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What was he thinking? Driving through the city, Honus Honus of Man Man performs “Hold On” in the back of a flatbed truck

Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 1.00.02 PM We’ve seen performance videos of musicians in cabs, hotel rooms, stairways, empty swimming pools, bowling alleys, tanning beds, and various rooftops, but we’ve rarely seen songs performed on flatbed trucks as they’re driving through the city streets. We honestly don’t know how Honus Honus from Man Man kept his composure for the making of this video. Below, watch him perform “Hold On” on the back of a flatbed truck for Soul Pancake.

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Photos from night one of Man Man’s double-header at Union Transfer

Man Man | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com All photos by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Philadelphia’s Man Man kicked off their two-night stand at Union Transfer last night, and even though it was technically not yet Halloween, the guys were costumed-out in skull shirts and alien masks. ‘Cause when you’re Man Man, every day is Halloween. Check out photos of their nicely illuminated performance and its various costume changes in the gallery below, along with some shots of opener Grandchildren. The party continues tonight at Union Transfer with a sold-out bill of Man Man, King Kahn and the Shrines, Melt Banana and Hell Shovel. See you there?

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: TJ Kong at Underground Arts, Mercury Radio Theater at Johnny Brendas and more

Screen shot 2013-10-31 at 10.14.00 AMThe fourth annual TJ Kong and The Atomic Bomb Halloween Spectacular will be raging at Underground Arts tonight. Referred to as a “Costume Ball Rock n’ Roll Murdershow” on the Facebook event page, this is sure to be an interesting event. With TJ Kong’s folk garage rock as the headliner, its going to get raucous and fun. They will be joined by Philadelphia up and comers Cold Fronts, so get there early!

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Tonight’s concert picks: Spirit Family Reunion at Johnny Brenda’s, Just Blaze at Soundgarden Hall, Man Man at Union Transfer and more

spirit family reunion
Photo by Abi Reimold | www.abireimoldphoto.com

Self-proclaimed “open-door gospel” and Americana band Spirit Family Reunion will bring their strings and spirit to Johnny Brenda’s tonight. Although the Brooklyn-born band rejects the label of “blue-grass”, the heavy fiddle and banjo presence makes for some good ol’ boot stompin’ dancin’ music. Tickets for the show are available here.

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Pow Pow and Honus Honus from Man Man present 12 of their favorite Halloween jams

manman Our pals Man Man are playing two hometown shows at Union Transfer this week – including one on Halloween. While spooky music is always an interweb favorite around this time of year, we couldn’t think of any better band to pull together a list of Halloween favorites than Honus Honus and Pow Pow. They’ve made some terrific choices here including music from Sun Ra, The Misfits, the Italian prog-rock band Goblin, the soundtrack to Friday the 13th (Part 3!), the Sixties television show Dark Shadows, and they even manage to fit in a classic from Little Shop of Horrors with Steve Martin. Check out their playlist below, and find tickets and info on their October 30 and 31 shows at Union Transfer at the XPN Concert Calendar.

“Halloween In Harlem” by Sun Ra

“Friday the 13th Part 3 theme”
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Album Review: Man Man’s On Oni Pond (XPN Welcomes to Union Transfer on 10/30 and 10/31)

manman Philly’s Man Man release their new album, On Oni Pond (Anti- Records) this week. Last Friday, September 6th the band gave us a taste of some of the songs from the album when they played Free At Noon. You can listen to that show here. Below, read our review of the new album written by XPN’s Mike Vasilikos.

For fans of the Philadelphia band Man Man, On Oni Pond, the band’s fifth studio album capitalizes on so much of what you love. The band’s energy is contagious, the songs brilliantly bizarre, and despite a love for experimentation this collection is easily the band’s most accessible to date. Yes, On Oni Pond is more focused but it’s no less fun and certainly no less interesting. In fact, it’s arguably the band’s most intriguing album.

