Tuesday, April 5, 2011


We are moving all of our blog posts to www.monarques.tumblr.com from here on out! See you there!

Friday, April 1, 2011

The record IS being made.

Sitting in the studio right with Beau and Rich, digging into our first track - "Good Man" for mixing. It's sounding amazing.

Saturday, March 12, 2011











Tuesday, December 21, 2010


So... we've been laying low since our last show at Bunk Bar in November and a lot has happened since that time, here's a few updates.

Kickstarter. We made our goal and THEN SOME! We were able to raise about 1500 through the support of all of our generous benefactors. A huge thank you to all who gave!

The record. We are in the final stages, mixing is coming up this next week and we are excited have Beau Raymond behind the mixing desk. He's worked with Devendra Banhart, Little Joy, Laura Gibson, Dave Depper, the list goes on and on! He's a great guy and we're really happy to work with him.

So here's the big news... Altered line-up. Corey and Lee have chosen to leave the band to pursue their own musical project Lee Corey Oswald We are proud they are following their hearts and we are all still great friends. We wish them the best, check out their tunes!

Richard, Talia, Chrissy, Michael and I are working on new songs, putting together some great ideas for the new year and we have great excpectations for the year to come. 2010 was incredible for us, touring the West Coast, making great new friends with people all over, Valentines Day Prom with Sallie Ford, playing with so many great bands here in Portland, flying out to New Jersey and performing on A Prairie Home Companion, we've been able to share many great things and we are pushing forward into 2011 with more ambition and hope than ever before. Thank you for all the love and support!

We are playing again on Jan 13th at Holocene w/Arch Cape and Yours! On drums will be Scott Magee (Loch Lomond, Y La Bamba, DJ Cooky Parker) and on piano Alan Singley will be joining us. (Its also the day before my birthday.... unofficial partytime!) It should be a great night and we'll be "unveiling" a couple of new songs!!

See you all soon

Friday, October 1, 2010

Monarques Tour Day 5

The fifth day of our second tour began around 11am when we all awoke in the living room of our mutual friend Jason’s house, scattered on his hardwood floor. We wanted to wake up earlier to check out some sights such as the Oakland swap meet where we all scored sweet deals last tour, but had to exchange our shopping misadventures for burritos and coffee to make the sevenish hour drive to Santa Barbara in time with some sort of nourishment in our systems. We finally ended up leaving around 1:30pm, right as the sun was beginning to drench us in our own sweat and cement our exposed flesh to the seats of our seven passenger van, “Lucille,” that serves as the vessel for the eight members of our party and our bags. I’ve heard about days in hell that were at least ten degrees colder than that day.

Besides the intense “UVs” from the sky the drive was notably smooth. California’s sunset on a clear September evening is strikingly beautiful. Picture a watercolor work of art so moving that it would make any artist never even consider picking up a brush. We drove down the 101 along the coast, gazing at the pinkish orange sky and wondering if we were real. We arrived at the venue just before eight, leaving us enough time before loading in our equipment to chug free band coffee and smoke away our exhaustion from the day’s “Californiadventure”. The show started around 9:15 and the first band, “Gardens and Villas,” started off the evening in an impressive way, throwing together several different modernist indie rock elements into a formula that produced an original and memorable sound. We played after them and it went pretty well. People were pretty responsive for a Tuesday night at a cafĂ©, and danced and sang along when the feeling called for some action. “Jared Mees and the Grown Children” played after us and sounded great as usual. They played a song they hadn’t previously played on our tour with them, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

When we ended up leaving the venue it was after 1:00am and we had to be in Fullerton, a drive that would take about three hours ideally, for a show at 10:00am the next morning. We contemplated throughout the night just leaving after the show, but could not slither out of the Motel 6 room we had previously booked in Santa Barbara. On the way to this particular crash pad, we ended up taking the van and trailer down a dead end street in a residential area. We were a bit frightened for a moment but our comrade and tour enthusiast James displayed dominance of the great beast, taming the old bastard back enough to cut a hard right to the nearest alley. Finally, around 2:00 am, it was lights out with a wake up expectancy of 5:00 am. If the destruction of western civilization doesn’t kill us, this tour is in high running.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day Four: Totes Emosh

Today we woke up (late) at the Opal Hotel in San Fransisco. I LOVE the Opal! Love it. I (Chrissy) tend to be the one booking the hotels and this one is always a pleasure to interact with. The people who work there are amazing. Super friendly, down to earth and hilarious. They have really helped us out twice now. Love them, can't recommend that place enough.

