Mr. Bill George Presents

Musical Digression

In Music on July 2, 2009 at 9:34 PM

Recently I have discovered an interesting trend in my musical tastes. And that trend, which only until recently became apparent to me, is that for some reason I no longer enjoy music unless there is the presence of some unconventional instrument such as an accordion, fiddle, or random wind instrument thrown into the mix.

I believe this started a few years ago when I became a fan of a Philadelphian band, Man Man, that utilizes a variety of instruments/noisemakers in their music which creates a distinct blend of musical chaos that suits my fancy. This was then furthered when I became a fan of gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello whom utilizes a violin in most of their tracks aside from other random instruments.

Now I have spiraled into listening to such bands as Balkan Beat Box, BeiruitDevotchka, Ethiopian Jazzist Mulatu Astatke and other bands that have a wild undefinable sound to them. Perhaps this could be due to the fact that I lack the musical aptitude to classify these bands but I find my favorite music is the kind of music I have difficulty explaining to people. Most recently an elderly gent at my place of work asked me what kind of music Man Man was when I told him I was going to a concert and as I processed all the possible explanations of what their music entails all that came out in the end was “….rock?”

This fact is mainly why I decided to write this article at the present, first off in an attempt to try to categorize my favorite music, and second of all to provide some not-so-popular bands that people may find interesting.

First off I’d like to talk about Man Man, my favorite band at the moment and one that I will go any lengths to see live. Man Man is composed of 5 individuals who all sport ridiculous stage names such as “Honus Honus,” “Chang Wang,” and “Critter Crat.” When they play live they don white jeans, white shirts, and decorate their faces with white face paint. Their performance can best be likened to a group of talented cave men performing in a back alley London dive circa 1920.  They were one of the first bands that really defined my musical tastes and I would suggest listening to a personal favorite of mine, “10lb Mustache” over on the tube for you. (

Another favorite of mine, one considerably more popular than Man Man, though I do run into plenty of people who have never heard of them is Gogol Bordello. It’s a bit easier to classify them and if I had to pick one genre I’d say they are punk, though the eastern European twist they put on it makes them fantastic. I recently saw them in Boston for the first time and it was probably the best show I’ve ever seen. They played for close to three hours and the whole time I was writhing in a sea of people and sweat set at a constant 98.6 degrees while struggling to maintain the little fluids I had left and the fact that I wasn’t absolutely miserable in said conditions says something about the quality of the show. Their music is fast paced and full of energy and since I have been in a faced paced energetic mood as of late it compliments my day to day nicely. A song I’d recommend by them would have to be “Start Wearing Purple” ( and I insist that you check it out.

I suppose those are the two biggies I wanted to talk about, however I would like to leave off with a song I recently came across that I am in love with by Les Claypool with Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordello as a guest singer called “Bite out of Life.” (

And if anyone out there has some music that you feel is similar to these illustrious bands let me know, for I am constantly searching for new music.

  1. I remember that Man Man / Gogol show! It was so awesome… oh wait, I got lost in Boston and missed it. 🙂

    I’d love to see Gogol, but am very pumped to see Honus and the boyz on the 18th!

    & Les Claypool is the shit, you should listen to more of his stuff even though Bite is a great song.

  2. […] taken out, but grin when I take another hunk of cash out and put it toward my car savings. I buy a Man Man ticket as soon as it goes onsale without hesitation. I charge $114 on my American Eagle credit […]

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