Happy new year, etc!

It’s a brand new year, and probably a good time for an update. We’ve been busy over the last few weeks working on our new EP. Which may turn out to be a full-length album, I’m not sure. We’ve finished writing 6 songs and have a good start on recording them. We’re looking at a May release, possibly a little earlier. I’m really excited with how the songs are coming along. Here’s a list of what will be on the album for sure:

Moriah (In The Land of Milk and Honey)
Rumors (working title)
Warning Lights
Timothy Everett (Is Late For Work)
The Garden (new and improved version)

A couple things to be excited about, other than some solid songs coming soon. One is that Rebecca Watkins, an artist based in Provo, UT, will be doing the cover art as a linocut print, printing directly onto blank cardboard Digipak sleeves. So when you buy the album, it will be a real art print rather than inkjet.

Second, I’ve been talking to some directors and it looks like we’ll have a few music videos for you by the time the album comes out. At least one video will feature collage animation. I might try out some rotoscoping as well. I am sure that we will need some extras – message us on Facebook if you’d like to participate!


An Ad Hoc Ecosystem – Album Release!

Mons La Hire’s debut album, An Ad Hoc Ecosystem, is now available for download from Bandcamp.com. We are thrilled with how it turned out and are super excited for you to hear it.

The lyrics were composed from sentence fragments pulled from a long list of books. The list below is intended to be complete; we’ll update it if we notice an omission. I’ll be putting the lyrics up on Bandcamp soon. See if you recognize anything!


A Moveable Feast – Hemingway
The House at Pooh Corner – Milne
Holes – Sachar
The Giver – Lowry
Death Comes for the Archbishop – Cather
The Drunkards Walk – Mlodniow
Being Good – Yui
The Rubu’iyat of Omar Khayyam
Confessions of St. Augustine
Fahrenheit 451 – Bradbury
The October Country – Bradbury
The Life of Pi – Martel
New York Times, 2/2/12
The Bridge of San Luis Rey – Wilder
Horoscopes for the Dead – Collins
Good poems for hard times – ed. Keillor
Alan Mendelssohn. the Boy from Mars – Pinkwater
Selected poems by Wallace Stevens
Ballistics – Collins
The Hungry Ear – Poems About Food (compilation)
Brave New World – Huxley
Beginners – Carver
Candide – Voltaire
Conversations – Aira
West with the Night – Markham

Happy listening!

RPM Challenge / Show!

The end of the month is closing in! We’re making good progress though, and I have high hopes that we’ll have some rad music for you at the end of the month. Quite a bit of variety as well – you should be able to hear some touches of Radiohead, Belle and Sebastian, Ben Folds, Wilco, and Death Cab for Cutie in these songs.

Lyrics are coming along. I’m still going through piles of books to get phrases. Here’s a sample lyric:

Stripped in the darkness to the skin
He had left the great seance
That ghost of passion
The last of the dandelions
In your paradise
In circles and jagged lines
In this huge night

In other news, we have a show on Saturday at Cotton Dog Farm! We’re pretty excited. I have a pile of new stickers with the below design. Having a lot of fun with Futura these days. We’ll be giving these out like Halloween candy at Saturday’s show.

That’s all for now!monslahire.vowels

Another write up in the Barometer!

Follow the link to read another story about Mons La Hire in the Oregon State daily newspaper, The Barometer: Music To Be Heard: Mons La Hire

“The band combines the jangling guitar sounds of artists like The Mountain Goats, My Morning Jacket and Lord Huron with the contentious clash of vocals—similar to Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy.”

“The band finds the middle ground between postmodern Built to Spill styled pop and the loose spacious jamming of Modest Mouse.”

“When you’re in a band, you really need to have the ideas that come from all of your different life experiences come together. That’s where your songs come from, that’s your music,” Watkins said.”

RPM Challenge

I heard about the RPM challenge a few years ago view All Songs Considered, the NPR music show. The host of All Songs does the challenge every year, and Son Lux’s most recent album was composed this way. The challenge is to record an album of new material  during the month of February. I’m happy to announce that Mons La Hire is doing the challenge. We’ve got a ways to go, but have solid starts for about 5 songs. We’re excited to share the album with you at the end of the month!

The album will be a concept album in a way, but only in process, not in theme. The lyrics are to be a collage – snippets from books and newspapers and magazines I’ll be gathering through the month. Suggestions for books to include are very welcome. I’ve included bits of these books so far:

  • A Moveable Feast – Hemingway
  • The House at Pooh Corner – Milne
  • Holes – Sachar
  • The Giver – Lowry
  • Death Comes for the Archbishop – Cather
  • The Drunkards Walk – Mlodinow
  • Being Good – Yun
  • The rubu’iyat of Omar Khayyam 
  • Confessions of St. Augustine
  • Fahrenheit 451 – Bradbury
  • Life of Pi – Martel
  • New York Times, 2/2/12
  • The Bridge of San Luis Rey – Wilder
  • Horoscopes for the Dead – Collins
  • Good Poems for Hard Times – Keillor (ed.)
  • Alan Mendelssohn, the Boy from Mars – Pinkwater

I’ve been cutting up a pile of old National Geographics and Time Magazines to make collages for the artwork. I can’t promise that part will be done at the same time as the music, but I’m aiming for that.

Expect a lot of fuzz guitar. Quite possibly a pile of weird noises. But definitely some catchy tunes!



