Friday, August 17, 2018

To Live and Shave in L.A.: Ireland September 2018!

Hi all,

We're heading over to Eire at the end of next month to perform in four cities. Along for the ride with Rat Bastard and myself will be Sigtryggur Sigmarsson and Lucas Abela!




Friday, June 01, 2018

Beauty Power Codes: An Index of Endings

A special Soundcloud mix created from the final moments of four of the nine performances featured on the new Sensationists compilation by To Live and Shave in L.A., released June 1, 2018 via Karl Schmidt Verlag.

Beauty Power Codes: An Index of Endings (7:46)

Baltimore (3 June 15) > Chicago (26 May 15) > Detroit (27 May 15) > Richmond (4 June 15)

TLASILA: Rat Bastard, Graham Moore, Patrick Spurlock, Kelly Jamison (Balto only), Mark Shellhaas (Balto only), Andy Ortmann (Chi only), Julie Huntington (Detroit only), Gavin Perry (Richmond only), and Tom Smith.

Edited by TS from the original masters on June 1, 2018 at KSV, Hannover.

Graham, Tom & Beatriz from the "Sensationists" Digital Booklet (Rude Bridal Perfume)...

Graham, Tom, Beatriz. From the Sensationists booklet. Photography by Nuuj, 2015.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

New from Karl Schmidt Verlag!

TLASILA: Sensationists: USA 2015. Nine extraordinary performances, nearly 330 minutes of previously unreleased ur-musik. Available now at KSV Bandcamp.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

TLASILA: Sensationists!

To Live and Shave in L.A. - Sensationists: USA 2015. Nine blistering performances from our May-June 2015 tour of Obama Country. Available on Friday at a reasonable pre-2018 tour price from Karl Schmidt Verlag.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Boat Of: Forbidden Mourning Practice

Hi all,

The new Boat Of compilation, Forbidden Mourning Practice, will soon be available via 777 Was 666. Comprising material recorded between 1980-1983, and featuring members Mike Green, Carol Levy, David Gamble, Sandra-Lee Phipps, James Walker, Doninique Amet and yours truly, the C45 isn't intended as a comprehensive anthology. Rather, its outré selections suggest a point of entry.

Out in June! Limited to 100 copies.



Friday, May 25, 2018

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Notice:

Hello again,

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) comes into effect today.

Please note the following:

1) TLASILA Blog collects no data. Our mission is to share information about the experimental music collective To Live and Shave in L.A., related artistic projects and ventures, and issues of aesthetic and social importance to the group's members and supporters.

2) This blog engages no one to collect data on our behalf.

3) As we do not collect data, we employ no means to do so.

4) We have neither a reason nor a desire to harvest anyone's data.

5) As we do not collect data, we do not use any such data.

6) We share data with no one. We do not advocate sharing data, and we do not intentionally share data.

7) As we do not collect data, we believe there are no persons with reason to be concerned about any such collection.

8) We do not use others' data, and as such we cannot imagine that anyone would object or complain to our policy of not collecting other peoples' information.

Thank you for your support.


Tom Smith, TLASILA

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Merkwürdig Riechnerv: Big Show Next Saturday!

Hello again,

Andreas, Bianca and I will be performing as Merkwürdig Riechnerv on the 12th at OSCO // Open Space, the indoor venue of Platzprojekt in Hannover. We've been rehearsing like mad to make up for the down time necessitated by my broken leg and various away trips by B and A, and it sounds just as unpredictable and galvanic as before. If you're in northern Germany, we expect to see you there.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Michelle Wolf Was Brilliant at the WHCD...

Wolf punched UP, beating the living shit out of sleazy old power in the process. The payoff of her abortion jape was especially satisfying. Bravo!


Friday, April 06, 2018

Requiescat in pace: Cecil Taylor

I saw Cecil Taylor perform only once, at the Baird Auditorium of the Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, on November 30, 1984. It was an astonishing experience. Two-thirds of the audience - well-heeled District toffs doing their cultural duty - fled halfway through his uncompromising set. He was 51 at the time. 

(Taylor, performing in Nürmburg on July 7, 1984, nearly five months before the concert I attended. It was filmed by Bayerische Rundfunk and broadcast over Germany's Das Erste.)

