Somewhere between a voodoo witch hunt and a Neanderthal mating ritual…Their entire set consists of one song woven into another, a humongous medley of quasi-nonsensical yelps and wails, with band leader Honus Honus pounding the keys on his organ as if they were on fire and only his fingers could put them out.
Man Man are just so much fun to look at, with tons of toys for improv antics, animated faces, beards, glasses and their Tom Waits-meets-Zappa-meets-a-ship-of-drunken-pirates carnival of sounds.
Here are some more facts about Man Man: They’re from Philly. They dressed all in white, with white war-paint streaked under their eyes. They all sang big full-throated man chants; they all seemed to play several instruments at once, and “instruments” should be interpreted loosely– not only guitars, accordions, saxophones, and keys, but steel buckets, toys, spoons, and bowls of water. They sang about falling out of love in Brooklyn and falling out in general. They swooned mightily together or epileptically jittered in sundry directions at invisible psychic cues, imposing a pantomimed theatricality upon their very real transportation. There were no breaks in their set, so the music deeply respired like something large that was asleep, and that you hoped would not wake up…
Man Man’s power isn’t derived from the genres they stumble across, or the maniac light in their eyes, or the sweat pooling in their beards. It’s the unbearable sadness in their marrow and how they transform it, like the existentially distressed but heroically steadfast men men they are, into a terrible and lionhearted joy.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 24
AT THE GARGOYLE
DOORS 7 SHOW 8
FREE WU, $5 PUBLIC