WWE Money In the Bank - The Ladders Only Lead Down - by Big Vin Vader

Money In the Bank - The Ladders Only Lead Down   follow@bigvinvader


I was excited for Money in the Bank this year, I really was.  In theory, it sounded like the most promising line-up in years for the titular ladder match.  AJ Styles, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Shinsuke Nakamura are obviously some of the best workers in the world, let alone WWE, regardless of brand.  On top of that, Dolph Ziggler may be lost in the current product’s shuffle, but is still a hell of a wrestler when motivated, and Baron Corbin may not be much beyond a brutal monster heel, but he plays that part very well.  Beyond that, the fact that SmackDown Live would be hosting the first-ever women’s MITB ladder match was a huge deal.  The SD women’s division has been outshining RAW’s own ever since the initial brand split, and the addition of Charlotte and Tamina after the shake-up only added to the incredible promise of the match itself.  The historic aspect alone should have made this something to remember, and given the talent of the women involved (Charlotte, Natalya, Becky Lynch, Tamina, and Carmella), the match itself should have easily delivered on that initial promise.  On top of that, the show was only scheduled for five matches—all of the non-ladder matches being for titles—theoretically leaving all of the filler by the wayside, and possibly even allowing things to wrap up early.  Boy, did they fuck things up.


Let’s take a quick look at each match’s finish, and maybe the problems will make themselves plain:


-James Ellsworth won the women’s ladder match by retrieving the briefcase for Carmella

-The Usos retained the SD Tag Titles by getting themselves counted out

-Naomi forced Lana to submit after Carmella entered and teased cashing in her MITB briefcase

-Jinder Mahal pinned Randy Orton after Orton spent an eternity fighting off the Singh Bros. on the floor (yet not getting counted out)

-Breezango pinned the Ascension in an unannounced, sub-four-minute match

-Baron Corbin snuck into the ring to take out Nakamura and Styles before claiming the briefcase


Now I can’t be the only one to think that’s way too many bullshit endings on a relatively sparse card.  The women’s MITB ladder match is my biggest point of contention, so let’s just jump right in.

The participants made their way to the ring and only then did WWE decide to show a video on the history of women’s wrestling within their own promotion.  It was a good video, although susceptible as always to their selectively-remembered, revisionist history (Wendi Richter was there, but no mention of the Original Screwjob).  Also, very strange to do this with the women waiting in the ring to begin their match.  But as we all know, WWE never misses an opportunity to trumpet their progressive attitudes and champion the strides they’ve made in presenting women as serious athletes and wrestlers.  And the ladder match should have been the perfect opportunity to demonstrate those steps forward.  Just think: this is a dangerous, hard-hitting, fast-paced match with huge stakes, the sorts of things that WWE and the rest of the (American) wrestling world confined to the male portion of the roster.  But they couldn’t just let the talented wrestlers spread that message on their own.  Of course not.

Just deciding to kick the show off with this match spoke volumes, and it led me to believe that it was going to be the exact sort of hot opener that the show needed, as well as the perfect spot on the card to give the women the exposure they deserve.  Tamina set a fast pace by dominating every other participant, but before long the match filled up with way too much dead space.  And that led directly into one of my biggest problems with the whole thing: just because there had never been a women’s MITB ladder match prior to this, most of the wrestlers were booked to look like they had no idea what to do.  Some of the best female wrestlers in the world were made to look like clueless undercard workers.  I don’t know how many times somebody was alone in the ring, or the last person left standing, only to look around confusedly or simply stare at the hanging briefcase as though they didn’t have any idea how to get it.  This was especially true of Natalya, who was made to kneel while gazing upward several times throughout the match.  More than that, when she did get ready to climb, she had to adjust the ladder’s placement slowly a number of times in order to make sure it was right.  I understand that this could have been legit in order to ensure her safety during such a high-risk bout, but the lethargic pace at which she moved makes me think that somebody laying out the match wanted her to look like an inexperienced kid rather than the excellent wrestler she is.  Charlotte and Tamina showed the surest footing throughout, dominating the others, and actually looking like they knew how to climb a ladder.  Sure, it makes sense to give an edge to certain performers, but it was disheartening to see so many great athletes made to look like fools.  None of the men showed any of that sort of hesitation in their match, not even those new to MITB matches.

Still, the action was pretty good when things were going, and the crowd was incredibly supportive and into everything as it happened.  Of course, that came back to bite everyone in the ass, as I’ll discuss in a minute.  At one point, Becky Lynch seemed bound to win, quickly climbing the ladder after putting Carmella away.  That would have been a fantastic moment, since Becky is still one of SmackDown’s most popular wrestlers, despite being given very few major opportunities since dropping the Women’s Title to Alexa Bliss last year.  Instead of that crowd-pleasing finish, however, we got James Ellsworth running in and tipping Becky off the ladder.  Then, after realizing that Carmella was still knocked out, he climbed the ladder himself and grabbed the briefcase for her.  So the best finish, somebody decided, to the first-ever women’s MITB match (and remember just how many times they touted that historic fact) was to have one of the participants’ (storyline) boyfriend interfere and win it when she and all of the others proved unable to do so.  That was not only the stupidest possible finish to the match, but also the most offensive decision WWE has made in quite some time.  Then again, I can’t even lay all of my frustration on the company itself, since there was an enormous positive reaction from the crowd encouraging Ellsworth to climb the ladder.  What the fuck, guys?

I understand that Carmella is a heel and is meant to attract heat, but I don’t buy that for an instant in this particular case.  The SmackDown women’s division is loaded with incredible athletes, any of whom deserved the briefcase on their own merits, but instead the best way to get the job done is to have a man win the match.  Yeah, they like controversy and everything, and this sure as hell got people talking, but that stands in opposition to everything the “Women’s Revolution” stands for.  Even as a one-off joke or storyline initiator, that move was seen by millions of people, and basically told them that a man is still the best choice and has the best odds at winning a major ladder match, even if he’s not a participant.  That type of hypocrisy reeks of just as much bullshit as WWE aligning themselves with Be a Star while allowing JBL to taunt Mauro Ranallo and trigger a depressive incident, leading to the former’s resignation.

But all of that aside, what this really stands as is the company making a mockery of its own women’s division and all of the great athletes within it.  The latest news is that Daniel Bryan stripped Carmella of the briefcase and scheduled a rematch.  That bodes well for the long-term, but it fails to change the fact that it was still booked as the original finish.  Or that James Ellsworth is a comedy character who should have nothing to do with major storylines (see: Dean Ambrose vs. AJ Styles).  And not to discredit her, but Carmella is the least-experienced and (theoretically) least-deserving wrestler in the match.  The whole thing just left a bad impression, and the rumors that the women on both RAW and SmackDown are legitimately pissed off only furthers the impact of this stupid decision.  The bottom line is that it becomes increasingly harder to take these sorts of moments as seriously as the company throws such offensive nonsense into supposedly-important matches like they did here.  The Ellsworth finish still goes down on the books as the original ending, and the change of plans is either a reaction to backlash, or was the plan from the start.  That sort of back-and-forth booking and outright manipulation is still pretty hard to take.

