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Thursday, December 12

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Review Thu Sep 24 2015

Man Man Got Weird with Lincoln Hall

I was having a conversation recently about lead singers who play unique instruments where the bass and the drums were cited as the most unusual instrument we'd ever seen a lead singer play. Lead singer Shilpa Ray who fronts the band of the same name blew that out of the water yesterday when she showed up on Lincoln Hall's stage pumping a harmonium.

Ray, who previously fronted the rock outfit Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers, brought her huge, haunting, scorching vocals to front stage as she opened for Man Man. It was a good pairing -- not only are the vocal stylings of the two groups somewhat similar, but Ray's style of singing gave her the stage presence necessary to be memorable -- not an easy task when you're followed by the onstage antics of Honus Honus.

Ray was backed by an unusual range of instruments as well, not only her hand pumped harmonium, but her current lineup also includes Jon "Catfish" DeLorme on the pedal steel guitar, giving the songs a somewhat eerie presence. Ray's lyrics fit well with the timbre of the background music -- airing her 13 year old self's distress at not being allowed to go to space camp on "Johnny Thunders Fantasy Space Camp" and singing "Let's hang ourselves from the traffic lights" on "Shilpa Ray on Broadway" and introducing one of her songs by telling the crowd, "This is a song about being bitter." Ray's worth a listen for anybody in need of catharsis, anybody who enjoys unique instruments, anybody who enjoys a powerful and commanding female lead singer, and anybody who likes punk, blues, or just good music in general.

Next up, Man Man. Everyone was clearly excited -- especially the young gentleman who had busted out his shark hoodie especially for the occasion and managed to work his way to the front of the stage. Honus Honus, Pow Pow and a third gentleman on guitar/trumpet took to the stage to the chorus of Positive K's "I Got a Man" altered to say "What's your Man Man got to do with me?"

All wearing white pants and black shirts, a departure from the last time I saw them when they were rocking the all white garb, the trio got things started with "Easy Eats or Dirty Doctor Galapagos" off of 2008's Rabbit Habits. The group sampled from their albums quite extensively, playing "Piranhas Club" from 2011's Life Fantastic and of course playing some tunes from their most recent 2013 On Oni Pond including crowd favorites "Loot My Body" and "Head On".

The crowd knew exactly what to expect from the experimental rockers, and they got the onstage antics they were expecting. Honus Honus hammed it up for the adoring crowd -- introducing two costume changes into the set (the first into a luscious white fur and the second into a bizarre black vest that had printed on the back the story of a baby being eaten by an alligator), giving out noogies to at least two audience members (including our intrepid sharkman), and at one point grabbing a patron's ipad and giving it a nice lick. How much do you think an ipad with Honus Honus' saliva would go for? I know I'd at least give it a serious think before moving onto the next Ebay item.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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