Feed Us A Live Insect

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Thank you to everyone who came out to last night's show, it was a good one! And despite my best efforts to advertise the fact that we weren't playing at midnight, apparently a large number of people still showed up for us at around midnight, and went away kinda sad. I suppose our midnight reputation precedes us, which is nice, but eventually leads to heartbreak.

For those who weren't there and haven't heard, last night was also the last show for Tom Monolator. Tom has been playing on our records since "Our Tears Have Wings" in 2005, and started playing with us live about a year ago. But he also has his own amazing band, Shirley Rolls, and he decided that it's time to give Shirley a little more time than was possible while playing in two bands. We know he's doing the right thing and are proud & delighted that he's forging ahead with S.R., but we're still going to miss him dearly. Last night's show was kinda hard to get through because I knew it was his last one with us. I wept, openly, in a little puddle on Mary's ride cymbal--and then she whacked it and a million billion tears exploded into space. Thank God Tom's still around in the scene, and I know we're going to share some bills in the future. Please give him a sloppy kiss when you see him. SWORN TO THE ROLLS.

The way we met was kinda interesting in a dorky/lame sort of way--via an internet home recording messageboard that I frequented when I was trying to figure out how to record our first LP (that would be Rejection Set Me Free) at home in our garage. Strangely enough we had both heard each other's music (but didn't know it) before we met; Tom had heard "Spandex Hitman" on Demolisten circa about 2003 and I had randomly heard a song called "All Of Me" from the late 90's by a singer named Bennett with a chaotic, noisy guitar part that turned out to have been played by...Tom Bogdon. Later I heard some of Tom's glorious & astonishing Velvet Underground/Stooges/New York Dolls/RD Burman/Ennio Morricone 4-track workouts1 and was RATHER flattered when, after we pared ourselves down to a two-piece, he offered to play lead guitar on the Our Tears Have Wings album. He went on to play on You Look Good On The Train and Don't Dance and heavily influenced the sound and direction of the band in general. The last released song of ours that he's on is "Hot Sleigh" from the Plastic Snow Xmas album, along with the Pehrspace bootlegs I posted here.

A lot of our friends are (understandably) upset that he's leaving the Monolators, and a couple have asked if we're planning on continuing on as a band without him. While I certainly don't want to underestimate Tom's importance and contributions, we've been through many changes and altered the course/sound of our band with each new lineup--I believe this marks 6 different lineups in as many years. Still, I think there's an identifiable sensibility that's been there since the beginning, regardless of who played what, and that's what I think of as the core of the band. Certainly the new lineup will sound very different, and while I'm sad to see Tom go I'm also excited to try new things as well--and I think the new version of the band is going to be really pretty wonderful.

So that's the deal. We are going to lay low for a little bit to work up the new lineup, and I expect to make an official announcement about it here in a while once we've got everything settled. We'll play a small show next month, and you can expect an EP of new material in the Spring. Please do watch for it here, and once again, thanks Tom--we love ya.


1. some personal favorites: "Pisspot," "Rotten Town," "Slick Red Summer," "Hobo Hobo," "Don't You Dare Threaten Me," "Hangin' Tuff," (of course) and all of the Altered and Approved By tracks.

Prom Queen by Ema & The Ghosts

I'm always delighted and humbled when someone covers a Monolators song. It's happened a couple of times but I usually don't have recordings of the results, so it's more like an ephemeral thrill. I'll be honest: I have plans. Big plans. For instance we're in negotiations with The Three Tenors, who are interested in releasing an a capella version of "We Fell Dead" with the Vienna Sausage Boys Choir. And that's just one of several1 offers we've got on the table2.

But, even better! The visionary known as Ema & The Ghosts played a set during our "Prom" residency night, and since we did not actually play our Rejection-era track "Prom Queen" ourselves, Ema stepped up to fill that void and played what I'm sure is now and will ever be the best version of "Prom Queen" of all time, ever3. And fortunately I was taping the show, so here it is! Thank you so much Ema! The organ solo blows my tiny little4 mind.

