To Live and Shave in L.A.
The Wigmaker in Eighteenth Century Williamsburg
The Wigmaker in Eighteenth Century Williamsburg recording is the most exciting music I have ever heard. Shelve beside Damaged, Fun House, Evol… To Live and Shave in L.A. wreck small speakers. The Wigmaker is the rock and roll album that sets a new standard. Techheads and potheads beware. To Live and Shave in L.A. is totally gone, and that’s not the sum of it. Tom Smith, progenitor of The Shave, has touted his PRE anthem for some time, a missionary’s position read in this Smith quote: “I ascribe to no philosophy, no school, save for that of ‘PRE.’ (As opposed to “post”-movements)” — yessir! The Wigmaker is forward-moving. Hell, Gustavo, my neighbor, told me Wigmaker was ahead of its time like Jimi Hendrix. And I quote Gustavo, “This is maybe 20 years ahead of its time.” Tweaked, throbbing, dynamic, uncompromising, and yeah, damn sweaty, too. Ideas make men hard.
For years nobody wanted to touch The Shave, and now this. Forced Exposure, The Wire UK, Time, Jet, and even Town And Country are on it, and deservedly so. Miami’s Smith, Rat Bastard and Ben Wolcott were declared “Farrakhans of music” along with SoBe friends Harry Pussy. Shave shows were truncated reveilles, 15 minute bass/oscillators/tapes/voice and never did an audience nod off. What’s hateful, if a bit fey, is a music press unaware of its own bloating. Indeed, TLASLA were lean.
In their early-/mid-’90s reign of free-glam, the band abided by PRE. Stop retreading. Start moving forward. Start taking chances. If you get squashed, you get squashed. Big deal. Stop imitating. Stop undereating. Tom Smith declared in blastitude.com (a quarterly online zine with two EXCELLENT reviews of Wigmaker by Fuzz-O Dolman and C.M. Sienko) that he aspired to honesty… in relation to pretty much everything. He doesn’t wish to consciously repeat himself. Well, Wigmaker is so damn dense that repeated listens will highlight the nuances that validate integrity, fer sure. Smith sings about cuckolds, despair, the western blot. Divorce! Joys and downers. It’s not my story, it’s his, and it’s damn personal and presented for any bent ear. The guest musicians include Weasel Walter (Flying Luttenbachers), Marlon Magas, Mr. Velocity Hopkins, Prick Decay, Target shoppers. Five-plus years in the making, Wigmaker is a patchwork of lo-fi, PC and Mac-based studio applications, and physical, 24 and 48-track digital consoles… whatever Om can get his hands on. Behold, Wigmaker!
Future shocked. The Shave rocked.
Menlo Park Recordings: http://www.menloparkrecordings.com