In between the ladder matches came all three title matches, and they delivered about as much as you’d expect B-level midcard matches to do.  Then again, this was MITB, so the marquee matches are, by definition, not the title bouts.  The New day and the Usos put on a decent match for the SD tag titles.  It really does seem like the New Day work their hardest when they don’t have the complacency a title provides them with, and this was one of their best outings in recent memory.  Then the Usos rolled out of the ring to get themselves counted out and ended a good match far too short.  Well, that feud will continue.

Naomi vs. Lana for the Women’s Title was passable, especially given Lana’s lack of experience wrestling.  Carmella distracted them both by teasing a cash-in, but thankfully that didn’t happen and Naomi retained.  Just think how amazing a Charlotte/Becky/Natalya vs. Naomi title match could have been.  Apparently, we’ll have to wait to see that.

Randy Orton fell to Jinder Mahal in his hometown, continuing that curse, as well as the Jinder experiment.  The match was fine, and as displeased as everyone else is, you really can’t say that they’re putting on the worst match each time they wrestle.  The appearance of STL wrestling legends was a nice touch, but ultimately meaningless when they were dragged into the match yet made no impact on the inevitable loss for Orton.

The men’s MITB ladder match was the star of the show, but even that one was kind of a disappointment as far as my initial expectations.  The reason why is pretty easy to pick out, as Shinsuke Nakamura got jumped by Baron Corbin during his entrance, which kept him out of the match for all but the last ten minutes.  It’s hard to argue that Shinsuke, along with AJ Styles, is the most exciting, dynamic wrestler in the company, and the thought of him squaring off in a no-DQ environment against the likes of Kevin Owens, Styles, and Sami Zayn was a big part of the match’s appeal.  Granted, he’s still somewhat protected in only succumbing to a sneak attack, and didn’t have to worry about selling or looking weak to the other wrestlers’ offenses in the match itself.  That still doesn’t change the fact that he ought to have won the whole thing over Corbin after a hard-fought battle.

What I can say, though, is that the time he did spend in the ring was fantastic.  Making a not-so-surprise, long-overdue return for the final third of the action, Shinsuke cleaned house, delivering a Kinshasa (sometimes several) to every other participant in the match.  And then he and AJ went at it one-on-one.  And it was the best part of the entire PPV, despite only lasting less than five minutes.  In fact, the brevity of their exchange was a big contributor to its success.  The two set aside the ladder, wanting to settle matters between them rather than rush to win the briefcase.  That’s setting up a future match for sure, and given the quality of matches they’ve had in Japan, there’s a great chance that their next could be the best WWE match of the last few years.  But the company is being smart, and letting things play their course out naturally.  For once they aren’t rushing to deliver a big match, and it looks like that patience will pay off very well.  Styles still looks to be feuding with Kevin Owens over the US Championship, and Shinsuke seems locked in to take on Baron Corbin after the pre-match beatdown.  Hopefully Corbin, who got the win after dumping Shinsuke and AJ off the ladder, won’t be rushed to cashing in his title shot, and that storyline will be given some time to grow as well.

Beyond all of that, the action in the match itself was pretty good, and there were the expected number of high-risk spots provided by the ladder.  Sami Zayn’s sunset-flip powerbomb on Dolph Ziggler from the top is probably the most notable of all, and Zayn himself was the quiet MVP of the entire match in my opinion.  So hopefully he gets put into a decent program soon, because he deserves it, and the crowd is still totally behind him.  

On a whole, the show was pretty close to abysmal, and I’m still pretty pissed off about the conclusion to the women’s match, but at least there were a few positives to take away.  I’ve turned my opinion around a little bit since Sunday night, when I was nearly willing to write the entire show off as a failure.  Still, considering that MITB is one of WWE’s bigger B-level shows, and especially when reminded that it came on the tails of the absolutely incredible New Japan Dominion show, you would think that they would at least put more of an effort out.  It was disappointing, that’s for sure, but not bad enough to give up on the product entirely.

Up next we have the hideously misnamed Great Balls of Fire RAW PPV, which sounds somewhat promising at this point.  The main attraction is of course the Universal Title match between Brock Lesnar and Samoa Joe.  That match-up is incredible, and should at least deliver some hard-hitting action and hopefully make Brock look like he has to work for his position at the top.  Unfortunately, given rumors of a planned Reigns-Lesnar match for the belt at WrestleMania next year, it’s almost certain that Joe will be losing the contest.  That said, there’s still hope for an impressive match, given the fact that Joe is one of the few men at Brock’s exact height and weight.  More than that, he incorporates hard MMA-style offense into his repertoire, and has legitimate combat experience.  So even with him going under, Joe has the credibility and experience to at least be booked as a threat to Brock.  Plus, the entire build-up to the match has been very well-executed and engaging, so there’s definite evidence that WWE won’t just drop the ball with this one, predictable outcome or not.

Hot Sun, Cool Theater: Summer’s Movie Series - by Rob Braithewaite

That big ball of fire in the sky can get pretty hot this time of year. If you are looking to beat the heat, or just want to see an older movie on the big screen, the way you might never have before, the Gateway Film Center, CAPA, the Wexner Center for the Arts and Studio 35 have you covered.


Summer of Bond. July 1st - September 10th.

All twenty-six James Bond movies will be shown, in order, including the non-canon Casino Royale, starring Peter Sellers, and Never Say Never Again.

series information and tickets


Summer Movie Series. June 23rd - August 6th.

If you’ve got an ol’-timey “classics” itch, this series is your scratching post. Hitchcock, Bogey & Bacall, Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera! Fritz the Night Owl hosts a few of the new blood titles.

series information and tickets


The New Hollywood: Deep Cuts 1967-1978. July 6th - August 24th.

Deep Cuts is right. Ain’t no radio hits on this list. See something you’ve never heard of before! The double feature of Juggernaut and The Driver is inspired. Inserts… well, that’s a Richard Dreyfuss movie no one mentions. It could be good.

series information and tickets

Free Tuesday Matinees. July 11th - August 8th.

Free movies. On Tuesday. In the afternoon.

series information

Wex Drive-In.

When the ball of fire goes down, the projector lights up.

July 20th: Wattstax
August 17th: Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

Free screenings.

series information


The New Hollywood: Classic Hits. July 3rd - September 3rd.

The Wex has partnered with Studio 35 to complement its Deep Cuts series with more familiar titles from that era.

series information


Watershed Rankings Day 6 (Songs 11-1) by Nick Jezierny


Originally published in 2015 - Watershed returns to Comfest June 24th, 2017. Click here for details on that show and other gigs

Day 6 (Songs 11-1)

Click here to read Watershed rankings day 5


Manifesto (What I Like To Do) (11): Talk about a breath of fresh air. This little gem just kills it. “If Jerry was alive today, I’d kick him in the balls” is wonderful. The “I ain’t hurting nobody except my body” definitely is something that I really want to tell my doctor at my next checkup.

