Menomena is a band from Portland, Oregon made up of multi-instrumentalists Justin Harris and Danny Seim. Both members of the band share singing/songwriting duties while recording themselves in their homes.
The band formed in late 2000, when ex-member Brent Knopf graduated from college and returned to Portland to collaborate with Harris and Seim, who had been playing music together since high scho
ol (Knopf parted ways with Menomena in 2010).
They self-released their debut album, I Am the Fun Blame Monster! in 2003. The album was packaged in an 80-page flipbook that Seim designed and individually hand-assembled. It later received nationwide distribution through Portland-based label FILMguerrero in 2004. 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 2006, Menomena signed with Seattle’s Barsuk Records and released Friend and Foe the following year. Shortly before the release, Menomena signed to City Slang in Europe, and began traveling the world playing music. Friend and Foe’s packaging features elaborate artwork by cartoonist Craig Thompson, consisting of die-cut shapes, decoder rings, and hidden messages. It received a Grammy nomination for “Best Recording Package”.
The fourth Menomena LP Mines was released in 2009 and the band spent the next two years playing their music everywhere from the Coachella festival in California to the Laneway Festival in Australia, to Hawaii and Alaska, as well as performing on national television.
Justin and Danny’s fifth Menomena album, Moms is out September 2012 on Barsuk Records.
It’s hard to say anything about Guards without eventually bringing up Cults, another band from Brooklyn whose upbeat melodic pop draws heavy influence from the ’60s. The two groups share more than just stylistic influences, though: Singer and bandleader Richie Follin is the brother of Madeline Follin, Cults’ lead singer. In fact, a handful of the songs Richie Follin has released with Guards began their lives as Cults tunes.
Though the two bands have much in common, it’s interesting to hear two siblings’ different interpretations of a similar sound. Guards’ songs are more bare and stripped-down than the majority of Cults’ work. While the two groups’ songwriting styles do draw from the same well, Cults’ songs have a more polished, shimmering veneer, complete with brightly twinkling synths. Guards’ songs tend not to be so lushly adorned, with a hazier and more languid feel that adheres more closely to the band’s source material. While Cults’ members may be diehard apostles of bright ’60s pop, Guards’ music carries that sound forward through time.
Featuring Nick and Brad from Megafaun
In the Showroom
Doors @ 7:00 PM
Show @ 8:00 PM
Drop by Motorco to buy advance tickets and save the service charge!