San Fransisco was fantastic. The band parted ways for half of the day and Talia and I had a BOMB brunch in the mission at a place called Boogaloos. We walked over to Delores Park and posted up under the shade of some palm trees. We were fortunate enough to see a buxom lady's breast fall out of her shirt AND run into our tour mates at the park.

The rest of the day involved ice cream cones and our favorite Oakland resident Mr. Jason Thomas Romero taking us up to twin peaks. We chugged the van up those San Fran hills and were rewarded with TOTES EMOSH views of the city and the Pacific ocean.

We piled back in the van and headed across the bay bridge into Oakland to reassemble the band and get set up for our show at Kermit the House. As we took the stage that night it was very apparent that out normal band vibe was NOT there. On every tour there seems to be a night where reality sets in and you realize that you are not invincible, that drinking whiskey, staying up late and sweating all day in a van is not what your body wants. Last tour this happened in Vegas. This time it was Oakland. I'll just say that the Oakland show was not our best. Memorable, but not our best.

BUT! All was not lost. The aforementioned Mr. Jason Thomas Romero saved the (my) night by giving me a glorious tandem bike tour of his neighborhood. So fun. Big thanks to Jason for his hospitality and general awesomeness. Thanks to Kermit the house for having us. Thanks Bay area for being rad.

And the van rolls on.

Hearts and Sparkles,


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Welcome to the Jungle. Caspar -> SFO

Descending into Caspar by van last night, the road had everyone in the band clutching their seats, wide eyed, preparing to shuffle the mortal coil. The road out of Caspar was no less dramatic, but after a truly jubilant night at the Caspar Inn, the gang seems less concerned about the realistic possibility of the van, the gear, and the Monarques themselves descending unwillingly into the Pacific. Lee sits on the swaying van’s floor with his headphones on, staring off, an actual living saint. Feet with their newly painted toenails are out in the breeze. We pass through Mendocino as a silly, zany, disheveled breeze and refuel ourselves in this little town set up above the sea. As we follow 101 south into a California heat wave, the folks in the sweltering back seat are reduced to wearing far more skin than clothes, and we sleepily roll through the Golden Gate’s sunny arches thanks to Rich’s unfailing skills behind the van’s giant wheel.

Photobucket lee wakes up

Photobucket Talia

Photobucket Mendocino

We’ve got a downtown hotel and rush from check in to the venue (Hemlock). After a few days and nights on the road, this is usually the point where you lug everything in, set it up, and just get it over with, but Jared & the Children prove that they are completely bigger than anything and bring a super energetic set that gets the night going on the right foot. They’ve got pro gear, they’ve got gigging experience, and dammit, they’ve got a pro ‘tude. These nights are becoming a spending mess of tambourines and microphones as Monarques and the Grown Children share the stage, and it’s simply good clean fun. (The author has to confess that he missed Social Studies’ closing set in order to trade his drink tickets for something from the top shelf, but regrets this choice after hearing from everyone else that they were great and completely sounded like angels.)

Photobucket Jared Mees Feets

Photobucket Hard Cor Cor

Photobucket Josh looks like Costello

In a maneuver that you shouldn’t try at home, after packing the gear out of the Hemlock, Rich backed the van, with trailer, down a one way alley into a four lane San Francisco avenue. If you’ve ever driven with a trailer, you might know that this is totally impossible and that I’m a liar, and that’s just fine if that’s what you want to think. Both touring bands pile into the incredible Tender Loving Empire ultra yellow airport shuttle bus machine thing, and after a sloppy but splendid rendition of The Lion Sleeps tonight, head to Beauty Bar to mingle with Portland musical comrades Y La Bamba and Typhoon, who also had shows in San Fran tonight. The bar is full, the energy is huge, everyone is struggling with mixed success against the fatigue, and San Franciscans doing things in the photo booth that I will not honor with the written word. By the time that last call forces everyone into the streets, a very patient police officer is needed to get everyone going on various their paths home. Javier of the Grown Children has the good sense and willpower to return to the bus using only cartwheels and proves that he lives his life just like he plays on stage.

There’s almost enough beds to sleep on. Most members of the band are accountable for. We made it here and made it through the night alive in one big, messy piece. This is fun.

- James