Whim is a collection of media focused on independent rock/pop/garage and everything surrounding it. Doubling up on Menomena-related creations today, with a track from the band itself (just in time for their laser show CD release kick-off party — details in full post) and one from Ramona Falls, the solo project of Brent Knopf, former Menomena member.

SEE: FULL POST + ALL WHIM POSTS + ALL MUSIC COLUMNS

 

Menomena

When I last spoke with Brent Knopf of Menomena for their last record, Mines, things were looking successful but dire. The portrait painted — and not inaccurately so — was of a band that was grossly talented but also grossly dysfunctional, living proof that sometimes the people you feel the strongest musical kinship towards are not the people who you are the most interpersonally compatible. Maybe things have looked up since then. Knopf has left the band to pursue Ramona Falls (below), and the newly reformed duo of Danny Seim and Justin Harris worked quickly, pushing out their latest, Moms, in under two years. Has the band become less neurotic?

Maybe in some sense, but in another sense, the album is named after Moms, which is ostensibly strange, and the lead single “Heavy Is As Heavy Does” is indeed heavy — on family problems and cringe-worthy relations to dad that are not at all disguised. You can hear the track below. It’s standard Menomena, once again balanced in unpredictable instrumental hysterics and the muted.

Menomena’s album release LASER SHOW will take place tomorrow, August 24th, at OMSI (the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) in Portland! It’s only $5, and will be featured alongside Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon! Surely to be a tasty audiovisual treat! Says Seim: laser technicians were too expensive so instead we’re just crossing our fingers and setting these lasers to ‘Floyd’. Maybe it’ll line up like The Wizard of Oz!” Maybe so!

 

See our Menomena Band Interview

Moms will be released September 18th on Barsuk Records, and pre-orders will come with a t-shirt designed by Siem. Full tour dates and newly released track, “Capsule”, can be found in the complete post.

 

Menomena (cont’d)

Menomena – “Capsule”

MENOMENA TOUR DATES
+ – with Beirut, Gardens & Villa
% – with PVT

9/1 – Wild Goose Festival – Corvallis, OR
9/7 – Musicfest NW – Portland, OR +
9/25 – Catalyst – Santa Cruz, CA %
9/26 – Bimbo’s 365 Club – San Francisco, CA %
9/27 – El Rey – Los Angeles, CA %
9/28 – Casbah – San Diego, CA %
9/29 – Crescent Ballroom – Phoenix, AZ %
10/2 – Granada Theater – Dallas, TX %
10/3 – Parish – Austin, TX %
10/4 – Fitzgerald’s – Houston, TX %
10/5 – One Eyed Jacks – New Orleans, LA %
10/6 – Masquerade – Atlanta, GA %
10/9 – Black Cat – Washington, DC %
10/10 – Union Transfer – Philadelphia, PA %
10/11 – Bowery Ballroom – New York, NY %
10/13 – Brighton Music Hall – Allston, MA %
10/16 – La Sala Rossa – Montreal, QC %
10/17 – Horseshoe Tavern – Toronto, ON %
10/18 – Beachland Ballroom – Cleveland, OH %
10/19 – Metro – Chicago, IL %
10/20 – Triple Rock – Minneapolis, MN %
10/23 – Neurolux – Boise, ID %
10/25 – Biltmore – Vancouver, BC %
10/26 – Showbox at the Market – Seattle, WA %
11/23 – Captain’s Rest – Glasgow, UK
11/24 – Brudenell Social Club – Leeds, UK
11/26 – Cargo – London, UK
11/28 – Point Ephemere – Paris, France
11/29 – Laiterie – Strasbourg, France
11/30 – Atomic Cafe – Munchen, Germany
12/1 – Postbahnhof – Berlin, Germany
12/3 – Ubel & Gefahrlich – Hamburg, Germany
12/4 – Gebaude 9 – Cologne, Germany
12/5 – Paradiso – Amsterdam, Netherlands
12/6 – Botanique Orangerie – Brussels, Belgium
12/7-9 – All Tomorrow’s Parties – Minehead, UK

 

Ramona Falls

As just mentioned, the last Menomena album was so interpersonally tumultuous that Menomena’s Seim publically described the process by saying, “Just when a song became familiar to one of us, the other two members broke it apart again, breaking each others’ hearts along the way. We re-recorded, rebuilt, and ultimately resented each other.”

It seems no wonder, then, that Ramona Falls’ main man, Brent Knopf, would find within himself a new sense of freedom during the same time that he decided to split from the band. Knopf has since decided to go solo to pursue Ramona Falls full-time, even paraphrasing Noam Chomsky along the way when he says, “False freedom is the ratification of pre-rigged choices, while true freedom is the agency to shape the choices themselves.”

In more or less words, it seems like Knopf has found himself by splitting off — or at least feels like he has.

“With Ramona Falls I am exploring what I stand for which makes it more personal to me,” Knopf admits candidly. “I’m less worried now about being made fun of, than I was before. I can now say things I believe in, and some people may think it’s stupid or cheesy… but that’s kind of fun. I would much rather speak from the heart than hide behind impenetrable obfuscation.”

These two stripped down live sessions below of album single “Spore” and his previous album’s “The Darkest Day” how perhaps Knopf at his best, when free of theatrics and just present. His latest, Prophet, is out now on Barsuk Records.

Below that, their upcoming fall 2012 four dates with the lovely Sub Pop Records duo, The Helio Sequence.

RAMONA FALLS TOUR DATES
w/ The Helio Sequence
11/2 – Dan’s Silverleaf – Denton, TX
11/5 – University of Oklahoma City – Norman, OK
11/6 – Mojo’s – Columbia, MO
11/7 – The Mill – Iowa City, IA
11/8 – Turf Club – St. Paul, MN
11/9 – Shank Hall – Milwaukee, WI
11/10 – Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL
11/12 – Horseshoe – Toronto, ON
11/13 – Il Motore – Montreal, QC
11/14 – Brighton Music Hall – Allston, MA
11/15 – Bowery Ballroom – New York, NY
11/16 – Black Cat – Washington, DC
11/17 – Underground Arts – Philadelphia, PA

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