Man Man, Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers | Metro | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Man Man, Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers Recommended 18+ Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard

When: Tue., May 24, 9 p.m. 2011

Albums can almost seem like a formality for bands that focus on spectacular live shows. Fortunately that's not the case with Philadelphia's favorite crazy-painted, tighty-whitey warriors, Man Man. On first listen their brand-new Life Fantastic (Anti-), the long-awaited follow-up to 2008's Rabbit Habits, sounds like good times (albeit weird times), with the familiar grab-bag instrumentation (horns, xylophones, household utensils, etc) and hopped-up rhythms twisted and braided into staccato bursts of fun-house pop. But closer listens reveal just how dark the depths beneath can get. As jaunty as the record is, front man Honus Honus uses his signature wordplay, filled with startling rhymes and puns, to make shameless, abject cries to heaven—bad luck, bad romance, and an overall bad relationship with the human condition, rendered as unblinkingly as anything on, say, an Eels album. There's a lot of death and despair on Life Fantastic, woven into a sound that's almost aggressively playful. Never under­estimate the healing effects of manic, hysterical laughter—especially from a band that has such a gift for the orgiastic. —Monica Kendrick

Price: $19, $17 in advance

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