Live from MFNW, Day 2: Menomena

all photos by Morgen Schuler (view set)

Indie-rock veterans Menomena (pronounced like the Sesame Street song) kicked off our second day of live broadcasts from the Doug Fir Lounge at this year’s MFNW. The Portland band originated as Justin Harris, Danny Seim, and Brent Knopf, although Knopf recently left the group to work on his Ramona Falls project. Over the last decade or so, these guys have been rocking drum heavy indie rock grooves with quirky and occasionally ingenius guitar, piano, and glockenspiel (among other things) textures. This Grammy-nominated band has a new record coming out September 18 on Barsuk Records entitled Moms, and the single “Capsule” will melt your face off. Menomena’s balance of pop groove and Portland weird keeps us coming back for more.

Packing the Doug Fir Lounge almost to capacity at 10:30 AM on a Friday morning isn’t really an easy job, but Portland showed up in force to support their beloved local music makers turned nationally recognized indie-rock superstars Menomena. Playing songs entirely off their forthcoming album Moms, the band displayed an incredibly mature sound, highlighted by some more somber lyrics than we’ve heard in the past. It wasn’t all business though, as the duo, accompanied by three friends on stage, made sure to let us know they were having a good time. “I have twice as much hair as you.” Harris said to Seim after he suggested they both undo their ponytails. “Only on your head.” replied Seim.

The band’s stage banter alone made their set absolutely priceless, especially when a toddler in the front row began babbling along with them immediately after their final song. If you’re in Portland today be sure to catch Menomena live tonight at the Pioneer Square Courthouse at 6:30.

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