Colin G. - We knew going into Brick & Mortar we had to change up our entire approach to recording. With Joe O. living 600 miles away, we simply didn't have the luxury to rehearse and woodshed every idea the way we had the previous four records. More so, our actual time to record the record would be much tighter than the previous two, where we basically worked for as long as it took to make a record we were happy with. So we decided to embrace a more "Bob Dylan" approach to the project. We locked ourselves inside Curry House with Mike Landolt and just went from one song to the next very quickly: arrangements on the fly and very little second guessing. Once we had the song down, boom, Mike hit record and we went until we had a great take. Joe Peppercorn was critical to this approach as he provided a "Patalan-esque" musicianship that would be missing since we were tracking in Columbus away from The Loft.

Anyway….. after one long day in the studio I ended up at the Treebar. I then ended up back on the sofa at Curry House. I had this lick lying around and feeling buzzed & exhausted, I just scribbled down the words on a notebook and passed out. The next morning the guys showed up and I showed them the idea. Before I even brushed my teeth we made the necessary additions and subtractions and tracked "Manifesto."  

The point of this long-winded story is that if we had had the time to think about this song for two weeks or practice it 100 times, I can almost guarantee we would have talked ourselves out of it or ruined the fun with over-thinking. I'm sure somebody would have said, "Guys, you can't sing about kicking the deceased Jerry Garcia in the balls. That will kill sales in San Francisco." Instead we caught lightning in a bottle and Jerry got kicked in the balls. Win - Win.

Ricki C. - Nick Lowe's production credo for Elvis Costello & the Attractions' 1978 masterpiece album This Year's Model was "Bash it down and we'll tart it up later."  From all accounts - confirmed by Colin's explanation above - that pretty much sums up the Brick & Mortar prod-style.  In my rankings of Watershed albums I have Brick & Mortar second after The More It Hurts.  (Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know The Fifth Of July is great, but I think the songwriting on Brick just beats it out.)  (And on the Ricki C. rock & roll planet, songwriting ALWAYS wins out over production.  I'm a pretty firm believer in the proverb, "They shoulda released the demos.")

But I digress.......I love everything about "Manifesto."  (I heartily believe Joe Peppercorn would disagree with me on this point.)  I love the lyrics, I love the riff, I love that the song is serious AND fun, simultaneously.  ("Serious fun" is pretty much my definition of rock & roll.)  I love the line, "Underground Garage won't play this song because our name is lame / What else do you expect when you start in seventh grade?" because it's right on the money; if Watershed was called The Riptides or The Parachutes, Little Steven & Company would be all over 'em.

Most of I love that the chorus progresses from "This is what I like to do" to "This is what I wanna do" to, crucially, "This is what I HAVE to do."  Watershed aren't fly-by-night/listen-to-what-we-wrote-on-our laptops/in-ear-monitor/johnny-come-lately assholes, they are True Believers in the rock & roll, and I'm proud to haul their amps.   

Joe O. - "All the politicians together couldn't form one band, but if they did, I'd have to guess they'd sound a lot like Styx" is such a good line it makes me want to break stuff. In Minneapolis last weekend, Colin and I decided that if all the Wall Street investment bankers decided to form a band, it would sound like Bon Jovi. Also: When Colin pronounces the word "poli-tish-ee-ans," he's borrowing that from Ray Davies in the Kinks' song "Apeman." 

Did you know the extremely  talented Milan Karcic made a video made a video for "Manifesto"? 



The Fifth of July (10): Another gem from what may be the band’s best studio release.

Ricki C. - I would concur with Mr. Jezierny that this tune is a gem, and possibly Tim Patalan's production high-water mark with Watershed, but - as stated above - I still think The More It Hurts is their best studio release.  (Taking it one step further, I think The More It Hurts is the best album release ever out of Columbus, Ohio.  Second would The Whiles Colors Of The Year in 2004.  Third would be The Godz first album, back in the 1970's.)  (Yeah, I said that, and I put it in writing.)  (The best record ever out of Columbus SHOULD have been a Romantic Noise album - Willie Phoenix's all-time best band, back in 1978 - but that particular slice of wax never got recorded.)   

Joe O. - This song was made infinitely better by Tim Patalan, when he suggested that the verses needed twice as many words. Then he told me to phrase them like Van Morrison (actually he said Thin Lizzy, which is pretty much the same thing). You can hear this clearly in the lines "Feeling alright but not looking too cool, caught me peeking through the fence of your best friend's swimming pool. Radio playing my favorite song..." and so on.

Colin G. - Tim would leave us alone for long periods of time at The Loft and the only entertainment besides playing was watching a VCR. Around this time the ONLY video for ten miles was The Rolling Stones' Rock n Roll Circus. So we watched it. A bunch. Obviously, The Who performing "A Quick One While He is Away" is the highlight of the video and maybe western culture. So...... after 20 beers one night Dave started doing his spot-on Keith Moon impression while we were practicing "5th of July." "Dude, play it like that when we record it." "But I'm just messing around." "Play it like that." And so it was.....

Our best video was shot in 8 hours and cost $750; $200,000 less than the Train video being shot at the same time. (Or so we heard.) Which video is a better value? You be the judge.

Watershed for $750

Train "Give Myself to You" for $200,000


Broken (9): This probably is the song that wouldn’t make most people’s top 10 Watershed songs. (Of course, I’m assuming people other than myself actually think about stuff like this.) I just think it’s a ridiculously good song.

Joe O. - I agree, Nick. Definitely one of my favorites from Brick & Mortar. I always hear this song as being inspired by Springsteen. Colin hears it (especially the main guitar lick) as being inspired by Bob Mould. I'm right, of course, but either way, the song is great.

Colin G. -  Brick & Mortar was pretty close to being finished when one day, while driving back from Pittsburgh, I was listening to "Who's Next" and it was just crushing our record. As soon as I got home I told Mike Landolt to stop mixing and let me add another big 100- watt guitar to a couple of tracks. I promised one pass only. That extra guitar saved "Broken." You can hear it at the top. It's the one with balls. FYI - I think this was the only song we didn't play in Raleigh for the Watershed Weekend or whatever when we played like 75 songs. No reason. Just sort of forgot.

No footage of this one so enjoy Watershed covering the Scrawl classic "Charles" at Comfest in 1823. We have always had much in common with our sister band Scrawl. We both love Cheap Trick. We are both resented by real musicians for only using 3 or 4 chords. We both use two vocalists who play guitar & bass and who could possibly be dating each other. 



Black Concert T-Shirt (8): This is the song where Watershed announced what it was all about. I loved it when I heard the remake that kicks off “The More It Hurts, The More It Works.” Definitely on any workout mix on my iPod. I love the Black Sabbath-y riff in the middle of the song.

Joe O. - Both versions of the song are cool, but this one better captures the feeling of going to a live show, which is what the song is all about. Interestingly, Andyman Davis from CD101 (now 102.5) in Columbus always liked the other version better, because it has words in the bridge. Speaking of words, when we recorded the original version of this song for Star Vehicle, the producer, Frank Aversa, tried to talk us into changing "baby you don't give two shits" to "don't give two fish sticks." I love you, Frank, buddy, but that's wack. Even Mrs. Paul would agree.

