Monkeyhands band Santa Cruz
A&E

Love Your Local Band: Monkeyhands

Monkey hands plays Friday, June 16 at Henfling’s Tavern

You know the saying: The show must go on. For Monkeyhands’ singer Mike Hulter, that means performing some of his most recent shows lying down. His back pain is serious, he says, but he won’t cancel. “I usually wake up and think, ‘I’m going to cancel tonight.’ Then by the afternoon, I work it a little bit so I can at least tolerate the car ride,” he says.

Not only does he put up with it, he even wrote a song about it called “Flat On Your Back.” The whole thing might not have worked for another band, but Monkeyhands mix serious and silly seamlessly. As far as the audience is concerned, it’s all part of the show.

“We can’t go full-on Radiohead, but we also can’t go full-on Weird Al,” he says, describing the band’s parameters.

Hulter finds his current setback an opportunity to show off the band members. (“At first they would hide. Now they can’t, it’s perfect.”) The band formed last October, and mainly play every Tuesday at Bocci’s Cellar as the house band for an amateur comedy night. In 10 years of playing music, Hulter says, this is the first band that’s really clicked with his style of mixing serious and whimsical in whatever genre the band is feeling.

“I’ve always resisted genres. And these guys as well. They’ve each found a genre that they’ve been in. But you can tell there’s so much more going on,” Hulter says.


INFO: 9 p.m. Friday, June 16. Henfling’s Tavern, 9450 Hwy. 9, Ben Lomond. Free. 336-9318.

Contributor at Good Times |

Aaron is a hard-working freelance writer with a focus on music, art, food, culture and travel. In addition to Good Times, he's a regular contributor to Sacramento News & Review, VIA Magazine and Playboy. When he's not working, he's either backpacking, arguing about music or working on his book about ska. One thing's for sure—he knows more about ska than you.

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