Today he died, having turned 89 less than two weeks ago.

Here's the Post's preview interview with Mr. Taylor, printed in its entirety.

In case you'd rather read it from its source, here's a link.


Cecil Taylor, the brilliantly talented composer-performer, reaches high.

"Entertaining? Well I hope it is entertaining, but it is also I think the most holy thing I can do," the 5l-year-old pianist says of his music. He was resting after a performance -- he called it exhilarating -- with his seven-member Unit here last week.

Taylor, who performs solo this Friday at Washington's Baird Auditorium in the Museum of Natural History, was lounging on pillows on the otherwise bare floor of his Brooklyn brownstone, wearing a sweat suit. He speaks carefully. His art, after all, has been called such things as "avant garde," "violently energetic," "technically and intellectually virtuosic" for the past 25 years, and he believes such characterizations are misunderstandings.

"With the artists that were most important to my own development, you felt and then learned what made you feel, but you felt first," he says. "It seems to me there is a wonderful balance between how one consciously organizes material, which is determined by how you train your senses to respond to something -- in other words, intellectual manipulation -- and what makes you feel good, which is passion."

Most listeners are awed upon their first encounter with Taylor's music, then puzzled. They can't discount his passion -- he's obviously a lion on the ivories, as his hands pounce with incredible speed and strength, or stroke the keys with sensitivity. Yet Taylor is an improviser using a vocabulary of his own device, related to the traditions of jazz, blues, rhythm and blues, African ritual and European classicism.

There are blue notes and modulations, but they are obscured by the flurries of his percussive fingers, fists or forearms. There are few single note lines, the standard tools of melodic variation in jazz, but rather a plethora of brief motifs that Taylor arranges and rearranges with unpredictable intent. If he's performing with his Unit -- alto saxist Jimmy Lyons has been with the pianist 24 years, but other players come and go -- everyone's likely to be blowing at highest volume at once; alone, Taylor is more reflective, given to sustaining harmonic tension for half an hour or more, then resolving his suspensions with a sumptuous cluster. His sound is seldom simply swinging or tuneful, though a firm pulse and expansive themes are always there, somewhere.

"They call it collective improvisation, they call it jazz, but I don't know if jazz is a noun, an adjective or a political science term," Taylor says. A newborn kitten mews and romps on the floor around him. Books on Coptic civilization and modern architecture are propped open on his mantel. "Inherent in that word jazz is a tie-up with the particular socio-economic-historical situation of Americans of African and native American descent, but there's nothing in the word which gives very much insight into the spiritual-religious musical process that makes it."

Taylor refers to many of his contemporaries as either musical "revisionists" or, like "Mr. Miles Davis," indulging in "a compromise mish-mash of musical stands." Taylor has a somewhat kinder opinion of Ornette Coleman, arguably his only other peer as an innovator in improvised music. "The thing I like about Ornette is the uniqueness of his syntactical structure when he's speaking," the pianist allows.

This is not to suggest Taylor disdains all others, but that he has a purist's discriminating taste. He speaks glowingly of "the glories I learned from Marvin Gaye's marvelous Fender bass player," and regards Lena Horne, whose one-woman show he saw half a dozen times, as a great singer, dancer and comedian. A balletomane who has collaborated with choreographers Alvin Ailey and Diane McIntyre, Taylor shrugs at the reputation of Mikhail Baryshnikov, for whom he composed "Eatin' Rain in Space."

Of working with Baryshnikov and Heather Watts, he says, "I drove them crazy, actually. But it was a wonderful experience in terms of my realizing what it means to me to walk on stage. I learned something from it -- that you don't simply walk to the piano."

Taylor probably never just walked to the piano, though his approach may have been more conventional in his youth than it is today, or was this past summer, for instance, at Carnegie Hall. Sharing a Kool Jazz Festival bill with the more traditional jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, Taylor leapt out from the wings with a series of throaty cries and highly stylized, frozen gestures. At first his playing seemed tentative, but soon he was like a master weaver working a complicated loom. At this point, some members of the audience grew restless and rudely fled their seats. A faction of Taylor's fans responded by vocally cheering their hero's more energetic passages -- becoming equally rude to anyone who wanted to hear the pianist's nuances. Taylor's playing rewards close attention; volume is not his point.

