MONITOR: Los Angeles art punks, 1980


MONITOR was a short-lived Los Angeles art punk band that first performed on Halloween 1978. The group was part the experimental transmedia micro-scene of "Associated Skull Bands" like Nervous Gender, Human Hands, BPeople, and Boyd Rice's NON. Through the mail art network, MONITOR connected with DEVO pal Ed Barger who recorded MONITOR's self-titled LP in 1980. Writing for the Los Angeles Reader, Matt Groening (yes, that Matt Groening) said in 1981 that "MONITOR's debut album, a compendium of mutant amplified folk tunes is the best local release I've heard all year." Now, Superior Viaduct records has reissued that LP on CD with additional bonus tracks. Special note: the track "Hair" on the album was actually performed by The Meat Puppets at MONITOR's invitation. MONITOR: s/t CD


  1. Oh, wow, fantastic; I’ve been waiting for this. I hope they remastered it, because the original vinyl was terribly mastered (despite how great it was, etc., etc.).

    1.  I’m so happy to hear that. Can’t wait to hear it! It is definitely on my “Top 10 favorite anything ever” list.

  2. Shameless self promotion: My boyfriend is helping put on a free Human Hands show Friday April 26 at Taix’s 321 Lounge. If you are a fan of Monitor, you may enjoy the Human Hands as well. Another great band, the Mecolodiacs, will be playing, too.  A link to the event page on Facebook can be found here:

    Also, I cannot WAIT to buy that reissue. I’ll be heading to the record store to get it tomorrow, probably.

  3. Okay but don’t forget other L.A. ArtPunk bands like my favorite: The Party Boys

  4. The other side of this scene is the Los Angeles Free Music Society a banner which many of these musicians perform under in different combinations and under different band names. The late 70s and early 80s were a remarkable time in the local music scene and largely due to the influence of these thoughtful and crazy people.

    You go home, Beak!

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