live and Shave in L.A. - Words Fist Fractures. New C-60 coming soon via Belgian Home Optimisation. (BHO 06, as a matter of fact.) Lineup isn't so bad, stuffed with TLASILA alum and two ridiculously talented guests: Tom Smith (yours truly, also T/SMS, Rope Cosmetology), Rat Bastard (also Laundry Room Squelchers, the long-running International Noise Conference series), Ben Wolcott (also Oscillator), Balazs Pandi (also many, many current projects, including Rope Cosmetology) Mark Charles Morgan (also Key of Shame and the late, great Sightings), Graham Moore (also the Blossoming Noise label and current projects X Narrative and Cursory), Joseph Andrew Barranca (aka Gaybomb), Patrick Spurlock (also Of Gods and Men), and our friends Julie Huntington (The Galen, The Hercules, Sucking Co-Eds and more), and Ralf Wehowsky (the mighty P16.D4). Yup.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Breath to False Sinogrime!

Forthcoming from Belgian Home Optimisation: (BHO 05) Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson x Tom Smith - Breath to False Sinogrime. This C-30 will be off to the sweat shop shortly and should be unsteadily nestled in your grubby mitts by mid-July. Siggi provided the vocal sounds, while I jabbed the synths. All live. It's an ear-splitting ode to carnivorous joy...

Thursday, June 26, 2014

KSV Returns to Work...

Hi All,

The jetlag has lifted, and work schedules have bequeathed sufficient free time, so we're back to the soft grind here at Karl Schmidt Verlag HQ / To Live and Shave in L.A. Zentrale.

The final, press-ready layout of the 48-page booklet accompanying the limited obsessives' edition of KSV 375, Tom Smith - Ruine 1974-2014, was completed and sent to the printer on Wednesday. Last remaining orders will ship tomorrow, or Saturday morning at the very latest. We'll have a few extra copies of Ruine (both budget and deluxe iterations) in reserve for latecomers.

Of course, a raft of new releases bobs erratically on the horizon. We just got back and we're already behind...

Best, as ever,


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Shave Clone Wars, Explained...

Born In East L.A. -- s/t cassette 
When the now-mythological free glam junta To Live And Shave In L.A. decided that it was time to hang up the spangles and close the makeup mirror for good, many of their fans, and even some of the band members past a present, brusquely grabbed the dropped torch away and proceeded to burn their own asses with it. Anyone who was a Shave fan has heard of the Shave Clone era, when little replicas of this frenzied and holy cool sleaze corporation started springing up in all parts of the country. Like "After-MASH" and "Trapper John, MD," none of the spin-offs ever captured the magic of the original, but each one probably had some choice moments, whether they were recorded or not.
I have to admit that I really didn’t follow the exploits of these PRE-replicants very closely, but my impression was that each faction seemed to capture some element of the original Shave mythos. To Live and Shave In L.A. 2 made a ham-fisted grab for sheer sonic brutality, while I Live In L.A. ran straight for the audience battering, and I Love L.A. took the route of the fatherband’s more detailed studio releases.
If this model holds up, then Born In East L.A. took the sound and feel of the Shave on their many deleted live tapes…bad fidelity, low turnout and unresponsive audience, and a sweet and humorous pathos in the face of chin-scratching apathy.
Starting with a blast of tape from Label Master Russ that sounds like an argument captured out a window on the streets below, SPITE label head Joel St. Germain adds the sounds of a delay pedal, a robot (?) and a Casio to the mix, UNIVAX-styled synth beeps and calculations over a rough foundation of hoarse voices and movements. It’s only 10 minutes, and comes on a very low-grade 60 minute tape, allowing you to interpret the next 50 minutes of after-show drinking and carousing for yourself. The audience sounds less than enthused, but I play this at least a couple times a week. 

(TS: attribution for this item has been temporarily lost - we'll track the info down and award credit where due.)

Friday, June 20, 2014

We're Back...

Hi Again,

I've returned from the States. My mother, Eunice, died on the evening of the 2nd. She was one helluva woman.

The flight to Atlanta was extraordinarily difficult. Drank several glasses of KLM's best cabin red, just enough to transmute the horrific squalling from a quadraphonic array of screeching infants into a gushing wellspring of dark humor. At the airport to greet me, Graham Moore. With Rat Bastard in tow. Didn't anticipate that one. We decamped to a bar in the Little Five Points district and drank while waiting for another TLASILA alumnus, Patrick Spurlock, to arrive. (Patrick had graciously agreed to cart me south to the ancestral estate - I was in no mental condition to pilot any sort of vehicle. The booze only managed to level my mood.) On the spot, the old disagreements were brushed aside. There's just not enough time in life to harbor insipid grudges.

So... To Live and Shave in L.A. will return. New recordings will appear this year, and continue thereafter. Our first tour will take place in April or May of 2015. The lineup, baring the usual schedule fluctuations: Rat, Graham, Mark Morgan, Balazs Pandi, and myself, with Ben Wolcott (if he can leap a few hurdles), Gaybomb (if we can swing it logistically), and a pair of serious heavyweights who've expressed interest in taking part (but whose participation might not be possible, due to the tedious whims of pragmatic necessity - you can't fit ten people and a raft of gear into a tour van).

Karl Schmidt Verlag has been on hiatus since my departure. We have outstanding orders to ship. Once those have been sent out, another round of new releases will be announced.

Sincere thanks to everyone who took the time to express their condolences.

Best wishes,


Monday, June 02, 2014


Hi Everyone.

My mother, Eunice, is terribly ill in hospice. I'll be flying to the States tomorrow morning to say goodbye. It's a truly sad time. She and my late father were - despite the usual human imperfections - wonderful parents, pragmatic to a fault yet unswerving in their support.

(Mom and I, Christmas 2011. Photo by Claudia Franke.)

The latest KSV orders won't be delivered until my return. I ask for your patience, dear droogs.

Best, as ever,


Happy New Year from the Harz...

Hello Droogs, Happy 2019! I‘m in the Harz region of Germany, enjoying a three-day getaway to cap off an eventful year, one marked by celeb...