"Energy is a term that's been misapplied to my music," he says. "That's not what's happening here. It's more than physical; my playing is like using all the aspects of one's mind and passion through reading, through qualitative walking in space, through seeing experience, through making one's senses be the most exact barometer of one's cultural environment. So I dance, I sing, I write poems, I have these books here, because it means something. That's what I'm putting into this music; this is also what I bring to people I'm close to. This is the simplest version of a spiritual transformation which has to do with the state of trance."

Taylor's concern with theory is not an eccentricity. It is, rather, the result of a rigorous musical education from the New York College of Music and the New England Conservatory, as well as study of such jazz artists as Duke Ellington, Dave Brubeck and Fats Waller.

"Ellington makes quite clear that you construct a sound universe that allows individual musicians to enrich the framework that they agree to participate in," he says, explaining his Unit's practice of collective improvisation. In the 1950s, after Taylor had accompanied such mainstream players as Hot Lips Page and Johnny Hodges, he became impressed with "the depth and texture of Brubeck's harmony, which had more notes in it than anyone else's that I had ever heard." His debt to Waller and other Harlem stride pianists is two-fold: most obvious is Taylor's insistent playing in the piano's bass register, and his determination to have fun.

One might not hear that in his music at first -- Taylor's passion is usually interpreted as sober, perhaps born of frustration or outright anger. He first recorded his own music in the late '50s; in the '60s he became a leader of the jazz avant garde, which often wed its radical esthetic to a radical political philosophy. In recognition of his achievements, Taylor has been awarded such establishment honors as a Guggenheim fellowship, election to the down beat magazine jazz hall of fame, and performance at the White House during Jimmy Carter's Bicentennial jazz party. But unlike Ellington, Brubeck and Waller, he's had limited commercial success.

"To play this music is in itself a cultural statement that transcends the immediacy of a political statement," Taylor says. "Plus, you never make any money." He adds, "The only people who are free are those who don't have to worry about where their next money is coming from.

"Legend has it I'm a morose person, but actually I don't care what people think, because I'm happy much of the time, doing what I want to do. One of the things you discover as you grow older is that no one else takes the responsibility for you wanting to do what you want to do."

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Boat Of, 30 Jan 82

Hi again,

Here's the flyer for Boat Of's performance at Athens' 40 Watt Gulag on Saturday, January 30, 1982. I've had it buried under heavy art tomes for a few weeks in order to smooth out its creases. I admit to applying a spot cleaning brush in PS to remove a smudge and a light tear, but apart from those fixes, there was little else to do. Scanned at 300 dpi.

Boat Of on that long-ago eve was Carol Levy, David Gamble, and yours truly.

Best, as ever,


Monday, April 02, 2018

Pussy Galore / Soy Earplugs

Hello Droogs,

I was sent this photograph yesterday.

I'd never seen it before.

Pussy Galore, performing at Houston's suspiciously Dada-deficient Cabaret Voltaire venue on January 17, 1986.

Left to right: Tom Smith (c'est moi), John Hammill, Neil Hagerty, Julie Cafritz, and Jon Spencer.

(I've no idea who the shutterbug might have been. Anyone out there with a clue?)

This was the penultimate gig of the Peach of Immortality / PG Fuck Sky Bear tour. I took acid in New Orleans three shows earlier, stayed up most of the night, caught a cold, and was pretty wiped out when we hit Texas. (I was the only member of the road company pulling double duty - as soon as Pussy Galore would finish, Peach would clamber on stage and ramp up the static. You can hear Julie berating me for being out of it on one of the live cuts from the Corpse Love compilation.)

Apropos of P. Galore: what a great motherfucking band that lineup was.

Sincere thanks to Alberto Diez for sharing this image.


Thursday, March 29, 2018

Schluss @ Oberdeck Tonight!

Hey - just in case any locals haven't received the telex, up-and-coming Hamburg freak duo Schluss are performing at the Oberdeck tonight. Our very own Paranoid Leather will be stretched out in the DJ lounger as well. Komm!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Convalescence: Day Eighteen

Hi again,

Well, I returned to work today, but first I had my stitches removed!

