Music Mondays - Dan Mangan, and why you should pay attention

A few months ago, the lovely Kittens and I happened to catch a musician by the name of Dan Mangan.  Now, if you click on that link anytime within the next little while, you'll see that Mr. Mangan has just recently appeared on the Today Show with that really annoying Canadian Slam Poet guy.  But, do not judge Mr. Mangan, because there is so much more to him!

When I saw him, I must admit I sort of glazed over - he was appearing in front of the crowds with just his own little acoustic guitar, and I was very much in a "I need a band" sort of mood, as opposed to watching what I saw as a glorified busker.  Kittens, however, insisted on buying both Mangan CDs, which was, in hindsight, an excellent idea. 

I fully admit, right here, right now, that I was wrong.  Make of that what you will.  I have listened to both of the Mangan CDs, and they totally benefit from a full band. 

Mangan is an amazing musician from my little neck of the woods, and we'll be seeing more of him. He makes acoustic music with a heavy dose of Canadiana, in all of its glory.  There are songs about shopping for music to impress women, coffee shop blues, road trips, and emotional distance.  There are songs of failed relationships, romeo and juliet mishaps, and more.  And it's all accompanied with a great pseudo country voice and perfect acoustic timing. 

Seriously - check out his site.  It's a very good time to check it out, considering all the free press Mangan is getting (funnily enough, I had the idea for this post in my head for almost two weeks, so I guess delaying worked out well here!).  Plus, there's some great free music downloads worth checking out. 

And then, of course, there's the video for "Robots", which is one of the loveliest songs out there, and something that gets caught in my head.  Plus the video is kind of, um, hilarious.  I mean, how can you go wrong with 80s gang wars, robot fighting, and a dude with a huge fro? 

You also need to check out "Basket", on the latest album.  It blew my mind after hearing it recently - though it does kind of suffer from "takes too long to end after the climax"-itis.  But, even with that minor glitch, it's still one of those songs that perfectly builds and builds up.  I'm putting it on the same level as Radiohead's "Climbing up the walls" in terms of sheer built-up tension, which is high praise indeed, considering it took Radiohead an entire ensemble to pull this off, whereas it took Mangan just an acoustic guitar and a voice.

If you're in BC, you owe it to check out Mangan, because he's our man!  And if you're not from B.C., well, shit, quit being such a friggin' elitist and buy his CDs.  Because, um, they're good.  And you'll like them.  Even if he's friends with that annoying Canadian Slam Poet. 

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