Monsters Of Folk: Well, I’ve been thinkin’ about…

Photography by Mirjan

Allo, allo! It feels like Friday for some reason, though it’s probably the weather and my overall disposition today. Not sure if it’s the EPO, but I’m in a damn fine good mood. Part of it is from spending pretty much ALL of yesterday listening to Vapours by Islands, but I have to give at least some credit to the 00’s answer to the Traveling Wilburys, Monsters Of Folk and their super-group-delicious self-titled debut!

Let’s see, who’s in this indie-folk-rock-collabo from heaven? Well, I recognize Mr. Ward there in the bottom left corner and I believe that one Conor Oberst up on the top left. On the right, we got a chubby Jesus and a skinny Brian Posehn over to the bottom right who, honestly, I didn’t even know was recording…

What? Oh…

I’m being told that the two guys are Jim James from My Morning Jacket and Mike Mogis from various Saddle Creek albums. Sorry guys, didn’t catch you at first. Seriously though, look at this write up…

Monsters of Folk is a collaboration of Conor Oberst, Jim James, M. Ward- three of this generations most critically acclaimed voices and Mike Mogis , one of the most sought after producers working today.

How’d you like to be Mike on that write up? “Hey everyone, this album is unreal, it’s got God, Jesus, The Holy Ghost, responsible for all that is good and holy and righteous and pleasant and generally awesome, and Mike Mogis.”


Anyway, though I’m always excited to hear another Ward endeavour, whether it be with cute celebs or INDIE-FOLK POWERHOUSES, all that really matters is whether or not we got ourselves, the listeners, a good new record to put on the player. Since it’s the subject of today’s post, obviously I think we do!

Okay, maybe it’s not fair to call them the 00’s answer to the Traveling Wilburys.

After all, the Wilburys, though a collabo of folk & rock faves, were 5, not 4, gave themselves fun little nicknames, had Roy Orbison, and certainly didn’t have Mike Mogis — a mistake that George Harrison admitted to on his death bed… what? too soon? Also, the Wilburys, surprisingly, had more “big haired” members, though I know M. Ward does his best to compete, he’s got a looooong way to go.

Hell, I’ve been working on my since the Wilburys came out, and I still got a long way to go if I hope to reach the heights of Jeff Lynne.

It’s the length on the bottom. Just tough to go down that path as a photographer (skeeeezy) and a cyclist (I reeeeally don’t want all that hanging out my helmet).

Okay… Enough on the Wilburys, we are here to talk about the amusingly and ironically named — in a post ironic world, ironically — Monster Of Folk! ROAR! We kick things off with “Dear God” a little creepy religious thing where everyone takes turns singing to god and seems to want to set the tone of the album, until “Say Please” kicks in and we are toooootally in Traveling Wilburys land (mp3 via like times 1,000 — sorry, couldn’t help myself.

What is built with “Say Please” seems to set the for-realz-dawg tone as we settle in to simply some beautifully composed folky-roots-pop-rock-etc. Some songs feel more Ward, some more Oberst, and so on, but it IS cohesive, not as cohesive as, say, another infamous supergroup Asia (mp3 via

But really, the prog-rock gods set the bar so high that us mere mortals can only dream of trying to maybe think about approaching. Man, I loved that album back then… My gateway album, well, that and Yes’s 90125, to my prog-rock obsession.

Look, Monsters Of Folk are a combo of indie-darlings, people will jibber on and on about whether or not this album is good or not for a while, comparing it to their individual works and what not, and that’s cool, it’s a rock crickets job to do that, and ask all the proper questions in interviews and what not.

I love that word/phrase, “and what not”…

Anyways, the copy floating around was m4a which I hate, so here’s a few randomish mp3s that are out there to listen to, the lead off track and a few others. But really, just buy the whole thing, it’s pretty damn sweet.


1. Dear God (sincerely M.O.F.)

Well I’ve been thinkin’ about…
Well I’ve been thinkin’ about…

2. Say Please
4. Temazcal
5. The Right Place
6. Baby Boomer
7. Man Named Truth
8. Goodway
9. Ahead of the Curve
10. Slow Down Jo
11. Losin Yo Head
12. Magic Marker
13. Map of the World (
14. The Sandman, the Brakeman and Me
15. His Master’s Voice

Some MoF Link Love…
Myspace | Official | Label

Buy it at Insound!

Oh and hey, here’s some tour dates for these guys…

2009 North America:
10-13 Vancouver, BC Orpheum CA
10-14 Portland, OR Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall US
10-15 Seattle, WA Paramount Theatre US
10-17 Oakland, CA Fox Theater US
10-18 Los Angeles, CA The Greek Theater US
10-20 San Diego, CA Spreckels Theatre US
10-21 Phoenix, AZ Orpheum Theater US
10-22 Santa Barbara, CA Santa Barbara Bowl US
10-28 Omaha, NE Holland Center US
10-29 Minneapolis, MN Orpheum Theatre US
10-30 Chicago, IL Auditorium Theatre US
10-31 Louisville, KY – Louisville Palace Theatre US
11-02 Toronto, ON Massey Hall CA
11-03 Boston, MA The Orpheum US
11-06 New York, NY United Palace US
11-08 New York, NY Beacon Theater US
11-09 Philadelphia, PA Academy of Music US

2009 Europe:
11-12 Stockholm Philadelphia Church SE
11-14 Berlin Huxleys Neue Welt DE
11-15 Copenhagen Vega DK
11-17 London Troxy UK
11-18 Paris Elysee Montmartre FR
11-19 Koln E-Werk DE
11-21 The Hague Crossing Border NL
11-22 Antwerp Crossing Border BE

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PS. Wouldn’t you just LOVE to hear these guys cover “Tweeter And The Monkeyman”?

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