I knew this show was going to be good when I saw that there was a Man Man BMX bike raffle and everyone was asked to wear monster masks. How could you go wrong? When all was said and done, it did not dissappoint.
The show was set to be at a place called the Interactive Playground in a fairly less than desirable area of Philadelphia. Once I got there with one of my friends and a couple of his pals from school, we headed up the stairs to a fairly empty room with a small mock up of Mayan pyramids on the floor, various cardboard cut outs hanging from the ceiling, and a puppet interviewing someone in front of some cameras. A bit surprising to say the least. I watched attentively for a few minutes before one of the people behind a booth announced that the whole taping thing was going to be wrapped up, to be finished after they got on to the concert portion of the night.
A lone man took the stage, whose name we learned was Ramòn. Everyone was seated and it was a really cute set up. He explained that his first song was about a boy named Giver, and began to sing his light, classical sounding "Introduction." His sound was a very interesting mix of, what sounded to me, Devendra Banhart and Seu Jorge (he was even wearing a red hat ala Life Aquatic). A little bit more research done at home found the information to me that Ramòn actually opened for the Jorge when he was in Philadelphia on his last tour. Unfortunately I was only able to stay for one and a half more songs before I had to leave to pick up a friend at a subway station a mile or so away. I really need to see this guy play again; from what I've seen and heard, he's absolutely amazing. He's playing a few small, cheap shows in Philadelphia this month, and I'm fairly certain I'm going to make at least one. I think you should too.
Make A Rising was on after a short break. They came on, two in robes, one in a cape, and all wearing masks (as per instructions on the show info). On the whole, they turned out to be a noise band, although they did have some interesting piano parts, and there were glimmers of actual music here and there, but the cacophony in between was, at points, barely tolerable.
Next, Blood Feathers, the apparent side project of Mazarin bassist Mickey Walter, was a stark departure from the band before it. Their very straight forward rock oriented sound was entertaining and upbeat, and they kept enough of a variety up as to keep one interested, bringing in a twelve string for the last two songs. Their volumes were up a bit too high, actually inducing pain at times for those brave souls up front (including myself), but otherwise, they were a nice band, if not one that seemed a bit out of place opening for Man Man.
After Blood Feather's set, Man Man's equiptment started to be moved out. We we treated(?) to a short puppet show of a sock monster before a short sound check (the marimba wasn't loud enough), and finally the set started. All of the Man Man essentials were met. Eyeball lights on the naked electric piano, spatula playing, screaming, etc. It was pretty wierd seeing three cameramen swarming around the edges of the "stage," and they became more and more of a nuisance as the crowd became rowdier and well... drunker. After about half of the set had gone by, a large security guard/bouncer type pushed through the crowd to Honus, signalling for him to stop, and saying something about the floor. Once he left, Honus could be heard commenting to Sergei something along the lines of "we're playing until the fucking floor collapses." The guard apparently remarked to the promoter, "People could die" moments later. The music continued (the new stuff is sounding great), with the addition of a saxophonist/flutist, whom I hadn't seen at shows before, helping out on two of the songs. The guard then came back once more, and got into a bit of a tussle with a drunk kid, whom was then shoved back. Honus made after the guard, and all was seemingly in disarray. Honus came back and told the audience that the floor was in danger of collapsing, and that we could no longer dance. This somewhat allieviated the problems I had with the drunkards, and the set continued. After a few more songs, we were asked to be seated, which we all did, so as the show could continue. After some time seated, the power to all of the microphones onstage, to which the band continued to play one more song percussively, all pounding on drums, only after Honus had told us to stand again. The show was cut short (Honus pushed his chair over in frustration), but on the way out, the floor was noticably tilted.
The show is apparently going to be podcast by the makers of the PSP, for a fee of course. More information on that here
. Man Man is supposedly making a music video out of footage from the show as well.
Man ManRamona CordovaBlood Feathers MySpaceMake A Rising