To Live and Shave in L.A.

Last updated
To Live and Shave in L.A. (TLASILA)
Origin Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.
Years active1993–present
LabelsMenlo Park Recordings, Savage Land, Blossoming Noise, Karl Schmidt Verlag
MembersFrank Falestra
Ben Wolcott
Weasel Walter
Thurston Moore
Nondor Nevai
Mark Morgan
Don Fleming
Chris Grier
Andrew W.K.
Graham Moore
Andrew Barranca
Liz Armstrong
Balazs Pandi
Joke Lanz
Mark Shellhaas
Patrick Spurlock
Matt Mitchell
Greg Chapman
Past membersTom Smith (deceased)
The Lady Tigra
Oscar Perez

To Live and Shave in L.A. (TLASILA) is an experimental music collective founded in 1993 by avant-garde composer/producer Tom Smith (formerly of Washington, DC groups Peach of Immortality and Pussy Galore) and Miami Beach musician/producer Frank "Rat Bastard" Falestra. They were soon joined by oscillator player Ben Wolcott; this lineup created the majority of the early releases in TLASILA's extensive discography.


The group's debut album, 30-minuten männercreme, was released in 1994. Bananafish Magazine described the recording as "a wind tunnel of 30-weight vitriol. [1] " The "wildly inaccessible" [2] ensemble has featured Don Fleming, Andrew W.K., Weasel Walter, Thurston Moore, and at least a dozen other musicians and sound artists.

The group's primary aesthetic assertion posits that "genre is obsolete". Although often categorized as purveyors of noise music, TLASILA have been noted to pursue an unorthodox approach, "construct(ing) songs around an overwhelming plethora of sonic detail, challenging the listener to engage with a surfeit of information," [3] deliberately blurring "the line between harsh metal-on-metal noise and abstract musique concrète" [4] Smith's lyrics "distance" the group "from any potential peers," "scanning like (they) came from some previously unearthed hermetic treatise." [5]

Following the release of The Cortège (Fan Death Records, 2011), the collective went on hiatus, abjuring live performances but releasing albums all the while. Regrouping in January 2015 with the album Unwept to Meet Strange Clay (Karl Schmidt Verlag, 2015), TLASILA resumed its touring activities. [6] [7] [8]

Founding member Tom Smith died in January 2022. [9]

Selected discography

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  1. Glass, Seymour. "Record Reviews: To Live and Shave in L.A." Bananafish Magazine. 1994: Issue #10.
  2. Sanneh, Kelefa. "Pop and Jazz Guide: To Live and Shave in L.A." New York Times. 10 September 2004: E4.
  3. Brassier, Ray. "Genre is Obsolete." Multitudes #28. March 2007: 47.
  4. Sisario, Ben. " The Listings: May 11 - May 17." New York Times. 11 May 2007
  5. Keenan, David. "To Live and Shave in L.A.: Wigged Out." The Wire August 2002: 14
  6. "Cafe OTO → To Live And Shave In LA + Casual Sect + CLAIRE, Sunday 27 September 2015, 8pm". Retrieved 2017-09-04.
  7. "The Nine Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 5/29/15 | Village Voice". 29 May 2015. Retrieved 2017-09-04.
  8. Farrar, Justin. "Live: To Live and Shave in L.A., in Chapel Hill". Indy Week. Retrieved 2017-09-04.
  9. "Tom Smith (To Live and Shave in L.A.) dies". Louder Than War. 20 January 2022. Retrieved 21 January 2022.