Sunday, July 5, 2009
Talk Of NoMi Band "WATSON" Playing The Jordan Pond During National Night Out...
Photos By John Hoff
Recently, the band WATSON "went NoMi" when drummer Brian "Thong Master" Mondl put a NoMi sticker on his drum. Though Mondl is the only member of the band who actually lives in NoMi, the band periodically makes its way to North Minneapolis to practice. Here's a link to their MySpace page with some musical samples, click here.
Word is there is often "drama-o-rama" when the band finds its way here. One time, a band member parked his car and a police vehicle pulled up behind. The band member assumed he must have parked too close to the fire hydrant.
Yeah, that's the kind of innocent assumption you bring with you from the suburbs. Pretty funny stuff. It turned out the police were arresting somebody nearby for a gun crime. As for the fire hydrant...WHAT fire hydrant?
Another time, some mysterious person defecated on the porch of the house where the band was practicing, apparently out of misplaced retaliation for some resident repeatedly calling the police. Of course, as is so often the case with these forms of retaliation, it was the wrong house.
This is probably the point where I should pointedly mention North Minneapolis has seen a sudden, overwhelming drop in crime in the past year. Now is the time to snap up the bargains and get in on the ground floor of a revitalized urban utopia merely five minutes from downtown Minneapolis.
But back to the band...
Word is the band is trying to figure out the permit process and so forth, trying to make the idea of playing on the Jordan Pond a reality. Obviously, the question readers will have is whether the band is any good...
Well, I saw the band a couple nights ago at the Fine Line, and I'll be the first to say they rock. Their lead vocalist has an amazing range and belts out the tunes like he's singing for his life, his supper, and the heart of the most beautiful girl in the world...all at once. Tomorrow he will be needing something to soothe his vocal cords, but tonight he will be The God Of Rock. Like buying a home in NoMi, this band gives you way more than your money's worth.
But on another note...
Watson's original songs tend to be about love, about relationships, about longing. This is the kind of thing the college kids like, I suppose, but considering three of the four band members are married, and the fourth one is engaged, I think Watson should kick their lyrical complexity up a notch, even if this means taking some risks with their art which may not succeed.
One of their cover songs--"Love Light" by the Grateful Dead--was performed so well that I was blown away, but then rather disappointed to learn it was merely a cover. After listening to the Grateful Dead version on YouTube, click here, I've reached the following verdict: Watson's cover is better than the original.
There's nothing wrong with cover songs if you're THAT GOOD (and they really are THAT GOOD) it's just I find myself longing for something a little more edgy in their original material, something more political, possibly something which tells me, "This song came out of their life experiences."
I hope our public officials will be helpful in clearing the underbrush of necessary permits, and the songs of WATSON will soon be heard on the Jordan Pond.
Oh, one final note: see that hand sign the drummer is making?
That is NOT a sign for "devil horns."
No, it turns out that gesture means, "Behold, I am the Thong Master."