Scrolling Headlines:

UMass hockey competes hard, falls to No. 10 Providence College in overtime -

February 26, 2017

Overtime goal hands UMass hockey its 15th straight loss in regular season finale -

February 26, 2017

Former NAACP President Benjamin Jealous gives talk at UMass -

February 25, 2017

Anti-racism workshop teaches tactics to fight oppression in community -

February 25, 2017

Providence power play haunts UMass hockey in 6-2 loss -

February 25, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 10 Providence on Senior Night at the Mullins center -

February 25, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falters in the second half, falling to George Washington 83-67 Thursday -

February 24, 2017

UPDATE: SGA announces second and third artist for ‘Mullins Live!’ -

February 23, 2017

Divest UMass and STPEC host panel on building ‘solidarity economies’ in the Trump era -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s basketball losing streak extends to 10 games after loss to URI -

February 23, 2017

Sixth annual Advocacy Day set to take place March 1 -

February 23, 2017

Panel discusses racial, sexual and psychological violence in response to art exhibit -

February 23, 2017

Judy Dixon enters final season with UMass tennis with simple message: One match at a time -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball enduring early-season limitation in playing in New England -

February 23, 2017

Minutewomen softball begins season with cross-country travel, string of tournaments -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior Hannah Murphy is Angela McMahon’s latest legend in the making -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball looks to bounce back from disappointing 2016 season -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior defenders accept leadership roles in quest for ninth consecutive Atlantic 10 Championship -

February 23, 2017

Kelsey McGovern rejoins UMass women’s lacrosse as an assistant coach after starring for Minutewomen -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse looks to continue improving throughout 2017 season -

February 23, 2017

Rock like a “Man Man” in NoHo this weekend

Philadelphia-based experimental rock group Man Man will perform in Northampton this Saturday, Oct. 3 at 9 p.m. at the Pearl Street Nightclub. Tickets can be purchased on the Pearl Street website for $12.50 or at the door for $15.

Man Man’s current lineup is currently comprised of a fluctuating number of multi-instrumentalists with pseudonyms, fronted by vocalist/keyboardist Ryan Kattner (or “Honus Honus”). The other core members go by “Sergei Sogay” on bass, “Chang Wang” on saxophone, “Pow Pow” on drums and “Critter Crat” on guitar/trumpet.

They have released three albums since their formation in 2003 The most recent, “Rabbit Habits,” was released in April of last year to generally positive reviews and the band’s greatest commercial success yet (despite a fairly negligible sales impact).

Musically, Man Man’s style is a blend of gypsy jazz, honky-tonk vaudeville and frenetic rock. Their startling arrangements hide forgotten treats like the clavinet, sousaphone and euphonium alongside the electric bass, synthesizer and – in a jam – fire extinguisher. The antique mischief in their instrumentation, anchored by Honus Honus’s piano, brings their sound into the realm of mythic Americana.

In their notoriously raucous live shows, Man Man has been known to perform theatrical stage antics, from jarring light displays, jumping and kicking in time to already jerky rhythms. In preparation for these performances, each member dresses in all white and wears war paint, giving the group a collective character like that of a feral tribe of tennis players.

Their oddball instrumentation, absurdist sensibilities and over-the-top theatrics belly a certain melancholy that covers all of their music in a Gothic shade (that’s Poe’s “Gothic,” not your little sister’s “gothic”). Man Man’s bombastic sadness recalls Tom Waits at his best and P.T. Barnum at his worst.

It’s that damp, back-alley street music dynamic – at once exciting and gloomy – that has endeared Man Man to their fans and confused and repulsed everyone else. In spite of the predictably low record sales that come with independent releases and (arguably) inaccessible music, they have garnered a good deal of media attention. Their music has been featured in a line of Nike ads starring Rainn Wilson and an episode of Weeds.

Less unwarranted is their wide exposure on the indie scene. They achieved relative prominence during their 2007 tour with Modest Mouse, where their wild-eyed stage capers wowed audiences and, by many accounts, upstaged the aforementioned headliners. Then, in 2008, they played at the Voodoo Experience music festival.

But on Saturday night, they will be playing to a club crowd – albeit in a club with a capacity of 1200. So all those strange, swampy, sad-clown stage surprises that have made Man Man such an intriguing act will feel right up close and personal, such that one might almost be able to reach up and stroke Honus Honus’s mustache or flip a silver dollar into the bell of Chang Wang’s sax. In fact, if you are at the show Saturday night, you should definitely throw some change at the stage – the band would doubtless incorporate it into their unholy percussive chorus.

Garth Brody can be reached at gbrody@student.umass.edu.

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