During the last decade, Menomena has become its own reference point. From hooks wrapped around plummeting baritone saxophone lines and nearly inhuman rhythms to serpentine lyrical frameworks and high-concept album art, Menomena has established a singular and unmistakable aesthetic. No one else sounds quite like this band. They embed magic and mystery within pop songs that have never sat still or taken the path of least pressure. Their new album, Moms, is tragic and intimate, comic and endearing, personal and motivated. In 10 songs and just less than 50 minutes, Menomena cast pop cascades into noise kaleidoscopes ("Baton"), chop and twist a melody until it becomes a big dance beat ("Capsule"), and build inescapable arrays of tension and texture that finally release ("Tantalus"). Opener "Plumage" couples its surge of energy with a cleverly playful study of sexuality, while "Pique" turns the same sort of seemingly impossible tessellated-rhythm tricks that have become a Menomena trademark.
Alternate versions of two album songs, plus two exclusive b-sides on this limited-edition gatefold double 7" (limited to 1000 numbered copies worldwide).
"(Menomena) continues making one amazing record after another. With Mines, this Portland experimental rock trio continues what they started on their epic debut I Am The Blame Fun Monster and builds upon their ingenious third album, Friend and Foe. Magical." - Filter
"Such a great band... there's a lot of room for your ear to roam on Mines." - Pitchfork
Menomena and The Helio Sequence have teamed up to bring you this limited-edition split 7", available exclusively at record stores in celebration of Record Store Day 2010, and now available here in the Barsuk shop.
Friend and foe shines Northwest indie songcraft through a Chicago post-rock lens, illuminating the quiet recesses with an unpredictable, experimental light. See what others have had to say about this phenomenal album:
"Beautiful and ominous" (The Absolute Sound)
"Equal parts free jazz, Talk Talk, and XTC" (Magnet)
"This just might be what we've waited for." (Filter)
Menomena has reissued its indie-classic debut album, I Am The Fun Blame Monster!, as a CD/DVD package with extensive bonus materials. Originally self-released by the band in 2003, this reissue includes the original record, nine bonus tracks, and a retrospective DVD. The bonus material features rare footage of the band's appearances on Portland cable access program The Sista Social Show, an endearingly awkward live performance at the now-defunct Meow-Meow (site of the first Menomena show, ever) and music videos for the album tracks "Trigga Hiccups" and "Cough Coughing".
A preview of their upcoming full-length, this EP features the song "Wet And Rusting" from Friend And Foe, plus 2 out-take versions of "Wet And Rusting" and 3 previously unreleased tracks. The packaging was designed and illustrated by Craig Thompson, who created the amazing graphic novel Blankets, among others.
An experimental album, even for experimental group Menomena, Under An Hour was written for 3 modern dance pieces in conjunction with the T:BA Arts Festival in Portland, OR.
This is the first Menomena album, initially self-released and available only online and at a handful of stores, then later picked up by the awesome Film Guerrero label. Menomena reveal a unique vision of inventive, melodic, and ambient-warped-pop, lifting off from the same experimental runway as the Brian Eno and David Byrne era guitar-electronica-collaboration. I Am The Fun Blame Monster! is released in a durable, hand-packaged flip-book.
Prophet, the sophomore release from Ramona Falls, is an album that recalls the experimental beauty of Laughing Stock by Talk Talk, and the unabashed earnestness of Death Cab For Cutie. Frontman Brent Knopf appreciates those highly regarded comparisons but when pressed for the true inspirations that fed into his overall vision, he cites Martin Gore of Depeche Mode's dark chordal elements, a production style halfway between Tears for Fears and the Homosexuals, and lyrical themes that channel a dyslexic Jorge Luis Borges if he starred in Flowers for Algernon. The stunning album begins with "Bodies of Water", an emotive and rousing anthem about how intimacy bundles together both nourishment and peril. "Spore," a heartfelt highlight of the album bears a substantive core: "I like the idea of someone refusing to feel lonely, despite how utterly alone they might actually be," Knopf explains. "It's a form of rebellion."
Before Danny Seim started the acclaimed Portland, OR art rock trio Menomena, he was the sole, prolific, and promotion-averse member of Lackthereof. Seim still finds time for making Lackthereof recordings, which, over the project's ten year history, have ranged from lo-fi to lush, acoustic to synthetic, poppy to noisy. A Retrospective 1998-2008 Or I Was A Christian Emo Twentysomething contains the best of Seim's Lackthereof work, selected by him from among a decade of remarkable electronic beat experiments, lo-fi indie dub, simple acoustic soundscapes, challenging art pieces, and much more, in an eco-friendly package that features 20 of Danny's original illustrations.
bark90 · CD / DIGITAL
Barsuk Records · August 2009
sou002lp · LP
Souterrain Transmissions · August 2009
Ramona Falls is Brent Knopf's first solo venture, but he has an extensive musical resume as part of trio Menomena. His debut release, Intuit, was written and performed by Brent, with guest appearances by 35 friends (including members of The Helio Sequence, Mirah, Loch Lomond, 31 Knots, Talkdemonic, Nice Nice, Tracker, Dat'r, Dear Reader, 3 Leg Torso, and Matt Sheehy), and illustrated by the amazing Theo Ellsworth.
Your Anchor was performed entirely by Danny Seim (when not busy with his other band, Menomena), and was recorded and mixed in his basement in Portland.
Released on vinyl and in digital formats only, this is the 8th album from Lackthereof (but only the 2nd to have widespread release).
Danny Seim began recording himself under the Lackthereof moniker in 1997. Four years (and five self-released solo albums) later, Seim got together with two friends and began collaborating as Menomena. It wasn't long before Seim started becoming more enthusiastic about this "side project" with his two friends, mostly because Menomena had the distinct advantage of being able to play more instruments simultaneously in a live setting. Lackthereof was silently placed on the back burner. Fast forward to 2005: Menomena is still going strong with a busy recording/touring schedule, while Seim continues to write and record as Lackthereof in the basement of his Portland home whenever he can find the time to do so. Enter Lackthereof's seventh proper album: Christian The Christian is a brash collage of the perverse, the spiritual, and the spiritually perverse. The result: a hugely creative conglomeration of beats, loops, vocal melody, and electronic ambience layered thick over the standard guitar/bass/drums fare which creeps into the brain and does not depart. The beauty of this album is that it is not mired by its atmospherics. Rather, Seim allows the song and melody to gurgle its way through the mirk to the surface. The listener will find Christian The Christian is a compelling, recording spectacle. Packaging hand crafted by the fine people at Stumptown Printers in Portland, Oregon.