Meet Marilyn, the showman

<!– Link: Marilyn Manson

You got to give Marilyn Manson some credit.

Manson has so successfully blurred the line between rock star theater and reality that adults actually take him seriously.

Granted, his affect on the more cognitively malleable — euphemism alert: kids, specifically, dumb kids — really is a threat, but there’s an easy solution to that.

Parents: enjoy Manson for the theatrics he produces and share it with your Manson-fan offspring.

That’s it. Just show an interest in your 13-year-old’s idol, and they’ll hate it till they’re 27.

Under all that bad press and critical dismissal — uh-huh, Alice Cooper all over again — lies Marilyn Manson, the showman. A very convincing one at that. Manson in concert is textbook rock ‘n’ roll. Dramatic. Extreme. Escapist. And, huh-huh, fucking cool man.

That’s something a non-visual medium such as the compact disc can’t quite relay, which means The Last Show on Earth contain no dramatic reworkings of the band’s song.

As if “The Beautiful People” can be rendered unplugged. (Speaking of which, the album’s live-track closer, “The Last Day on Earth,” is delivered effectively on acoustic geetar.)

Hence, The Last Show on Earth is really a souvenir disc for anyone who’s had a chance to see Manson in concert but couldn’t afford a T-shirt.

One criticism, though: audience noise is a must-have on live albums, and some tracks, such as “Sweet Dreams,” have some gaping holes without it.