Prom Queen by Ema & The Ghosts



1. As in none.
2. Actually it's more like a banquette.
3. I will note one thing, which is that when we used to play this song I would hurl my bass to the floor, rip off my shirt, and use it (the shirt) to whip my bass during the guitar solo. This didn't happen during Ema's set as far as I could tell, and she STILL kicked our asses.
4. Today's size: small muffin size.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A show tomorrow (tuesday) w/ Voyeurs at the Echo--NOT AT MIDNIGHT!

Incredible, no? We're playing this tuesday night and it's NOT AT MIDNIGHT! In fact we play at 10pm! So there's plenty of time to see us play and then go home early to beddy-bye's so you can get to sleep and wake up early the next morning to go running wild and free through the forest with all of your ape and ocelot friends! At least that's what I'm gonna do.

We're quite honored to play the Voyeurs' record release show at the Echo tomorrow night, with Les Blanks and Go West Young Man. We have the 10:00 spot--I REPEAT: Monolators play at 10! Not midnight! Got it? Good.

Oooo look: it's free!

An ocelot:

Another ocelot (apparently, according to Flickr):

Mono-vember bootleg #4

Prom time!

Hello lads and lasses--

Well well well. January has come and gone, and here we are with our last installment in our live-from-Pehrspace bootleg series. I had some laughs. I cried some tears. I ate some kelp. And you?

This week's recording comes from the Winter Wonderland Formal Prom, and as such there are a number of seasonal touches--namely our latest Christmas song opus, "Hot Sleigh," receiving its live debut. And then there's the slow jam. We debated long and loudly about what would make the absolute best slow-dance prom number, and although there were several strong contenders ("I Want To Know What Love Is" lost by just a hair) we eventually settled on "Hello" by Lionel Richie. Since it's a cover, and since we recorded it, I'm just going to go ahead and declare it our Song Of The Month, even though nobody actually requested it (tough luck, bastardos!)

This week's special musical guest was Jillinda Palmer of Breakups/Damselles/I Make This Sound/Spongebob fame! She said she couldn't hear herself at all during the show, but since she was kinda close to the room mic you can hear her okay. Thanks Jillinda!

The set list:
1. Hot Sleigh
2. I Must Be Dreaming
3. I Keep Knocking
4. I Heard Her Calling From Another Room (there's a lot of songs that start with "I" in this set, aren't there?)
5. Hello
6. CA 3A 569
7. Don't Dance
8. Hearts Going Steady

Download link:
Monolators at Pehrspace, November 24 2008

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cobra Lilies this Sunday!

Cobra Lilies haven't played a show in a while and so we're excited to be back, this time at the Scene with a quite good lineup. We actually asked to play first (and we are) so if you're a sad little tired wimpy wimp then here's a show for you! PLUS PLUS PLUS we have a new viola/trombone player who will make his live debut! Very exciting. Ooooo look, it's free.

Oh no another poll!

Looks like Deli Magazine has nominated us, along with everyone else in the world, including our friends, as, uh..."favorite Los Angeles based Artist of 2008." Seems as if the winner of the poll gets on the cover of their magazine. OK, cool. Can we win? I dunno! But if you feel like casting a vote our way, there you go:


Seems like we're pretty far behind but I remember a certain other poll where we were also far behind...er...I just accidentally wrote "fart behind." I should've left it.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Mono-vember bootleg #3

Sorry for the lack of recent posts--lots of doings have been going on here, so to speak. I shall elaborate more in a bit.

Here is our week three recording from our Pehrspace residency--dictator week. If you do nothing else please listen to the introductory remarks by Sean Carnage, reading a speech prepared for him by the Monodictators. Another highlight is Mr. Tom Bogdon's inter-song banter concerning his adventures on prom night.

Also: for this week we had dueling bass guitars (not sure how well it comes through on this recording, though) courtesy of Ashley Jex and "You Look Good On The Train"-era bassist Andy Bollas, who made a cameo appearance for the night. His fuzz bass is most evident on "We Fell Dead."

