Moms is the title of the fourth proper full-length from Menomena, but the first since co-founder Brent Knopf left the band early last year. They joined us at Mississippi Studios as a fleshed out all-star quintet (including core duo Justin Harris and Danny Seim, joined by Paul Alcott on keys and guitar, Matt Dabrowiak on guitar and Holcombe Waller on keys and vocals) for the headline set at our annual MusicFest NW day party, PDX/Rx.
The last time we recorded a session with Menomena— exactly two years ago to the day of this performance— was the same day a Willamette Week cover story focusing on the band’s internal squabbles was released. It was the proverbial elephant in the room, making it only a little surprising when the trio became a duo a few months later, rendering moot the disharmony that threatened to define the band almost as much as their music. Justin Harris and Danny Seim carry on the franchise with Moms and the musical hallmarks— meaty bartitone sax, bass line spines and rhythms that turn on a dime— that have made Menomena’s sound among the most original to emerge in Portland or any other city over the past decade.
Audio recording/mixing: Steven Kray
Video production: Jarratt Taylor
Video shooters: Jarratt Taylor / David Christensen / Elizabeth Elder
Photos: Nathan Quigley / Jeremy Petersen