To Live and Shave in L.A.

Noon and Eternity

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To Live & Shave in L.A., after a lengthy hiatus preceded by some fractious competing versions of the band, who reconvened in 2003 with the original nucleus of leader and theorist Tom L. Smith and his majordomo Frank "Rat Bastard" Falestra now joined by former member Ben Wolcott, longtime noise-rock gadfly Don Fleming, Sightings guitarist Mark Morgan and, inexplicably, goofy pop-metal star and MTV host Andrew W.K. ("Party Hard"). Produced by Fleming and W.K. at Lee Ranaldo's Echo Canyon studio with guest appearances by Ranaldo and bandmate Thurston Moore, Noon and Eternity is a slightly more controlled version of Smith and Falestra's edge-of-chaos aesthetic. Only the final "Mother over Silverpoint," the closest to a conventional "song," comes in under the ten-minute mark, and the four-track album breaks an hour in playing time, with each lengthy piece passing through a variety of moods and sounds. The highlight is the hypnotic "Early 1880s," which mixes found-sound tapes and hammer-on-strings drones for a sound somewhere between Glenn Branca and early Krautrock.

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