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Thelonius Monster to play with Butthole Surfers at the Viper Room August 1, 2002!
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Thelonius Monster A sort of all-star collection of L.A. scenesters and musicians, Thelonious Monster formed in 1986 and specialized in what would best be described as drunk-rock in the tradition of the Replacements. Ramshackle, loose live performances -- one was never sure if the band would actually turn up or finish out -- seemed to be their hallmark, yet at times lead vocalist and lyricist Bob Forrest was capable of brilliance. No matter the lyrical scenario, nothing was ever good enough for him. The band began with a messy, four-guitar record, Baby....You're Bumming My Life Out in a Supreme Fashion in 1986 with Pete Weiss, drums; Jon Huck, bass; K.K., guitar; Bill Stobaugh, guitar; Chris Handsome, guitar; and Dix Denney, guitar. They followed it with Next Saturday Afternoon, a more coherent effort. The John Doe-produced Stormy Weather in 1989 was a step up, as the band had since been taken under the wing of X and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, serving as a support act and getting some informal studio help from Doe and Flea on occasion. The lineup revolved, but in the end, Weiss, Denney, and Handsome remained true to Forrest. Beautiful Mess, an uneven, all-star gala (appearances by Tom Waits, Al Kooper and Soul Asylum) came out three years later. Forrest occasionally appears as a solo acoustic act, and the band tours sporadically. ~ Denise Sullivan, All Music Guide

1992 Beautiful Mess 3 ***
The most impressive part of this album is the list of names that contributed. Dave Pirner and Dan Murphy from Soul Asylum sing on "Blood is Thicker Than Water," Benmont Tench plays the organ, and Michael Penn sings on "Body and Soul?" Joe Hardy produced along with Pete Anderson and Al Kooper, the latter of whom oversaw "Adios Lounge," a duet between singer Bob Forrest and Tom Waits. Oddly, the all-male Caucasian rock band choose another African-American female for inspiration (they cover Joan Armatrading's "Weakness In Me") after paying homage to Lena Horne and Tracy Chapman on the previous record. Even this star-studded lineup couldn't save the band, who were their own worst enemies and basically fell off the musical map after its release.
1989 Stormy Weather/Next Saturday Afternoon 4 **** Collected on one long CD, the band's second and third albums make for nice companion pieces, as this was a band at the height of its strength and (limited) live popularity. "Next Saturday Afternoon," "Swan Song" and "Lookin' to the West" reveal the band's weakness for '70s rock, and they celebrate slacker lifestyle ("Michael Jordan") before "Gen-X" had been identified. The title track of Stormy Weather expands the band's folkish/country roots with the aid of punk/traditionalist producer John Doe. A reading of Tracy Chapman's "For My Lover" works well, as does a piano ballad, "My Boy," because of Bob Forrest's convincing, severely tormented vocals. "Sammy Hagar Weekend" encapsulates the band's perverse humor and rock fandom, and "See That My Grave is Kept Clean" rates alongside the best versions of the Blind Lemon Jefferson blues standard.
1989 Stormy Weather 4 ****

1987 Next Saturday Afternoon 3 ***
Thelonius Monster
Thelonious Monster: Family Tree

1986 - 1992 Bob Forrest

1986* Vocals Chris Handsome

1986* Guitar Dix Denney (Weirdos)

1986* Guitar Pete Weiss

Thelonius Monster Tab Body and Soul