Thursday, October 15, 2009

Har Mar Superstar - Dark Touches

I saw Har Mar Superstar for the first time at one of the hundreds of awesome Sunday night shows you could count on seeing at Brownies around the turn of the century. Midway through the bill, Homeboy came out rocking a singlet, backed only by a mini-disc of Jodeci-esque new jack swing tracks he controlled from the stage. It was as funny as it was true to the R&B idiom it aped, (which is to say considerably) but his arrival came right at the downturn of people's tolerance for Atom and his Package and few were looking for a portly, Prince obsessed version of same. Not that he gave a shit, working the room from the stage, floor and bathroom. It was a pretty impressive spectacle, and you couldn't deny that Tillman could sing some R&B. I would venture that Andy Samberg has seen himself some Har Mar.

I would be a much bigger fan if Har Mar wasn't born Sean Tillman, and didn't also helm the spectacular Midwestern rock force Sean Na Na, whose Family Trees Or: Cope We Must weighed in as one of the best records of 2007. The turd on top of the shit sundae that was my ill-fated stab at co-habitation in that era was missing the Sean Na Na/Hold Steady tour that year at Irving. In the meantime, Tillman, or Har Mar more properly, was signing vodka endorsement deals, snogging Kate Moss and starring in UK TV spots, among many other bizarre eventualities. Taking a break from European celebrity-dom and on the heels of a trip to Amsterdam with Ellen Page, his Superstar-ness returns to grace us with Dark Touches: thirteen songs well-steeped in the lewd dance/R&B flavor we've come to expect from said Superstar. Sporting grooves from electro-pop to Jackson 5, Dark Touches is pretty significant in that you can listen to it for the humor or for it's danceability. I suppose the more adventurous at heart might screw to it. It's something that a lot of the Deep House Dish set of today would do well to take to heart. It takes heavy drugs to make it through most of these bands for one listen, much less a whole record, but Har Mar has the talent and taste to back it up. If Tillman is lucky, he'll be able to parley this into a Lance Diamond kind of paycheck well into his old age. Fill his virtual g-string and get Dark Touches here.


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