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July 2014
Peter Matthew Bauer
Thank God The Walkmen are on a “hiatus.” As unpopular a statement as that might be to fans of the beloved indie-rock outfit, the resulting album, Liberation! (Mexican Summer), by the group’s former bassist Peter Matthew Baur reinforces the truth behind what I think. Baur has taken the time as a chance to expand his wingspan creatively, producing an album that’s slick, resonant and infectiously psychedelic.
It’s a heady journey through the artist’s far-from-normal life, never lacking in emotion and fundamentally based in a sense of optimism. Also, one of the most fascinating things going on with Liberation! is how it blends local and international aesthetics without ever feeling like appropriation or pandering. Songs such as “I Was Born in an Ashram” and “Philadelphia Raga” feel organic and refreshing, incorporating exotic influences without ever making them feel awkwardly placed or unnecessary.
The whole effort is the culmination of a meditative post-“hiatus” tour through Europe, and it shows. The record is relaxed and casual yet exploratory, never seeming to break a sweat while being thoroughly entertaining. The collection of songs has a comforting accessibility reminiscent of couchbound evenings of honesty-filled, drunken/stoner chats with your best buddies, which may seem to come few and far between as all of us get older and busier. - Daniel Ludwig

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Man Man

New Video: "School Of Rock Charlotte Kids React to MAN MAN!"

This is adorable. School of Rock's Music Director in Charlotte, NC, Eric Lockwood, exposed some camp youngsters to the wonderful weirdness of Philly's own Man Man, and told them that they were about to view the "greatest band in the world performing the geratest song in the world - "Black Mission Goggles" live at Amoeba. We definitely spotted some future music critics and a couple of new Man Man fans in the crowd. You gotta love the brutal honesty of children! Special thanks to Philly Mag for bringing this to our attention.


New Music Video: "Loot My Body" - Man Man

Man Man just premiered a new lyrics music video over at The A.V. Club for the track "Loot My Body," which contains a lot of great tour footage. They'll also be heading on the road again soon keeping them quite busy through February. Unfortunately, no Philly dates on the schedule yet which isn't surprising since they already did a two-night run for Halloween at Union Transfer followed by a more intimate show at Underground Arts on their last trek around the country in support of their most excellent LP On Oni Pond.


Man Man & Banned Books Providing Beautiful Insanity at Underground Arts Dec. 29

So, Man Man is returning to Philly this Sunday for a performance, and as always, it’s sort of a big deal. Not only are they amongst that select pantheon of local bands that have achieved wider renown, but they’re also arguably one of the cornerstones of our weird, wonderful indie rock community. Each song in their library is a sublime blending of straightforward rock and some sort of manic hallucination. Seeing them is like being hit over the head with a melody, after which you might be hit with more literal objects, because that’s the sort of thing Man Man does. They’ll be bringing this beautiful insanity to the Underground Arts tonight, joined by the harmonically berserk Banned Books, an outfit that mixes the intensity of a ska band with the composition of a boundary-pushing indie one. Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St., 8pm, $25, 21+ - Daniel Ludwig

New Video: "Head On" (Live - SoulPancake) - Man Man's Honus Honus

We instantly fell in love with "Head On," Man Man's attempt at writing a hit for their final contractual release with Anti-. And now, it's even more charmingly adorable to us with this performance by Honu Honus on the back of moving flatbed truck for SoulPancake. Thanks to The Swollen Fox for bringing it to our attention and making our day.


Happy Halloween & Don’t Get Arrested!

We love Halloween; however, we’re also not always the greatest planners. For those who actually have a costume but still aren’t sure where they’ll be getting into trouble tonight, please allow us to make a few suggestions. Surprisingly, the weekend before Halloween was rather a disappointment this year. We’re guessing that with the holiday falling on Thursday, people figured that it was close enough to the weekend to make it a long one. Hopefully, you were able to take off work tomorrow to fully enjoy the festivities. Or at least, you have a cool enough boss who can forgive you smelling like a dive bar while still having some residue of zombie makeup on at work.
Well, a good place to be where there will be no judgment this evening is the 4th annual TJ Kong Halloween Costume Ball Rock N Roll Murdershow at Underground Arts with Kong and the Atomic Bomb, Cold Fronts, Johnny Showcase, Purples (ex-Teeth), Manterial Girl and DJ Breakfast (Jonas Oesterle). This will surely be the place for fine up-and-coming local acts, drunken debauchery and human sacrifices - if you’re into that sort of thing like we are. If you’re looking to spend Halloween in a bigger space, the Philly staple for live concert craziness, Man Man, will be closing out their two-night Halloween run at Union Transfer with King Khan & The Shrines, MELT-BANANA and Hell Shovel. Another traditional Philly favorite is Making Time with this year’s party dubbed “Pure Halloween.” You’ll find the usual suspects raging to futuristic sounds.
Now, those are the bigger events on our radar. So if you are feeling like doing something kind of off the beaten path, there is Mercury Radio Theater, who will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of their album The Death and Life of the Undead Boy, at Johnny Brenda’s with local burlesque mainstay Miss Rose and her lovelies. And for those who are in a giving mood on this unholy of evenings, you can find likeminded people at The Mitten for the Halloween Cover Show to Benefit the Philadelphia Student Union and at The Boot & Saddle, where our friends Iron will be hosting a benefit show for BuildOn.org, an organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty, illiteracy and low expectations through service and education.
All these events should have you covered for tonight - just don’t get arrested. Have a happy and somewhat safe Halloween - cheers! - Q.D. Tran

Grandchildren Opening for Man Man at Union Transfer Oct. 30

Tonight, West Philly ensemble Grandchildren will be opening night one of Man Man’s two-night run at Union Transfer. The two groups have had mutual crushes on each other for a while since Honus Honus name-dropped them back in 2010 as his favorite local band. Later, Man Man made things official by taking Grandchildren out on tour in support of their 2011 album Life Fantastic. Since then, both bands have kept busy releasing new albums. Grandchildren’s latest effort Golden Age, a bourgeoning collection of tight compositions and complex syncopation, came out earlier this year on Earnest Jenning Record Co. The band toured for a while with Yip Deceiver so this is a good chance to see the sextet back on their home turf.  These guys are notoriously badass in the live setting, and have been honing their set on the road, so you won’t be disappointed with this last minute addition. 
From “Werewolf (on the hood of yer heartbreak)” to Wolf Blitzer in “End Game,” Man Man has managed to become a respected and beloved band talked about on Pitchfork and Anderson Cooper alike - all without restraining any of their endearing weirdness. Instead, they have matured, continued to experiment, and five albums in seem to be finding their sound more than ever before. You know that Man Man is going to pull out all the stops for this Halloween run, so get that face paint and headdress ready, and don’t be afraid of a little confetti and fake blood. Or maybe real blood? Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St., 8pm, $20, All Ages - Adam G.

New Man Man LP Available for Streaming

Check out Man Man's new full-length album On Oni Pond streaming in its entirety over at Pitchfork Advance! The LP officially comes on September 10 via Anti-. Don't forget to RSVP HERE for their Free at Noon performance outside of 30th St. Station this Friday, Sept. 6.


New Track: "End Boss" - Man Man

Check out another rad new tune from Man Man's upcoming LP On Oni Pond called "End Boss" HERE! The album will be out September 10 via Anti-. You can also catch them performing outside at The Porch at 30th Street Station on Friday, September 6 for XPN's Free at Noon concert series. Enjoy!




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