Colin G. - The "Black Sabbath-Y lick" is actually "Paranoid." Tim talked us into doing this very late one night. We resisted for a million obvious reasons, but he captured a whole different version of the song. When the solo came I just played a Sabbath riff and I have no idea why. Tim - "flawless." So there you go.


Obvious (7): “Do shots first, ask questions later on” is as fine of an opening lyric as there is. Another energetic ball of fury to kick off a record.

Joe O. - Because of the "smelling the latest issue of Seventeen" line, lots of people seem to think that this song is about me going home with an underage girl, and given what I wrote in Hitless Wonder about how I met my wife, I guess I can't blame them. But come on. You don't have to be 17 (or less) to read Seventeen. You do, however, have to be 17 (or less) to read Maxim Magazine.

Colin G. - My memory of this song is we were rehearsing for recording the 5th of July in downtown Columbus on Gay St where Due Amici is now located. Our pal Jeff Mathis was rehabbing the building and being a rock n roll sort of guy, he let us use the space for pre-production for 5th of July. We had finally wised up and while getting ready to record we took six months off from live shows and just rehearsed new material four nights a week until we got what we needed. I remember one night, we worked on the bridge for "Obvious" from 8 pm until 1 am. That is ALL we worked on. Mind you, the bridge is like 15 seconds long. When we wrapped up for the night Dave just got up from the drums, looked at Joe and I and said, "One fucking bridge for five hours? You guys are crazy."

Suckerpunch (6): This is the live version. From the intro to the lyrics and the power in the recording, it’s a masterpiece. The song really hit home for me a few years ago and it became my personal mantra after getting screwed over at work. I really did get suckerpunched, and this version was helpful to me during that time. I have a friend here in Boise who just loves the solo on the outro (is that even a word?) of the song and he says he will rewind and keep playing it over and over. If I made this list two years ago, this would have been No. 1. It remains a favorite. “Now I’m passing out on a couch that can tell me some stories” is a wonderful visual. What a great tune.

Joe O. - I agree that the live version is the definitive version. The ending may be a tad overblown, but, man, whenever we play it, I'm like, "Damn, this band is rocking. Oh, wait. That band is us."

Everywhere I Turn (5): Just an extremely catchy song that I can’t believe isn’t a part of the band’s regular set. I would have made this the single from “Twister.”

Ricki C. - I must admit, I had not one memory of this song and was forced to pull out my Twister CD to see what was up with the Number 5 ranking.  Nick, I gotta respectfully disagree and put this tune somewhere down in the 40's.  And if Colin or Joe remember it right offhand, I'm gonna say they're lying. 

Joe O. - This one is pretty catchy. But Number 5? Seriously? This song is hard for me to listen to because the mix is so thin and trebly. Seems like all that money we dumped into the Power Station should have bought us a bass knob on the mixing board.

Colin G. - I remember Joe and I riding the subway out to Danny Lawson's house in the pre- gentrified Brooklyn to work on the vocal arrangements. We got some good work done, but waiting to return back to the city on an empty subway platform surrounded by the Turnbull AC's in the middle of the night, I wondered if it had been worth it. Even though we escaped bodily harm at the hands of a Warrior-style NYC street gang, I don't think it was worth it. Seriously? #5? Huh?

Let's just forget about "Everywhere I Turn" and check out this super rare video of "Anniversary" from Jack Cain's home, the Poorhouse in Raleigh, NC.

Star Vehicle (4): This is the song that turned me on to Watershed. Heard it on CD 101, and then I moved to El Paso, Texas, shortly after it came out. It’s amazing that I lived in Columbus for seven years when Watershed was on the rise and I never saw them live. I heard of them, but did not really know them. I was more of a Z-Rock listener and caught more shows at the Alrosa Villa or focused on national bands. I don’t think Columbus radio really backed the band enough in the early years. I began my love affair with the band from afar and preached about them ever since. Nothing beats coming down a great mountain bike trail in our Idaho mountains with this song coming through the headphones. Great track! This also should have been on “Three Chords II."

Joe O. - I can't believe that CD101 played this song. Q-FM? Sure, that would have made sense. The Blitz? Maybe. But CD freaking 101? That station has been way too kind to us (and I hope they don't stop).

Ricki C. - So you know how somewhere back in the rankings I said how much I enjoyed when Watershed would insert an entire song into the middle of "Mercurochrome?"  One night at some long-forgotten show when I was still just a fan/spectator before I was a roadie, the band inserted AN ENTIRE SET into the pause at the 3:07 mark.  Colin & the boys stopped DEAD at that point, went into another song and then just continued the show all the way to the end when they paused again AND THEN WENT BACK INTO the "Going for a ride" sing-a-long to end the set.  Fucking brilliant.

Colin G. - After getting dropped from Epic and all that, we had the title for the next album, but needed the title track. Probably our best attempt at Kinks meets Cheap Trick via kids from Ohio.


If That’s How You Want It (3): The Star Vehicle version is really immeasurably better than the original. It’s as if the band says “Screw it. We’re going to record this how we originally wanted” and then just gave the performance of a lifetime in the studio. The build up to the “na na na” part is tantalizingly awesome. I can honestly say whenever that part of the song comes on, the hair on the my arms kind of stands up. It’s really a tremendous tune. And even though it’s pushing 5 minutes, it doesn’t drag at all. It builds up and delivers. Was No. 1 until about 3 minutes ago when I rock, paper and scissored the final three.

Joe O. - The power of the "na-na-na," man. Journey knew it. Sha-Na-Na knew it. Whoever put the "ram" in the "rama-lama-ding-dong" knew it.

Colin G. - I kind of blew my wad on this one talking about the Twister version. Ranked like #256 or something.


Can’t Be Myself (2): Still don’t know how this song wasn’t a national hit. I included this song on my “I’m A Man, I’m 40! Life Soundtrack” that I put together back in 2007. While it borrows from The Replacements’ “Answering Machine,” it is not a ripoff in any way. This is simply what a hit song sounds like. How record labels passed on this amazes me. That it’s not No. 1 on the list also bother me.

Joe O. - I guess you could say this was a local hit. Hearing it in Ohio Stadium during game day was about the coolest thing ever. Other than AC/DC, Queen, and, strangely, Neil Diamond, not many bands have their songs blasted over stadium speakers. 

Colin G. - I like this song, but if I was going to have to pick one Watershed song that everybody would just go bat-shit crazy about I probably wouldn't have picked this one. But what do i know? I'm the guy on record saying, "Hootie and the Blowfish are a good bar band, but they will never sell any records." I'm glad people enjoy it and hearing it on the radio or over loudspeakers is always a treat. 

The Best Is Yet To Come (1): The live version of this song just kills it. The song has a killer bridge and the live performance on “Three Chords II” is epic. When the “yeah yeah” vocals speed up and trade off into the final push of the song, there is just nothing better. “Don’t forget they didn’t knock you out / you’re just sitting in the corner bleeding from your mouth” … well, just about everyone in the world has felt like that at some point. This inspirational song still gets played when my mood isn’t where it needs to be. Honestly, the studio version doesn’t crack my top 25, which goes to show just how incredibly good the live version of this song is. When I saw it performed at the Bluestone as the opening song last December, it was equally as cool. Deserves to be No. 1.

