Not everyone can pull off scrub pants and a Mexican blanket with a scissor-cut head hole while still rocking a stage in front of hundreds, but Minnesotan icon Har Mar Superstar has no problem with it. By the time the show finishes, he might have literally pulled off the sweat-soaked scrubs, stripped down to his skivvies, and performed a headstand somewhere in between.
Har Mar, along with rapper and punk vocalist/guitarist P.O.S. (founding member of the Doomtree hip-hop collective), and Nato Coles and the Blue Diamond Band, are laying down a rare, ticketed show on Kathy’s Pub’s second floor this Saturday.
Christian Clements, 38-year-old owner of Positive Tuesday, a newly-launched promotion company, instigated the show. Clements recently relocated to Rochester from Minneapolis.
“This show is happening because I saw a void in Rochester that I could fill…I see promoting shows as a way to get to know my new community,” says Clements.
“I thought it might be too good to be true,” said Alex Kuisle, a local music enthusiast. “Honestly, I tweeted Har Mar and P.O.S. to see if it was a hoax.” He’s seen Har Mar at venues like First Avenue and P.O.S. at the well-known Soundset Music Festival, so it was surprising to see these heavy hitters doing a show in Rochester.
The show’s three acts will take the audience on a rollercoaster ride from rock, to punk, and then to R & B. Clements describes Har Mar as a “funky R & B artist, the Michael Jackson of Minnesota,” while he praises P.O.S. as someone who has “a mastery of language to paint a picture.”
Between them, these three acts have created a lot of music. P.O.S., Stefon Alexander’s stage name, has recorded several albums dating back to 2004, but he’s set to release his newest album “Chill, Dummy” later this month. He’s also part of the Minneapolis supergroup Gayngs.
Har Mar Superstar, Sean Tillmann’s moniker, has been recording since 2000 and released his album Best Summer Ever this past year. While his musical output speaks for itself, he’s also toured Australia with The Red Hot Chili Peppers and was voted the Rock and Roll Man of the Year in 2004 by the British publication “New Musical Express.”
Nato Coles and the Blue Diamond Band are a catchy-hook weilding wrecking crew of bar-rock afficianados whose sound will fit right in with the wood paneling of the second floor stage.
“The artists and I have been friends for at least 10 years… It’s basically a family show for us,” says Clements.
Despite his excitement, Kuisle hopes Rochesterites will be receptive, “I just hope Rochester proves to be a healthy and respectful audience for these musicians that don’t necessarily need the hype.”
Clements praises Kathy’s resident promoter Dave “Bookabandman” Campbell: “The show probably wouldn’t be happening if it weren’t for Dave.”
For more details about the show at Kathy’s this Saturday, Jan. 14 check out the event page: facebook.com/events/840897479380482.
And now, an interview with Har Mar Superstar:
For the two people in Rochester that aren’t familiar with Har Mar Superstar, how would you describe your music?
I write/sing soul music and R & B. Some songs are playful and fun, some are deadly serious, and it’s always funky. I put a lot of energy and love into my live shows to make it an experience.
What kind of a performance are you bringing to Rochester? Will we get the 6-piece band that’s supported your Best Summer Ever tour (complete with horns- I’m a trombonist, hence my interest in this detail)?
There will definitely be a trumpet on stage. Jake Baldwin is a real bad-ass on the horn. 6 of us will recreate my recorded work. This is the same configuration we just rocked our fall US tour with. It’s very live and a lot of fun.
What’s your favorite track from Best Summer Ever?
I love “Famous Last Word.” It’s really energetic and weirdly punk in the context off the album.
What’s your songwriting process like?
I normally sing little melodies and lyrical bits into my phone’s audio notepad or obsess over chord progressions on acoustic guitar and piano when I’m writing alone. It all comes together later down the line. When I write with other people we normally jam out some concepts, pick a theme, and try to get the bones of a song together in the first few hours. If I have to try for too long, I know it’s not working and I scrap out the parts to other works in progress.
What other performers or musicians inspire you?
I’m a huge fan of a wide variety of stuff including but not limited to Sam Cooke, Elton John, Dolly Parton, Otis Redding, Childish Gambino, Sturgill Simpson, Willie Nelson, Duran Duran, Sebadoh, Sia, Hammerhead, The Orwells, Stevie Wonder, The Replacements, The Ramones, Michael Jackson, The Pharcyde, Carol King, Father John Misty, Lizzo, and John Lennon.
Can Rochesterites hope for a 25-minute “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” encore?
I’m not making any promises, but I hope I never put another audience through that ever again. It was hilarious once though… Way back in the day.
How did you prepare for your role as a “Fight Attendant’s Coach” in Whip It, and what was that experience like?
I had so much fun on that set. Drew Barrymore was a great director/friend to work with, and I met so many more life-long friends in the short amount of time I was there. I spent two days on roller skates, which is a dream work environment for me.
How’d you land a gig as a spokesperson for Vladivar Vodka, and what has this responsibility entailed?
That was a looooong time ago. I was a recognizable personality in the UK for many years, so luckily they picked me to be sexy for Vladivar. There were 0 responsibilities besides getting paid to make the most fun ads of all time to film. It was a blast! We filmed mostly on the island of Mallorca in Spain in a castle with a real 100-year-old count hanging around. So fun! The director, Ruben Fleischer, went on to direct Zombieland and Gangster Squad.
How did you prepare before you interviewed Flea for your Nocturnal Emotions podcast?
That was completely spontaneous. We were having breakfast together when the Red Hot Chili Peppers were stopped on tour in Minneapolis. I’ve been buds with Flea since they took me on tour opening for them in Australia years ago and more recently Mexico. He had some time to kill, so we made a day of it. We shopped for a bday present for Kiedis, went to a movie, stopped at Solid Gold’s practice space where he laid down a bass track, and we decided to get on the mic and chat for fun. We hung out until we ate dinner together. There was no prep. I hardly ever prepared for those interviews. It’s more fun to explore with the guest on the spot.
What question do you wish I’d asked you, and how would you answer it?
Har Mar: Why are you so beautiful?
Me: It comes naturally.