1.) Man Man is one of the brightest names on the suddenly red-hot Ace Fu Records roster, which also includes such upstarts as Annuals, The Dears, DeVotchKa, Illinois and Secret Machines.
2.) Word of mouth has it as one of the best live bands out there today, but be warned: Face paint is de rigeur. As are found-percussion jam sessions.
3.) Earlier this week it was announced that Man Man had landed a coveted slot opening for Modest Mouse--whose latest album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard chart--starting later this month. Can't get much better exposure than that.
4.) Oh, and then there's the music, which culls a risky listener's record collection, one that is heavy on Tom Waits, Captain Beefheart and the Boredoms, with a special nod toward gypsy and klezmer music, then spins it out as something a bit more accessible. These are pop songs under a carnival barker's tutelage, indie-rock's answer to Frank Zappa, with creepy little-girl choirs and drunken, sea chantey-esque, wordless sing-alongs.
So, while you may not be hearing Man Man on KFMA anytime soon, it's also not likely that you'll be able to see much longer it in a venue as small as Solar Culture Gallery, where it'll be performing this week.
Man Man performs on Saturday, April 7, along with opener Golden Boots, which starts at 9 p.m. Admission to the all-ages show is $8. Solar Culture Gallery is located at 31 E. Toole Ave. Call 884-0874 for more information.
Slated to perform this time around are Trace Adkins, Jo Dee Messina and Lorrie Morgan (all on April 12); Reba McEntire, Randy Owen, Blake Shelton and Tanya Tucker (April 13); Big and Rich, Gretchen Wilson and Cross Canadian Ragweed (April 14); Montgomery Gentry, Phil Vassar, Neal McCoy and Trick Pony (April 15); as well as scores of others.
Since Florence isn't exactly overflowing with plush accomodations, attendees can either choose to drive home each night, or, if you aren't afraid of what you'll smell like after a few days in the hot sun, rent a campsite, which will run you about $100 to $125 for four days.
The festival takes place at Canyon Moon Ranch, 20585 E. Price Road, off Arizona 79, in Florence. Advance tickets cost $35 to $150 for a single-day pass, or $129 to $450 for a four-day pass. They'll be more at the gate. For all the info you could ever want, head to countrythunder.com, where you can even sample music by the performers. If you still have questions, call (262) 279-6960.
Boss: "We've gotta sell these Virgin mobile phones, and we've got to do it now. Who's our target demographic?"
Underling #1: "Well, sir, college students seem to talk on the phone an awful lot."
Underling #2: "That's true. And they've got a seemingly endless supply of disposable income."
Boss: "But how do we tap into this lucrative market?"
Underling #1: "Well, sir, they seem to like rap music."
Underling #2: "That's true. And our research shows they like rock, too. And something called emo."
Boss (on intercom): "Jenny, get me an intern in here to explain what the hell emo is."
And thus, the 2007 Virgin College Mega Tour was born.
The tour, which features the awesome Talib Kweli (he's the rap guy), Sugarcult (rock) and former Something Corporate singer/songwriter/guitarist William Tell (he's the sensitive emo guy, not the arrow-in-the-apple guy), will roll into the UA Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd., at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 10. Advance tickets are available at the venue's box office, by phone at 621-3341, or online at UApresents. They are $15 and $20 for students, $20 and $30 for the general public. For more info call 621-2782.
It all goes down at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 7, at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Admission is $3. Call 622-8848 for further details.
But keep listening and you'll soon realize this Seattle trio has a lot more tricks up its sleeve. "Adeline" is a jaunty little countryish number that kicks up a bit of dust, and then it's on to "Josephine," a piano cabaret tune that suggests Clark has been listening to Nellie McKay. Luckily, Clark's voice is well suited to such genre-hopping, and her band is versatile enough to tackle the material at hand.
Carrie Clark and the Lonesome Lovers perform at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., on Sunday, April 8. Michael John Serpe opens at 9:30 p.m. Admission is free. For more info call 798-1298.
Need more proof that Toots and the Maytals is a giant in the world of reggae? Do yourself a favor and buy a ticket to its show at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 10, at the Rialto Theatre. Neon Prophet opens the all-ages show. Advance tickets are available for $22 at the venue's box office, online or by calling 740-1000. They'll be $24 on the day of show.