The set list:
1. Intro (w/ Sean Carnage)
2. Spider In The Woods
3. 14 Degrees
4. My Weaker Self
5. Banter
6. At The Top Of The Stairs
7. Red Lamb
8. You Look Good On The Train
9. We Fell Dead

Download link:
Monolators at Pehrspace, November 17 2008

Monday, January 12, 2009

Mono-vember bootleg #2

Hi folks:

Here's the second of our four live recordings from our November Pehrspace residency. For this week's set we played material from our "Rejection Set Me Free" and "Our Tears Have Wings" albums, and threw in the (then semi-timely) seasonal dirge "Santa Claus Versus Dave Matthews." As with last week, we were joined by original Monolator Mike Dennis on guitar--plus special guests Ema on whistling (for "Tiny Bicycles") and Agnes, Aurora, Aki, and Arlene Lily of the Cobra Lilies (for "Santa Claus Versus Dave Matthews")

The set list:
1. Summertime In My Car
2. I Was A Captain In The Army
3. Tiny Bicycles
4. Santa Claus Versus Dave Matthews
5. Clang Clang The Horseman Rang
6. Strawberry Roan
7. Let's Be Best Friends In Space

Download link:
Monolators at Pehrspace, November 10 2008

Monday, January 05, 2009

How can you be Chilly when you've got a shirt that big?

More 70's Dutch disco pop madness:

Chilly - Get Up And Move (1979)

Chilly - Secret Lies

That one reminds me a bit of the great "Distant Love" by Maywood:

Live Groupee video session

Ah ha, fresh for the New Year:

A few months back we went over to Red Rockets Glare studios with our dear pal Raymond and recorded a live video session for Groupee.com, and it's finally up! Please do take a look, it's pretty fun:

Monolators on Groupee

We were joined by Jillinda from The Breakups/I Make This Sound on keyboards, and we zoomed through "We Fell Dead," "You Look Good On The Train," "CA-3A-569," and "Don't Dance." Groupee also very kindly put us at #6 on their list of "Top Session Videos for 2008," right after Spider Problem. YEA VERILY!

Mono-vember bootleg #1

Hi all:

For those who were at our Pehrspace residency with Sean Carnage in November--I don't know how many of you noticed the extra microphone in the corner, but as a sort of spur-of-the-moment decision on the night of our first show we ended up bringing along my old cassette 4 track recorder and taping the show. The results were amusing enough that we decided to record our sets (and a bunch of the other bands', too) for the entire month. I would say that while these tapes are not exactly remotely close to hi-fi, they pretty much sound like us.

If I had eight billion drillion buckerooos in a pile going up to the sky I would've edited the results into a single live LP's worth of murky fury and put it out on splatter vinyl. But we are poor and so we're going to pass along these recordings to you, unedited, for free download! Please recall that we played entirely new sets for every week of our residency and played nearly every song we've ever recorded, from our start in 2002 to the present.

We're going to post a new week's worth of tracks for every week of January--so here's the first set, from November 3, 2008. During this week we played our very, very earliest material, circa about 2002-2004 or so. ALSO! For this show we had original Monolators guitarist Mike Dennis in the lineup! Here's the set list:

1. Spandex Hitman
2. Spandex Hitman (again)
3. In My Dreams
4. Take It Outside
5. She Got Beat Up By The Floating Eye
6. Office Drone
7. Rejection Set Me Free
8. This Is Goodbye
9. When The Saints Collide

Download link:
Monolators at Pehrspace, November 3 2008


Thursday, January 01, 2009

First show of 2009 this Friday

For our first show of 2009 we're playing at the Highland Park American Legion Hall this Friday (Jan. 2) with Seasons, Spider Problem, Mormons, and Megalosaurs. The evening starts at 9 and we go on third at about 10:30 or so.

I should point out that this is NOT the same American Legion Hall that the Cobra Lilies played at for the Eagle Rock Music Festival. That was the Eagle Rock American Legion Hall. THIS American Legion Hall is here:

227 N. Avenue 55
Highland Park, CA 90042

Just a couple of blocks down from Mr. T's. See you there!

-Eli, Mary, Ashley & Tom