26 October 2007

Man Man at the Rhythm Room

Weeknights are not good for concerts, but Phoenix's square-state-in-the-middle status often means the best touring bands come through on nights when most of us should probably be doing work of some sort. Man Man came to the Rhythm Room on a Monday night.

Not that I didn't have I should have been doing instead, but I had missed Man Man coming through my town literally three times beforehand and I was afraid that if I didn't catch their much-talked about live show soon, the feast would become a famine and I could never say I saw Honus Honus' sweaty mullet in person.

So I went. By myself. It was awesome.

Openers Sleeping States played sleepy (yep) British sleepcore that would have made me sleepy if they didn't keep interspersing the reverby guitar chords and mellow ladydrumming with screeching distorted children's toys sounds and radio static. When guitarist/singer Markland Starkie sang he did a sort of small-mouthed yawn that made his singing sound very nice. Good simple songs.

Man man took the stage and began adorning it with drums, christmas lights, keyboards, steel bowls and colanders and a rubber snake in the most professional way possible. They left briefly to don their matching white outfits and white warpaint and then began one of the tightest and loosest sets I've ever seen.

The thing is they didn't really stop or talk to the crowd at all. The crazy gypsy songs flowed into the R&B psych ripoffs and right on into the lunatic 5/4 drum circle sessions. Honus Honus was the master of ceremonies, leading the songs and handling most of the non-falsetto vocals.

An anecdote worth sharing- Honus pulled an old-fashioned shallow steel bowl full of spoons from his dented red toolbox/shouting stump, threw the bowl in the air and then threw the spoons at it, picked up the bowl, poured water into it from a jug as he held it up to the microphone and set it aside. Ridiculous.

Ok gots to go. See Man Man if they come through again, they probably will and I'll see you there.

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