Man Man at Alcatraz, Milano

Man Man is one of those bands that you hear a few tracks from and say, “pretty good,” or “not so bad,” or “weird name.” Then you see them live, and they just blow you away. When I caught them live, they were opening up for Gogol Bordello at Alcatraz in Milano. They all took the stage wearing the same Cobra Kai Skeleton costumes (thought: “awesome”) and played such a rocking set.

Hailing from Philadelphia, the band with an odd name is made up of members with odd names: Honus Honus, Pow Pow, T. Moth, Brown Sugar, and Shono Murphy. And let’s not forget about odd track names: “Against the Peruvian Monster,” “10lb Moustache,” “White Rice, Brown Heart,” “I, Manface,” “Engrish Bwudd,” “Fishstick Gumbo;” you get the idea. I don’t feel bad about calling them weird or odd, either. It seems to me that they are super proud of their creative side. They’ve been featured on Anderson Cooper 360’s “The Ridiculist” for their song about Wolf Blitzer and Honus Honus’ Wolf Blitzer kimono. Honus recorded an album with Nicholas Thorburn (from Islands and The Unicorns), Joe Plummer (of Modest Mouse), and The Shins as the “supergroup” Mister Heavenly. [Ed. Note: Bonus points because their touring bassist is the one and only Michael Cera]. It also leaked that Thorburn and Honus are making a record in a new sub-genre called “Doom Wop.” “Slow, low-frequency music transposed with traditional doo wop harmonies.” Like, whoa man. No wonder this band is frequently used for backing tracks on Weeds.

I’d say that if you like Jukebox the Ghost or Math the Band then this is a band for you. Honus Honus has the presence of a young Freddie Mercury, and their songs vary from weird electro pop rock to show tunes.

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