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VIDEO: HUMANWINE, Ketman, and What Time Is It, Mr. Fox? at TT's


HUMANWINE at TT's; click for live footage of Ketman and What Time Is It, Mr. Fox?

An insufferably obnoxious buddy of mine snatched away my notebook and pen to jot down, “It’s like watching a marionette show on LSD,” during HUMANWINE’s set Thursday at T.T.’s. I didn’t hit him, but I wanted to. This sounds like [activity] on [drug] is the most hackneyed of all hackneyed critical devices, and I wouldn’t encourage anyone to venture near HUMANWINE while on acid.

Had I been tripping at the time, I would’ve freaked right out when front-woman Holly Brewer, periodically sporting a leafy facemask, played an invisible trumpet during “Our Devolution is Televised.” Ample talk of gnomes conspiring to delay the completion of HUMANWINE’s latest opus, Mass Exodus, likewise would’ve led to a loss of my composure. Due to an onslaught of technical calamities which may or may not have been gnome-related, the Exodus CD jackets had yet to be printed by the start of this, its release show. Nonetheless, completed discs were distributed to the masses, so fuck those gnomes. Fuck them right in their stupid gnome asses.

A bold observer of the obvious, my co-conspirator also advised me to write that HUMANWINE sounded “haunting.” That’s another easy descriptor for Brewer, M@ McNiss, and company. Whether dabbling in folk, oomph-ah, klezmer, or whatever conceptual paradigm serves their whimsy, HUMANWINE is a seriously spooky brew. They’re on the cusp of their annual slog back to the West Coast for the winter. Whether they successfully converted their bananas into banana bread, as was their propagated ambition, is unknown.

Like HUMANWINE, Ketman answered questions with more unsettling questions. Inquired guitarist and co-vocalist Eric Penna, “What does a circus bear hear when he dances?”Pondered bassist and co-vocalist Joe Marrett, “Maybe there’s one track of information going through all bears’ minds at all times?”

Ketman’s also planning a jaunt to the west coast, and have toured Brazil enough to be bonafide rock stars down there by now. (If they aren’t, well, then, fuck Brazil.)  Formerly a baffling indie-ish punk trio, Ketman’s been adding trumpeter Brian Rutledge (like Marrett, also of Hallelujah the Hills) and saxophoner Kevin Corzett (of seemingly every band except Hallelujah the Hills) to their arsenal. The results metaphorically proclaim, “Fear us, for we play the devil’s music which will claim your soul and send it an awesome version of hell where there is no redemption! Only rawk!”

Brian King of openers and snappy dressers What Time Is It, Mr. Fox? probably isn’t really the illegitimate child of Meat Loaf and Lestat, but he could pass for it, and that would explain his crooning chops, knack for accessorizing, and possible daddy issues. The playfully macabre Mr. Fox is the only band I have ever seen reading from music stands at T.T.’s.

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