Man Man - Six Demon Bag
First, Will, Doomsday, and Pat, this one is for you.
Last week, or at least recently, I told you how I was introduced to one of my new favorite artists. The discovery of music is sometimes as interesting to me as the music itself. I think there are three major ways we find new music. The first is the corprate music way. It is shoved at you every way imaginable, and the music is just sort of absorbed.
The second is the active discovery method. You hear something intreguing and go after it. This is how I found Mr. Watts.
The third, and in my opinion the best, is to be brought into fandom by a friend who is already a fan. I love it when friends introduce me to new music. As is obvious, I guess, from this blog. The moment when someone says, what do you think about (band I have never heard of), I get a bit giddy. Usually, I am introduced to new music this way.
Man Man is one of these bands. I was introduced to them through a road trip that I have remarked upon before. On this trip, I was innundated with music, but this album and Death From Above 1979 were the break out hits from the trip.
Actually, I didn't really like this album at the beginning of the trip. It sounded to me like a way too easy attempt to make "ironic carnival dark music" and it was a bit blah for me. But with the insistance of my friends, I stopped tuning it out and actually listened.
Man Man is some incredibly dark, haunting, beautiful music. The surface is some weird carnival music, but that is just a cover for the deep dark depths that are under the surface. The music is deliciously crafted, often sounding raw and easily sticking in your brain. Every time you listen, you will hear a new sound, noise, or even line in the notes.
My only complaint is that there is a bit of an admission fee. You have to be able to deal with the somewhat distracting and simple theme to plum the depths, and you need to give it some time. I would suggest that you listen, find a song you like on the album and use it as a seam to get in. Find the moment that you go "this is amazing," and try to absorb that. Personally, my way in was Feathers and Van Helsing Boombox.
Man Man is one of those bands that rewards you for getting involved with them. You may be turned off by their sound, but if you stick with it, there is real musical treasure to be had here. It's one of those bands that I almost skipped class to go see in Baltimore. Almost. I cannot wait to see them the next time I can, and I hope you, faceless nameless reader will be there with me.
"Act of God, thought Dirk. But which God, and why?"