The Passion of the Weiss

Sometimes I rhyme slow, sometimes I rhyme quick. But most of the time, I don't rhyme.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Man Oh Man



In one hundred years historians and anthropologists will undoubtedly study the phenonemon of the genus, homo habilus hipstericus, taking great lengths to analyze how such a species cropped up in various metropolitan areas around the turn of the 21st century. And when they do, they will regard the video posted above as the the Rosetta Stone of hipster-dom. Yes, this shaky homemade footage will surely be scrutinized down to each and every detail to properly assess the nature of the urban hipster. Behold concert footage of the band Man Man playing recently at the 2006 Siren Festival, in the burough of Brooklyn, the Jerusalem of hipster-dom.

Who are Man Man many of you are inevitably wondering? Indeed, Man Man are men, hairy men, men who receive wild unchecked praise across the Internet and print (see this laudatory article about the band in Flagpole magazine (insert pun here).

When God gave his 10 Hipster Commandments to the Hipsters, there was no debate over what the first commandment would be: thou shalt be ironic. Inevitably, to express their desire to appease the aforementioned hipster God (rumored to be Dov Charney), ironic hipster bands needed to emerge to fill the gaping hipster psychic void that has occured in this foul year of our lord, 2006. A year when the hipster nation has been plagued by a disturbance in the force, caused by dissent in the ranks of Fiery Furances fans. Yes, word has circulated through the ranks that the Fiery Furnaces might no longer have what it takes to cause a headache in 30 seconds flat. Luckily, for hipsters, a new deity has emerged: the great Man Man here to save the day.

Definitive Proof That It is Possible to Both Suck and Blow Simultaneously
(pic.via You Ain't No Picasso)

Please... examine the video...listen to the atonal clashing lack of rhythm and of course note the special markings of a hipster band: everyone wearing headbands, check, mustaches, check and short shorts check. Looking like a 1970's porn star on the way to a tennis match, check. Alright, time to rock N' roll.

And the music itself, how to describe it? Well, the music critics of America have generally rushed to hail Man Man as ear-shattering musical maestros (proving once again Chuck Klosterman's theory that brilliance for music critics is liking the music furthest removed from their own experience.) However, I'd describe them as this: the soundtrack to a medieval English witch burning.

Even the interview with the lead singer of the band, Honus Honus (real name Ryan Kattner...the homies called him the Big Kat) is ironic. When asked what he does for a living Honus Honus replies:

“I work in a cockfighting ring,” he tells Flagpole from his Philadelphia home. “I actually prep the cocks. It’s actually quite a dangerous job, because if you get a cock too riled up, it’ll fuck your cheek up. I had a cock cut my neck once and it nearly got my jugular. It’s a brutal sport, but the odds are good. Plus, there’s nothing like a rewarding meal after a long day of fluffing fighting cocks.”
If It Doesn't Say Honus Wagner Than It's Not the Real Thing

Translation: I have a trust fund. I know that a lot of people with good taste in music like this band. I'm not sure why. Just because someone's weird it doesn't mean they're brilliant. I guarantee if you gave me a guitar, a trumpet, some pots and pans, some feathers, a tube of toothpaste, a handle-bar mustache and four jerk-offs plucked from Last Night's Party and if all of us starting banging them around in a spastic off-kilter rhythm, I could go to Brooklyn and convince someone in Williamsburg that I was the second coming of Jesus Christ or at least The Liars. The point is, I wouldn't do that. Because it's a whole lot easier to make purposely bad ironic/weird music than it is to learn to play the guitar well or to write songs. But why learn to write songs with harmony when nobody cares as long as you do something strange to distract them from wondering why you can't the right note or chord.
Hats For Bats...Keep Hipsters Warm
But for all the criticism I have for hipsters, the truth is that not all hipster bands are bad. Sometimes, hipster bands can be very good. Which brings me to the band of merry hipsters pictured above, Brightblack Morning Light, whose epononymous Matador records album is offically The Passion of the Weiss Stoner Record of the year (thus far). If 2004 was the year of the Secret Machines and if 2005 was the year of Dungen, 2006 without a doubt belongs to Brightblack Morning Light.