The nurse who did the honors commented on the relatively rapid healing processes that seem to be underway, but I won't be happy until I can chuck the crutches and get back to competitive power loitering. Rehearsing later with Bianca and Andreas at the Merkwürdig Riechnerv bunker.

(I realize the affected area looks particularly unsavory. It's been under wraps since the accident on February 28th...)

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Convalescence: Day Seventeen / Salt

Carol Levy's cover design for the Boat Of album that never made it to fruition. She decided it should be named Salt, and so it would have been. The label that had been sniffing around weren't serious, and it's probably all for the better. We were too fucking too much for 1981. Carol's illustration has yellowed with age but the late Ms. Levy remains 100% acetylene.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

New on Karl Schmidt Verlag

Available now on Karl Schmidt Verlag and Adult Contemporary Recordings: Cup of Indignation by Boat Of, a 60-minute generative chronology (i.e., an assemblage of stochastically distributed, non-static loops) covering a wide swath of the group's recorded output from 1979 to 1984. Yowza! With the Boat Of compilation cassette Forbidden Mourning Practice forthcoming on Hitomi Arimoto's unhinged 777 Was 666 imprint, it's a very good time to be against every fucking thing that exists all over again.

No physical edition at present. My broken leg precludes hauling parcels into the post for at least another month. Lossless digital, €7.99 at KSV Bandcamp.


Boat Of is quite the complicated beast. Our original idea was to change the name of the group with each live performance and / or shift in direction, but of course the conceit quickly revealed its limitations as soon as we began to be asked to play venues a second time!

I started alone as Prepared Party (in the Cage-ian sense) in 1979, mainly using a shortwave receiver and tape edits. With bassist Mike Green, guitarist Carol Levy, and occasional organist Mike Stipe (we never called him “Michael”), we morphed into Pre-Cave. I made the tape edits, played drums or discarded parts of drum kits, and worked with radios, turntables, and my Farfisa. Sometimes synths too. Sometimes with clothes dryers filled with shoes to create more stochastic rhythms! We rehearsed in an earthen basement at the Cobb Institute in Athens, GA, and furtively in the Method Actors' upstairs space when they were away on tour. The “pre” was also a reference to PRE, the aesthetic strategy I first promulgated in ish #1 of Hot Java, a short-lived arts newspaper published in Athens in 1980.

We had a show booked at the 40 Watt Club in Athens for June 26, 1980, but for some forgotten reason it fell through. Afterwards, we again changed the name of the group to Nest (adj.). (As in, “nest” as an adjective. Mike Green and I were disgustingly deep into semiotics, textual manipulation, etc., but also inveterate wags deeply cynical about the nascent Athens music scene. Dark humor and obscure puns were characteristic elements of our interactions, and remain so to this day. Boat Of Say 'Put'!)

Nest (adj.) had its first gig at the 40 Watt in October of 1980. MSG couldn’t make it, but Carol, Stipe, my then-girlfriend Mary and I showed up with osmium chips on our shoulders. It was quite a good performance and a decent turnout. Maybe 85 people? It seemed phenomenal at the time. There was a second Nest (adj.) show on Valentine’s Day, 1981. Afterwards we took a break while Mary and I made a mess of wedlock and unsuccessfully pretended to be normal. I was recording constantly, refining the edits and inching closer to the sound I'd always heard in my head, a Stygian readymade melange informed as much by the stylistic motifs of my favorite Enjoy and Sugarhill 12" singles as Xenakis or Lee Perry - our range of influences fell noticeably outside those of our peers.

When the group returned in May, we had adopted the name Boat Of, and we remained so limned through late March 1983, when Carol was killed in a dreadful car crash.

So, attributing all the recordings on Cup of Indignation to Boat Of is a form of shorthand. I never tire of relating the tale, but I suppose it might be a bit taxing for those who aren't so interested in convoluted origin sagas.

Boat Of‘s personnel shifted slightly from Pre-Cave/Nest (adj.) - Stipe played the June 1981 gig with us, but afterwards focused his energies on M.R.E. He invited me to one of their early gigs... I was horrified by their dire farmer-rock, and our friendship ended.

