Dinosaur in Trouble: proudly serving Twin Cities music geeks

Friday, March 04, 2005

Menomena and Pit er Pat

Pictured above: the fun blame monster

With the ridiculous amount of concerts in March, and a very limited budget, I have to carefully decide which shows to attend. Fortunately, I can say with great confidence that the Menomena show at the 7th St Entry last night was a very wise choice. Actually, that’s an understatement. Last night’s show was easily the best concert I’ve seen all year!

The night started with the experimental sounds of Jar. I almost made the mistake of passing his music off as nothing more than background noise. But as I started to pay closer attention, I got more and more curious about his methods. I walked up to the stage in an attempt to figure out how he was making all that noise. Well, I didn’t really figure it out, but it involved a couple of re-wired speak-and-spell toys, a tape recorder, a mutated Casio keyboard, a radio, and several disposable cameras. Very interesting. I ended up getting really involved in the music. Since there were no discernable breaks between the “songs,” I wasn’t able to snap out of the trance until the end of Jar’s set, when we were finally able to applaud.

The next band was Pit er Pat. Wow. Did they ever take me by surprise! I had no idea what to expect since I had never even heard of them before (which is weird since they are on Thrill Jockey and they just played the Triple Rock a few weeks back with The Thermals). The band just consisted of a keyboard player, a bassist, and a drummer. Any additional instruments would have been overkill – they knew exactly how to optimize what they had. Actually, the band would have still blown me away even if it only consisted of the drummer. He was incredible! I watched him with amazement throughout their entire set. Their percussive onomatopoeia name, Pit er Pat, appropriately describes how central his drumming is to their sound. I don’t want to give the impression that they’re a jazz band, or an aggressive drum-driven band, ala V9R9D. They definitely have a grasp on the indie-pop universe. They sort of remind me of an organic Stereolab (but maybe that’s just due to the female vocals). They were so good. I felt bad that Menomena was going to be upstaged by their opener.

Menomena was not upstaged. I think they were aware of the threat, so they knew exactly what they had to do. And they accomplished it with flying colors – they gave everyone in the Entry an orgasm! Now, I’m not one to fall for overly hyped-up bands (well, most of the time); I have to approve of them myself by first seeing them in concert. So I purposely ignored Menomena until I could see them live. [Note: actually, I did look for Menomena’s album when it first came out, but it was impossible to find until it was re-released last year on an actual label. But how could you not want an album titled “I Am the Fun Blame Monster!” - which, obviously, is an anagram for “The First Menomena Album”]. Unfortunately, seeing Menomena live was even more difficult than finding their album in 2003. Last night was the first time I was aware of Menomena playing in Minnesota (they might have played the Triple Rock back in November, but I'm not sure). I’m happy to say that they were well worth the wait, and they were also well worth the hype. They blew my socks off. Although it may be a year too late, I now feel justified in adding to the Menomena hype. They deserve it; especially after a show like last night’s.


Blogger Tricia said...

Ok, I know I'm a total geek, but I see menomena and think of the muppets shtick.

8:49 PM

Anonymous Chris said...

Naw, you're not a total geek. I thought the very same thing as well when I first heard the name. Probably happened from that wi trip when we listened to the muppets cd, remember! :)

-Chris (I have no blog but I have great and excellent opinions, regardless) :) <------- (supposed to represent really big grin). It's funny because it is, in actuality, an internet representation of a normal-sized grin, aka a "smiley face." Yeah, I went way too far with this. Gonna stop typing now...

9:42 PM


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