22 February 2006

man man - "van helsing boombox" (from the six demon bag lp, available for purchase here.)

recent acts like wolf parade and clap your hands say yeah have received comparisons to tom waits, either b/c of a frog in the throat or a vague sense of the carnivalesque. man man, though, man man here is the guy.

at this point, we also might as well bring beefheart, zappa and all of the other occupants of the avant-ghetto, which is an overly fussy way of saying that man man will never be popular (on the plus side, though, they won't face a strokes / franz ferdinand / arcade fire backlash). but that's not to say that they're inaccessible : "van helsing boombox" is downright hummable, w/ verses, chorus, and a string part. indeed, like the best of beefheart, somehow a title that on the surface seems incomprehensible makes perfect sense after a few listens. in the refrain, vocalist honus honus vows to learn a forgotten language; amidst drums that thump like barn doors in a twister and what seems for all the world to be tap dancing, the listener feels as if he's passed on that knowledge. "van helsing boombox?" precisely.

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