Who the Fck is @Mona_Tavakoli?

February 6, 2012

Me and Mona, April 2010

In Persian culture, if your back is to someone, it is polite to apologize. – The response from whom your back is to will likely be, “No Problem, a flower has no front or back.”

How rad is that?

I didn’t learn this little factoid from the poet Hafiz, although it’s romantic enough to seem like his doing. Instead I learned it from Mona Tavakoli; my Iranian wing-woman; co-conspirator in costume warfare; the better half of my new group, The Duo Decibel System; And my most esteemed plus one on this far out expedition to Antarctica.

Me and Mona, February 2012 (photo by Ralph Lee Hopkins).

This morning on board the Explorer, I volunteered to sing the morning announcements over the PA to the passengers and crew. The mellow-melodic “Wake up it’s time for breakfast…” became an instant hit measured by the smiles that echoed throughout the ship. Of course, when I proposed the idea to the fearless ship’s captain-in-chief, Al Gore, he said, “That’s a great idea, but you HAVE to do it with Mona. You’re better with Mona.”

My thoughts exactly.

This is why I decided to invite her on tour with me this season. Mona, who founded the Los Angeles Rock’n’Roll Camp for girls, is a world class drummer who takes my music in an exciting new direction. She’s incredibly smart, grounded, funny and present, which makes her the best possible candidate to represent myself, my fans, and my music. And with talent and kindness so extraordinary, I thought it wisest to bring her on tour so you can see and hear it for yourself.

Somewhere in the middle of our first evening performance on this voyage, the loudest and most recognizable voice on the boat rang out, “We Love Mona!” It was Mr. Gore, who I believe now has a huge crush on my Persian Percussionist.

I met Mona in 2006 at a college gig when I was booked to play with her amazing Los Angeles-based lady-band, Raining Jane. I was so impressed with their attitude and musicianship I asked them to become my backing band.

Since then The Janes and I have teamed up to write a variety of songs; such as the California Wildfire Relief smash Silent Love Song, my personal favorite, the epic Beautiful Mess, and the recent Best Original Song at the Hollywood Film Festival, Collapsible Plans from the feature documentary, The Big Fix.

Look out for Mona and I later this month appearing on Today, Ellen, and a YouTube channel near you.

You can also follow @Mona_Tavakoli on Twitter and wherever else voyeurs like to trend.

  • Avatar of HabilitatHawaii

    Each time I see your show its completely different… and a groovy experience… Last nights show in Hawaii was the best one yet… Raining Jane is a great match for your groovy style and Mona… OMG… she is incredible…. those girls are so talented… keep making this important music with a message… you are creating consciousness in an industry that has mostly become only entertainment…. You inspire me to think, love and care! I left the show last night feeling charged up…

  • Avatar of maca_pizarro
    maca_pizarro said ...

    Thank you guys for the incredible vibe that we all received in Chile! It was great! Mona, you’re so inspiring… and love your curls!

    You can always come back!!!

  • Avatar of svenjavanvugt
    svenjavanvugt said ...

    Mona is SO cool! She’s amazing live, so energetic, always jumping around haha! Love that you brought her along on tour, she was epic and so was the rest of the band in Dusseldorf! Thank you! :)

  • Avatar of morganbolender

    Every time I check in on you, I’m struck by the similarity of our paths/interests. Hafiz, reference, really? My favorite of his is “The Warrior.” Next might be the one about two fat men in a boat. Anywho, I’m popping in to say hello, and say that I’m excited for when you and I write and play together. It’ll be beautiful!

    I found music, my voice, the strongest passion my life has seen, to date, about one year ago. At the time, I was consistently updating a blog that ended up doing its fair bit of world circulation (www.theunraveling.net)– a blog about living honestly, and what shape that has taken for me (quitting career, moving onto an organic farm in the jungle, living with no plan, etc.)

    I did my best to be completely vulnerable on the site, and so after I learned my first song, I posted it (the most terrifying thing I could think of doing). The song was “I’m Yours,” and I sang it as a love song to myself. Here’s the link for that, too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcZyBbuJUNY.

    Anywho, see you soon. Love, love, love.

  • Avatar of scarsofyourlove

    I love Mona. She is radical & such a beautiful person! It was so great to meet her last month when you guys played the show in London! You both are awesome :)

  • Avatar of Madagascar
    Madagascar said ...

    I think all your girl-fan are jealous of Mona. And so do I.
    I’m glad she’s just your (best)friend. But I’d do anything to travel all over the world and save the planet with you.

