Feed Us A Live Insect

Thursday, November 27, 2008

More Pehrspace week 3 pictures

I just found some more pictures of Pehrspace week three (IE, dictator week with Andy Bollas) on Sean Carnage's site--here are my favorites. A good shot of Mary's hair:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Nick Lucas!

I am still recovering from last night (or this morning, technically) and will expound on our last Pehrspace residency night in a bit. For now, here's something totally unrelated:

Nick cleans up

So you think Tiny Tim wrote "Tip Toe Thru The Tulips"? Think again, my dears. You have to watch it all the way through, it just gets better and better and better. This is blowing my little tiny brain:

I am really impressed by singers with good falsetto voices. I'm not all that good at it myself, I have a hard time controlling it and my voice tends to crack when I try. I'm not entirely sure if Nick is singing falsetto in this clip or not--he might just have a kinda high natural voice, but on my 78 of "Tip Toe" he definitely sounds like he's in his falsetto range.

Nick was a superstar guitarist in the 1920's and is credited with recording the very first solo jazz guitar records in America. He was also a popular crooner and, yes, his voice was the inspiration for Tiny Tim's falsetto vocal style. In his lifetime Nick's records sold more than 80 million copies. 80 MILLION.

Here's Nick tearing it up half a century after the "Golddiggers" clip--he's 83 in here. My hero!

Here's a really nice interview with Nick from 1980.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Pehrspace week four: Winter Prom!

Hi everyone!

There's so much to tell you all today that I'm sure I'm going to forget something--but, in a nutshell: tonight is the last night of our wonderful, beloved residency with Sean Carnage at Pehrspace, and this week's theme is, of course, prom! Did you know that "prom" is short for "promenade?" Well, it is!

Specifically it is the Winter Wonderland Formal Dance, and, as such, formal attire is requested (but we won't turn you away if you don't comply, you NON-COMPLIERS). It's $5 and all ages! We go on at midnight, but there are lots of other wonderful bands/activities tonight! Such as:

Milton Melvin Croissant
Dugout Canoe (from Denver)
Kevin Shields
Ema & the Ghosts
Cristina’s Puppet Show (yes, we did say PUPPET SHOW.)

And there's more! We have special corsage wristbands for the first 70 prom-goers...we have, as promised, HOMEMADE PRETZELS, and you all know what that means...and we also have the final installment of our homemade retrospective comps for sale. This time we're selling all four weeks' worth of music packaged together in one pop for fifteen bucks. LET ME REPEAT: this is almost our entire recorded output, plus extra stuff we never released, for fifteen clams!

And also as promised, we will have a slow dance jam for you all, a cover song that will also serve as our Song Of The Month for November. Shall we see you tonight?

cobra lilies EP almost done

I am going to make an attempt to include news here of other, tangential doings by the various Monolators. As you may know, 3/4 of the Monolators are also in Cobra Lilies, and it appears that we've just finished recording our debut release, which will be a 4-song, 7" vinyl EP. We've been working on it off and on in our garage since, I think, July or something silly like that, and so it seems a little odd that it might actually be wrapping up. Wendy of the Sweet Hurt is producing and engineering, and I have to say I'm preeeeetttyyy excited because so far it sounds kinda on the awesome side. All of the Cobra Lilies are getting really good at singing and harmonizing, uh, myself kinda excepted. They're all nightingales and I'm essentially in the duck/toad echelon. It is humbling, although fortunately a lot of the songs are designed to let me croak away in my own little corner and then let the rest of them take over for the pretty parts.

Anyway: now the EP just remains to be mixed, and then we somehow have to scrape up enough $$ to get it mastered & pressed. GARAGE SALE???

PS: thanks to Raymond & Jonathan for letting us borrow mics & preamps.

PPS: did I think to take pictures of the sessions? Of course I did not.

Residency week three in review

Week three: dictator week!

Questions about this picture: why does it look like I'm wearing a wig? Why does it look like I've got a moustache? What's going on?

Anyway--since it was time to play We Fell Dead with Mr. Bollas we decided to recreate our outfits for the WFD video, including Mary's hair. We also had Sean recite a...I think I called it a "pseudo-fascist" introductory speech at the beginning of our set, the thought of which initially (and understandably) caused a certain amount of trepidation on his part. He pulled it off with great aplomb, though. I will post a recording of it soon.

We started off in duo land, first with The Voyeurs and then with Fertile Crescent, a lovely touring band from (I think) Massachusetts that played lovely, delicate electronic-y guitar/drums folk rock. And as for The Voyeurs, they played their hearts out and put us all to shame. We feel very fortunate that they asked us to play their record release show in January and I'm looking forward to hearing their LP! In a world of duo bands The Voyeurs have a much bigger sound than one would normally expect of just two people--partially because of drummer Sean's virtuosity but also because of Jonathan's keyboard technique, which fills up a lot of low end. I once thought to myself that I'd kinda like to sit in with them on bass one day, but frankly they don't really need it--drums and piano is a great combination.

