Archive for the ‘Man Man’ Category

[ATTENDED: September 29, 2019] Man Man

I saw Man Man open for Gogol Bordello back in 2014.  I really enjoyed them and at that time I wrote:

It was an insane and wild show from start to finish from crowd to band and I would absolutely see them again.

It took five years for Man Man to play anywhere near where I was again and there was no way I was missing this show–seeing them headline in their home town was the icing on the cake.

I had assumed that Man Man would be the wildest act on the bill.  So it was amusing that they followed Sun Ra Arkestra–who has been doing wild for over fifty years.

Like Sun Ra, the guys in Man Man were all wearing decorative ponchos.  But unlike the Arkestra, all of their ponchos matched–indeed, so did all of the clothes under the ponchos, down to the fact that they were all wearing the same shoes. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: September 29, 2019] Philly Music Fest

For those counting, this makes four concerts in four nights, which is frankly insane (and thanks to my poor wife who tolerates such excesses).

But the whole reason I wanted to go this evening was to see Man Man (more in their own post).

But, in fact, the entire Philly Music Fest was pretty fantastic.  I would have certainly gone to three of the four nights if I could have.  This little festival is a testament to the amazing music that Philadelphia is producing, and they didn’t even include two of my favorite Philly bands, Mannequin Pussy and Control Top.

The first night I actually didn’t know any of the bands.

  • Wednesday 9/25 at Milkboy (a venue I haven’t been to yet)
  • Secret American
  • Sixteen Jackies
  • Ceramic Animal

The second night was an amazing line up! (more…)

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nyrbSOUNDTRACK: ALEC OUNSWORTH-Tiny Desk Concert #48 (February 22, 2010).

alecI didn’t recognize the name Alec Ounsworth.  But I see that he is the singer from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, a band I don’t know at all.  He has created some other music outside of Clap Your Hands, like the band Flashy Python, which features members of Dr. Dog, The Walkmen and Man Man.  And in the fall of 2009, he released a solo record called Mo’ Beauty.

In this Tiny Desk it is just him and guitarist Matt Sutton.  They play three songs from Mo’ Beauty (on guitar and harmonica): “Modern Girl (…With Scissors),” “Holy, Holy, Holy Moses (Song for New Orleans)” and “When You’ve No Eyes.”

Since I don’t really know CYHSY, I can’t compare this to that band.  The songs are pleasant and a little catchy.  I feel like perhaps the wordplay is what draws you in (he refrains “all this useless beauty” in the first song).  His voice is distinctive and takes a little getting used to, but I warmed up to it by the end of the set.

After the set he says that the other three guys from the touring band were waiting in the van.  As the show fades you hear Bob Boilen mutter, “it was okay to invite them up.”

[READ: May 11, 2015] “Argentina: The Brothels Behind the Graveyard” 

Roberto Bolaño talked about this article in The Secret of Evil.  I was curious to read it and was happy to find it quite easily and for free online from The New York Review of Books.

I don’t really know Naipaul at all, although Bolaño spoke very highly of him.

This article looks at Argentina.  I don’t know how much time he spent there, but it sounds like NYRoB sent him there to write and essay or two..

He begins by talking about the death of Perón (in July of 1974).  Perón was in the ninth month of his third presidency and his legend had lasted for thirty years.  He was overthrown in 1955 and was exiled for seventeen years.  He had a triumphant return the previous year and a resounding failure shortly after. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: July 28, 2014] Band of Horses

When I saw that Beck and Band of Horses were headlining the Sunday night of the XPoNential Music Festival this year, I immediately got tickets.  Sarah and I are huge fans of both bands, so it was a no brainer.  The harder part was trying to decide if we wanted to go to the rest of the festival.  Ultimately we decided we did not. Sure there were a lot of bands who would have been great to see, but neither one of us wanted to spend the whole hot day in the sun paying a crazy fortune for food and drinks… and you can only ask grandma to do so much babysitting, right?  So, even though the price was right ($45 for a three day pass, holy cow), we opted to stay only for the headliners.

And, yes I did toy with the idea of heading in earlier to see Man Man again, but XPN thoughtfully broadcast the shows on the radio, so it was like I was there (they did not broadcast the shows from inside the Bank Center).  The opening act for our night was The Districts, a local Philly band who are getting major reviews.  But we arrived after they finished, so I have nothing to say about them.

We’d never been to SBC before.  It is like a bigger version of the PNC Arts Center in Holmdel–a big open-aired theater with nice lawn seating.  The major major gripe was the parking–$30.  THIRTY?  Really, what is this Manhattan?  True, I’d rather pay thirty dollars than park on the streets of Camden, but come on.  Of course, when we got inside and saw that a beer was $14 (for a “premium” brew), we decided that it was either park the car or have a beer.  So that made us feel better.  And, on the way, out, the exiting was much better than PNC (and many other venues), so okay, but still.  (more…)

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[ATTENDED: July 21, 2014] Gogol Bordello

I first heard Gogol Bordello on a PBS music show (I assume it was Austin City Limits, but I can’t find any record of them being on the show).  I didn’t know anything about them, but I was really impressed by what I saw.  Since then I’ve bought a few records, and have enjoyed all of their appearances on NPR shows, but it was after watching the DVD that came with Live from Axis Mundi that I knew this was a band I wanted to see live.  So I was totally psyched that they were coming to the tiny Starland Ballroom.

Now I will say that they were not as exciting here as in the video.  That is due to a couple of things.  The first is that the club in the video was much bigger, allowing them to do a lot more.  The second is that in the video they had direct access to the audience, unlike at Starland so lead singer Eugene Hutz was able to go into the crowd in the video, as were the two dancers (suspended aloft on giant bass drums).  In Starland, they all stayed on the stage (although they did move all over it) and the two dancers have been replaced by one who was excellent but did not climb onto a drum at all).

Comparisons aside, Gogol Bordello put on a pretty amazing show. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: July 21, 2014] Man Man

I went to the Starland Ballroom to see Gogol Bordello, but I was pretty excited that Man Man was opening.  I really only knew them from three things.  Their fairly popular (at least on WXPN) song “Head On [Hold On To Your Heart]” a synthy treacly delight (that really belies the bands manic energy) and “Paul’s Grotesque” a newer song (for XPN) that I didn’t actually realize was Man Man.  And, third, and most compelling, was their video for “Black Mission Goggle” live at Amoeba Records (which you can see at the bottom of the post).  In it they proved to be immensely silly and yet still quite talented.  And I love a band who can put on a show (which is why I wanted to see Gogol Bordello in the first place).

And Man Man did not disappoint.  The four piece came out on stage, with Brown Sugar, the bassist/Schatzaphone/percussionist/malletKAT player on the right side, Pow Pow, the drummer (whose kit was sideways), right in the middle and Shono Murphy the guitarist/trumpeter/percussionist on the left.  After playing an instrumental opening, Honus Honus, singer, keyboards and all around head honcho came out in a glorious cape, looking like Dave Grohl when he’s most possessed. (more…)

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