I’ve had this category called ‘all over the place’ on this blog for a while… finally I’ve found the perfect subject matter. Last night at Benders for the opening of Noisepop, our man Har Mar was not just ‘all over the place’, but quite simply all in our face (one of our friends narrowly missed a teabagging). This indie court jester/rock hobbit has a stage act nonpareil.
To be honest, I’ve sampled his recorded music before and have never been that enthused. For the same reason I’ve passed up tickets to his show in the past. But the music really isn’t the point. It’s a prop along with the spandex cloak, the African tunic and, erm, his underpants. Not one to blush at pretentious ideas like artistic integrity, there’s even a spell of ‘yelling at the soundman’ drama, where HMS makes it clear the music player dishing out the backing track (including vocals from the likes of Beth Ditto and Karen O) is his fourth band member. The other two floppy-haired fellas being a bassist and drummer, both play it relatively straight as Har Mar pounces and preens through his dance/funk R&B, undressing at will.
Finally, the crowd has what it wants – HMS sporting little more than the garb that brought him into the world. And there, within his ‘barefaced cheek’ lies the crux of my enjoyment: Har Mar exults and adores us humans at our basest, most sordid, most ironic. Like a 40-year old accountant fantasizing about winning gold at the 100 meter sprint and getting it on with a supermodel. Har Mar just brings this fantasy to the stage as an urban yank version of the laughing Buddha. One that gets the last laugh.
More on Har Mar Superstar
A selection of hits from the sleek Har Mar Superstar website (I guess we’re still awaiting his release of a clothing line):
Surprisingly downbeat whilst being interviewed in a launderette: