Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Noon: Slowly Creeping Up the Contemporary Christian Charts...

Noon and Eternity notices continue to trickle into HQ. This, the most recent we've received, was published earlier today (11/21).

10

TINY MIX TAPES


Noon and Eternity
Menlo Park, 2006
rating: 4.5/5
reviewer: leveer

To Live And Shave In L.A.: Starring Tom Smith's voice.

That's a plausible summation of TLASILA's recorded output. Not exactly helpful and definitely not thorough, but it is more or less accurate. Of course, Tom Smith has been the proverbial Nick Mason, or Anton Newcombe, of the band. That is to say, the only constant member.* And like Newcombe, and not so much like Mason — the alpha and omega — one can, and must, track the evolution of the group through him. So, we go into any TLASILA record with a curiosity as to what TS has dreamt up. And to wit, being a rat of Hamelin has been a worthwhile pursuit: from the collagery and unhingedness of 30-minuten männercreme to the singular brutality of Vedder Vedder Bedwetter to the (comparably) restrained musicality and techno of Amour Fou on the Edge of Misogyny. This brings us to the shining moment of the new millennium's musical output, The Wigmaker in Eighteenth Century Williamsburg. It is this album that wins TS's abhorrence of the explicative "noise" acceptability and furthermore drives you to reconsider appreciating anything that bills itself as noise. There can surely be no music that is simultaneously so pummeling to your visceral senses and so utterly exquisite. Every horrible sound is heard in perfect fidelity, every sonic contrast thoroughly effective. We are thus formally introduced to the real star of a To Live and Shave in L.A. record, Tom Smith's curatorial abilities.

Noon and Eternity marries these two forces in a heretofore unfamiliar way. The previously raw tumult of Tom's vocals has been replaced with disciplined concordance with the whole. No longer fettered with his dense and verbose poetry, his voice can work purely as the worthy instrument that it had only inconsistently been before. And whatever the motives may be, Noon and Eternity is eminently listenable for almost any audience that might be inclined to listen to a TLASILA record, or read this review for that matter. While indubitably canonical, it strikes far out from the pack; it does resemble the new form of psych that the press pack suggests. Rarely does the intent turn to abrasiveness, and if it does, it is entirely justified as part of an arcing narrative. This is the most conventional and, meanwhile, possibly the most completely realized To Live and Shave album. Not quite (nearly?) the achievement that was The Wigmaker, Noon and Eternity ought to make waves not quite as big, but further reaching, this time as a result of Tom Smith and TLASILA as a whole.

Addenda:

* Rat has been a member of the group from the outset; his tenure is of equivalent length to mine (TS), 1991-present.

We Have a Contender...

I've such a backlog of drum and bass to sort through... Christ, I feel as though I'll never catch up. I'm at least six weeks behind, and there are 156 - count 'em - new dubplates splayed before me. It's nothing I should complain about, of course. On any scale of trivialities, this crisis would trip the you-gotta-be-fucking-joking meter. Still, it's my job to sniff around the frayed edges of jungle's undercarriage, and a few minutes ago I finally got round to a brilliant slab of vinyl from early October.

DJ Hidden - Dead Silence EP (Fear Records UK, 12'')

This is fucking wicked.

Here's a taste of the AA side, "Radiosilence."





(Above, Noël Wessels, aka DJ Hidden. Pic pilfered from discogs.com.)

TS

RIP Robert Altman

Damn... Just heard about Bob Altman's passing. (Only last week I'd been blathering here re 3 Women.) His recent work was awfully spotty, but his best? Sublime, or at least genuinely irritating. Both sides of the same gnarled, acid-etched coin.

I remember running into Kim Gordon at an early NYC screening of the director's lamentable Prêt-à-Porter. Simultaneously we yalped "What are you doing here?"

(I'm certain everyone was asking some variation of that afterwards...)

Yeah, wish I'd given those eight clams to charity, but I'm happy to have paid limpid trust fund ducats to peep the good ones. (Fuck, I even saw Quintet, H.E.A.L.T.H., and Images! First-run, yet.) Didn't have it in me to view much of his post-70s ouevre, nor did I possess the fortitude to wade through the becalmed tide of NPR homunculi who gamely queued for A Prairie Home Companion. (My loss, most likely.) Still and all, good sir, you did well.

Sleep peacefully.

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(Above, a Yugoslav one-sheet for 3 Women. Below, the poster for Altman's teen-exploit demi-wonder The Delinquents...)