And then, of course, was Shirley Rolls, quite possibly the loudest band in Los Angeles, so loud that Tom blew up his amp (I see a theme of self-destructing amps at Pehrspace). Thank god they played "Piss Pot." I've got all of their set on 4 track (along with all of the other bands that played) but Tom said he hates listening to himself play live, which is kinda too bad because it was a wonderful set. Oh well, your loss sucker! I also love that Ethan plays a Casio keyboard with a built-in radio. Of course he does.

Then was, uh, us, and it was chaos. Two basses going at once through the whole set=Volume. Tom said "I couldn't get enough treble to cut through, I felt like I was castrated." Ashley said "HA!" Honestly the set was a blur, I tried (dunno how successfully) to keep raising the energy/violence until the end, and all of my recording equipment did end up getting knocked over, including the old 1960's Sennheiser mic--oops, and Tom did end up getting his face cut open next to his eye, apparently on Andy's bass. Oooops! No stitches, though. Tough guy. What the hell did we even play? I can't remember.

Finally at the end was Jim Merson’s Monster Mash, which for some reason I kept calling Kyle Mabson's Monster Mash. Sorry! This was the second soundman Kyle band we've seen (after Allusions To Jazz, whose name I also got wrong), and again he played his terrifying double kick bass kit, but also with a guitar player and a (incredibly friendly and polite) vocalist. It was a bit more straightforward punk rock this time and it was pretty awesome--there was one song I remember that involved lyrics along the lines of "gonna make you dinner dinner and it's gonna be yummy yummy." Right on. I was a little sad to see that, of all the people who came to see our set, only the indestructible Elaine Layabout stayed for JMMM--your loss, suckers! They ruled.

Not too many pictures circulating from the night that I can find, just these from LA Underground:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pretzel Versus Cupcake vote is in

For those of you who weren't at last week's residency show, we had a little vote to determine the kind of food we're going to serve at next week's show (theme: PROM). Despite our dictatorial leanings that night I can honestly and solemnly declare that the results are in and involve no tampering whatsoever on our part.

I can also tell you that it was a landslide! Between homemade cupcakes and homemade pretzels the vote was 18 to 3 in favor of...PRETZELS. So the people have spoken.

Don't forget: formal attire is requested.

Tips For Teens

Monday, November 17, 2008

Return of the Dictators tonight at Pehrspace

Hi everyone!

Tonight we're continuing our residency at Pehrspace with works from the "Our Tears Have Wings" era and the "You Look Good On The Train" EP.
Yes, tonight's the night for "We Fell Dead" and, if you've ever seen its video, you know what that means:

We also feature a guest spot from Mr.
Andy Bollas on twin bass and performances from The Voyeurs, Shirley Rolls, Fertile Crescent, and the sure-to-be-legendary Jim Merson’s Monster Mash!!!!

It's $5, it's all ages! ALSO! I know some of you have noticed the wonderful fabric wristband thingies that Sean uses in lieu of an ink stamp to indicate that you've paid your five bucks. For our residency we've been providing our own wristbands--fake fur for week one, glowsticks for week two.
We've got something extra special for this week but we only have 70 of them and they've sold out (so to speak) every week so far, so if you want one, please be sure to show up early for The Voyeurs!

Much love,

-Eli, Mary, Ashley, and Tom (and Andy)
The Monolators

Pehrspace week two photos

Some wonderful wonderful photos have shown up from the set at last week's residency show--here are some favorites, first from Sean Carnage's site (quote: "November Is Totally Kicking Ass"):

Sci-fi wristbands!

The general mis-en-scene at Pehrspace--note dangling day-glo planetary installations and lone, feeble flourescent black light. Still looked amazing, though!

Billygoat with Mary Monolator performing the mysterious Slide Projector dance.

The very much one and only Karen Centerfold.

Ema of Ema & The Ghosts & Cobra Lilies on whisting for "Tiny Bicycles"

Cobra Lilies on vocals for "Santa Claus Versus Dave Matthews"

David from Billygoat on glockenspiel for our version of "Best Friends In Space"

And from Classical Geek Theater:

I like how this one has a fragment of Ashley's bass & hair and my prominent, white butt.

Thanks Sean and Mouse!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

online store up & working

Hi everyone:

We've got our cardboard mailers at the ready in case you want to buy a physical copy of one of our records or cd's, including the new Don't Dance LP--and we're going to get our t-shirts up there soon. Please hit us up, I actually like going to the post office...

The store is here:


Residency week two in review

The theme for week two of our Pehrspace residency was, in case you missed it, outer space. Mary and Ashley (and Ema on guest vocals) wore sequins; I wore my best attempt at Barbarella fashion, with white pants, white motorcycle jacket, a grey pajama/Star Wars-esque shirt with white piping, and (courtesy of Ema) glitter antennae. Mary hung day-glo planets, stars, and...er...long squiggly spirally things from the ceiling and put up a flourescent black light bulb--which sort of made the planets glow in a feeble sort of way. We also hung up large watercolors of the girl and monster from the "Best Friends In Space" single cover. Wristbands this week were cheap glowstick bracelets.

