By: Katy Lindenmuth
They claim they materialized from New York and Philly debris, but Man Man most likely were not spawned anywhere on this planet. Proudly listed among their influences: Mexican funeral marches, religious cults, bad luck, and the pervasive mythology of two-headed wolves. Sound weird? Maybe. But Man Man’s been deemed worthy by major acts like Cat Power, the Arcade Fire, and Fiery Furnaces, with whom they’ve shared the stage.
To help perfect the band’s multifaceted sound on Six Demon Bag, original Man Man man Honus Honus (vocals and Rhodes synth) enlisted Sergei Sogay (percussion), Les Mizzle (bass, percussion), Christopher “Pow Pow” Powell (percussion, vocals), Alejandro “Cougar” Borg (marimba, trumpet), and a dexterous man known simply as Blanco (trumpet, piano, guitar, clarinet, cello). With all those members, it begins to make sense how this band can sound like a raging circus, They Might Be Giants, a pet store cacophany, and a South Park musical number all at once.
But it’s not all fun and incantations for Man Man. Lyrics like “I wanna sleep for weeks like a dog at her feet / Even though I know it won’t work out in the long run” from “Van Helsing Boombox” prove they’ve got substance — and, possibly, emotions — underneath all that craziness.
Often sinister, occasionally busting out some doo-wop, and on one track accompanied by a chorus of kindergartners, Man Man is a refreshing breath amid today’s polluted airwaves.
Man Man tour dates:
3/9, Columbus, OH (Cafe Bourbon) 3/10, Lexington, KY (The Dame) 3/11, Richmond, IN (Earlham College) 3/12, Springfield, MO (Randy Bacon Gallery) 3/13, Little Rock, AR (Whitewater Tavern) 3/14, Baton Rouge, LA (Spanish Moon) 3/15, Houston, TX (Walter’s on Washington) 3/16, Austin, TX (SXSW — Velvet Spade) 3/17, Austin, TX (SXSW — Victory Tavern)3/18, Austin, TX (SXSW — Hole in the Wall)3/18, Austin, TX (SXSW — Red’s Scott Inn)3/20, Atlanta, GA (The Earl)3/21, Greensboro, NC (UNCG Faculty Center)3/22, Durham, NC (Duke Coffeehouse)