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Man Man at El Rey Theatre

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Man Man rocks out El Rey Theatre

On a good luck Friday the 13th, Philly spaz rawkers MAN MAN threw a party at The El Rey Theatre to celebrate the release of their third album Life Fantastic. It was a festive atmosphere along the Miracle Mile portion of LA, as mustached hipsters and unkempt music revelers grabbed their complimentary MAN MAN kazoos upon entry and got their faces painted by two tween darlings walking around with a cup of paint and a communal brush. Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers got the dance floor swirling with their cabaret ferocity, giddiness abounded, and the stage was set for MAN MAN to destroy. 

A cult-like following has developed for MAN MAN, evident by the choir-like intro on "Feathers" before the band had even saddled up to their microphones. The music was bonkers and the pit maniacal, as lead singer Honus Honus tested their devotion with gentle confetti gun blasts from stage and a heavy dose of snarls and tender mockery. For all the hubbub about their latest album being mellower- thanks to Producer Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes/Monsters Of Folk) reigning in their viking-vaudevillian style- new songs like "Piranhas," "Bangkok Necktie" and "Oh, La Brea" fit in perfectly, complimenting older favorites like "Hurly/Burly" and the highlight of the night "The Ballad of Butter Beans." Shilpa Ray sauntered out to help out on "Life Fantastic" also, dodging stage divers with the greatest of ease as she crooned the chorus.

For all the banshee screams, honky-tonk piano, warpaint, experimental percussion and chaotic ethos, MAN MAN's musicianship prevails as particularly professional and daunting when you see Honus' fellow bandmates T. Moth and Chang Wang play everything within arms reach including: clavinet, sousaphone, saxophone, trumpet, French Horn, flute, euphonium, marimba and on and on and kitchen sink. With skill to boot. And I'm pretty sure I saw the drummer, Pow Pow, play with his feet more than once. A 2-hour set never teetered on cacophony even when it was the obvious goal, the sound was dialed and I left grinning ear to ear with solid re-assertion that my favorite band had just gotten better.

END NOTE: Kotori's Editor-In-chief Jake McGee got his face painted, big time, and did not receive his free MAN MAN poster as promised, even though he chased the bastard handing 'em out for a solid 20 mins. Dear Sir, we will find you. You have been warned you filthy little scoundrel. 


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