Menomena | I Am The Fun Blame Monster!

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United States - Oregon

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Rock: Punk Pop: Piano Moods: Featuring Saxophone
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I Am The Fun Blame Monster!

by Menomena

"Oh l'amour... Broke my heart now I'm aching for you."
Genre: Rock: Punk
Release Date: 

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1. Cough Coughing menomena
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3:20 $0.99
2. The Late Great Libido menomena
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4:59 $0.99
3. E. Is Stable menomena
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5:17 $0.99
4. Twenty Cell Revolt menomena
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4:05 $0.99
5. Strongest Man in the World menomena
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5:35 $0.99
6. Oahu menomena
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5:18 $0.99
7. Trigga Hiccups menomena
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4:02 $0.99
8. Rose menomena
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2:58 $0.99
9. The Monkey's Back menomena
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8:52 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
the portland mercury: sound glue
menomena is rockin' the remix
by julianne shepherd
-------

at first, it's tough to figure out the way menomena\'s piano, guitar, drums, and bass converge in on each other like electrical patchwork. their sounds fit together, snug but sparse, fleshing out into reflective pop and instrumental music that is both strangely skeletal and panoramic. their stellar bass and beats pop out in grooves with a vague hiphop influence, embellished with the thoughtful temperance of piano and vocal melodies. even still, something about their composition always seems a little unseated, as if their songs are being played backwards. live, it sounds like they're playing remix versions of their songs. menomena always seemed excellent to me--polished, but not glossy, and very heartfelt--but i could never figure out why they sounded so... electronic.

as it turns out, that\'s just how the portlanders--brent knopf, danny seim, and justin harris--write their music. but also, there's another reason for the remix-y sound. knopf is some kind of programming genius, and he wrote this special computer recording program called deeler (short for "digital looping recorder"), specifically for the composition of menomena's music. "it's a loop-based program that facilitates improvisational recording," brent explains somewhat cryptically.

okay, let's all put on our geek-out freak-out glasses now. essentially, deeler allows menomena to make spontaneous recordings, and it's different from other computer recording programs in that the looping process is far simpler. menomena can record different parts, loop, and layer them as they see fit--this is how they compose their music. they record the parts on the computer, cut and paste until they've made a song they like, and then learn the song from the final version. brent says, "we're basically a cover band of our own songs. danny will mix down the sounds and then we'll learn the song the way he mixed it down. we\'ll have no premeditated
structure to a song before that."

"we're composers, but without the 'c-o-m,'" jokes justin.

though this method of songwriting may seem foreign to some rock musicians, danny points out that no emotion is lost just because they're writing on a computer. "hiphop music is mostly a series of loops more or less, and that seems pretty obviously emotional to me, and this is the same kind of thing--loop-based. it is a lot harder to portray energy in five-second loops than it is building huge crescendos and kicking in the pedal at the climactic moment."

true, and menomena has nothing to worry about when it comes to energy and emotion. knopf's expressive vocals can carry that burden--at times, his voice stretches out craggily and downtrodden; at others, he's a voice suited for pop music and musicals voice, projecting clearly and sonorously. but danny's kickass, solid, hiphop-influenced beats and justin's strolling basslines add much depth and groove, turning pop songs for smarty-pantses into bona fide contemplative ass-shakers. pretty fresh, non?


Reviews


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Scorpion Jones

lost matter taste scrambling might now blame attitude with history
The CD is I Am The Fun Blame Monster!, the first Menomena album and it
>is
>terrific. I have long lost the ability to describe music or to compare it
>to others, but it doesn't matter since Menomena sound like no one
>else. They are totally unique and all those poor fools with good taste
>who will be scrambling to imitate Menomena (and there will be many) might
>as well give up now because they will fail. Fail! You can't blame them
>for trying though because by the time you've finished listening to this CD
>it is obvious that Menomena are the "it" group of the moment and I Am The
>Fun Blame Monster! is at least the album of the year!
>
>What is it about Menomena that is so doggone new? I'd say it is an
>attitude. But more than that it is an attitude with a feeling. This is
>the musical manifestation of extraterrestrial caring. I say
>extraterrestrial because what in the whole history of humanity have we
>done to deserve this gift that these visionary minds have bestowed upon
>us? Not squat! Therefore they must have beamed this unparalleled art to
>us from the heavens in order to inspire, heal and rejuvenate us. Talk
>about caring! The extraterrestrial unknown isn't so scary after all!
>
>But what they have also done is leveled the playing field so that there
>is
>no point of any other music ever again! Sure, I am a little sad in a way,
>because all those previous "artists" meant well, but on the other hand, we
>are all so improved by this release that I'm sure that they don't
>care. Of course, the record industry is kaput, but screw them: CD Baby
>will live on having been chosen by the deities known as Menomena as the
>medium through which this aural nectar, this salvation of the planet
>itself, is allowed to exist.
>
>I love Menomena, and I love you , CD Baby for making the priceless and
>necessary affordable.

