Mostly Monkee
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Mostly Monkee

Band Rock Reggae


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Mexican Highway - EP (2004)



One languid summer afternoon in the nation's capital, commuters were spit from the metro escalator onto the rim of Dupont circle, amidst Ecuadorian wool street vendors, children's hip-hop CD missionaries, a 6'5" figure in a panama jack hat and two other characters set up a portable amp, mic stand, pocket kit and standup-bass against a wall as folks settled and drifted in fits like a windless day. A kid turns to his circle of fellow van shoes, bangs and tatoos, talks , puts a boom box down, and walks up to group of musicians, words are exchanged.

Moments later acoustic bass - like a heartbeat born of the idling engines nearby driven by frenetic bundle sticks on drum heads and a throaty guitar, set an addictive bed of beats that the three kids, and their tatoos take turns popping, locking, and dancing to. And for this moment on this afternoon, if you came out of the subway you'd stop and listen under the carefully planted trees and wonder what you've seen.

Mostly Monkee is the music of singer/writer Ben Willman and is a finger bowl of influences from the beach-party soul of Sublime, the grimy boot sole punk/reggae of he Clash, and the unstoppable cow/punk of the Old 97's and Violent Femmes - cured by years spent on the East Coast from the anti-folk scene of East Village, the warehouse culture of Williamsburg, Brooklyn and the urban cocktail of immigrants and history in the U street corridor, and Mt. Pleasant district of Washington D.C. and mixed with one measure of the urban beach in his mind.