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The Monolators

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  • Formed: Los Angeles, CA
  • Years Active: 2000s


Biography All Music GuideWikipedia

All Music Guide:

Led by the husband-and-wife team of Eli Chartkoff on guitar and vocals and Mary Chartkoff on drums, the Monolators are a pop combo who play a revved-up blend of first-generation punk and vintage rock & roll with clever, witty, and heartfelt lyrics to go along with their abundant melodic hooks. Based in Los Angeles, the Chartkoffs formed the Monolators in 2002, with Eli on bass, Michael Dennis on guitar, and Mary on drums; the three met while jamming with a band called the Heinous Brothers, who rehearsed a lot but almost never played out, and the Monolators (originally the Monolators from Lonely 451) were created so they could expose their work to a wider audience. The Monolators recorded their first album, 2003's Rejection Set Me Free, as a trio, but Dennis left the group in 2005, and the band soldiered on as a duo, with Eli moving to guitar. This streamlined lineup recorded the band's second LP, 2006's Our Tears Have Wings, but before long the band expanded to a quartet with the addition of Ray Gurrola on guitar and Ashley Jex on bass. The four-piece Monolators became a draw on the L.A. club circuit, known for their high-energy performances and smart songcraft, as well as winning airplay on a number of leading indie radio outlets in Southern California. The title track from the 2007 EP You Look Good on the Train was named one of the Top 25 songs of the year by LA Weekly, which also named the Monolators one of the area's "Buzz Bands." When the group cut its third full-length album, 2008's Don't Dance, it had expanded to a five-piece with the addition of Jillinda Palmer on keyboards.


The Monolators are an American rock band from Los Angeles composed of Eli Chartkoff (vocals, guitar), Mary Chartkoff (drums), Ashley Jex (bass), Ray Gurrola (lead guitar), and Jillinda Palmer (keyboards).


Originally called Lonely 451, the band formed as a trio in January 2000 with Eli Chartkoff on bass/guitar/vocals, Mary Chartkoff on drums and Mike Dennis on bass/guitar/vocals. This configuration lasted only 9 months and played a single show: a house party in Mary Chartkoff's living room. The band reformed as The Monolators in the summer of 2002 with Eli Chartkoff on bass/vocals, Mary Chartkoff on drums, and Mike Dennis on lead guitar. Soon after, The Monolators began taking the project more seriously and recorded the EP Hi-Fi Sound in their garage, followed by their first live show at Silverlake restaurant Zen Sushi in September 2002. In 2003, the band self-released a holiday-themed 7" vinyl single Santa Claus vs. Dave Matthews, followed by the full-length record Rejection Set Me Free in 2004. In 2005, Mike Dennis left the band but they continued as a duo with Eli on guitar. The band recorded their second album Our Tears Have Wings in the Fall of 2005 at producer Raymond Richards's Red Rockets Glare Studios with future member Tom Bogdon as a studio musician on lead guitar. They began a monthly "First Friday" residency at the Los Angeles club Mr. T's Bowl in June 2006, which ended exactly two years later in June 2008. The band became a trio again in 2006 with the addition of Andy Bollas on bass. After releasing the You Look Good on the Train EP in 2007, the band (following the departure of Bollas and with new members Ashley Jex on bass and Tom Bogdon on guitar) released their third record Don't Dance in 2008. In October 2008, the band won the LA Weekly Detour Music Festival Battle of the Bands contest sharing the stage with Gogol Bordello, Black Lips, and Datarock. In November 2008, the band contributed their song "Hot Sleigh" to the benefit holiday compilation "Plastic Snow" featuring Los Angeles bands Great Northern, Earlimart, and others. In 2009, the band changed their lineup again with the departure of Tom Bogdon and the additions of Ray Gurrola on lead guitar and Jillinda Palmer on keyboards, followed by the digital EP release of Ruby, I'm Changing My Number in Spring 2009.

^ "The No-Fi "Interview" with The Monolators". No-Fi "Magazine". Retrieved 2009-08-16. ^ "Mini-Interview: The Monolators". Radio Free Silverlake. Retrieved 2009-09-17. ^ "I will always love you T-Bowl". Feed Us A Live Insect. Retrieved 2009-07-30. ^ "MONOLATORS WIN L.A. WEEKLY DETOUR CONTEST!". LA Record. September 22, 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-30. ^ "DETOUR: SET TIMES". LA Record. September 25, 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-30. ^ "confessions of a would-be hipster presents: plastic snow". Confessions of a Would-Be Hipster. November 1, 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-30. ^ "Monolators digital EP release show tonight at Echo Curio". Feed Us A Live Insect. Retrieved 2009-07-30. ^ Deming, Mark. "Allmusic: The Monolators". Biography. Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
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