I'm not neccesarily telling you guys that the band sounds a lot better after four or five or six bong rips, ehhh...who am I kidding. Of course, I am. Seriously. Even the band's press release describes the album as "extraordinarily chill." Which means fire up the ol' vaporizer. At any rate, this album is the real deal, one of the best of the year thus far and it's a definite contender to make my top 20 albums of the year list. They sound sounds sorta' like Atom Heart Mother-era Pink Floyd, if Pink Floyd hadn't been cool and cantankerous Brits and instead were two hippies from Marin County via Alabama who call themselves Nabob and Rabob. Yeah, that's how good the album is, I'm not even gonna' mock their names

Check out an MP3 (yes that's right, I'm slowly making my way to the MP3 age) from the album. If you like it, chances are you'll like the entire album, because basically every song sounds the same. In a good way.

Brightback Morning Light "Everybody Daylight"

If you like that one go over to the Aquarium Drunkard and get two more while you're at it. (

And if you're still stoned than buy the album here


In other news, this post over at Goldenfiddle might be the funniest thing you'll read all year. It needs to be read immediately.

Also check out Chuck Klosterman's list of the Albums That You Need To Hear (via Large Hearted Boy) Klosterman might be a hell of a writer and for the most part he has some outstanding taste in music, Wilco's "Being There," and the Hold Steady's "Separation Sunday," make his list. But he's got some really shitty bands on there. Boston? Thin Lizzy? If I ever hear "More than a Feeling," again there's a good chance I might gouge someone's eyes out. It's a long story, involving my college baseball team, a mix CD we made and the fact that for some reason "More Than a Feeling," and assorted weird trance songs used to come on way more than anything else. Needless to say, no matter how good your baseball team is, you ain't gonna' look very cool when Alice DJ and Boston are playing on the loudspeaker.

Also check out All Music Guide's tribute to the late Arthur Lee, by now everyone reading this should've ordered a copy of Forever Changes, if they didn't already own it.

I don't know why everyone's making such a big deal about Tower Records closing. Honestly, if they really wanted to stay in business, couldn't they sell used CD's? Who wants to pay $17.98 for a new CD when you can download it for free. If anything, I feel bad for the small indie record stores getting driven out of town by the Amoebization of Los Angeles.

Lastly, a month or two ago, I wrote a concert review on Edan and discussed why white hip hop fans don't like white rappers. If I'd just waited a little while longer, I could've just linked to this NY Times article on MC Problem Child, aka Harrison Schneider of Great Neck, Long Island, pictured below.

That's Harrison Schneider....of the Compton Harrison Schneider's

According to the article, "most of Problem Child’s stanzas heap contempt on his suburban environment and are laced with obscenities. (“Haven’t used a word phrase without a curse since the third grade,” he rants in “Got You Beat.”)

In another line, he says, “I ain’t a little dumb white kid who thinks he can rhyme.”

Yes. In fact, that's exactly what you are.

19 Comments:

At 4:36 AM, Blogger Ian said...

"If 2004 was the year of the Secret Machines and if 2005 was the year of Dungen, 2006 without a doubt belongs to Brightblack Morning Light."

So if I don't like any of those bands (especially Dungen), but I like Excepter... am I a hipster? I really hope not.

And dude, Thin Lizzy is awesome. And so is "More Than A Feeling", although I refuse to vouch for the rest of Boston's catalog.

 
At 9:41 AM, Anonymous Zilla Rocca said...

Shiiiieeett---

Let me get down with MC Problem Child as a producer, sell him like 2 wack beats for $20,000 under a pseudonym and I'll be on my way.

Why can't kids who lead the good life just roll with it? What the hell is the point of rebelling against a trust fund and a sweet ride your parents buy for you?

I hope he keeps rebelling and decides to break out on his own to find out the cold, hard fact of being an adult with no hand outs. As Beau Sia of Def Poetry once said, "BEING POOR F*CKING SUCKS!"

