Man Man in Chinatown and Nashville

Post Author: , Jeremy Krinsley


After Isa Chandra‘s 8-part meal, of which I was only able to horde mouthfuls of the 8th (vegan chocolate cupcakes), the attendees of New York magazine’s second of six “hip” parties aimed at … amping magazine subscriptions, making a meglomagazine cool, throwing money around, promoting Verizon and Diesel for fun(?) were privy to one of the best live acts in rock, circus noise, carnival beat(?). Man Man aired out some new material that seemed slightly more focused on melodic repetition (replete with quirky, unpredictable Rhodes arpeggios and choral hootenany) in a densely percussive integration of its parts that signaled a more synthesized whole. It was perhaps more of a pleasure, though, to hear their oldest material, which, first released to my knowledge in 2004, has become so innate to their playing styles that watching and listening to them playing “Zebra” or “10lb Moustache” is watching Man Man breath out their husky, hyper erratic souls. They’ve kept some of the same gimmicks through the years – the giant trumpet kazoos, the choreographed stool stomps, spoon percussion, and, their strict tennis whites and matching face paint dress code.

Was it weird to see them headline for a heavily sponsored promotional event for a glossy? Perhaps. Did it really matter once they got started? Most of the sponsors filtered out before they even hit the stage, a whole crew of Diesels in front of me buttoning up their muave leather jackets and mussed hair and leaving full bottles of wine in their wake. And no matter whether New York Magazine hoped to collar them into “it” band status, their inner Man Man seemed incapable of noticing.


Music City, U.S.A. ‚Äì Nashville, a town that is home to some of the finest music ever conceived to tape, has made me start to question its credibility in the current scheme of things. As of the past year, the alleged ‚Ä