Best Of 2012

Best Concert (Small): THREE-WAY TIE: Monophonics, Man Man, Caveman

Monophonics

Such a huge diversity of fantastic bands landed in town this year, it was hard, nay impossible, to narrow the smaller-scale concert category down to just one. So I picked three. All occurred between March and June of this year, and all managed to tickle a different musical funny bone. At New World Brewery, native NYC five-piece Caveman lulled us into a hypnotic sway with their pretty melodic miasma of haunting percussive-fueled folk pop, while San Francisco’s Monophonics turned up the heat from the onset of their New World set and got the whole place moving, the tight and brassy-chugging machine delivering heavy-grooving psychedelic funk with bluesy organ grit. And finally, at Crowbar, there were the outrageous and impressive musical antics of Man Man, a band that draws on Old World Gypsy music, brash experimental pop, Zappa-style prog rock, and skull-twisted doo-wop. The live instrumentals writhed and lurched with colorful instrumental embellishments by wildly offbeat real-life gypsy frontman, Ryan Kattner (aka Honus Honus).