WXPN 88.5 Welcomes ...
Xenia Rubinos, Grandchildren
1026 Spring Garden St.
Philadelphia, PA, 19123
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 8:30 PM
This event is all ages
On September 10, Anti- will release the new album by MAN MAN entitled On Oni Pond. The band’s latest features an arresting reconstruction of MAN MAN’s visionary sound – stripped to its core and rebuilt as something new and compelling yet still very much MAN MAN. This marked shift is a direct result of an intensive collaboration between the band’s frontman, Honus Honus, and drummer Pow Pow, who has assumed a new-found prominence in the songwriting process, bringing an exhilarating array of new rhythmic ideas to the mix. “With this album we got to do something that very few bands or creative people get to do which is a reboot, and one that feels natural,” comments Honus Honus.
The compositions were further honed by the band members along with producer Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, First Aid Kit) into a compelling mash-up of Fear Of Music era Talking Heads, classic soul, psychedelia, hip hop, and 50’s rock and roll. With its imaginative yet economical rhythms, huge hooks, and overriding sense of urgency, On Oni Pond melds these seemingly disparate influences into an unexpectedly lush, melodic album, exquisitely consolidated by the band’s unique and affecting vision.
“This is a strange and beautiful record but it’s also head on and fearless,” says Honus Honus. “It’s not a record that’s going to flirt with you, this is a record that’s asking you out. If you get into bed with us there’s going to be a relationship.”
On Oni Pond also expresses Honus Honus’ evolution as a lyricist. Consistently inventive, the lyrics now have a new poignancy and insight that makes this album as personal and reflective as it is joyous. The thematic centerpiece of the record, and first single, is the bittersweet, deconstructed soul anthem “Head On.” Simultaneously melancholy and inspiring, the track features a unique take on personal resilience exemplified by the lines, “Are you dreaming of death? Are there ghosts in your chest?” and “I need new skin for this old skeleton of mine ‘cause this one that I’m in has let me down once again over time,” which build into the refrain “Hold onto your heart, hold it high above flood waters, hold onto your heart, never let nobody drag it under.”
With On Oni Pond, Man Man has delivered a beautifully weird and unforgettable collection of songs. From the pounding syncopated drumming, psychedelic organ and impassioned crooning of “Pink Wonton” to the sneering new wave dub of “King Shiv” and the big beat bratty swagger of “Loot My Body,” this is an undeniably ambitious band reborn to new, focused greatness.
Brooklyn's Xenia Rubinos is set to release her debut album Magic Trix via Ba Da Bing Records on April 23. Featuring ten aggressively danceable, original tracks, along with two re-workings of Latin American children's songs, Magic Trix recalls the spirit and whacked-out mentality found in the best moments of Rip, Rig and Panic, DNA and The Contortions and others, while simultaneously exploring Rubinos' Cuban, Puerto Rican and American musical roots.
Grandchildren began in 2008 as the solo recording project of Aleks Martray, forging intricately layered arrangements with only an acoustic guitar, a mic and a loop pedal. Since then, it has evolved into a 6 piece pop-orchestra known for its high energy live performances featuring dueling drums, circuit bending electronics and an instrument swapping horn section. On stage, the tiny 5'3″ frontman remains stoic, at the eye of the storm, encircled by a whirlwind of animated instrumentalists, belting out melodies in a voice that defies his own stature. Martray attributes Grandchildren's eclectic sound to his nomadic upbringing in a military family across Europe and the US and his journeys throughout Latin America as a young adult:
"I think when you live and travel all over the world from such a young age your mind constructs a sort of map that is an amalgamation of all of these different worlds. I see the music as a soundtrack for this puzzle-like landscape that otherwise would exist only in my head."
As their 2010 debut album Everlasting aimed to piece together the feel of various places, their new record attempts to collage together various points in time.
Golden Age reads like a scrapbook in homage to that elusive era that serves as a reference point for how we'd like to remember "the way things used to be", how they "ought to be", but probably never really were. The recordings stem from this concept musically, pulling from a vast array of influences, and thematically, swirling around it from all angles with songs of hope and disillusionment, optimism and doubt, nostalgia and anticipation, caution and regret. The cinematically layered musical arrangements set the stage for unique vocal stylings that take on a range of characters in what Martray describes as something akin to method acting. "The lyrics are simple because it's all subtext to the music. They're more like the voice of a character and the music is the setting, and so the story unfolds between them." As these scenes play out, what unfolds is a narrative about how we project our fears, hopes, desires on everything and everyone around us, forcing our simplistic ideals on a complex world.