Apr 2, 2006

Pfft... Who Parties Without Man Man?

Haim Steinbach - Related and Different (1985)

Haim Steinbach's work from the 80's makes an incredible statement for complexity inherent in the comparative. For me, Steinbach's works are rich with meaningful juxtaposition, beautifully heavy on design, and rooted strongly in the belief that art can speak louder than words. I often find myself wandering down his logical path, quite stricken with meticulous analysis through coexistence and spatial relationships with an other.

After a couple Guinesses at the local pub, I become a backup vocalist for Man Man. Granted, the band's music is obviously expertly crafted with unwavering rhythmic acuity, extremely bouncy catchiness, and lyrical prowess... but then I'm sure heavy drinking comes into play. Man Man's fascinating second album, Six Demon Bag, is a dirty carnival squeezed into a dark, smoky bar. When I close my eyes, I'm convinced the album features Tom Waits galloping around on an inefficient wooden horse filled with singing children, a rowdy caravan of hyperactively drumming Russian dancers, and The Decemberists chanting obscenities in monkey suits. What is most impressive is that the sound of this entire scene comes from one band and manages to retain a vital sense of continuity. Six Demon Bag is the perfect soundtrack to give your bartime a little whimsy and lyrical direction.

Man Man - English Bwudd (mp3)

Check out the trippy music video for "English Bwudd" here and buy the album
locally (Strictly Discs or B-Side in Madison). Man, I want to party with these guys.

My new favourite vocal expression is "Pffft" because in varying tones it conveys both judgmental disgust and surprise. It is not to be confused with "Pssht" which implies a harsher arrogance. In close second is Megan's throat sound that is able to flip the meaning of the entire sentence in one syllable. Never underestimate the power of the emotion in an unintelligible sound.


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