IF YOU GO
Who: Man Man with Xenia Rubinos
When: 9 p.m. Friday
Where: Slowdown, 729 N. 14th St.
Tickets: $15 at etix.com, Homer’s Music or the venue
Information: onepercent-productions.com or 402-341-7569
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When members of experimental indie rock band Man Man wanted to make a new album, they once again turned to Omaha producer Mike Mogis.
Mogis helped along the band's new album, “On Oni Pond,” by fleshing out some of the songs and providing an occasional “searing guitar solo,” said Man Man frontman Ryan Kattner, who is credited in the band as “Honus Honus.”
“We had the songs written and mapped out before we headed to Omaha,” Kattner said. “On 'Pyramid,' there was a note that said, 'There needs to be a 40-second guitar solo here' that I'm utterly incapable of.”
Mogis, a member of bands Bright Eyes and Monsters of Folk, has produced albums for Julian Casablancas of The Strokes, First Aid Kit, Pete Yorn and Jenny Lewis, among many others.
Man Man's takes on pop music come from a sideways angle. Songs from “On Oni Pond” sound like watching a Disney animated musical during a particularly dark acid trip. Man Man uses traditional instruments (no computerized parts or synthesizers here) to push together funk rhythms, marimba keyboard notes and ragtime melodies.
Most tunes include elements that don't seem to fit, but Man Man makes it work. It's very deliberate, and Kattner is conscious of not overloading his songs.
“There's always been an effort to include what is most needed,” Kattner explained. “A song can really get suffocated with too many parts and too many hooks. When there's space, you can enjoy the sounds you're hearing.”
Kattner is excited for the band to come back to Omaha because members didn't get a lot of time to socialize while they made “On Oni Pond.” He also hopes his Omaha friends, including singer Susan Sanchez, will join Man Man onstage.
“She's amazing. I wish we were successful where we could bring her everywhere,” Kattner said.