(One) Man’s Inhumanity To Man Man

Posted in Rock Und Roll at 10:34 am by

While David Roth was entertaining himself by not watching Game 2 of the Warriors/Jazz series, I was amongst those held captive last night in an outdoor ampitheatre surrounded by big box retailers, watching 3 American rock’n’roll bands of varying degrees of repute.

Sandwiched between the very respectable Love As Laughter (who are visually and musically unrecognizable from the time they had the misfortune of sharing a bill with the Air Traffic Controllers in 1998) and shockingly impressive Modest Marr (who showed the difference between mere entertainment and transcendence might just be a matter of adding the right iconic sideman — but enough about Magic Andy, that elderly guitarist from Manchester is no slouch, either) were a group I humbly submit as the Worst Of 2007. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Man Man.

To call Man Man’s cloy, contrived and feckless display of grunts, snorts and do’s and don’t’s column “wackiness” an affront to adult society is to give them far too much credit. We’re regularly assaulted by artists who rely on gestures rather than content, but last night’s performance was a new low in hack-suckery. Minutes after the set, Don Van Vliet had his do-not-resuscitate papers signed and registered, for fear he might someday be cited as an influence. Hours afterwards, plans were put in place for a summer package tour featuring Man Man, the reformed Primus, Fishbone and at least one token “conscious” rap artist (are Arrested Development available, with or without the zillion year old guy?). If necessary, a token pop/punk artist with fewer idiosyncracies than Tim Duncan can be added to the bottom of the bill (paging What Made Milwaukee Famous).

At the risk of coming off like even more of a dust-covered old fuck than usual, there’s more grit, invention and genuine insanity in the 3 minues of Spike In Vain’s “EKG” than Man Man’s half dozen members could muster during the longest 30 minutes of my life. To paraphase Dice Clay as Ford Fairlaine, they’re raping rock and killing roll. Or perhaps that was killing rock and raping roll. Either way, these guys are bad fucking news.

19 responses to “(One) Man’s Inhumanity To Man Man”

  1. mts says:


  2. Jackie says:

    I have never disagreed more. Man Man are delightful live there is plenty of soulful content despite their unfortunate gestures.

  3. GC says:

    “delightful”? Jesus christ, we’re in serious trouble if that’s actually meant to help their cause. I apologize in advance to anyone who is a friend or relative of these schmucks, but seriously, those who attended last night’s atrocity exhibition are very fortunate my hundreds of hours of therapy have been going so well, because this band is another Blacksburg waiting to happen.

  4. Jackie says:

    I can’t speak for last night. Man Man are rad.

  5. SG says:


  6. SG says:

    Sorry- my comment was in reference to the actual post, not the Jackie’s comment.

  7. Jon Solomon says:

    If you don’t care for Man Man, you really don’t want to hear Man or Astro-Man Man.

  8. GC says:

    perhaps not, Jon. But I am keeping an open mind about Rapeman Man.

  9. mts says:

    I am now accepting bets on which one of us gets cornered by a bandmember or publicist for this thread.

  10. GC says:

    my money’s on you, Maria.

  11. D. Mosurock says:

    I’d like to corner whichever member or supporter of Man Man that’s been tagging their name on houses and buildings all over my neighborhood in Brooklyn. I would Man Manhandle them in the most inhuman-man of ways and prove to them once and for all that Man Man is the Bastard.

  12. Chuck says:

    As opposed to what, Manfred Mann?

  13. D. Mosurock says:

    I’ll open the book of Manfred Mann to Chapter III, then slam their Man Man-hoods in it!

  14. Brushback says:

    Wow, I wish I had seen this comment string sooner. A laff-riot.

  15. mike a says:

    There has to be some way of working a “Man Manwich” into this thread, but I’m too tired on a Friday afternoon to be that clever.

  16. Sal C says:

    I saw them open for your other favorites (The Hold Steady) in New York City a few years ago. Your description seems pretty apt. Best part of the night; Man Man being heckled with cries of “Go back to Brooklyn!” They are from Philly, of course. Who does reside in Brooklyn, however? That’s right, the headliners that evening. But I guess the heckler was referring to some symbolic Brooklyn that foists unlistenable noise-rock on the unsuspecting public.

  17. GC says:


    I’m not familiar with this Hold Steady outfit, but I’m told the singer does a mean version of “Rosalita”.

    As far as this “unlistenable noise rock” is concerned, that sounds vaguely interesting. I mean, not to celebrate any genre over another, but Man Man’s slapschtickian Mothers of Uninvention routine was not particularly noisy.

  18. Plague says:

    Another band I want to punch in the face.

  19. JP says:

    I saw Man Man open for Modest Mouse months ago and it was grand. Man Man put on twice the show that Modest Mouse did (great music, but man Issac Brock is a prick). I would recommend a Man Man show to anyone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *