By Adam Lovinus
By Lilledeshan Bose
By Gabriel San Roman
By Rachel Mattice
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Daniel Kohn
By Nate Jackson
By Mike Seeley
Photos courtesy withinadream.comJust when you've finally earned your post-punk stripes by memorizing the back catalogs of A Certain Ratio and Gang of Four along comes a band like Madman Moon, whose dusty blend of backcountry bass lines and vaudeville-lite piano melodies injects a heavy dose of sonic moonshine into a scene over-saturated with synths and skinny ties.
Lyrically, their songs are not the stuff of smoke-filled poker parlors and old-timey traveling apothecaries—electing instead for vague songs about secrets and lies and a paranoid meditation on alien life forms on "Little Green Men"—but that doesn't mean you won't picture them. Listening to tracks such as "Round the Crowd," a mental playlist develops: the very best of the Steve Miller Band, some Atlanta Rhythm Section (okay, maybe just "So Into You") and, for good measure, the Ozark Mountain Daredevils' "Jackie Blue"—perhaps even a little Honky Chateau-eraElton John somewhere in there too.
If you're not a smoker, you'll intuitively want to take up chain-smoking—and not any sissy-pants brand like Parliament, either; if you're not a drinker, you'll instinctively grab the nearest tumbler of whiskey or long for a can of Billy Beer. And whether you're listening to them live or in your bedroom, it won't matter—the setting will still be all sorts of wrong, because a band like Madman Moon deserves a twilight set in the middle of some remote clearing, the prairie winds blowing a chorus of oohs, ahs and la-las—and also every brilliant '70s-style guitar solo—past one ear, and then the other, and then into the night sky.
It might feel a little funny at first, sure, but there's no shame in enjoying Madman Moon—even if it means trading your P.i.L. badge and flat-iron for a shabby vest and a handlebar mustache. In fact, it's about time we all did.
MADMAN MOON PLAY WITH BELLEVUE AT LA CAVE, 1695 IRVINE AVE., COSTA MESA, (949) 646-7944. SAT., 10 P.M. FREE. 21+.