David Gamble, one half of the exemplary Method Actors, quit that group in the summer of 1981 to join ours on drums and vocals. Sandra-Lee Phipps, a lovely friend of Carol‘s with a refined wit and great stage presence, cast her lot with ours on vocals. My high school pal Don Fleming also contributed (taped drum machine and library recordings) to the burgeoning collective.

We were obsessed with “field hollers” and glossolalia. David covered the latter, and Sandi the former.

Jim Walker, a friend of mine from the outback and a huge Pip Pyle / Hatfield and the North / National Health fan, sometimes joined us on drums as well. Because PiL’s original (Canadian) drummer had the same name, and since the American television actor Jimmy "Dyn-o-mite" Walker was - at least through the mid-1980s - such a recognized star, we never knew what to call our Jim. Usually we wrote something like “not the guy from Public Image and The Pack, but a really cool drummer nonetheless!”

Dominique Amet and Davey Stevenson from the excellent Limbo District (the only Athenian band with whom we really felt kinship) also joined, performing and recording radio sessions with us from late summer '82 through the winter of 1983. Dominique fell into our orbit earlier, actually - she appears on a July 1981 rehearsal recording, screaming her guts out. Such style. 

When Carol was killed I became quite distraught. Things fell apart for about 15 months. After befriending Minimal Man’s Patrick Miller in California and with the encouragement of both he and Don Fleming, I got back into the game. I moved to DC, decamped with the Velvet Monkeys, and made a final clutch of Boat Of recordings that overtly presaged the shift to a new performance identity, Peach of Immortality.

Boat Of's mix of influences was quite broad, and as acutely insular snobs we were very protective of them. We never revealed much of this sort of info, knowing intuitively that one quickly becomes trapped by pronouncements of aesthetic fealty. As a collective, we were sui generis. That may seem arrogant, but it’s clear that we were doing something well outside prevailing norms. We were also hyper-critical - if we felt ourselves lapsing into any sort of lazy trope we tended to purge ourselves of the offending notions until they'd been expunged.

The archive is rather extensive - about 65 hours of material altogether. A few cassettes of backing tracks and performance edits disappeared between 1983-1984, and another was borrowed by a label guy (Peter from Armageddon / Press) who never returned it. Cunt. There was also a pretty amazing early rehearsal (September 1980-ish) tape that just vanished. But, remarkably, everything else survives.

- Tom Smith, March 2018


Boat Of: Mike Green, Carol Levy, David Gamble, Sandra-Lee Phipps, Jim Walker, Dominique Amet, Davey Stevenson, Don Fleming, Tom Smith, and others.

Part One:

Boat Of, live, 40 Watt, Athens, March 9, 1982 > Boat Of, live, 40 Watt, Athens, May 16, 1981 > Boat Of, live, Coffee Club, Athens, January 30, 1982 > Boat Of, “Bra” cassette radio cut-ups, Seaside, August 1983 > Boat Of, live, Coffee Club, Athens, January 14, 1982 > Boat Of, live, d.c. space, Washington, March 10, 1983 > Boat Of, live, House of Rimbaud, Athens, August 6, 1982 > Boat Of, If You’d Like to Nominate Your Boss remix, WABR studios, Tifton, July 23, 1982 > Boat Of, rehearsal, Cobb Institute, Athens, July 21, 1981 > Boat Of, Los Fabulosos 20 cut-ups cassette, Seaside, September 1983 > Nest (adj.), rehearsal, Cobb Institute, Athens, October 23, 1980 > Nest (adj.), rehearsal, Cobb Institute, Athens, October 27, 1980 > Boat Of, live, Night Gallery, Athens, July 19, 1981 > Boat Of, live, Night Gallery, Athens, September 22, 1981 > Boat Of, live, Night Gallery, Athens, October 24, 1981 > Boat Of, live, Nitery Club, Atlanta, January 17, 1983.

