The Human Marvels
Photo courtesy of bobshermanart.com
4 Feb 2005: Black Cat Washington, DC
At the risk of drawing attention, or more attention than deserved, I thought you should be warned. In person, The Human Marvel’s, a “musical” man and wife duo:
1. Appear, skin flaring with tattoos, husband and wife each covered in ink - the man dons interconnecting jig-saw puzzle pieces, a dissection of his entire body.
2. Play simplistic middle-school metal band arrangements for bass and guitar while issuing equally pubescent, off key snarls against casiotone backbeats.
3. Continuously declare that “Our T-shirts are only 10 bucks and they come with a free CD” thus correctly pushing the merchandise over the music.
4. Circulate after the show menacingly soliciting addresses to which they will send “an assortment of goodies”.
5. In reverence to their time as card-carrying carnies (no joke) and performers on Ripley’s Believe it or Not actually perform the following tricks:
- The man snorts a condom through the nose, later spitting it out, blowing it up, and popping it over the audience.
- In a spoken act of “faith” he performs a sword-swallowing trick, replacing the sword with a three-and-a-half-foot iron cross.
- Later his wife sticks long pins into the meat of her wrist and forearm, then placing pads on the ends of each needle to be set aflame.
- She then applies a radial buffer/saw to the body of her bass guitar (still around her neck) lighting a cigarette by pressing her head deeply into in the resulting four-foot streams of spark.
- As a finale the man uses a pump and a long tube—inserted nasally—to squirt a jar of cleaning fluid into his stomach. Once the pump is empty he presses the tube deeper into his body and uses it suck the fluid back into its glass encasing. His wife then drinks the fluid.
While these tricks may inspire interest in more perverse or twisted reader, they hardly live up to their descriptions. Set against the painful repetition of the same two power chords, the tricks are unnecessarily grotesque, and the music itself, is completely unnecessary, a further cruel trick played by the “band.”
The show moves at tortoise speed, an unsuccessful synthesis of music and spectacle. It doesn’t indulge or engage the perverse senses, but rather dulls them with bad tricks and equally awful music. Even as spectacle, it’s a waste.
I wouldn’t mention it at all, certainly not to give the thing any publicity, but I thought I’d let you know that I did you a favor. I saw the Human Marvels, so you don’t have to. And, trust me, you really don’t.
// Notes from the Road
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