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Arts and Entertainment

Menomena @ Troubadour 6/12

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Being a late arrival to the Menomena party and not knowing much about the trio from Portland before attending their sold out show at the Troubadour last night, except of course what LAist covered about them, I decided to bring my trusted BFF Russell Mills along to school me on their digital looping musical stylings.

After a brief scare at the door, when some forgotten "paraphernalia" in my bag (which they searched) almost didn't allow us entry, my inherent sassiness saved the day and we made it in. Russell sums up the rest.....

When did you first hear about Menomena? What is your history with them?
I read about them on Pitchfork and decided to give them a try so I bought their first album which I really liked. Their second all-instrumental album, Under an Hour is fantastic, it would make a great film score. Their newest album is growing on me.

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When I asked you if you wanted to come to the show, how excited were you on a scale of 1-10?
About a high 7.

What was your favorite part of the show? What was the best song they played?
I liked when the singer told the fairly mellow crowd that this was one of the most exuberant audiences they had ever played for and then everyone seemed to look around like "really? you're talking about us?" before cheering. Muscle n' Flo was pretty inspired.

How do you feel about the name "Menomena"- do you like saying it cause it rolls off the tongue so easy or so you feel silly saying it like we're in a muppet movie or something?
I don't like when saying it gets that Muppet song stuck in my head...which
you just did. Thanks a lot....doot doooo doo doooo doo.


If you were going to be any of the three members of Menomena which one would you be and why?
Probably the lead singer/saxophone/bass player cause I played saxophone, it was my thing growing up, and I always kinda regretted not learning guitar instead and felt like I missed out on my rock star dreams. He showed me maybe I was wrong! A saxophone player can lead a rock band! Though truthfully I usually really dislike saxophone in rock bands.

How would you describe the crowd there last night?
I've never been to a show at the Troubadour where the room was so electric that you just had to be there. Everyone was just sort of respectfully, curiously taking it in. Still waiting for my transcendent Troubadour experience.

A great writer once told me, "God gave us Rock 'n' Roll for a reason,and thats why Menomena sucks." Does this statement have any validity?
I kinda see what they're getting at. Menomena doesn't really rock out.They're all talented musicians but I never saw them just let loose. They sounded just like their albums, which is fine. The question is do you prefer music that you find interesting or music that forces you to shake your ass?

What were your thoughts on the Troubadour last night - we were totally in the line of traffic.
That was the worst. It was like bumper bowling and we were the rails.

Whats it like to be the tallest guy in the room at a show - do you feel guilty moving closer to the front?
Sometimes I feel daggers of hate shooting into my back from the eyes of shorter people behind me. Then I'll hear someone groan sarcastically "Oh,great! This is just perfect!". Then I remember that at least my family loves me and I feel OK. In my younger days going to punk shows I used to always get kicked in the head by crowd surfers.

Who is your favorite LAist contributor?
Why Corey Podell of course. Her impeccable writing skills are
surpassed only by her beauty and charm and rapier wit and when is the next free show you're taking me to?

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Russell Mills is a single twenty-something filmaker, writer, and indie music guru living in Los Angeles. Top photo by Sonny I. LaVista for LAist