Now that the holidays are over (New Years isn’t so much a holiday as yet another excuse to party in excess), we can return to normal ramblings geared towards “real” music. You’ve gotta’ love the holidays, but man did I overdo it this year on the holiday ear candy.
I’ll try to get through this as quickly as possible, as I can’t help but assume you are still enjoying awkward family time. For the past four or so years, December has come to mean a few things: 1) the smog is down, 2) due to the mass number of LA transplants, there is a yearly exodus which leaves the streets clean and clear for the rest of us, and 3) for whatever reason, it’s Monk Time.
What is this Monk Time, you ask? Well, Curious Carl (not to be confused with Cowboy Curtis), Monk Time is that very special time of year when the inner monster craves the Earth-shattering sound of the original anti-Beatles. This sheer, rabid dog approach to 1965’s rock n’ roll was light-years ahead of its time, and although they only released one album (in Germany in 1966), these Five Upstart Americans (soldiers as they were) broke the mold with their inventive brand of cathartic, yet surprisingly melodic music. The Monks could be considered garage rock, if that garage were engulfed in flames and moments away from collapsing on itself threatening the lives of everyone within a three-house radius. If you’ve heard of the Monks, this is certainly not news, but if you haven’t, watch the documentary Transatlantic Feedback, and bug your local record store until they acquire for you a copy of Black Monk Time. Certain bands demand attention for their historic significance, and the Monks certainly fit that bill. I’m still in the market for my (obviously) reissue of Black Monk Time (originals go for over $600), but for now I’ll settle for the repackaged and almost identical 2011 release, Black Time.