(29:58, contiguous)

Part Two:

Boat Of, ADS Sound session, Atlanta, February 14-16, 1983 > Pre-Cave, Cobb Institiue session, September 9, 1980 > Pre-Cave, From Writing “Indifference” session, Cobb Institute, Athens, July 1980 > Boat Of, Peach Encroachment sessions, Velvet Monkeys rehearsal basement, Washington, July 1-8, 1984, (the final Boat Of recordings) > Prepared Party, shortwave manipulation, Adel, October 1979 > Boat Of, rehearsal, Night Gallery, Athens, July 18, 1981 > Pre-Cave, Tom (magazine) interview, June 13, 1980 > Boat Of, soundcheck, T.V. Dinner, Atlanta, May 22, 1982 > Boat Of, live, T.V. Dinner, Atlanta, April 24, 1982 > Boat Of, live, Tyrone’s O.C., Athens, June 11, 1981 > Boat Of, WABR session, Tifton, January 16, 1983 > Boat Of, WABR session, Tifton, November 30-December 1, 1982 > Boat Of, WABR session, Tifton, March 7, 1983 > Boat Of, live, WREK, Atlanta, September 5, 1982 > Boat Of, live, WREK, Atlanta, January 16, 1983 > Boat Of, live, WREK, Atlanta, August 29, 1982 > Boat Of, live, Wax Museum, Washington, March 11, 1983.

(29:51, contiguous)

Edited, mixed and produced March 2018 by Tom Smith, who looped and sorted the tracks via randomizing algorithms.

Original recordings composed and performed by the various iterations of Boat Of / Nest (adj.) / Pre-Cave / Prepared Party, 1979-1984.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Convalescence: Day Fifteen

A brief programming note: Kevin Drumm's new Karl Schmidt Verlag album, Jury Prize, is live and available at KSV Bandcamp. It's both a colossal return to KD's brutalist mid-aughts form and very much of the fractious moment.

There's no physical edition yet, as bounding up the stairs of Deutsche Post with armfuls of parcels is pretty much an impossibility - I'll be on crutches for another month. 



Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Convalescence: Day Thirteen

This is brilliant.

From the Guardian:

"Describing the suspension of (Nacho Carretero’s Fariña, a 2015 expose of drug trafficking in Galicia) from sale as as a “disproportionate and anachronistic measure … to prevent people from reading the story”, the Booksellers Guild of Madrid has launched the website Finding Fariña which uses a digital tool to trawl through the text of Don Quixote to find and highlight the 80,000 words that make up Fariña, allowing users to read the book despite the ban."

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Convalescence: Day Twelve

Looking through my reactivated Facebook profile for hi-res images of Boat Of, the group Mike Green and I founded in Athens, GA. We ruled from (J.) Conradian redoubts from '79-'83, and I've once again become immersed in our simultaneously cosmopolitan, sectarian world. As I finalize the master for the forthcoming Forbidden Mourning Practice compilation, I become ever more aware of the debt I owe to Mike, Carol Levy, Sandi Phipps, David Gamble, Kim Karelson, Jim Walker, Leslie Michel, Davey Stevenson, Dominique Amet, Arthur Davis, Todd Ploharski, Vic Varney...

So far, I've only uncovered low-resolution images from the FB timeline. Bummer. Wanna see a few of them?

Early 1981, rehearsing at the Cobb Institute with Thomas Abdu (sadly out of frame), yours truly in the checks, and Mike Green.

Late '82, atop Vanessa Briscoe's bed. Davey Stevenson is well fit on the left, I've got some sort of perm going to match my red shoes in the middle (I wish I'd been a bit less antithetical in an obvious regard), and the explosively wry Dominique Amet.

A Polaroid collage from the early autumn of 1981, from locations around Athens. David Gamble, Sandra-Lee Phipps, Carol Levy, and myself.

A flyer for what turned out to be an extraordinarily raucous Coffee Club performance. Before our CC gig we invaded the stage during Love Tractor's set at the 40 Watt and assayed a convulsive half-hour improvisation. Officers from Athens-Clarke County Animal Control arrived much too late to disrupt the assault.

February 1983, Atlanta. Neither Carol Levy nor Jim Walker were able to make the gig, so David Gamble invited Birmingham pals Jim Bob & the Leisure Suits (half of whom later morphed into Primitons) to tackle my beautiful music loops. It would prove to be Boat Of's final gig in Georgia.

Carol Levy's flyer for our July '81 performance at Athens' Night Gallery.