I just said a phrase with a curse word. I've been doing it since third grade. Bitch.

 
At 12:28 PM, Blogger Passion of the Weiss said...

Those bands aren't necessarily hipster bands, I'd say they're more stoner bands...so not liking it probably just means you're not high enough...which depending on your perspective is either a very good or a very bad thing. I know I know "More Than a Feeling" was a great song, but it you'd heard that mix CD you'd understand my pain. They refused to play the rap songs, so it was all country, metal and techno. We must've looked like the lamest team in America.

Zilla--Re: MC Problem Child This is why I like Aesop and El-P so much. They understand they couldn't talk about the street convincingly and decided to take it to another level, unlike this chump who has no conception of being an actual artist or an actual intelligent human being. I hope this kid loses his trust fund and has to go to the streets. He seems to embody the wigger kid that everyone always hated...as opposed to the lovable wiggers as depicted in "Can't Hardly Wait," and "Malibu's Most Wanted."

 
At 2:17 PM, Blogger Douglas Reinhardt said...

The bad part about Tower closing is for people like me and when we want to get a cd that's a little off the beaten path and dont want to necessarily waste the gas to go to Amoeba to get an album we can't find to download. It's just easier to zip over to Tower, check if they have it.

that Brightblack Morning Light is good, but I only get through half of it.

 
At 5:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are a fucking tool.

 
At 5:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh man, you got me bro. at first i thought you were about to give praise to these Man Man cats, but you definitely pulled the wool over my eyes.

well shit, this dude doesn't think Man Man write good songs... this either makes me think you're pretty unfamiliar w/ the band, or have no fuckin idea what you're talkin about. have you listened anything of theirs before this show?!

also, dude, PLEASE come to Brooklyn and TRY to come close to this band! i'm so serious, i'll even send you my phone number so i can come see you and write a whole blog entry about it (and post the video on youtibe for everyone to see!) YES!

 
At 5:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

apparently you like very derivative rock and roll. congrats! you're another boring breeder!

 
At 6:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How come every asshole with a blog thinks everything is ironic. Ironic must be blogger speak for: "I don't understand something new."

also, it's great you think insulting means: "I'm so smart." I'm pretty sure that will always get you laid.

 
At 6:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's really hipster to like Brightblack Morning Light.

 
At 6:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

small dick syndrome.

 
At 8:23 PM, Blogger Passion of the Weiss said...

Dear anonymous, (I'll assume that you're all the same person or just various members of the band Man Man vanity googling themselves because obviously the band has 13 fans all of them bloggers and/or their parents.

Here's something that isn't ironic...you're a fucking douchebag. not for liking the band Man Man, because that just implies you don't understand the difference between originality and a lack of talent. That's fine, the two are relatively easy to conflate.

No, you're a douchebag because you anonymously make comments about some obscure hipster band on someone's blog who's obviously trying to make a joke. Trying to come close to Man Man? Why the fuck would I care? Do you think I want to waste my time dealing with a unshaven fucking hipsters and their unattractive girlfriends in striped shirts and fucking leggings. Honestly, I have better things to do. And if I didn't, I could just do that in Silverlake.

Personally, I find people like you the biggest joke of all...insult me all you want. I just hope you realize that just because you were a nerd your entire life and now you hang out with a bunch of other nerds trying to pretend that your "crazy alternative hipster" lifestyle is cool, it isn't. You will always be a loser. Have fun at life. You suck. Seriously. And if you have a problem come here and say it to my face. I hear Man Man fans are pretty fucking hard. Maybe you can throw some feathers at me or perhaps shave your beard and try to give me a rash. Rock on douchebag. Rock on.

 
At 8:29 PM, Anonymous Miss Grammar Miss said...