One can only imagine that for a band like Man Man the ideas are always overflowing. Given the tremendous energy and dense musical landscape of their songs, the challenge of tightening things up seemed to be just that, a challenge. But for On Oni Pond, the guys headed into the studio with producer Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Monsters of Folk), who apparently did his best to harness that energy and focus it into an infectious batch of tunes. From the wonderfully weird “Pink Wonton” that threatens to “waterboard me with call me maybe” to the futuristic sounding “Paul’s Grotesque” Man Man hit high marks.

The band served up some early indicators that their sound was evolving on album standouts like “Head On”, an immediate radio hit. And yet, their willingness to experiment and push boundaries isn’t compromised. On Oni Pond is a perfect balancing act, it walks a line of energized determination and frantic fun. It’s one of the year’s great surprises.

Don’t miss Man Man playing a double-header show at Union Transfer on October 30th and 31st. Find tickets and more information here.

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Recap: Man Man rocks the crowd from the The Porch at 30th Street Station Free At Noon

Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko
Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko
Live from The Porch at 30th Street Station, Philadelphia’s Man Man played a 50 minutes set Free At Noon on Friday, September 6th. Known for their fearless, unconventional music execution, front man Honus Honus (Ryan Kattner) pushed the envelope by changing his costume three times from the uniform black and red dress. The band release its fifth full-length album On Oni Pond on September 10th. Your next chance to see them again is in October as WXPN Welcomes Man Man to Union Transfer on October 30th and 31st. Go here for tickets to those shows.

Check out the photo gallery below and listen to Man Man’s 50-minute Free At Noon performance here.

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Stream Man Man’s On Oni Pond in its entirety via Pitchfork Advance (playing Free at Noon this Friday)

Reasons to be amped this Tuesday morning: short work week, warm weather, a free outdoor concert from Man Man at 30th Street Station this Friday…and now, some listening material to get you properly prepared for the show. Man Man’s On Oni Pond is streaming in its entirety via Pitchfork Advance. It’s a great collection – possibly the best of their career. Taking the freaky, growly, avant-garde oddities of their early outings (Six Demon Bag and such), it finesses the music through a pop filter so smoothly that the result might be their most accessible album, but it doesn’t compromise their out-there outlandishness or unconventional tendancies. Check it out here; we recommend you listen out for roaring “ooh-la-la” hook on second track “Pink Wonton,” the danceable and self-reflexive “Pyramids,” and of course the jams that are out there already: “End Boss,” “Head On” and “Loot My Body.” Check the “Head On” lyric video below. RSVP for Free at Noon here. See you Friday.

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Listen to Man Man’s new “End Boss” via Facebook (playing Free at Noon on 9/6)

Man Man | Photo by Matthew Davis
Man Man | Photo by Matthew Davis

Building the anticipation for the September release of On Oni Pond, Philly’s Man Man is streaming a new single, “End Boss,” exclusively on Facebook. Go here to listen to the percussion-driven track with lead singer, Honus Honus, repeatedly calling out “if you won’t reinvent yourself, you can’t circumvent yourself.” Don’t miss Man Man playing the Free At Noon on September 6th before their U.S. tour takes off (find more information here), and get details on their homecoming double-header at Union Transfer at the XPN Concert Calendar. Listen to “End Boss” here and watch the lyric video for the album’s other single, “Head On,” below.

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Just Announced: Man Man performing XPN’s Free at Noon concert on 9/6

Man oh man, September’s going to be an excellent month. The weather is cooling down, our Concert Calendar is heating up and we’re kicking it off in the best possible way – with a giant outdoor free concert by Philly’s own Man Man. XPN announced today that the avant-rock group will kick out some mid-day jams outdoors at The Porch at 30th Street Station on Friday, September 6th. It’s free to attend, but you have to RSVP, so do so here.

The band is preparing to unleash its latest record, On Oni Pond; it’s out September 10th via Anti Records, and it’s the band’s most refined work to date – it’s loud and freaky-outy (“Rake My Body”), but with moments of definite melodic beauty and poppiness (“Head On”). We can’t wait to see the new music played outside to a revved-up crowd of facepainted Man Man devotees – not to mention the passersby along Market Street caught completely unawares. We know they’ll dig it too, though. Listen to “Head On” below, and RSVP for the Free at Noon show here.

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