Boat Of live at the Night Gallery, July 19. 1981. Sandi Phipps and I are at the far left;  David Gamble is shirtless, and Mike Green's shadow forms a V for viaticum. Carol Levy was out of frame. Or, standing next to Mike without her guitar, which can't possibly be correct. (Photo by Linda Hopper.)

KD Returns to KSV!

Hello Droogs,

Kevin Drumm and I picked up our conversation - one that surges, drifts off, abates, and swells with elliptic certainty every few months - in the orthopedic ward of a hospital. He was in Chicago, and I was recovering from leg surgery (broken fibula) in Hannover. We were shooting the breeze, discussing Blue Öyster Cult, better names for kids (we settled on Four-Hour Binaural YouTube), Windy City rents, our 2011 tour (which we both enjoyed tremendously), and muzak-making.

Coming Friday, a new KD album on Karl Schmidt Verlag.

Pre-wire your jaws, as they're bound to plummet.

KSV Soundcloud preview link: here.



Monday, March 19, 2018

Convalescence: Day Eleven

Completed the final side-long mixes for Forbidden Mourning Practice, the forthcoming Boat Of compilation tape on Hitomi Arimoto's 777 Was 666 imprint.

Took my first extended stroll through the neighborhood since returning home from the hospital. Astounded I can walk on my right leg so soon after surgery and implantation of a metal plate, screws, boatswain's pipe, etc.


Sunday, March 18, 2018

Convalescence: Day Ten

Healing apace, can't complain.

We finally got round to watching Ingrid Goes West. Brutal, hilarious, brilliant.


Friday, February 23, 2018

NRA Pedophilia: Rush-Release Today via KSV!

(Amended 23 Feb 18.)

Hi Droogs,

The debut EP by Birmingham, Alabama's NRA Pedophilia has just been issued by Karl Schmidt Verlag. Smeared by Anti-Kidporn Lib Elites was pitched to our in-house trail boss Paranoid Leather less than 36 hours ago and rushed into production immediately thereafter. Sauer and Rem were fine-tuning the 20-minute piece up to the last minute, and I vouch for all the loose threads and slight imperfections. There'll be no physical edition, as per NRA Pedo's request. 

01 Smeared by Anti-Kidporn Lib Elites (19:34)

€4.99 via KSV Bandcamp.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Two New Releases from Karl Schmidt Verlag

Hi Droids,

Earlier today we released the KSV debut of Paige Munnings' Tabletop Hat project, Juxtapositions Powder, and the second installment in our thirteen-volume Facebook Spam​-​Bots Remix the Work of Zbigniew Karkowski series by the bot-brilliant Eisenberg Ruby Sarah.

Both albums are available now at KSV Bandcamp.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Emma Gonzalez / March for Our Lives

March for Our Lives.

If you've not yet seen Ms. Gonzalez's speech, do so. It was phenomenal.

Two related pieces, each from the New Yorker: this one, then the other.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Brothel Fibrin...

Thomas Fehlmann and Gudrun Gut on the Birth of Berlin Techno and Life Beyond the Wall

We approve. Read the interview in Sleek.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Area Spewer Zinging...

Hi again,

There's a lovely piece in the Times on Günter and Anna Brus - read and act!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

More Excellence from Lindy West...

What the White House Knew About Rob Porter

From the Times op-ed:

"It should come as no surprise, then, that the Trump White House shrugged at the safety of two individual American women; after all, it is expressly hostile to the safety of 125 million. This is an administration that campaigned, explicitly, on a promised return to some midcentury mirage of American “greatness,” when white men ruled unfettered and the rest of us resumed our places on the spectrum between property and servitude."

Monday, February 05, 2018

A Kerb Twixt Mesomorphs...

(Amended and expanded from a same-day socmed post.)

Hey ids n' superegos - I'm still collecting all the postcard and mailing list inquiries left for me at FB, so I thought I'd crawl out of the basement for a moment to thank all the weirdo hackers who sent me automated friend requests last year on that damnably storied platform. I received about 80 of them in total, and I recently signed each and every droid to a long-term Karl Schmidt Verlag contract. First up, Kaylee Ashleigh Colette. She's helming the first of 13 volumes of Facebook Spam-Bots Remix the Work of Zbigniew Karkowski, and I couldn't be more pleased with her effort. Cybermeat is groovy.

