Monitor and I
05.26.2010
09:21 am

Topics:
Heroes
Music
Punk

Tags:
Monitor
World Imitation

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It’s hard to overstate the effect upon our psyches of things we’re exposed to when we are young and impressionable. For better or worse, these things stay with us forever and if we’re lucky these things are also of enduring quality and mystery. Such is the case with myself and the little known band Monitor, whose sole 7” single I chanced upon at Slipped Disc record store in Sepulveda, CA around 1980. I was already at this time quite the ardent Devo fan and I could tell they too had vaguely similar aesthetics, especially in Steve Thompsen’s virtuoso synth manglings. So enchanted was I with this lil’ slab o’ vinyl that I tracked them down and started hanging around with them and sneaking into all of their shows. That I soon found out they attended the same high school as I, 10 years earlier, only deepened my affection for them. As it happened they were just preparing to release their one and only self-titled LP which while retaining its electronic foundations revealed a darker, more psychedelic sound. And then, rather suddenly it was over. Drummer Keith Mitchell went on to fame with Mazzy Star, guitarist Michael Uhlenkott formed The Romans, Steve Thompsen eventually joined LAFMS improv trio Solid Eye and bassist (and major early crush object for yours truly) Laurie O’Connell disappeared into Northern Californian suburban family life. There are periodic rumors of re-issues and even a book documenting their fleeting existence, but for now all that remains are the handful of recordings and this one live clip from New Wave Theatre, which as far as I can tell was their very last performance together.
 

 
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Written by Brad Laner | Discussion