Mostly Monkee

Mostly Monkee


Mostly Monkee plays gypsy cow-punk reggae music - like Elvis Costello, Violent Femmes and Sublime woke up wearing each others socks. The extraordinary live show of tight songs and singer Ben Willman's soulful and uncompromising voice leave fans thrilled and talking.


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.


Not Today

Written By: Ben Willman

Who knows if the pitcher comes two for one
Do I run out now if you're the one
Summer time's in until its out in the autumn
The lines are short but they're getting longer

Waking up late, on the weekend
One leg's over me, both half sleeping
I can see the blinds and the sun its creeping
The best things change though I want to keep them (but)

Not Today
Not Today
I'm living now

One day all the mirrors won't hide the lines
My steps will slow down with the march of time
Will the ladder hold up till I reach the top run?
Will love still rock when the summer wave's gone?

Ice cubes, mint leaves in mojitos
Roof lips turn pink as the sun goes
Friends and drinks they keep it level
Things are bound to get complicated (but)

Not Today
Not Today
I'm living now


Mexican Highway - EP (2004)

Set List

Typical 1 hour set list includes 8 originals, 1 cover (1/3 sublime-like reggae-rock, 1/3 Old 97-Violent-Femish cow-punk, 1/3 rock'n roll):

Not Today
East Village Girl
Backs of Blue Cars

Covers: "Don't Push" (Sublime),ska-i-fied "Just Like Heaven" (The Cure), Take me to the river (Al Green), "Canary in a Coalmine" The Police - for examples...