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Har Mar Superstar - Dark Touches (10/13/2009) (CD)

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Har Mar Superstar
Dark Touches
Release Date: 10/13/09

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Har Mar Superstar - Game Night
Har Mar Superstar
Tour Dates
10/20/09 Exit In Nashville, Tennessee
10/21/09 Drunken Unicorn Atlanta, GA
10/23/09 Sonar Baltimore, MD
10/25/09 Kung Fu Philadelphia, PA
10/26/09 Williamsburg* Brooklyn, NY
10/27/09 Mercury Lounge* NY
10/28/09 Great Scott* Allston, MA
10/30/09 Club Lambi* Montreal, QB
11/01/09 Horseshoe Tavern* Toronto, ON
11/02/09 Magic Stick* Detroit, MI
11/03/09 Darkroom* Chicago, IL
11/05/09 Triple Rock** Minneapolis, MN
11/06/09 Varsity Theater* Minneapolis, MN
11/08/09 Aquarium* Fargo, ND
11/09/09 Waiting Room* Omaha, NE
11/11/09 Brick Kansas City, MO
11/29/09 Oxford O2 Academy 3 Oxford, UK
11/30/09 Relentless Garage London, UK
12/01/09 Thekla Bristol, UK
12/02/09 Wedgewood Portsmouth, UK
12/03/09 Cabaret Voltaire Edinburgh, UK
12/04/09 Bodega Nottingham, UK
12/05/09 Brickyard Carlisle, UK
12/06/09 King Tut’s Wah Wah Glasgow
12/07/09 Ruby Lounge Manchester, UK
12/08/09 Plug Sheffield, UK
12/09/09 Academy 2 Dublin, Ireland
12/10/09 Stiff Kitten Belfast, Ireland
12/12/09 Concorde 2 Brighton, UK
12/13/09 Barfly Cardiff, UK

* with Bang Bang Eche ** with Kool Keith


[2000] Har Mar Superstar

[2002] You Can Feel Me

[2004] The Handler

[2009] Dark Touches

There are a lot of opinions about Har Mar Superstar, but there is one observation that is universal: He’s comfortable in his skin. And if you’ve seen him perform, you’ve seen just about every inch of that skin and aren’t likely to forget it. The Minnesota-born musician (and more recently actor/writer) has most recently based himself in Los Angeles and can teach Southern California a great deal about confident self-body image. Dancing onstage in his tighty-whiteys, his sweaty jiggling Homer Simpson physique on full display, one can’t help but feel in awe of his presence. Also; more or less revolted.

Har Mar Superstar is Sean Tillman - long known in the Minneapolis-St Paul area for his work with bands Calvin Krime and Sean Na Na - who nearly a decade ago decided to test his R&B chops and began performing under his current moniker (named after St. Paul’s Har Mar Mall), to the simultaneous delight and disgust of crowds across the upper-Midwest.

There’s no doubt Har Mar has vocal talent. At times evoking Prince or Stevie Wonder, it’s easy to forget you’re listening to a chubby Minnesotan with a year-round February tan and hair that sticks out, well, everywhere. Audiences don’t always get it, admittedly. He’s garnered a love-hate relationship with crowds in recent years as an opening act for groups like the Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I’ve witnessed nothing but warm reception in his appearances (in the Twin Cities), but can understand the average Australian Chili Peppers fan anticipating Anthony Kiedis dancing around in a diaper having difficulty welcoming a similar level of exposure from Har Mar Superstar. Thankfully, Har Mar is showing that you don’t have to be poster-perfect to make it in music - or in Hollywood. He made a cameo appearance as “Dancin’ Rick” in the otherwise forgettable Starsky and Hutch movie, and now appears in Drew Barrymore’s “Whip It”, where he befriended Juno’s Ellen Page and Arrested Development’s Alia Shawkat (the former told a story on the Tonight Show a few weeks ago about the three of them vacationing in Amsterdam and the latter appears in Har Mar’s video for “Tall Boy”). The three of them are apparently now developing an HBO comedy called “Stitch N’ Bitch.”

The aforementioned “Tall Boy” track was originally written by Har Mar for Brittany Spears, but, perhaps not shockingly, it was rejected by her handlers. Presumably, they didn’t care for her being associated with blue collar drinking metaphors. Because, you know, she’s such a classy lady. Instead, Har Mar performs it himself, lyrically unaltered, as the first single from his Dark Touches album. The song is actually pretty impressive, I thoroughly enjoy the rhythmic can-opening noises which cause me to feel a strange (and otherwise unprecedented) desire to crack a 24 oz. PBR. The video is quite entertaining as well, featuring Eva Mendes and a sort of Daft Punk-reminiscent space-suited android Har Mar Superstar displaying just a hint of his ample robo-gut.

Dark Touches - his fourth full-length release and first in five years - is overall a pleasant surprise. There’s a certain something on offer here that was perhaps lacking in his previous releases. Maybe it takes a turn toward mainstream pop, but more than that I would say it possesses a certain level of consistent listenability that had always been sadly missing. And while I would have long classified myself as a fan, I would say that only now has he released an album that will enable him to cross the line from novelty act to legitimate entertainment. His trademark absurd (and invariably sexually explicit) lyrical turns of phrase are evident as always - my favorite is “Game Night” (featuring P.O.S and Adam Green) an electro-hip-hop ditty which rattles off various family board games and associated thuggish taunts “Gonna slay your crew in a game of Taboo” and “I got all the railroads. Crushing you.” And the title of the seventh track; “Gangsters Want to Cuddle Me” I think says it all.

