HAR MAR SUPERSTAR with BEN LEE at the El Mocambo, April 16. Tickets: $13.50-$15. Attendance: 300. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Talk about a weird double bill.
On the one hand, we had Ben Lee , a cute former kiddie-punk prodigy from Down Under who dated Claire Danes and now writes sensitive, country-tinged indie ballads. On the other, we had Har Mar Superstar , a chubby balding dude who pens sexed-up tunes about dirty shit, likes it best when he's down under (if you know what I mean) and can only dream about dating Claire Danes. Let's put it this way: Ben Lee hangs with the Beastie Boys. Har Mar Superstar (aka Sean Tillman ) is more likely to hang with boys who are into bestiality.
While that may be pushing it, there's no doubting that Har Mar is a total perv. He was that kid in grade 5 who constantly made dink jokes, harassed the girls at recess and had a stash of Penthouse mags in his locker.
Even though HMS's music - a bouncy, frat-ready brew of jacked-up beats and sexy vocals - is the equivalent of a libidinous Smash Mouth, live the guy works it pretty damn hard. During a prurient 45-minute set, the lady-heavy crowd was treated to plenty of ass-wiggling, crotch-thrusting and nipple-pinching. At one point, Har Mar grabbed the hand of a young woman at the front of the stage and got her to rub his thighs. Later on, he whipped off his red tank top and got another woman to rub his sweaty bod. She couldn't help but smile.
Still, even with the sweaty, sticky shit going on up front, the performance felt canned. Har Mar's shtick looked choreographed, and his two-piece band made extensive use of backing tapes, meaning all they could do was play along.
And just to make sure we all knew that he's a really cool guy, there was some name-dropping, too. "This is a song I recorded with my friend Karen O," announced Har Mar before kicking into the electro-clash vibe of Cut Me Up. "It's going to be in a Paris Hilton movie."
I guess he's popular with famous women, too. I wonder if Claire is seeing anybody these days?