Chris in Vancouver, B.C.

An Amazing Debut From a Band I'd Never Heard Of!!
I was first introduced to exquisite works of Menomena by their appearance as the opening act for Gang of Four's reunion tour appearance in Vancouver B.C. Canada at the Commodore Ballroom on May 7, 2005.
My setlist from their performance is quite incomplete due to (then) unfamiliarity with the material but from their opener of 'Strongest Man In The World', I was aware that I was witnessing something special!
The song that really did it for me though, was 'Oahu' which I believe was the fourth song of their seven song, forty-two minute set. A beautiful looped guitar line, exquisitely delicate keyboards, and haunting vocals!
They finished with 'Monkey's Back' which almost seemed to juxtapose the previous works with it's grunge-like guitar solo, and let's face it, curious lyrics. [ you OK Brent? ]
During the intermission, I purchased and was fortunate to have the band autograph a CD version of the album which I'll treasure for many years!
To the curious, if you have a chance to see them play - GO! To those that can't see them, make your music retailers get their stuff in stock!

Meat

Pitchfork made me do it...
Yep. Picked this up from the Fork (and its true that they are full of themselves and usually pick crap just cuz nobody's heard of it) and its THE real deal for sure! Very creative and definitely worth a listen. E is Stable is infectious and you can't get some of the melodies out of your head... Go pick this up!

Bud Melman

fabulous debut
a great start for Menomena, this album is a lesson for what is possible with only three instrumentalists and whole shit-load of creativity. They never play a note more than is necessary to gain the wanted effect. First six or seven tracks are solid as hell, but then album begins to peeter out. This is excusable, as it is a debut, and they are probably just working out their formula, and haven't yet started seeing the permuatations possible to broaden their horizons.
very promising work.

Cascadia Cotillion

Endtroducing... Menomena
Remember Endtroducing... DJ Shadow? We'll this record creates the exact same mood as Shadow's debut from '96, at least in me. Harmonically spare and innocent, Menomena's beats are much more compressed with a slightly 90's dub-ish feel. This records lacks any guitar punch, but they make up for it with earnest vocalising and funk-ee Tostoise-like vamps of drum and bass. Childlike upright-piano tones pepper many songs on Blame Monster. This is not a rock record, more like apocalypso. Live, they are way more fun to watch than the Swords Project(their middle-aged sonic counterpart), and probably the nicest band in Portland, I still can't get over how much this record sounds like DJ Shadow's debut. But I'd buy it again especially for the art-skool packaging. And they made the whole record themselves---

Bruno M. Mello

Impressive!
This is a truly impressive album. Creativity pushed to the extreme. The packaging is also very nice. I eagerly await what will come next.

Kareem Estefan of Stylus Magazine

One of the most enjoyable albums of the year
To read my review of the album, click the above link.

alex

pure passion
the music on this CD is so pure and passionate, it is very inspiring.
#5 is heartbreaking.
#1 makes you want to dance.
#9 is crazy.
#3 is dreamlike.
all the songs overflow with life and love.

Mickey

Also Pitchfork's lackey
What a spectacular album. Pitchfork's "Best New Music" section rarely leads me astray, and this album is no exception. Quite a fantastic and somewhat elusive sound, Menomena is wriggling their way into my top 10 of the year already...

Kier

Pure Power Prog Pop Pleasure
No artistic noodling, this is power prog pop for the masses. Ill beats, sweet melodies, haunting piano, lean guitar, rambling bass. Think Radiohead + They Might Be Giants + Gorillaz, if you must. But, best of all don't think, just buy this now.
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