Har Mar superstar is a singer. That much, I can say surely. A lot about him remains in question though.
He sings R&B. While this isn't anything unusual, he is also, white, not physically fit, middle-aged, and from St. Paul. Altogether, when he performs, it looks like some guy you might see mopping floors in the liquor store singing and dancing on stage. But his voice is oh-so golden.
When asked to explain his success, Har Mar says that "A lot of people listen to R&B in secret, like it's a guilty pleasure." If so, then he is hedonism at it's best, as evidenced by songs such as "Baby, do you like my Clothes?", "Girl, you're Stupid," and "Let me Use your Ride," the last being a song about borrowing his brother's van so he can take out his woman, do some sexin', and then roll with his homies.
Since Har Mar is white, a lot of people accuse him of being a parody of such acts as Keith Swett, R. Kelly, and Sisqo. While this may be true, he insists that his actions are truly sincere. He claims to be a huge fan of R. Kelly, in fact, and would love to work with Automator and Timbaland, but he is content to stay with whom he is with now. And as for the Minnesota thing, he reminds the listener that Prince is from Minneapolis, so it's not like R&B from the upper-midwest is unheard of.
I saw Har Mar play a show in Fargo, ND, around the 21st of December. He was the headliner for a bunch of local bands. It was called "Rock 'n' Roll Christmas." Most of the bands were good, but when Har Mar came on, all bets were off. Nobody knew what to expect. Rumors were floating around that he had been singing karaoke upstairs, in the bar. But, once on stage, he just bled charisma, and had a throng of punk kids dancing to his incredibly sexy music.
Har Mar's acts usually consist of him, alone on stage, in garish costume, singing, dancing, and removing clothing over the course of the act. He has toured with Atom and his Package, The Strokes, and others. And, while his audience is usually a bunch of punk/indie rock kids, he never fails to get the crowd moving.
But the issue of his brother is a rough one. Har Mar's reported real name is Harold Martin Tillman, the supposed brother of Sean Tillman, frontman of Sean Na Na. From here on, sources are fuzzy. Some report that they are the same man, and that Har Mar is an alter ego for Harold, which is in turn an alter ego for Sean. Others insist on their brotherhood. However, the name of Sean Tillman, who (according to Har Mar) did a lot of work on the album, does not appear anywhere on his record liner notes. If you have a definitive answer to this identity crisis, /msg me.
Har Mar had a cameo in the summer movie hit Starsky and Hutch
, playing the part of "Dancing Rick", the guy Ben Stiller has a dance-off with.
Update 12-24-02: kthejoker says: re Har Mar Superstar : Sean Tillman *is* Har Mar Superstar. His new release on Warner Bros. does mention Sean in the liner notes, and having seen Lucky Jeremy (Sean's other band) and Har Mar live, and talked to both, they're the same guy. Unfortunately, Har Mar never comes out of character - even off stage - so you'll never get him to say it.
Update 7-13-06: RACECAR says: there is an interview with Har Mar in an old (2003) issue of MPLS St. Paul Magazine with my journalsit friend Dennis Cass which is good also I think Har Mar comes from the Har Mar mall on Snelling ave in Roseville. anywho keep it up and if I find the article, i'll let you know.