  • Avatar of MillieD
    MillieD said ...

    Thank You.

  • Avatar of hala.zabaneh1
    hala.zabaneh1 said ...

    I thought i’d seen her before!! :D I remember her from Feeding the Soul Foundation concert. I wasn’t there but i saw her on Youtube with you :) . She’s an awesome drummer…and she is GORGEOUS. :)

  • GoodGoodMusic said ...

    p.s. you dudes look like Beavis and Butthead (totally chick best friends)

  • GoodGoodMusic said ...

    <3 is a four letter word!

  • Avatar of didikini
    didikini said ...

    All of your women seem great and fresh – each in her own way. But no doubt – you cannot meet anything you don’t have in yourself.
    You and Mona are real fire together. Would be waiting for your performance up on youtube with excitement. This woman got so much power – hope she will be a great inspiration for you on whichever level, so it would be for our benefit too :) Enjoy, Mraz! We function better together – that’s for sure. Male and female, and you know it! kisses

  • Avatar of gamachan
    gamachan said ...

    Hi there!
    I saw her live in your you tube When We Die video, with Raining Jane. I remember. It was after Holmes disappearance.

    “Youuu aaare Loooved..”

    ps- I don’t have Instagram! Neither iPhone..

  • GoodGoodMusic said ...

    what about Toca?

  • Avatar of keka
    keka said ...

    the duo decibel system!!! hahahaha!! you always manage to make me lol!

    i saw a video of you and raining jane on youtube a few months ago and meant to check them out because you guys were awesome together! in the vid one of the songs you performed was a bubbly little sea ditty (i can’t recall the name now) that was so adorable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! mona was rocking the whole time too. and she’s a fellow curly… love her already :)

    wow antarctica! go on with your green selves! and thanks for taking us along for the ride. can’t wait to read all about it.

    and re: the today show, will it be an outdoor performance? if so, i’m there!


  • Avatar of morgenmond
    morgenmond said ...

    I love Mona since i saw her for the first time in Zermatt. She is an amazing musician, a beautiful woman – and she has good sense of humour.

    Keep on having a good time down there on Antarctica
    and thanks a lot for all the pictures and comments about your journey.

    Yours Mo

  • Avatar of Dsams
    Dsams said ...

    Great post, Jason…Raining Jane rocks!!!!!!!!!!!! Have fun and be safe!

  • Avatar of GloriousMe
    GloriousMe said ...

    I was a little disappointed that she isn’t your gf. She seems to have some depth. Can’t say I thought that about the last one. Anyway, loved seeing all your travel photos on Twitter! So excited for the new stuff and will definitely catch the both of you on TV!

  • Avatar of costellocrew5
    costellocrew5 said ...

    As a proud Jane I took note of Raining Jane(s) when I saw them perform with you in a couple venues (via YouTube). I love the “strong chick” vibe and their cool, down to earth style. As everyone has been asking “Who the F is Mona?” I kept thinking, “Go figure it out – it’s not that mysterious!” Nonetheless, she deserves this nice introduction – a friend of yours is a friend of ours and we’re excited to hear more of your adventures and to experience your music together.

    I KNEW you’d be on Ellen soon (LOVE her). We kept wondering when you’d pay her a visit – it’s been a while! Are you performing on the Today show in the Rock plaza? We need to know these things – NYC is only 2 hours from us and you need your high-fiving friends around you, don’t cha think?

    I know you feel loved by your fans but I do think you might smile knowing that I chaperoned Ian’s 3rd grade field trip today and no kidding, the entire bus ride there and back he sang and hummed your songs from Halfway Home & Absolutely Zero to The World As I See It & I Won’t Give Up. I seriously can’t imagine another human listening to your music more than we do. Hope to see you again before too long! You too Mona! ~ Jane

  • Avatar of meaghss
    meaghss said ...

    I absolutely cannot wait to see you on tour… And that excitement quadrupled when I read that Mona will be with you! She seems so awesome :)

  • Avatar of Jean-Canale
    Jean-Canale said ...

    …enjoying all the duo pics…looks like you’re injecting your usual good humor into your excursion…I’m sure the penguins are forever changed by hearing your tunes. ☺

  • Avatar of soyyoconbonete

    Someday I’ll travel around the world and see amazing things as you do, meantime, I’m enjoying your photos and posts. Keep the magic!

  • Avatar of isk8ss@aol.com

    You are having such great adventures! Keep posting!!!