Something Else Entirely
The music scene in the Twin Cities of Minnesota has a secret - one that is itching, dying to get out. It's only a matter of time before it gets out, prompting locals to ask: how could I have missed this for so long? But right now, several forces seem to be in place to keep this secret tucked away, hidden at the corner bar on the West Bank or the upstairs emporium in the Halloween capitol of the world. But you, lucky Netizen, have stumbled upon it. Follow us into this hole in the wall, which happens to be the right place at the right time, and we'll tell you a little more about it.... Come, sit down here by the bar, let's order a beer. You see, this secret is a band, the one playing tonight. They have a name, but not one you'll hear very often. 'We are Lazy Susan' is about the only introduction you'll get from the guys on stage. But sit tight, and pay no attention to names - what you're about to see and hear goes beyond labels and easy sound bites. After all, this is music, isn't it? Talking about it just ain't the same as hearing it, seeing it, experiencing it. (Speaking of which, why not dial up some tunes while you're here? It might actually make this illusion come to life...) Alright, they're ready to start. The sound check is done, the lights go down, and you hear the first few notes ring out. Look! On stage is a bunch of guys burning holes in the stage carpet with moves, sweat, and pure electric energy. Drums, bass, guitar (hey, is that a trombone???) - and in front, Justin Bell: a unique singer-songwriter who combines the burning solos of Stevie Ray Vaughan with the the hook-laden choruses of Counting Crows. Hey, these songs are actually pretty good! And the band isn't just standing there - they actually appear to be enjoying themselves! Could this be possible? Can you get worked up watching a band nearly as much as you enjoy listening to them? Justin Bell Of course it is - you just don't get it enough! Sure, you've seen other bands that are fun to watch - but when's the last time you went home humming one of their songs in your head? No, this band in front of you is different. They're both exciting to watch and they have great songs. Maybe you don't know their name yet, but damned if you're not going to find out so you can see them next time they blow through town... You look around and see the other lucky patrons agree by nodding their heads, tapping their feet, or abandoning self-consciousness and dancing their asses off. So why are these guys still such a well-kept secret? 'I hate all that cocky bandleader frontman stuff', says Bell, with his usual deference. 'I just like being part of a band - and letting our music do the talking.' That's why you'll rarely hear Justin introduce himself while he's onstage, preferring to lump himself in with Lazy Susan, his rotating cast of bandmates and guest stars that give these songs the power they deserve. Anchored by the rock-solid drumming and intricate vocal harmonies of Ben Young, Lazy Susan is more than just a band - it's a freakin' metaphor. So why do the CDs, the T-shirts, the bumper stickers say 'Justin Bell & Lazy Susan'? Forget about all that...why does it matter? You're here. You're probably quite inebriated. And you're definitely having the time of your life - experiencing a great band and a great buzz. You may not remember your own name by the end of the night - but be sure to take home that CD. Pop it in the stereo tomorrow afternoon. After that, you won't be asking about the name. You'll be asking yourself - 'When's the next show?'