TomThank 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.