Saturday, April 21, 2007


Magnificent, eerie and oddly processional sounding, Monitor were an L.A. Free Music Society-related outfit that featured Steve Thomsen in his pe-Solid Eye days. This sounds not one whit like anything you'd normally relate to the inspired but ordinarily wacky doings of L.A.F.M.S.-related personnel, though it does presage Thomsen's brilliant and equally eerie solo recordings.

Get it Here


wmmberger said...

Thanks for posting this wonderful oddity; now I have a digital copy to replace the cassette I made years ago from a friend's LP. The Monitor album also brings to mind, for me at least, a whole slew of L.A.-area (though not necessarily LAFMS-related) artists from that same period: Gothic Hut, Steve Stain/Blue Daisies, Johanna Went, B People, 45 Grave, Peter Ivers' New Wave Theatre etc.—a fertile vein in American post-punk history. Also, for those who can't read the sleeve notation, the Monitor song "Hair" is performed on the album by The Meat Puppets (in their early, acid-drenched thrash motif.) According to Derrick Bostrom, they were asked by Monitor to perform the song because Monitor "simply couldn't play that fast."

vdoandsound said...'re right on point for the stuff this is running parallel to. Thanks for the great anecdote about the Meat Puppets involvement, something I could never quite figure out, as it's a real disruptive and (for me anyway) out of place move on what is an otherwise wonderfully hypnotic album.

Princess Sparkle Pony said...

This is one of my favorite albums of all time, and I've owned a copy since it came out.

I used to be good friends with the Meat Puppets in Arizona, and they told my friends and I interesting stories about Monitor. They were pretty strange cats, and the lead guitarist was famously secretive about his bizarre guitar tuning methods. Kurt Kirkwood told me that before performing "Hair" on this album, the guitarist brought Kurt's guitar into another room and tuned it for him in private. After recording the song, he grabbed Kurt's guitar and detuned it so that it would remain secret!

I'm not sure how seriously to take that, but this band sure does have a unique sound.

I've tried on several occasions to digitize my vinyl copy, and I've always had terrible results. I'm looking forward to hearing if you had better luck than I.


Mr Fab said...

Yay! Thanks for posting this and other LAFMS classics. Haven't seen a copy of this one in ages but I still remember that album cover. Monitor were from my hometown LA nieghborhood of Northridge - very impressive to my young ears.

Anonymous said...

Monitor's music will be coming out on CD on Warning Label Records...

mutantsounds said...

that's very old info mr. anonymous(april 2006).....since then ...nothing....good to spread this info though

Calabama said...

Since it seems to be of some interest, here's an official World Imitation update:
Getty researcher Antonio Beecroft's authorized history, "The End of the World: A Report on the World Imitation / Monitor Project 1978–1981," is in final edit, to be accompanied by the CD release of Monitor's recorded work as well as previously unreleased live material. ETA sometime next year.

Meanwhile, Steve remains on walkabout. Michael is composing keyboard music and writing a book on Robert Dean Frisbie with me. Ed and I are, producing our semi-son Brendon Alvord's debut CD. Keith still lives in Long Beach, and his son Paul is now a classical violinist.

All are well and happy, and we hope y'all are, too. Nice to read that the old noise we made is remembered fondly.


meatmover said...

Love this one .. something of a Moondog ambience .. sure the Meat Puppets' track is a major dislocation of the mood (love 'em too though) so I just moved that to the back of the album, sorry Puppets, on the other hand I couldn't bring myself to delete you either. Thanks again MS.

Anonymous said...


can anybody please re-post?