The Late Movies: The Two Man Gentlemen Band

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Plenty of fans of this here blog can spout out wonderful facts, historical tidbits, and highlights of a classical education. It takes a truly special type of person, however, to take those kinds of things and set them to music. For your consideration, then, I offer The Two Man Gentlemen Band, a banjo/bass duo from New York that takes smart songwriting to a whole new level.

William Howard Taft

Everyone loves the story of Taft getting stuck in the bathtub, but it turns out that the story is even better with kazoos.

Prime Numbers

Banjo player and composer Andy Bean says, "We needed to sing a song about a lady's measurements without alerting grandmothers and other sensitive ears to the fact that we were singing about a lady's measurements.  Cloaking the lyrics in mathematical talk seemed an obvious choice."

Square Root of Two

I never even took calculus, but this song speaks to me.

My Baby's Off the Market

If you missed the bridge, the lyrics are: "According to the laws of supply and demand/ this baby ought to be walking with a wealthy man/ go down to the graveyard and tell Adam Smith/ his laws of economics don't apply when we kiss."

On the Badminton Court

You try to fit the word "shuttlecock" into a song.

They Can't Prohibit Us

Turning the 18th amendment into a love story.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of Gentlemen songs that, while entertaining, might actually help you on the SAT. Other titles include "Stonewall Jackson's Arm," "Ain't Nothin' Funny "˜bout the Death of Franklin Pierce," and "The Hindenburg Disaster." Banjo player Andy Bean and bassist Condon Fuller may in fact be coming to a town near you, check their website for tour dates. And if you like the Gentlemen, you might also like the Wiyos, Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three, and (total shameless self-promotion) my own band, the Freebadge Serenaders.

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May 25, 2010 - 6:00pm
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