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Preview: Man Man

Noah Bonaparte Pais on the band coming to Howlin' Wolf Sept. 21



Man Man Like a record-scratching wedding toast that gets recounted for years afterward, there are those who still speak in wild-eyed, you-had-to-be-there tones about Man Man's October 2007 concert at Republic New Orleans. It was parents' night at the insane asylum, a straitjacketed medley led by handlebar mustachioed ringleader Honus Honus, clobbering his keys as if they looked at him wrong, his white-T'd, Philly crew concussing every percussive instrument in sight (pots, pans, drums, craniums). The set list that evening consisted largely of songs from Six Demon Bag, which captured the band in a kind of halfway house between certifiable and certified: Its first album, 2004's The Man In a Blue Turban With a Face, slapped 10-pound mustaches onto Peruvian monsters, sicko kiddie chorales onto gypsy-jazz spaz-outs. Its follow-up, 2008's Rabbit Habits, set down a canopied path of controlled polka-timed chaos, marked by increasingly frequent pop clearings (Life Fantastic, this month's On Oni Pond). Man Man returned the next year for the Voodoo Music + Art Experience and poked into One Eyed Jacks in 2011, but it's that lone show six years ago that still gooses the flesh. Sylvan Esso and ImagineIAM open. Tickets $15. — Noah Bonaparte Pais

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