Solyoni | Prairie Monsters

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Rock: Folk Rock Rock: Americana Moods: Mood: Quirky
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Prairie Monsters

by Solyoni

With road fables rivaling anything that beset Ulysses Everett McGill, Solyoni attempt to channel the unsettling pathos of the 'true west.'
Genre: Rock: Folk Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Scarecrow Country
5:49 $0.99
2. Hill Boys
1:52 $0.99
3. Vacuuming the Snow
3:00 $0.99
4. Gold Mime Robberies
2:19 $0.99
5. The Ballad of Wiley Granger and the Town with no Sidewalks
3:17 $0.99
6. Interlude at Six Flags
1:15 $0.99
7. Amusement Park Untitled
3:45 $0.99
8. TruckerShoePolishShoeShineMachine
3:30 $0.99
9. Cooler Full of Plums
2:22 $0.99
10. Stagecoach Inn
2:40 $0.99
11. Tiny Song
1:33 $0.99
12. Menu at a Restaurant
2:18 $0.99
13. Albert Lee Hey Hey
2:46 $0.99
14. The Highway
3:21 $0.99
15. Toenail Moon
1:45 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Album Summary:
When we set out to work on "Prairie Monsters," we didn't have much of a plan at all. We (Solyoni songwriters Dominic Aulisio and Dan Lurie) were presented with the task of delivering a 1992 Honda Accord from Akron, OH 2500 miles west across I-90 to Seattle, WA. It would be an adventure that would hopefully inspire us and conjure up new ideas and feelings, etc. We see the world around us as absurd, beautiful, heart breaking, inspiring, and hilarious. We just wanted to try and articulate the things we encountered and witnessed, loosely played against the archetypal concept of the 'road record.' What followed is the collection of music on this album. In some instances, there are more conventional songs and melodies reflecting the moods and feelings of what proved to be a somewhat rocky journey. There is plenty of loneliness, uncertainty, and frustration to be had on the road (we broke down twice and actually only made it as far as Buffalo, WY before the car died). But there is also a sense of hope and promise that comes with each new day as you roam from town to town. There are a variety of songs that try to capture these moods. In other instances, the songs are more narrative driven. These songs are inspired by the wonder and inspiration of seeing new things. "What's going on behind that grain silo?" "Who built these metal dinosaurs?" "Why is there a building made entirely of corn?" While none of the tales told on "Prairie Monsters" answer any of these burning questions, all the stories are inspired by the tragic and rusting beauty of the American Midwest.

Recording Notes:
Prairie Monsters was recorded over the course of two years on 4-tracks, laptops, and in home studios in Seattle, WA, Athens, OH, and Wilmington, N.C. The album was mixed by Aaron Semer of Seattle band The Plains, and mastered in Athens, OH by Adam Fox of Parker Ben Parker.

Solyoni Bio:
While Solyoni's musical endeavors currently take place primarily in Seattle, the ruminations of the band began in Athens, Ohio in the spring of 1999. Friends bound by a common lust for generic cereal mascots, Solyoni braintrust Dan Lurie and Dominic Aulisio agreed to dwell together in a 5' by 9' one bedroom efficiency for a period of one year. Lurie and Aulisio precociously assumed that if they picked up musical instruments they had no idea how to play, an avalanche of brilliant song writing would logically ensue. Living at the time in a commune of hunters and artisans, they didn't have far to search for more talent to flesh out their desired 'sound.' Enlisting any willing and able-bodied musician, Solyoni forged a tradition of incorporating varied musical talents. Lyrically, Solyoni attempts to weave interesting off-kilter tales, or give unusual perspectives on common themes. Musically, the personality of the songs is aided significantly by the considerable talents of Aaron Semer and Jon Kilian of Seattle band The Plains, Robert Lurie, José Sandoval, Chris Pierson, and Bethany Gordon, as well as Adam Fox of Ohio's Parker Ben Parker. This ever-growing collective of musicians is spread all across the country, though Solyoni's current live band is stationed in Seattle where Dan Lurie takes up residency.



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Buy This Record!
Mazel Tov! Solyoni has masterfully captured the cross-country experience in Prairie Monsters. This album doesn't just recount the story of two men's journey from Appalachia to Seattle, it takes you along for the ride.

Tracks like TruckerShoePolishShoeShineMachine and Vacuuming the Snow slice to the core of Middle America like 3-holed Xerox paper through moist skin. And like any good adventure, Prairie Monsters wistfully recalls the forbidden romance and heartbreak of life on the road in songs such as Amusement Park Untitled and Menu at a Restaurant.

Maybe the standout track is Gold Mine Robberies, with its raw vocals and electric guitars.

After listening to this album you will realize two things. Solyoni, like their music, is an American Treasure. And secondly, once to Seattle, that old Honda had to really, really reek.

T. Royale

having traversed across america along a similar path about a month after our fearless songwriters did, i am always able to revisit my memories after listening to Prarie Monsters, particiularly "The Highway" and "Toenail Moon." it's definitely the album to play when wanting to remember how you got to where you are now.

Pete S.

They skipped the heroin trip and drove cross country instead. GENIUS!
This is the record Jeff Tweedy would make if he had a better sense of humor and stopped pining over needles past. These guys inject so much emotion, pain, humor, and sawdust into every lyric, one gets distracted from the thoughtfully terrific musical production behind it. It's really two albums, one about the depth of Dan and Dom's souls and one about having an alt-country smilefest. It's really up to you which one you feel like concentrating on at any given moment. Either way, this CD is classic. Buy em up now, because this pressing will be worth something somday: when the Solyoni crew has amassed the cult following they already deserve. And would a vinyl pressing ever be possible? We should all cross our fingers and hope.

Andy Dilbeck

This music is nice. I like it. I like this record. solyoni is neat. they are my friends. they really know how to make a nice record. my favorite song is all of the songs. i like to sing their songs. the kids at school call me names because i am different. this record is different too, like me. i like it a lot.


will leave you offering the keys to your Honda Accord
Retelling an adventure destined to rival that of Lewis and Clark, Aulisio and Lurie’s lyrics capture the idealism of the American west. With a telling honesty, an irreverent wit, and a quintessentially American voice, Prairie Monsters is destined to do for American music what Mark Twain did for American literature. With rugged optimism Solyoni invites us to share their disappointments, desires, delirium, and delights, reminding us that the point of the journey is not to arrive.


I remember when I owned socks...
...but Solyoni has long since rocked them clean off. 'Prairie Monsters' is what 'Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas' would be if Hunter were't so preoccupied with mescaline. The grand mystique, romance and adventure of the American Road Trip, perfectly encapsulated in a shiny silver disc.

'Prairie Monsters' is the quintessential low-fi death march through the blackened heart and lungs of the American Dream.


will leave you staggered with their potential
The songs are an ecletic mix of radio friendly rock and folk. The songs have improved drastically from their earlier work. The songs themselves evoke a surreal feel of the american midwest which at times is strange but always entertaining.