When I first heard Man Man back in late 2004, I knew it was just the thing for those people who love catchy weirdo music, like Faust and Captain Beefheart. They even have wacko names like Chang Wang and Pow Pow. Unlike many artists in the pseudo-genre, Man Man isn’t shockingly original or painfully unconventional. They do sound like a drunken barbershop pirate quartet got lost in Tom Wait’s basement.
Download “10 lbs moustache” from their debut, The Man in a Blue Turban with a Face
Download “Vanhelsing boombox” from Six Demon Bag, one of this year’s best albums
You can download an mp3 of their concert with Fiery Furnaces at their site.
Man Man is the Jim Carey to the Black Heart Procession’s Sean Penn. While both bands craft lush, sea-soaked melodies, Black Heart is more interested in wallowing in the shadows and storms. Remove singer Honus Honus’s gravel and Man Man’s “Skin Tension” could easily fit into BHP’s catalog. BHP’s “The Old King of Summer,” from their self-titled album, seems to be the inspiration for “Feathers,” the opener to Six Demon Bag.
Download “Tropics of Love” from the Black Heart Procession’s fourth album, Amore del Tropico
One of the most instant references of Man Man’s music is Tom Wait’s unique brand of junkyard rock, specifically 92’s Bone Machine. Man Man may be more tongue-in-check, poppier, and less pluralistic, but the attention to detail remains.
Download “Goin’ Out West” from Bone Machine, which was also featured in Fight Club.
Michael Jackson. You heard me. And not in the same way that “the Beatles influenced everyone, man.” Listen to “Smooth Criminal,” then go to Man Man’s myspace and listen to “Black Mission Goggles.” Surely I’m not the only one who hears this . . .
Man Man on insound
The Black Heart Procession on insound
Bone Machine on insound
*Sounds Alike, Vol 1