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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fare Thee Well, Ashley & Jillinda

Feels like lately we've been saying a lot of farewells lately, first with Cobra Lilies, and now with Monolators.

Both Ashley and Jillinda have decided to move on to other things, and so from a five-piece we're officially back to a trio. We've known both Ashley and Jillinda for a long time and we've been through a lot together, but since our residency in January everyone's lives have become so hectic that it's been harder and harder to get everyone together in the same place at the same time. I believe the last occasion we all played together as a 5-piece band was to record our final Kickstarter cover song video back in June, like so:



So Monolators is now down to Ray, Mary, and I, with me switching back to bass. I was actually the original Monolators bassist! It's true! 6 years ago! I am petrified! Well, a little. Our first show as an official trio was last weekend at the Prospector and we will also play the Shonen Knife show as a three-piece next Tuesday.

Ashley with Thunderbird at Pehrspace, 2008. Photo: LA Underground


We first met Ashley in...I want to say...2007, at Pehrspace. We somehow or other got to play a show she put together there, but without her ever having seen us play before. I can't quite remember how that happened. I do remember that we played that night as a two-piece and, during the course of the show, I tried to assume rock awesomeness by climbing on top of Mary's drum kit, as I often do. This time, however, I decided to climb on top of the floor tom while playing guitar (why? Don't know). The floor tom collapsed under my weight, and I fell flat on my back. This amused Ashley to no end. Later Ashley became a Cobra Lily and would fill in on bass for Monolators when our then-regular bassist, Andy, couldn't make a show. She became an official Monolator in 2008 just a week and half before we went into the studio to record Don't Dance--and, even with basically no advance notice, still managed to record half the bass parts on the album, as well as a chunk of the keyboard parts. She stayed with us through two tours and made the Ruby, I'm Changing My Number and Silver Cities records with us. Her last show with us was this past July at Pehrspace--right where we first met her. SYMMETRY. Thanks, Ashley--you will be missed.

Jillinda at The Smell. Photo: cinaferoholbeck


We first got to know Jillinda probably around the same time as Ashley, although she held out another year before joining officially (in 2009). We met her as the keyboard player of The Breakups (whose leader, Jake, happens to be the brother of one of my classmates from middle school in East Lansing, Michigan. WEIRD) and I Make This Sound, and although she didn't play on the Don't Dance record, she certainly played the record release show, and was a sort of honorary Monolator before joining for reals in 2009. She's on Ruby and the keyboard-heavy Silver Cities record, and was with us until her last official show, a house party in Castaic, California a week and a half ago. Jillinda's concentrating her musical time now on her own band, The Damselles, and also plays in High Ho Silver-o, so she's keeping busy--but we shall miss her.

Here's a picture from the last show we ever played live as a five-piece, at LaBrie's Lounge in January at the end of our Radio Free Silverlake residency...thanks Ashley & Jillinda, we had a really good time together.

Curtain Call. Photo by Jeff Koga


Also, I couldn't resist--one of my favorite moments from the 5-piece band--the ABBALATORS:




And live at the Echo, circa 2009. I always liked these pictures:


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