Well, I can see that there is a very heated debate here between anonymous and anonymous. As a loyal reader and fan of ThePassion, I have just a few quick points:

1) Is that "fucking tool" comment supposed to be an insult? Last I checked a "fucking tool" was more commonly referred to as a vibrator. And I have to tell you, most girls I know have only positive things to say about their vibrators. If you are suggesting that PassionoftheWeiss can bring it like an electronic sex toy, then right on. If you are trying to be insulting, then may I politely suggest you try to be clearer -- and more creative.

2) Youtibe = youtube? (Just want to keep it straight. Which seems a little difficult for you to do, what with all this talk about sex toys and man-parts.)

4) Which brings me finally to the "small dick syndrome" comment. I realize that this is a stock insult that can be very effective in the correct application, but is this really an appropriate use? I mean, aren't most of you hipster types rather, um, petite?

Otherwise a very rousing round of comments. Carry on anonymous, carry on. I'll be here for editing advice should you require further assistance.

 
At 9:29 PM, Blogger Nate said...

Derivative Rock and Roll, huh? The Guy's favorite album of the year is Sunset Rubdown's Shut Up I'm Dreaming, which is an incredible album and hardly derivative. Look, to be perfectly honest, Man Man sucks. The problem with you fucking hipsters is that despite your quest to be unique and ironic, you're all a bunch of lemmings (Just attend one of these fucking shows and see how all of these "original kids" all dress and act the fucking same). As well, you guys think that because something is unique it is good. That is complete douche bag logic. Yeah, Man Man has their own unique sound, but it sucks. Now a band that has a unique, creative sound and actually produces listenable music is a completely different subject (See Sunset Rubdown). But don't try to put this garbage into that category. And the reason bloggers call you guys out on trying to be ironic is because that is what the hipster culture lives for. Hipsters are the kind of people that drink Corona from a can because it's ironic and counter culture. If I opened a taco stand in silver lake called the worst taco stand in the world and served bomb as tacos, you better believe that you hipster douche bags would crowd around that bitch, just because it would be so ironic to love to grub at the worst taco stand in the world. You hipsters strive to be so counterculture when the only thing that allows most of you guys to be faux photographers/artists/musicians is the fact that most of your parents are rich out of their asses. Go comment on another blog...douche bags...

 
At 10:39 AM, Anonymous Patrick said...

It's cute that all you blogger shitheads look out for each other.

 
At 6:07 PM, Anonymous Matt said...

Another Animal Collective? Loved the rebuttle and "throw some feathers at me" altho I'm down with them striped shirt/legging girls.. Nate please open The Worst Taco Stand In The World, or we'll do it together, because its fucking so simple and appropriately lame enough, that its genius!

 
At 10:19 AM, Anonymous Zilla Re-Up said...

Damn Weiss:

This is like Jerry Springer or some shit.

I try not to hang around hipsters or go to hipster hang-outs as much as possible. When I have stumbled onto a hipster experience, what I have taken away from that crowd is a genuine disinterest in music.

I could be wrong but the vibe I've gotten from hipsters is that for the most part, they don't genuinely love and support bands like Man Man. They like them for a month, they might see them live once or twice, and they'll probably TELL other people how cool Man Man is or how THEY saw them play last year at some shitty bar.

And that's it--they move to the next obscure, dancy, ironic band.

I'd much rather prefer the diehard Dipset fans or the people that still give a shit about DMX to make his album #2. You know where they stand with the artists they support. "I don't care how ignorant, repititive and despicable this shit is, I LOVE IT!" That's what I get from Jim Jones disciples and Hell Rell believers. They're not copping mixtapes because it's cool and ironic--they really love these clowns! What more can you ask for from music fans?

 
At 6:37 PM, Blogger Nate said...

The crazy thing is that the music itself is not that terrible. It's not great, but it's not terrible. But once you add whatshisface's vocals, you want to slit your wrist. Plus their get ups make them look like complete hipster douche bags...

 
At 12:14 AM, Blogger Ian said...

I know at least one person who really, no-fooling loves their live show. And on the strength of that I'd be willing to check them out live. But on record.... yeah, weak sauce.

 
At 12:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear ian,

who the hell says weak sauce anyway?

 

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