Starting off the year right, with a show at Interzone! We’re excited to play host to traveling band Byrgeau Noir (just try spelling that right without looking!). So it will be a night of foreign-sounding-bands. Well, except for Steve Hunter (from That Coyote).

Here’s the event page on the FB: https://www.facebook.com/events/802164199911814/

and also, here is Byrgeau Noir’s Bandcamp page!



Other People’s Music vol 1

Here’s a few things that I’ve been listening to lately.


Fictionist are a band from Provo, UT. I saw them first in 2010 when they came and played in Rexburg, Idaho (where I grew up). I’ve seen them a few times since, and they are incredible live. Harmonized slide electric guitar solos? Who does that? Their sense of rhythm is rock solid, and always have surprises up their sleeves. They did a cover of Helter Skelter the first time I saw them and nailed it. The next time they came to town, they played “Baba O’Reilly” by the Who, and the lead singer / bassist pulled out a violin and did a crazy solo in the middle of the tune. Fictionist’s first two albums, Invisible Hand and Lasting Echo, are alternative rock with heavy Beatles and Pink Floyd influences. The track above, which is from their self-titled newest album and has been stuck in my head for weeks, is representative of the newer, more danceable direction they’re taking their music. I suggest looking up the story about them getting signed by Atlantic Records and leaving the label after releasing one EP. Also, I love the otherworldly sounds they throw in for the guitar solo.

Punch Brothers

Punch Brother’s new album “The Phosphorescent Blues” is a concept album about the effect of technology on human relationships (although only about a third of the songs really talk about it). I consider it a modern classic. I’ve seen them twice now, once in Salt Lake City and once in Philadelphia, and they are just as tight rhythmically and harmonically live as they are in the studio. Virtuoso musicians with a sense of adventure and a sense of humor, they mix together classical music, bluegrass, and rock-and-roll for a sound unlike any other band I’ve heard. Also check out their cover of Kid A (Radiohead).


I first bought a Wilco album – A Ghost Is Born – around 5 years ago. I thought it was cool, but it didn’t stay in my rotation very long. Recently I’ve repented and started listening to them more, and the more that I hear their music the more perfect and rich and powerful it seems to be. I love the mixture of dissonance and harmony in their music. Just a few months ago, I happened onto their website and found that they had just barely released a new album, called Star Wars (with a picture of a cat, of all things, on the front), and were offering it for a free download. I was hooked. There are so many layers of wonderful sounds on the album, ranging from the Bob Dylan-esque “The Joke Explained” to the fuzzed-out guitars of “Pickled Ginger”. The next happy coincidence was finding out that Wilco was playing in Bend, Oregon the same weekend I was planning on going camping there. So of course I went, and of course it was wonderful. The sound quality was fantastic – exactly loud enough volume so it was rock-and-roll but quiet enough that you could still hear everything.

Courtney Barnett

Suzanne discovered Courtney Barnett via a Philadelphia alternative rock station, 104.5 I think. She heard the song “Avant Gardener”, which is an amazing song about having an asthma attack and has a gorgeous video as well. I love the mundane details she puts into the lyrics, and the deadpan delivery is spot on. The lyrics remind me of one of my favorite poets, Billy Collins, in that she makes deep observations about life experiences through stories of things like staring at watermarks in the ceiling, going house shopping, and watching vegetable trucks go by on the Australian highway. I haven’t caught her live show yet, but I really hope I get a chance soon.

That’s all for now.
– Daniel

With GUIDES at Bombs Away Cafe

GUIDES is a dynamic 3-piece from Los Angeles specializing in sharp, driving, effects-laden post-punk. They stopped in Corvallis as part of a tour of the Northwest, and we were lucky enough to open for them. They’re super nice people and were a pleasure to talk to. We had a lot of fun with our set as well – Suzanne and I debuted our new Devi Ever fuzz pedals (the Ruiner and the Legend of Bit – they are both amazing, heavy, crazy fuzz boxes), Matt decided he needed a bigger keyboard amp (but distortion is always cool, right?), Charlie blew our minds with wild effects and loops and some solid soloing on Current Events and 16 Tons, and Patrick kept us grounded with his solid beats throughout the show, navigating the time signature changes of Paranoid Android with ease. The crowd made for an excellent choir on the bridge of 16 tons.

Set list:

Empty House
Current Events
Reptilia (The Strokes)
Start Over
16 Tons (Merle Travis / Made famous by Tennessee Ernie Ford)Shadow Wolves
Paranoid Android (Radiohead)

A few photos for you: The blue and green smoke pics are GUIDES, then there’s Matt at the keys, and a photo from rehearsal from a couple days before the show.

And just because it is an absolutely perfect music video, here’s the Strokes with Reptilia:


Empty House

We’ve been working on adapting songs I wrote for my old band, Mavis, for the upcoming show at Bombs Away Cafe. Here’s a video I made for the song Empty House, off Mavis’s 2013 album Fossil Mountain. It was filmed with an iPad camera (that iPad was stolen in Metropolis, IL, ensuring that I will always remember that tiny city by the river).

As you can imagine, I had a lot of fun playing with blocks. The song was recorded during the hurried pre-finals 20-hour recording session that produced the Fossil Mountain album http://mavisband.bandcamp.com/album/fossil-mountain

Since finishing that, we’ve come up with some new parts, like a nice harmony line from Suzanne and a second guitar part for Charlie. You’ll have to come to the show to see!