Colin G. - Lots going on in this little ditty. Do you know this was the official State of Ohio tourism song in 2011-12? It got chosen over a Rascal Flatts song. Not because it was cheaper. No way. Because it was better. As an interesting aside, I cannot name one Rascal Flatts album or song though I think one member may be named Gary. 

Joe O. - This is pretty much the Watershed philosophy. If we didn't believe it, we'd quit.

Please enjoy this super cool video shot from through the eyes of Dave Masica as Watershed takes the stage in 2013.

Alright suckers, there you go. Thanks for reading. Now please, go get a life why don't you?

Watershed Rankings Day 5 (Songs 22-12) by Nick Jezierny


Originally published in 2015 - Watershed returns to Comfest June 24th, 2017. Click here for details on that show and other gigs

Day 5 (Songs 22-12) 

Click here to read Watershed Rankings Day 4 (songs 33-23)


If That’s How You Want It (22): The original version on Twister is a good song. It just lacks the balls of the remake on Star Vehicle. It’s like Jim Steinman overproduced it. It’s the only song on Twister that sounds like it is being held back.

Joe O. - Nah, Steinman didn't hold this one back. What held it back on Twister is that it was really new, and we didn't know how to play it yet. When we went into the studio to record it, I don't think we'd ever played it live. But by the time we re-recorded it for Star Vehicle, we'd been playing it for two years, so we decided to give the song the performance it deserved. 

Colin G. - Listening now, both versions sound pretty much the same to these ears. Good song though. Maybe we should recut for the third time charm. We must have played this every night for about ten years and then we just sorta stopped. Go figure. Couldn't help but watch the video below. Why is the dude taping stuck on Joe while it's obvious I am doing a bunch of exciting shit off-screen? Also of note, Joe has two waters on amp, I have one Bud and one water. Johnny Thunders would not approve.

Watch this! "If That's How You Want It" in all of its glory at the Newport Music Hall in 2000.



You Need Me (21): The thunderous drums are awesome. Really got to appreciate this song hearing it live at Slim’s on a Sunday afternoon while drinking cheap canned beer.

Joe O. - I like the way the line runs up the back of the stockings. I've always liked those kind of high heels too. You know, I... No no no no, don't take 'em off, don't take... Leave 'em on, leave 'em on. Yeah, that's it, a little more to the right, a little more....Everybody wants some. I want some too.

Colin G. - I know, right? And the crazy thing is: 1) We weren't influenced by "Everybody Wants Some." Wasn't even on our radar.  We were going for some kind of Bob Mould meets Cheap Trick thing as crazy as that sounds and 2) Nobody ever once said, "Hey guys, ya know, that sounds a lot like Van Halen." It wasn't until years later we actually noticed. A big shiny acoustic guitar was recorded to make it sound more like the band Sugar but it got lost in the mix. So yeah, I kinda do like the way the line runs up the back of your stockings

Watch this! You guys don't seriously want to watch ANOTHER youtube clip of Watershed performing "You Need Me" do you? Yeesh, that shit was played out years ago. How about State of Green covering "You Need Me?" That's the stuff.


Plan B (20): “Working on a Sunday night / Something didn’t go right” and “When you get to be my age, you shouldn’t be wearing a name tag” are yet another example of great songwriting. “I was going to write short fiction stories and now I’m writing bad checks just to pay for my groceries” also deserves recognition.

Joe O. - One of the best ever songs about what happens when the dream doesn't work out. This is essentially a precursor to Hitless Wonder.

Ricki C. - As a product of Catholic school in the 1960's - where I was smacked by nuns on a semi-regular basis - I've always been a stickler for good grammar in all instances, including rock & roll songs.  That being said, "It was funner when we were younger," is one of my favorite Colin lyrics of all time.  And the fact that he wrote it in his twenties makes it even better, though I have the uneasy feeling that line rings a lot truer in Colin's 40's (and my 60's) than it did then.

Colin G. - Considering Nick's aversion to our darker songs, I'm pleasantly surprised by this ranking. I think most everybody would agree this is a pretty cool song and also that it is virtually unplayable in any format of radio then and now. Thanks to Frank Aversa for giving it a shot on Star Vehicle. Also of note, if Pearl Jam wrote and recorded it, "Plan B" would be one of their five most popular songs. no?

Watch this! From Slim's in Raleigh.


How Do You Feel (19): This song has hit single written all over it, except for it was about a minute too long.

Joe O. - This is the song that got us our deal with Epic. It was a hit, kind of, in Chicago and Appleton, WI. Hearing this song played in drive-time on a big Chicago radio station is definitely one of the career highlights.

Colin G. - We did learn from mistakes other bands from Columbus made in the sense that we knew "How Do You Feel?" was the single and we didn't try set it up with something else or down-play it. Let's dance with who brung us and dance we did. It didn't work out, but at least it had it's chance. It always reacted great. It never failed. It just never succeeded. Nick's right though, it is too long.

Watch this. Promo video for "How Do You Feel?"



Lucky Day (18): If someone said to play a song that sounds like Watershed, this would be a candidate. I think it encompasses the greatness of the band.

Joe O. - I wrote these lyrics while camping on a beach in Sayulita, Mexico. Not much to complain about in a situation like that - except, you know, all the sunshine and sand. 

Colin G. - Dave Masica is a world class drummer and this track proves it.

Watch this! Click here to watch Lucky Day at Columbus Arts Festival 2013


Watch this! Video shot 8 hours and 5,000 beers after 5th of July video.



American Muscle (17): Brilliant word play in this song. The first few times I heard it I wasn’t necessarily a fan, but once I dissected the song, it became easy to love.

Joe O. - This is us trying to do a persona song, where you sing as a character that's clearly not you. (Ray Davies is the best ever at this.) I give myself a pat on the back for working the Davos World Economic Forum into a song. And, of course, for rhyming rupees with groupies.

Colin G. - Only Joe O. could write this song. And only Watershed would encourage him to keep going.  A rock song about bankers? Hells, yeah. Peppercorn and Landolt really fleshed out the vision and extra special thanks to Jerry from O.A.R. for putting together the horn section and just killing it.

Watch this! American Muscle Video



Anniversary (16): Songwriting is fantastic. The live version is spectacular. As I type this, I wonder how the hell this isn’t in the top 10?

Joe O. - This would probably be my #1 favorite Watershed song. I was playing the chords one day when the band was hanging around at Route One Recording, a studio in Mississippi. I had a vocal melody line in my head, but Colin was listening to me play, and in his head he had come up with a different melody. We decided to put them both together into a kind of duet, like Watershed's version of "Baby, It's Cold Outside." 

Colin G. - I would agree with Joe that up to this point, this is the definitive Watershed track. Tim deserves as much credit as the band. When we finish playing it live you can always feel the breathe kind of come out of the crowd. Even people who don't like us or don't care, can't help but to subconsciously acknowledge something special just happened. "Superior" has some of that too. Not sure if any of our other songs do. Maybe "5th of July."

