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Music

Man Man with Yeasayer - Le National - April 13

Posted by Sisi / April 14, 2008

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Press photo of Man Man taken from ANTI-.

How to do justice to live players like Man Man? Take a traveling freak show, kidnap some vaudeville acts, throw in some honky tonk piano, several gashes of war paint, incomprehensible references to Englishmen, make the whole thing into a bomb, plant it at Le National, and wait for the ensuing glorious musical shit storm. And even then, you only get a tiny inkling of how much this five-piece Philadelphia ensemble kicked ass in the flesh.

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Onstage, all members of the band dress in white and wear matching war paint on their faces. They go by pseudonyms: the front man is called Honus Honus, and the other members go by the names Sergei Sogay, Pow Pow, Critter Crat, and Chang Wang. Honus Honus was all over the place yesterday, jumping while on the piano to drive home the sonic POW-POW-POW of the bass drum. The rest of the band uses a dizzying array of instruments. The full list includes "a Clavinet, MicroKorg, Sousaphone, Saxophone, Flute, Drum Set, Euphonium, Fender Jazz Bass, Danelectro Guitar, Xylophone, Melodica and various percussive instruments including pots and pans and toy noise makers and horns." (Thanks, Wikipedia.)

Man Man barreled mostly through material from their newest album, this year's Rabbit Habits. Honus Honus wails like the schizo lovechild of Tom Waits and a falsetto choir boy. (Sorry for the mental image - blech.) My only request would've been "Van Helsing Boombox," a strange ditty that references love-scorned werewolves. For those who weren't there yesterday, get a sense of the action with these Youtube vids.

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A note on the opener, Yeasayer. To start off, here's an interview line from Honus Honus himself about opening bands, from a time when Man Man was backing Modest Mouse on tour: "Most opening bands are relegated to being the theme music to the beer line. Fuck. That." That being said, Yeasayer was definitely not that. Self-described as "Middle Eastern-psych-snap-gospel," the Brooklyn whippersnappers caught everyone's attention as they played to humongously trippy video loops. Comparisons to Pink Floyd were drawn.

Despite the concerted efforts of the three assholes in the front who were wailing all over the place and shouting retardedness during some of the best parts, the energy at Le National was really great. Not so according to my friend Dan, who has seen Man Man 6 or 7 times before. If yesterday wasn't one of the band's best shows, then I pale to think about what a good night for them would be like. Perhaps like an elbow to the face - literally. After eating the bony protrusion of one of the aforementioned three stooges, I got a cut mouth and some facial bruising. But come to think of it, bloody, battered, and riddled with strong emotions was probably the most appropriate way to exit a Man Man show at the end of the night.

Discussion

8 Comments

Paul / April 14, 2008 at 11:28 pm
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I've seen Man Man twice before and the energy is definitely higher in smaller venues (even though Club Lambi has godawful sound), but last night was awesome too! And yes, those three assholes definitely tainted the above-average audience. My friend had his hair fondled and we were both witnesses to the short-lived fight that broke out in the mosh-pit. Home run all around. Great show though!
dan / April 17, 2008 at 01:33 pm
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I've seen them six times before.
This was the best show since Lambi! The crowd was kinda off though, they must have thought this was a Slipknot show?

Thank you Man Man, once again, youve shown that there is still new music to be made!
golu dolls / February 15, 2019 at 11:05 pm
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nice post
kanchipuram sarees / February 15, 2019 at 11:05 pm
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nice post
kanchipuram sarees / February 15, 2019 at 11:05 pm
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nice post
herbal powder / February 15, 2019 at 11:06 pm
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nice post

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