The New Now - Archives

Don’t Fear Men Without Pants!!!

The New Now

Way back in 1994 an album titled Orange by the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion rocked my world. It wasn't just Spencer's cool-as-all-heck yowl and swagger and the two-guitar attack augmented synthetic strings and theremin, but the propulsive beats provided by one Russell Simins that knocked me on my backside. Some years later, the Blues Explosion crossed paths with Dan "The Automator" Nakamura, a production whiz who had gained recognition in his own right collaborating with hip-hop freakshow Kool Keith in Dr. Octagon. He later had huge success working with Damon Albarn in Gorillaz. Fast-forward to the future and Simins and Dan The Automator have joined forces once again in a new act known as Men Without Pants.

Based on the participants, I was interested in Men Without Pants without even hearing a note. (Whoa! That sounded a bit strange. Note the capital letters that denote this is a band, not a state of dress, although there's certainly nothing wrong with "men without pants" if that floats your boat.) Now that I've heard some MWP, I'm even more interested. Check this groovin' rave-up called "And The Girls Go," and tell me that I'm wrong. It's just one of the fine tracks on Naturally, the duo's new album, set for release on April 21. Apparently the guys liked the track so much, they decided to include it again on their new album, although the version below is from its 2007 self-title effort.

And The Girls Go

Simins, the forward-thinking gent he is, knew that there would be plenty of interest in this act, so rather than wait for pesky journalists and bloggers to interview him, he's posted his own interview on the band's MySpace page. I'm not going to cut-and-paste the entire interview, but I'll give you a few highlights.

ETR: Why the name Men Without Pants and how'd you come up with Naturally for a title?
MWP: Because sex should be a part of everyday life.
ETR: How did you and Dan come to create this masterpiece?
MWP: We developed a deep-seeded friendship from working on Blues Explosion together, then wanted to do a collaboration that was ours and ours alone.

While few could argue that Men Without Pants is Simins' and Dan's alone, they were kind enough to invite some of their talented friends to guest on the record, including Sean Lennon, members of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the Mooney Suzuki, Cibo Matto, and Gillian Rivers. If that last name on the list is unfamiliar to you, you're not alone, but Simins has kindly given us the 411. "Mad cool, hot young phenom professional violinist singer/songwriter. You're gonna see a LOT more from (and of) her," he's explained. Check out "Double Life," which is also reprised on the new album.

Double Life

Lest you think that Men Without Pants is just a studio creation, Simins says the pair is prepared to bring it live with a little help from their friends. "Of course we're performing live. The band is a buncha famous freaks including me and Dan. Others include and are not limited to members of the Mooney Suzuki & Mercury Rev," he once said. So look for Men Without Pants on the road sometime soon if that's something that you'd like to see. In the meantime, check out the track "Rock Show." How 'bout it?

Rock Show

View Comments