Watch this! Anniversary 2011 Bootleg version 

Or Pro shot from the LC. 2007



Little Mistakes (15): The first time I heard this song I was thrilled because it showed Watershed was continuing its mastery of pop gems.

Joe O. - "Mastery of pop gems" is a stretch, Nick, but we'll take it. 

Colin G. - I cannot overstate how bad Dave Masica's health was when we recorded "Brick and Mortar." Two weeks before we were scheduled to begin Rick Kinsinger and myself got together with Dave and he could barely keep a beat. Mike Landolt asked me, "How is Dave doing? Is he ready?" Without hesitation I answered, "Hell yeah, Catman is ready to rock." Recording 101: Never show your producer any sign of weakness. Dave assured me he would be good to go but I had three drummers on my speed dial just in case his ailing back wouldn't hold up. Damn, if Dave didn't just manage, he crushed it. The first song we recorded was "Little Mistakes" and If I didn't believe in miracles before, I almost do now after watching him lay down this drum track. Listen to those fills at the end. Praise the lord. And booze. It's a miracle.



Laundromat (14): “Two dimes buy a little more time” and the chorus make this one of my favorites. Was kind of bummed it wasn’t played in any of the three Watershed shows I’ve seen. (Hint, hint.)

Joe O. - I like the line, "Or maybe you could hold my breath for me." The specific laundromat I have in mind here is the one at High & Maynard on North Campus in Columbus.

Colin G. - The very last song written for 5th Of July and we were really just running on fumes at that point trying to pull something out of our ass. Not much fun to play live without Pooch on guitar.

On another note, for you bootleggers, it's not a good idea to record right next to a Watershed stage. The volume will blow out your audio. It's not that we are Motorhead or anything, but....we side-wash our big 100 watt amps and turn them up for that  natural distortion ala Pete Townsend, Malcolm Young, Rick Neilsen, and so on & so forth. No distortion pedals.  The upshot is it makes us sound really big and the guitars don't bleed into the vocals. The downside for you front-row types in small clubs is that our stage volume is sorta deafening.

evidence is below.....


Don’t Be Honest (13): Another great song full of energy that really comes to life when seen performed live.

Joe O. - This is a good example of the Peppercorn/Gawel/Oestreich partnership. Catchy and rocking.

Colin G. - Sounds just like a Joe O. song but actually Joe P. came up with initial idea. Landolt chipped in with slow intro part.  Sounds just like Watershed.



New Life (12): Damn, I wish this song was on Three Chords II. OK, I will quit bitching now.

Joe O. - Tim Patalan can either accept the credit or take the blame for this one. I'll let Colin tell that story. Still, I like this tune because, as with "Anniversary," it ended up being an interesting blend of Colin's style and mine.

Colin G. We wrote three different versions of this. I liked #2 the best but Tim had other ideas. "I dig it. Let's just change one more thing. Change all the words to the verses and put in twice as many words and I think we will have it." I like this version too. It's the best one actually.

Ok, not much footage of New Life so let's address the elephant in the room.....

What's up with that other band Watershed from South Africa? Well, make no mistake, we are the actual Watershed as evidence of the video below when they claim they started in 1999. Sorry dudes, we were bad and we were nationwide way before that. We do occasionally get e-mail from confused fans inquiring about a song that isn't ours and we, naturally, claim it was on one of our records. This is funny. Those uptight bastards from across the pond do not find it as amusing and occasionally send us a message telling us to knock it off. To which we respond, "Oh yeah? Why don't you come over here and make us?"  

Watch this! The fake Watershed from South Africa showing no sense of humor and even less a sense of rock n roll. I suspect Train is their favorite American band.


Let's wrap up Day 2 on a positive note with a super-rare version on the never-recorded Watershed cult classic "Five for Two" from Ruby Tuesdays recorded at a 1927 rally to end prohibition.

Watershed Rankings Day 4 (Songs 33-23) by Nick Jezierny


Originally published in 2015 - Watershed returns to Comfest June 24th, 2017. Click here for details on that show and other gigs

Day 4 (Songs 33-23)

Click here for Day 3 of the Watershed  song rankings


Youth Is Confusion (33): Very strong song. Love the screaming background vocals on the original live version. “Youth Is!”

Joe O. - This song rocks pretty hard, which is impressive considering that it essentially borrows the structure of a "Cathy" comic strip. Except in "Cathy" it would be: "Middle age is (insert something about cats, cupcakes, or chocolate)."

Colin G. - Jim Steinman loved this song. Never should have been first track on original 3 Chords  because the live version kinda sucked but... listening to the studio track it holds up well. Surprisingly, so do the lyrics which were written so long ago and we were even dumber than we are now, if that is possible.  

Old School! Watershed from Ruby Tuesdays sometime around 1893.

The Habit (32): Great lyrics and definitely qualifies as one of the greatest songs ever under two minutes.

Joe O. - Lose the wanky, over-indulgent, noodling guitar solo and you could get this song down to 1:30. By the way, everything over 3:00 in most songs is excess fat. I say 2:50 is the ideal length for a song, which, coincidentally or not, is the length of both "Obvious" and "5th of July." Hmmm. I wonder where Nick has those two songs ranked.

Colin G. - Cut in one take after a million beers at 3 am. That funky part in the middle was planned. Sure it was.

FYI- "The Habit" was used as the opening song for the TV show The Dudesons in some country far away. Watch this!

Words We Say (31): This likely would have been a lot lower on the list, but after seeing Colin perform it acoustic in Raleigh and hearing his live version from Cleveland, it got bumped up. If any of you haven’t heard that live CD from the Springsteen fanfest, you are missing out. Great stuff.

Joe O. - Great lyrics. This is the recording session that brought Joe "Schroeder" Peppercorn into the mix.

Colin G. - Was recorded with Watershed but then we went on a hiatus so Joe could write some book about some band so it ended up on my first solo CD. Finally ended up on Brick and Mortar. 

Watch this!      

Something Wrong (30): “You say this town is too small, you big shit / You call it a cow town, oh how you milk it” is genius. And any song that mentions Ace Frehley is OK by me. I love the venom flowing and the bitterness. Fabulous song.

Joe O. - This is a song from back when we worried about "credibility" and "the scene" and "being cool" and all that crap that only matters when you're young and don't know any better.

Ricki C. - Absolutely one of my top 20 favorite Watershed songs, and only Watershed would bury it as a hidden bonus track on the reissue of Star Vehicle, rather than save it up for the next record. (But then again, in 1996, who knew WHEN the next Watershed record was gonna be?)  I LOVE "us against them" songs, and "regular guys" vs. "hipsters" is one of my favorite topics, or hadn't Pencilstorm readers noticed?   



The #1 Killer (29): “You crawl into a bottle and try and swallow all that pain” is so freaking brilliant.

Joe O. - Yep. Excellent title and true sentiment. We should play this one more. 