(The alb is available now at KSV Bandcamp.)



Thursday, February 01, 2018


(Amended from same-day socmed cross-post.)

I've started a new KSV subsidiary called Futur: OS0. Custom postcards, no purchase necessary. The price of ownership? Write. Use a pen or pencil. Or crayon. Or pig's blood. Whatever your cross to bear, however many clasps on your hair shirt. Matters not to me. The vanguard OS of tomorrow will be you and a friend, drinking coffee, and paying attention. So, get a leg up on 2027.



Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Brawny Docent on Dark Glitch Marvels!

Hello again,

KSV released Cody Brant's new Out the Window, Down the Street album late yesterday. Forty-three tracks, digital and physical editions. Here's the link.

Best, as ever,


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Sell the kids, send the farm to live with repetitive motifs!

... and fly over to H'over to anti-anti-anti with Merkwürdig Riechnerv and guests Paula on Saturday, February 3rd at the Oberdeck.

See ya'll there!


Saturday, January 27, 2018

1115 / Gebrochene Beine collaborative merger at Ruine HQ! (Or, Subverted Roentgen...)

Hey Freaks,

Very good performance tonight by the combined duos of Hannover/Hamburg’s Gebrochene Beine (“Broken Leg” for you Eng speakers) and München‘s 1115 at Ruine HQ, one of the latest spaces to push its way past the rot and mold of the mammoth Ihmezentrum, the noiseome 70s development that somehow manages to linger on well past its demolition date.

The fearless among you doubtless recognize 1115 and Gebrochene Beine from their participation in the 2017 KSV compilation Approach to Fear: Regeneration.

See you all next time,


Lapping Flour...

Who‘s up for pen-palling? You know you‘re all going to abandon socmed sooner or later, so you might as well get a head start on relearning how to write with a pen and paper. Send a PM with an address, and I‘ll shoot you a postcard. Mail art, straight-up mindless blab, whatever you prefer.


Friday, January 26, 2018

Rune Fop...

Just picked up the heavy stock double-sided info card that goes out with each order of the nine-disc Peach of Immortality compilation Surrealismus: Paris Prag Rockville. Flying out the door soon to a culturally-impoverished address near YOU.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Approach to Blogstitude

Hello again,

Larry Dolman over at Blastitude penned a fulsome analysis of Approach to Fear: Regeneration. To read it for yourselves, go here.

Provoke, of course, had a calming influence on the Untermodulationen of my mind in the weeks prior to Fake 45's tawdry ascendance.



Monday, January 22, 2018

Leaving Social Media on January 31 (or a few days earlier or later, depending)

(Amended 28 Jan 18.) (And again on 15 Feb 18.)

Hi Again,

I've decided to take the leap and quit social media. I find it purposeless and deeply banal, a mere dopamine release mechanism. Bonuses: addiction, immense swathes of wasted time, expurgating communication to garner ephemeral approval and skew valorization, staring at one's fucking phone for hours on end. Being a whore, however, I'll not delete my various accounts altogether; they'll rest in a state of deactivation, lest lolling squatters descend.

To offer a strictly static, promo-only alternative, Karl Schmidt has established a Tom Smith artist page on Facebook. It's not much now, just a few bits of information, but it'll be updated on occasion. Go here. It has been taken down by Facebook, at least for now. I can't imagine why, but perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I'm neither a Russian bot nor white supremacist. Those social media faves always seem to survive unscathed.

The lights go out on my public Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts as soon as possible - there's a concert on the 3rd of February I'm promoting (Merkwürdig Riechnerv, with Danish/Spanish collaborative project Paula in support), and as soon as that's done, I'm over and out.

I want to get back to the blog, to unfettered writing, to human contact in the meatsphere.

And so I shall.

Yours spectacularly,


15 Feb: Still harvesting data (addresses and certain posts) from FB. Deleted it, Instagram and Twitter from my devices, however. It's a slog.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Cuddle by Nanny...

Gainsbourg et Bardot. "Bonnie and Clyde." (Watch here.) Total no-wave, 1968. "Que c'est la société / Qui m'a définitivement abîmé."

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...