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Menomena at the Biltmore, Friday April 29th.

5 May 2011 No Comment


By Ana Elena Garza

LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 293 -- Pictured: Menomena -- Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC

Last Friday April 29th genuine Menomena followers gathered at the Biltmore for an excellent and professional live performance. Halfway through the set, the soaked in sweat Justin Harris was thrilled with the palpable response to the band’s latest album Mines: “The question is…why aren’t you at the Fleet Foxes?” he asked.

Fed by the crowd’s energy, constant singing-a-long and dancing, the band delivered a flawless rock show. The multi-talented musicians rocked with smooth song transitions and their distinctive bass and sax gripping sound filled-up the Biltmore and the fans’ expectations. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Menomena selling-out at the Commodore Ballroom in their next visit…they are definitely on their way to filling arenas.

Portland’s Menomena are known for swapping both vocals as well as instruments

Official Bio

Menom­ena are an exper­i­men­tal rock band from Port­land, Ore­gon, made up of Brent Knopf on gui­tar, key­boards, and glock­en­spiel; Justin Har­ris on bass, gui­tar, bari­tone sax and alto sax; and Danny Seim on per­cus­sion. All mem­bers of the band share singing duties.

The band formed in late 2000, when Knopf grad­u­ated from Dart­mouth Col­lege and returned to Port­land to col­lab­o­rate with Har­ris and Seim. They played their first show in July 2001, at The Meow Meow, a now-defunct all ages venue in Portland.

They self-released their debut album, I Am the Fun Blame Mon­ster!, on May 20, 2003. The album was elab­o­rately pack­aged in an 80-page flip­book that Seim designed and indi­vid­u­ally hand-assembled. It later received nation­wide dis­tri­b­u­tion through FILMguer­rero in 2004. The title is an ana­gram for The First Menom­ena Album.

In 2005, Under an Hour was released as a three-track album of instru­men­tal music writ­ten for and per­formed with Mon­ster Squad, an exper­i­men­tal dance com­pany based in Portland.

In August of 2006, Menom­ena signed with Bar­suk Records although the band still main­tains a rela­tion­ship with their old label, FILMguer­rero. It was stated that FILMguer­rero would still be involved in their old cat­a­log and future vinyl releases.

Menom­ena released their next album in 2007, titled Friend and Foe. It received rel­a­tive crit­i­cal acclaim — while some web­sites like Pitch­fork Media praised the album for its effec­tive mod­u­lar pop, oth­ers like Pop­Mat­ters crit­i­cized it for pre­sent­ing a sense of feigned matu­rity. Their record release show was held in their home town of Port­land, Ore­gon. The pack­ag­ing was designed by Knopf and fea­tures art­work by graphic novelist/cartoonist Craig Thomp­son, con­sist­ing of die-cut shapes, decoder rings, and hid­den mes­sages. It was nom­i­nated for “Best Record­ing Pack­age” at The Grammy Awards.

The band’s name was cho­sen for “the way it rolls off the tongue, sex­u­ally, or some­thing” and has no spe­cific mean­ing, although it is often assumed to refer to the Piero Umil­iani song “Mah Nà Mah Nà”, a sta­ple of The Mup­pet Show. A recent audio­clip from SpotDJ had Brent stat­ing that the band name was a con­trac­tion of the words “Men” and “Phe­nom­ena”. This is most likely a joke.

The band uses a com­puter pro­gram called the Dig­i­tal Loop­ing Recorder, or Deeler for short, in the song writ­ing process — it was pro­grammed by band mem­ber Brent Knopf. Drum­mer Danny Seim explains the process, “First, we set the tempo of the click, which is played through a pair of head­phones. We then take turns pass­ing a sin­gle mic around the room. One of us will hold the mic in front of an instru­ment, while another one of us will lay down a short impro­vised riff over the click track. We usu­ally start with the drums. Once the drums begin loop­ing, we throw on some bass, piano, gui­tar, bells, sax, or what­ever other sort of noise­maker hap­pens to be in the room. Deeler keeps the process demo­c­ra­tic, which is the only way we can operate”.,hlYmFiMjo4UrdDCEPegCOgmKc9xh4Zsr

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