Ricki C. - Great mysteries of our time: 1) The disappearance of that Malaysian airliner. 2) The continued popularity/existence of the Republican Party and Fox News. 3) How this song and "Sweet Kisses/Bitter Scars" were left off regular Watershed records. 

Colin G. - So Ricki has to bring up politics and cut our meager audience in half yet again.  Are we sitting by a hotel pool in Atlanta? As for the why, some songs just don't fit some records. This tune is best served kinda jammy and we never had the stomach to follow through on that sort of song. As much as we loved Crazy Horse, #1 Killer was always a 3rd set, late night barn-party type of song for us. It probably deserved/deserves better but whatever.


Slowly Then Suddenly (28): I really love the heavy metal slide guitar in the middle of the tune. The drums also kick some serious butt.

Joe O. - Colin stole the title from F. Scott Fitzgerald, and I ran with the lyrics from there. How the hell did we work a Bo Diddley beat into a punk song? This might be Dave Masica's shining moment on drums – especially on the live version from Three Chords II

Colin G. - We had been working on this all day when Tim asked, "What is the title of this again?" "Slowly Then Suddenly."  "Oh I get it. Very clever. But nobody else is going to understand what the hell you are singing about.  So at the end why don't you just add a part where you sing 'Slowly Then Suddenly' over and over?"  Watch this!


I’d Be A Liar (27): Another song that would have been a great fit for “The Fifth of July.” Just a quick, easy listen that is full of energy.

Joe O. - A quick, easy listen? Who are we, Loggins and freaking Messina? Michael McDonald? Watershed goes Yacht Rock? Come on, Nick. There's nothing easy about this song. The drums hit like a mule kick. And the line: "I wouldn't cheat my friend at playing cards, but cheating on you, honey, ain't that hard" is brutal. Can you imagine Michael McDonald singing that? Listen here!

Click here to visit Setlist FM and see if Watershed has played "I'd Be a Liar."


Sweet Kisses/Bitter Scars (26): When I learned this song was dropped from “The More It Hurts, The More It Works” I was shocked. This is a great song that has a different sound in a great way. Should have been a hit.

Joe O. - Whenever this song makes it into the live set, I can tell it's going to be a good show. I don't know if this should have been a hit, but it sure is fun to play.

Colin G. This video clip pretty much sums it up. Click here.


Nightshade (25): “Sipping cappuccino / well that’s just $3 coffee” ... just wonder what the folks at Colin’s Coffee say to that? Of note, I have never had a cup of coffee in my life. As a kid, I did a taste of coffee ice cream at Baskin Robbins and was so grossed out that I never have had the urge. Thankfully, there was no IPA ice cream to try back then.

Joe O. - Fun Facts: 1. I wrote these lyrics in a booth at the Blue Danube. 2. I stole "Go to hell" jacket and tie from Tom Wolfe. 3. When Twister came out, a critic slammed this song for the line "I bet you're uptown with the art school crowd, writing poetry that doesn't rhyme," saying that we were anti-intellectual. 4. That critic should have slammed us for the line "I spend my time waiting (wading?) in tears." 5. A good friend of ours had the line "It's better to die when you've got everything to live for" tattooed on himself. 6. That friend later died in a car accident, way too young, proving definitively that no, it's not better. It's not better at all. 7. Maybe these facts aren't so fun.



Mercurochrome (24): Fun song. The live version also is great, but not enough to elevate it into the top 20. 

Joe O. - When I was a kid my mom always used to put this junk on my cuts and scrapes, and, as everyone whose mom did the same thing to them knows, it stung like hell. She called it "the ouchy medicine" and said that the sting was how you could tell that stuff was doing its job. I was fascinated by that idea, that the short term hurt was supposed to take away the even bigger long term hurt. I guess this song extends that concept to suicide, but really, unless you're in Cheap Trick or under the age of 20, you should have long stopped writing songs about suicide.

Ricki C. - Nick, COME ON, number 24, "Mercurochrome," seriously?  Absolutely Top Ten Watershed here, even without the brilliant Watershed live tactic of injecting another entire song into the middle of the tune.  I remember all the times I was just another audience member (before I was a roadie) when Colin & Joe and the guys would launch into a little number from The Kinks, Johnny Thunders, etc. during the break and I - along with the rest of the crowd - would forget they hadn't even finished "Mercurochrome" yet, and then they would ROAR back into the last chorus.  One of the ten most brilliant live act stage-bits I have ever witnessed.

Here we go, footage that would make Ricki C proud.


One-Word Title (23): I’m a words guy (being a journalist for 22 years will do that) and this song with its great rhyming is one of my favorites by the band. “You make success feel like a disaster” is so true.

Joe O. - Another song that takes a dig at the hipster bands ("poster boys for the post-punk smart set") that seemed to get more critical attention than us. In fact, writing lyrics in a booth at the Blue Danube was probably me trying to do what I thought these same hipster bands did. I like the cool stuff I was able to squeeze into the words of this song, especially Ohio Blue-tip matches (strike anywhere!) and switchblade combs. Do they still sell either of those things?

Colin G. - Geez Nick, kinda of a stretch here. Actually, maybe the worst rating yet. Sort of a catchy Paul Westerberg idea that we never bothered to finish or even ever play live more than once or twice. Better than Mercurochrome? Seriously? As for lost Watershed classics, "Little by Little" or "Therapy" are light years ahead of "One Word Title". It has promise, but we never came close on this one. Our bad.

No footage of this song. Click here to enjoy Watershed covering Cheap Trick's "Reach Out."


Watershed Rankings Day 3 (Songs 44-34) by Nick Jezierny


Originally published in 2015 - Watershed returns to Comfest June 24th, 2017. Click here for details on that show and other gigs

Day 3 (Songs 44-34) 


Click here for Day 2 of the Watershed song rankings.


Getting Ready (44): “The Fifth of July” really slows down when it hits this song. If this was on vinyl or cassette, would this be the last song on Side one or the first song on Side two. I’d hope for the former, but who knows?

Colin G. - This and "Obvious" are the first two songs we cut for 5th of July. We actually made a mini promo single and took it down to SXSW to pimp the upcoming release. I guess what I am saying is that in our minds, "Getting Ready" was one of the strongest tracks on the record. Nick, it seems that this ranking along with a low ranking of "Romantic Noise" that you aren't a big fan of this side of Watershed. In my opinion, it is this side of the band that makes the other poppier side so appealing. Otherwise, we would just be the Posies or the Gin Blossoms. I really like these lyrics.  

Joe O. - Great lyrics by Colin. What a universal sentiment, and I never thought of it quite this way until Colin wrote the song. Oscar Wilde once said, "There was never any smog in London until Charles Dickens wrote about it." Colin did that for me here. So, yeah, Colin and Dickens. Pretty much on the same level.

Ricki C. - Hey Colin, get a load of Professor Oestreich comin' with the book-larnin' with an Oscar Wilde quote, no less.  I forget, was Wilde in The Bullet Boys or Poison?  

Colin G. - He was the bass player in W.A.S.P.

Listen here!