Billygoat started the night with their magnificent 17-minute animated projection opus, with Nick and David providing dreamy synth-fuzz bass-and glockenspiel live accompaniment. The room was packed for them and utterly quiet throughout the entire show--apparently Sean had trouble finding anyone to watch the door because everyone wanted to watch Billygoat. They very, very sweetly ended their set with a cover of "Best Friends In Space," which utterly demolishes ours, and also medley'd in a few verses of "Sleep the Clock Around" by Belle & Sebastian--all while Mary Monolator performed a sequined slide projector dance! Actually I'd say it was less a Dance than a Sway.

Manhattan Murder Mystery
went on next, introduced in slightly rambling fashion by one Karen Centerfold. She mentioned that the band were named after a Woody Allen movie, which apparently is true--for some reason I had it in my mind that they were named after a track on the third Velvet Underground record, which, I now realize, is actually called "The Murder Mystery." This bums me out slightly, but no matter! The MMM were magnificent, and extra cool because of Don of Don's Music on bongos! Even if, as Mouse says, it was a slightly off night for them, it was still one of the best sets I've seen of any band this year...

The Heath Club are old friends from the Mr. T's scene, and I think this might have been the first time I've seen them play outside of Eagle Rock/Highland Park. They played beautifully, and, as Mouse says, 'I will publicly complain on this blog after until "Swim" is recorded.' Except that I DID record it on 4 track on Monday! Does the HC want to hear it? It, uh, sounds like a 4 track recording.

Then it was us, and we played a few more tracks from Rejection (Summertime In My Car, Tiny Bicycles) before moving on to the Tears era. Except that I forgot to call out "Our Tears Have Wings," so we didn't play that one! Idiot! Well, maybe next week. We were very ably assisted by Ema on whistling for "Tiny Bicycles," Ema, Arlene, Jesse, and Jade on background vocals for "Santa Claus Versus Dave Matthews," and David from Billygoat on glockenspiel for our version of "Best Friends In Space." Speaking of the latter song, I'd gotten pretty well sick of playing it for a LONG time, but after putting it away for a while it felt pretty cathartic, especially that last verse. Thanks so much to everyone who stayed to watch!

Finally rounding out the night was 60-Watt Kid, who were pretty astonishing (I think they run their entire band through a Space Echo), except that the guitar player's amp blew up just a few minutes into their set, blowing fuses and taking a lot of Pehrspace's lights out with it in the process. We smelled smoke and wondered if the place was actually on fire--it wasn't, but it kind of threw a wrench into the proceedings. I very much want to see them play another set to get the full effect.

NEXT WEEK: Mr. Andy Bollas joins us on bass, we move on to the "Train" period, and the dictator costumes come back out again...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

from an undisclosed location...

...comes these two videos, courtesy of an agent whose identity must remain secret for her own protection. Thank you mysterious benefactor!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Video--Pehrspace 11-3-08

A million thanks to Elaine Layabout for shooting this footage, which is a good chunk of our first week at Pehrspace! Incidentally, if you hadn't heard, Elaine has been banned from shooting video at Spaceland, The Echo, and The Echoplex by Spaceland Productions--and ordered to take down all of her archives shot at those venues. This is a big problem for bands like us, who benefited greatly from the exposure via youtube clips of, say, our release show with a gong and nine bassists (yes, that's gone) or playing "We Fell Dead" with Castledoor. Elaine says:

i have been ordered to remove all of the echo, echoplex and spaceland vidis from my youtube archive, and while many of you have asked that i resist, fight the power, and strike a blow for free speech, i am now taking them down, one sweet memory at a time . . . i am, alas, a lover, not a fighter

now, i have said this before and i will say it again: i did not profit from making my vidis, and i took care to promote the venues and producers, as well as the bands . . . my sole purpose was to encourage folks to attend live music events, because one day i got tired of standing through great shows at places like the echo and spaceland with only ten other patrons . . . more, in elaine layabout's world, is always merrier

More discussion is here on Classical Geek Theater. I suggest that bands playing at these venues remember this when asked to sign a Spaceland Recordings contract. Fortunately Pehrspace is not part of Spaceland Productions, so we're still able to share this with you. Again, many thanks, Elaine.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Because wolves and shirts are shapes


Monday, November 10, 2008

Web In Front interview + live tracks

Hi everyone! A quick note that, on the eve of our second Pehrspace residency show, Travis from Web In Front has very kindly posted a nice interview with us--please check it out. Also, you might be interested to know that I taped our set from last week (as I will tape tonight's set and our other residency shows) on my 4 track, and Travis posted mp3's of two songs from the tape at the end of the interview...I think the whole show will come out eventually, but this is a little taste.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Pehrspace photos

Some lovely writeups and photos from the first Pehrspace show have shown up on Sean Carnage's site and Classical Geek Theater. Here's some of my favorites from Sean's post on "Mono-vember":

And here's some great pictures from Classical Geek Theater's super nice writeup--thanks Mouse!