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CD Review: Man Man 

Rabbit Habits

The Deal: Genre-defying band releases Anti- Records debut.

The Good: Noisemakers, improvisation, high-activity and all-around craziness categorized the appearance of Man Man at last October's Echo Project in Atlanta. The disc gives you the impression of some of the hijinks that ensue, but fail to gather the chaotic nature of their concert. Unconventional instrumentation and sound combinations make for a Zappa-esque listening experience. The wackiness of "The Ballad of Butter Beans" is probably the most representational of the quirkiness of the group – xylophones, screaming, funky drum beats, odd lyrics.

The Bad: CDs rarely capture the live energy and activity that make a band's concert so entertaining – and you can add this one to that list. If I had only heard this album before seeing the band, I might have written them off quite quickly. The harmonies aren't the strongest, the instrumentation isn't overly impressive, but the simple memory of their live performance is enough for me to give the album a second (or third) listen.

The Verdict: The album is entertaining but doesn't match up to the live experience. You probably won't hear any of these songs on the radio, but you'll hear people talk about one of their shows for months.

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  • On Saturday, Oct. 21, hundreds gathered at Camp North End on Statesville Avenue for Charlotte's first black alternative music festival. We captured some of the bands in action on stage, but mostly we surveyed the grounds as fans, families, vendors and more lounged around the sprawling, colorful Camp North End site. It was a great day of music, food, fun, and sweet, autumn sunshine. (Photos by Mark Kemp)
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