Just For Show (43): I did enjoy seeing this performed live on Watershed weekend. Just curious, why was this included on the Single Series CD? There are a lot of better songs on “The More It Hurts, The More It Works” that deserved single status over this tune.

Watch this!

Joe O. - I wrote this song in my bedroom in a dive apartment above the High Street Radio Shack on North Campus, the one next to the Blue Danube.  I had been in a car wreck that morning.  The seat belt kept me from going through the windshield, which, looking back on it, gives the line "Don't lead with the chin, just to be safe," a little extra something.

Colin G. - Hurts/Works took a long time to finish so we released the single series just to get something new out while we were touring. "Just For Show" was probably just finished. We don't always have a master plan for things as such.


Sad Drive (42): The version that Colin re-recorded is so much better than this original. But I like the original and love the story in “Hitless Wonder” about how it started the set that landed the record contract.

Colin G. Appreciate the kind words and the solo version is a different beast altogether, but the original has "Nebraska" -esque charm that is hard to top. Once again, not sure if it is good, but it is something.

Joe O. - Sorry, Nick. The version that Colin re-recorded is nowhere close to this version. I'm biased, of course, because I was sitting in the studio when Colin gave this vocal performance, which is the vocal performance of his life. I still get chills listening to it.


Over Too Soon (41): This song is in a tough spot — between “Can’t Be Myself” and “New Life.” Still a very solid song and one reason this record is considered strong from start to finish.

Colin G. - Somebody has to have a hit with this eventually, right? 

Joe O. - One of the highs of my life is when Pat DiNizio of the Smithereens told me that this song is a hit. He's right. It is. For somebody, somewhere, sometime, it is.

Watch this! We couldn't find a band version but here is Colin playing solo at Andyman Memorial service. 


Twister (40): I happen to like the first record very much. Just wondered how this song became the title track of the record?

Ricki C. - Fucking number forty?  Nick, you've got "Twister" at number FORTY?  "Twister" (the song) is ABSOLUTELY in my Watershed Top Ten Tunes.  First off, it contains one of Colin's finest couplets ever - "So many times I've walked home and cried as the dark clouds became thicker / So many times I've looked at you and lied when I said I didn't care that you kissed her."  How many songwriters would address that sentiment to The Other Guy rather than to The Girl?   Brilliant, genius original lyric move.  Second, third & fourth: the overall simultaneously restrained but desperate tone of the vocal, the killer bass line from Joe, the atmospheric (pun intended) production touches throughout the song.  Fifth, sixth & seventh: the unison guitar & drums hook from Colin & Herb that moves the song into the chorus, Joe's vocal counter-melody in the chorus, Colin's scream that brings us to the guitar solo.  Need I go on to eighth, ninth & tenth?  Absolutely the first song that proved conclusively Watershed could be just as powerful mid-tempo as they were rocking.  I have not one doubt it should have been the title song of the first record.

Colin G. Holy shit! Ricki really likes "Twister." Performance-wise it is a stand-out from that era. Herb just owns those drums.

Joe O. - True fact: Colin is a fan of natural disasters. The real question is why did he choose to write about twisters rather than tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, or the attack of the killer tomatoes?

Click here for more info.


Sticky Bomb (39): We have officially hit the point in this list where the songs are interchangeable (ranking wise) for the next twenty or so.

Watch this!

Joe O. - For what it's worth, this is my 4-year old son's favorite song on Brick and Mortar.  It could be because of the swinging bass part, or it could be because he thinks the song is called "Stinky Bomb."

Colin G. - "We only fight about serious things: like who was better, The Beatles or The Kinks?"


Small Doses (38): Just a very solid, catchy song.

Ricki C. - ANOTHER killer Colin song that should've been much higher and absolutely should have been the second single from "5th Of July."

Colin G. - Enough with the Colin/Joe song stuff already. We woodshed all this stuff together as a band. And Tim Patalan added the crazy drums and timing changes. We literally played this like 75 times before we got the take. God bless Dave Masica. It should have been a single.

Joe O. - The line "throwing rocks at the moon" is a shout-out to Raleigh's The Backsliders, who released a masterpiece of an album by that name. Stop reading this and go buy that record.

listen here on spotify!


Half Of Me (37): This version is so much better than the League Bowlers attempt. Would have fit really well on “The Fifth of July.”

Colin G. - Joe played this for me at The Barn at Thundercreek and I was like, "Oh, that's a cool cover. Who is it? George Jones? Terry Anderson? Hank Snow? Hank?"  "No, I wrote it." "You wrote it? Damn." The League Bowlers version is better, though. Mike Parks on guitar rules. Come on. Listen here.

Joe O. - This was me trying to write a George Jones (RIP) song. It's nowhere in the same league as "The Race is On," but it ain't half bad. The first time we played it live was opening for Dash Rip Rock at Brothers Bar in Jacksonville, Alabama.

Rare footage of live version from Newport with "Maybelline" tacked onto intro.


Black Concert T-Shirt (36): This is the slower version found on “Star Vehicle.” It’s a very good song, but it can’t touch the remake on the next record.

Joe O. - The minute I planted a flag in the title, I was fired up. I thought: Watershed now owns one of the most ubiquitous symbols in rock and roll. I need to do more of that rock and roll symbol thing. Okay, my next mission is to write a song called, "I Got a Maglite in my Pocket." Just rolls off the tongue, don't it?

Watch This! Live from Independents Day 2013


Good Day (35): Love the lyrics and harmonica. The perfect segue between the great version of “Black Concert T-Shirt” and “Can’t Be Myself.”

Colin G. - This is the song that bumped "Sweet Kisses/Bitter Scars" off Hurts/Works. Tim had an epiphany and suddenly said this should be second track on the record. Mind you, we hadn't bothered to listen to this song in over a year so we all were like, "say what?" But Tim was adamant and a big part of working with a great producer is trust so we acquiesced to his wishes. I'm glad we did. Tim is right about most everything except that I need one more beer.

Joe O. - I love this song, too, but it's a weird one, a great song that didn't seem to fit in with the rest of the tunes on the record.  Patalan said, "Put it as the second track."  Embrace the weirdness.

Listen here!


Waiting For The Greatest (34): The lyrics in this song are brilliant. The story is great. The chorus and title just aren’t quite as good as the rest of the song. “Throw us on the soccer field, stop keeping score” and “We were free to think for ourselves as long as we agreed with them” hit home in these times.

Joe O. - Thanks, Nick. You and I are the only ones who think so. This is a tweak on a song that Poochie's band Twin Cam had already written and recorded. I always loved the Twin Cam song; I just thought that the verse lyrics could better tie-in to the chorus. So I asked our good buddy Mike Sammons of Twin Cam if he'd let me take a crack at writing new verses. He said yes, so there you have it. I love the story in this version, but I suspect that I'm the only one. Well, me and Nick. You should buy up every Twin Cam CD you can find. Second best band Poochie was ever in.

Colin G. - For the record, I dig this tune. 


Let's wrap up Day 3 with a full concert from Small's in Detroit, Michigan from the Hitless Wonder/Brick & Mortar tour.  Yes, the same Small's that is the first chapter in Hitless Wonder.