I'm big into Man Man, man.
January 30, 2007 6:10 PM   Subscribe

I have recently found and fallen for the band Man Man. Recommend similar artists.

I like Man Man for the style of music they've taken as their background, and also for their way of perverting it. By the former, I mean the Eastern European style in songs like Engwish Bwudd and Banana Ghost, and for the latter there aren't many examples that come to mind, but Black Goggles got several plays when I first heard it.

I'm looking for anyone that could fit into two categories:

-bands that take a style of music and do something novel with it. A concept that's terrible to put into words, I know. I'm looking for artists similar to those I've listed below.
- bands with singers that use similar harmonic and melodic structures as Man Man's singer. I love what he does and I can't think of anyone else who works the same.

Answers that I don't need:
Mr. Bungle (weird on top of scary metal circus music)
Akron/Family (weird folk)
Animal Collective (weird electronic noise)
anticon/cLOUDDEAD/Hymie's Basement/Subtle/Why?(weird hip hop)
posted by tylermoody to Media & Arts (21 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I'm well aware of Last.fm's "similar artists" functions, and Pandora, but I haven't been able to make god musical predictions.
posted by tylermoody at 6:12 PM on January 30, 2007

Well, the obvious influences for Man Man (to me) are Tom Waits (see esp. Bone Machine) and Beefheart.

Past that, there's a weird religious band called the Psalters that might meet your criteria.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 6:15 PM on January 30, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: On a quick preview, Psalters are precisely the kind of thing I'm looking for. Thanks!
posted by tylermoody at 6:21 PM on January 30, 2007

Gogol Bordello comes to mind.
posted by stresstwig at 6:56 PM on January 30, 2007

Sun City Girls (but be careful...their discog is huge and very spotty)
posted by Joseph Gurl at 7:17 PM on January 30, 2007

Tom Waits is the obvious choice.

I'm a terrible person when it comes to understanding concepts like melody and harmony so I'm gonna recommend people that I think do interesting things with their intonation and hope that that's somewhat similar to what you mean. Man Man's Blue Turban album is a fave of mine, btw. (You mention Why?, and he's one of my very fave bands so I'm hoping you're not dismissing him but are discounting him because you're already familiar with him).

How about:

- The Dirty Projectors, especially Getty Address
- Text's self titled album
- Scott Walker's The Drift or, if you can find it, In My Room
- Ergo Phizmiz - especially his cover of VU's White Light album
- Gang Gang Dance
- CoCoRosie
- Sweep The Leg Johnny (especially tomorrow we will run faster)
- Jana Hunter (you may like if you like Akron/Family). sample
- Jewlia Eisenberg
- Jorge Reyes (fucked up world music)
- Kletka Red
- Lhasa De Sela
- Madagascar
- Ass
- Moondog
posted by dobbs at 7:25 PM on January 30, 2007

I always liked Firewater. Eastern European/Kletzmer-influenced, they're like Gogol Bordello's moodier, darker cousin.
posted by Kronoss at 8:04 PM on January 30, 2007

sixteen horsepower is kinda like goth or something dark (but not too noisy) crossed with country...

and if you're not familiar with the magnetic fields, they do a whole bunch of different styles of pop but usually with a humorous twist.
posted by lgyre at 8:31 PM on January 30, 2007

Pit Er Pat, has a similar overall feeling/overarching concept to their albums, as does Ghost Trucker. Just like Man Man, their albums are best listened to start-to-finish.

Waits and Beefheart (as everyone has already said) are by far the most similar in vocal styling however.
posted by o0o0o at 8:32 PM on January 30, 2007

For the sort of Eastern European sound, try Emir Kurustrica and the No Smoking Orchestra.
posted by Falconetti at 9:59 PM on January 30, 2007

can ? califone ?
posted by stuartmm at 11:56 PM on January 30, 2007

Huh, I can't really see the "Eastern Europeanness" of the songs. A lot of it is more like traditional English folk songs, but YMMV. In any case, you might want to go deep into some back catalogs and check out Zappa and Captain Beefheart (as o0o0o said). For more Hipster World Music, check out:

A Hawk and a Hacksaw
Storsveit Nix Noltes (an Icelandic band covering Bulgarian or Hungarian folk songs; they opened for Animal Collective in the spring)

and, completely out of left field: Black Dice
posted by The Michael The at 4:54 AM on January 31, 2007

I second Gogol Bordello. Also Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet (for twisting surf music a little), Man Or AstroMan and The Beta Band. The last three are probably hopelessy out of date but still worthwhile.
posted by spicynuts at 6:44 AM on January 31, 2007

There are a few Residents albums that are sort of in the same musical universe:

Meet The Residents
Not Available
Duck Stab (bit of a stretch)
Mark of the Mole (quite a stretch)
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 7:02 AM on January 31, 2007

Triangulating by the bands you've listed:
I second The Residents, and would recommend Kultur Shock, who are like Gogol Bordello but more punk, and 16 Horsepower's last album (whose name escapes me, honestly). There's also Hun Huur Tu (who 16 Horsepower cover in an achingly desolate bluegrass style), and their former singer Yat-Kha, who recorded a blues album with throat singing.
And you should probably pick up The Fantomas albums, and the Mike Patton solo stuff. Also, if you're into jazz, John Zorn and Tzadik have a lot of klezmer-influenced stuff that you'd probably like. Into The Freylakh is another klezmer-fusion jazz band that you'd probably dig.
posted by klangklangston at 7:26 AM on January 31, 2007

Man Man is great.

What about Beruit? Pretty different yes, but really good, fun, and a lot of Eastern European influence.
posted by zazerr at 7:58 AM on January 31, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks all, I've got weeks of digging to do now.

All of the bands I listed are there because I already know about them, not because I wanted to avoid them.
posted by tylermoody at 8:20 AM on January 31, 2007

I've been listening to a ton of Kiss Kiss this week. Their tune "Machines" reminds me a lot of the percusive side of Man Man.

You'd also probably like O'death.
posted by yeti at 8:26 AM on January 31, 2007

16 Horsepower's last album

It was under the name Woven Hand and called Mosaic I think. Good band in general.
posted by Falconetti at 8:37 AM on January 31, 2007

+1 Beirut and Gogol Bordello.
Also: Devotchka, Album
posted by rmless at 10:30 AM on January 31, 2007

The last album 16 Horsepower released was apparently called Olden, but I was thinking of Folklore.
And now they're Woven Hand and Lilium.
posted by klangklangston at 11:03 AM on January 31, 2007

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