Regardless of your feelings about lewd under-groomed chubby Minnesota R&B personalities who are gifted with buttery smooth voices, flawless dance moves and astronomical self-esteem, you’re going to be seeing a lot more of Har Mar Superstar. For those not faint of heart, search him on YouTube and sample his appearances in the “Crappy Holidays” short videos or check him out on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon October 26th. There's nothing quite like seeing him live, however, in all his glistening near-nude splendor. I recommend practicing your "horrified delight" expression in the mirror beforehand.

 10/19/2009 10:12:22  andrew () 

Har Mar Superstar - DUI
Har Mar Superstar
Tour Dates
08/16/09 Little Radio  Los Angeles, CA
09/05/09 FYF Fest Los Angeles, CA
09/06/09 Hoco Fest 2009 Tucson, AZ
09/26/09 Pappy & Harriet’s  Pioneertown, CA
10/10/09 The Uptown* Oakland, CA

*with The Heavenly States & HotTub

[2000] Har Mar Superstar

[2002] You Can Feel Me

[2004] The Handler
Here's some music news that's come across Are you interested in having your press release/announcements published there? Please email me for our contact information. If I find a music-related new interesting, I will compile them in my weekly news roundup here.

Har Mar Superstar's "Dark Touches"

Har Mar Mall - I mean Superstar - is back, after five years of absent since 2004's The Handler... Which did extremely well in the UK (check out the free track, "DUI", from The Handler album).

Even though he's been gone, he's actually been doing behind the scene sort of thing by writing music for other people: The Cheetah Girls, Jennifer Lopez, Kelly Osbourne, and Ben Adams. When one of his song, "Tall Boy" was rejected by Britney Spears' management, he decided record and release it under his own album.

Vu and Har Mar Superstar, circa 2000
So, Dark Touches will be out October 13th on Dilettante Recordings. I am happy to let you know we have a review copy in house, and I will be making sure it gets reviewed prior to the release date.

In the meantime, here is a drawing of the first time I saw this 90% naked man on stage, sweating, crying, thrusting his pelvis in my direction.

PS, I have here also that Har Mar will be in a Hollywood movie starring Ellen Page (Juno) and Ali Shawkat called Whip It, directed by Drew Barrymore (who also happened to produce one of my favorite movie called Donnie Darko).


[2006] Choose your words poorly

[2007] Cocaine Cooked the Brain

[2007] No Child Left Behind

[2009] Nico Vega
Nico Vega to Tour with Placebo

Aja Volkmann, photo by Vu
I saw Nico Vega near the end of 2007. They were first of three bands, which I wrote was "the best (performance-wise)", simply because they had such energy and showmanship. Particularly impressed with Aja's leotard outfit and her barefooted-ness.

I knew they were going to be special, but who would figure they will be doing so much (and so well!)? The latest report I have is that they are going to be opening up for Placebo, plus on top of that, their song "Beast" featured in the horror movie called "The Collector" (I hope it's not based on the book by John Fowles I read when I was younger).

Tour Dates
8/19 -- Hermosa Beach, CA -- The Shore
8/22 -- Los Angeles, CA -- Sunset Junction
8/27 -- Fresno, CA -- Audie's Olympic/Club Fred
8/29 -- Santa Cruz, CA -- The Crepe Place
9/5 -- San Francisco, CA -- Bottom of the Hill
9/12 -- Portland, OR -- Roseland Theatre*
9/13 -- Seattle, WA -- The Showbox at Market*
9/14 -- Vancouver, BC -- Commodore Ballroom*
9/16 -- Murray, UT -- Murray Theatre*
9/17 -- Las Vega, NV -- House of Blues*
9/20 -- Los Angeles, CA -- Club Nokia Live*
9/21 -- San Diego, CA -- Soma*
9/23 -- Englewood, CO -- Gothic Theatre*
9/25 -- Austin, TX -- La Zona Rosa*
9/26 -- Dallas, TX -- House of Blues*
10/2 -- Chicago, IL -- House of Blues*
10/3 -- Columbus, OH -- Newport Music Hall*
10/4 -- Baltimore, MD -- Sonar*
10/6 -- Toronto, ON -- Sound Academy*
10/7 -- Montreal, QU -- Metropolis*
10/10 -- Clifton Park, NY -- Northern Lights*
10/11 -- New York, NY -- Terminal 5*

*with Placebo

Tour Dates
08/29/09 Nebraska State Fair Lincoln, NE
08/30/09 Paramount Theater Denver, CO
09/02/09 Nokia Theater Los Angeles, CA
09/04/09 Mountain Winery Saratoga, CA
09/05/09 Mountain Winery Saratoga, CA
09/07/09 Rodney Strong Vineyard, CA
09/09/09 Dodge Theatre Phoenix, AZ
09/11/09 Morongo Casino & Resort, CA

* as Hall & Oates
Daryl Hall Discography

[1980] Sacred Songs

[1986] 3 Hearts in the Happy Ending Machine

[1993] Soul Alone

[2003] Can't Stop Dreaming

[2004] Live in Philadelphia
Daryl Hall and Smokey Robinson

Photo credit: Mark Maglio

I took a look at Hall's website, he's really got this "internet thing" down to an art. I just subscribed to his podcast and generally really impressed he's producing such great content.

So, with the 22nd episode of Live from Daryl's House, Daryl Hall (you know of Hall & Oates) teams up with Smokey Robinson to play a nine-song set. Some of the song listed will be “Sara Smile,” “Tears of a Clown” and “Ooh, Baby Baby.” Not really that much to add here, I guess be sure to catch the pair on August 15th, that's this Saturday, at

Hey Daryl, they're watching you, they see your every move...

 08/12/2009 01:00:34  vu ()