Friday, October 26, 2012
Menomena and PVT @ Neurolux (10/23/12)
I want to say that I'd heard of Menomena before this show, but I don't know for certain. Of course, knowing nothing about a band hasn't often stopped me from checking them out (quite the opposite, in fact). A few people whom I'd spoken with had expressed their excitement about this show, however, which did help spark my curiosity.
I got down to Neurolux around 8 p.m. There were over fifty people there, and I'd guess that at least another twenty or thirty would arrive as the night wore on. "Jesus and Tequila" by the Minutemen played on the P.A. system when I arrived. I took that as a good omen.
First up this night was PVT (pronounced "pivot"), an electronica trio from Sydney, Australia. Droning, robotic, ambient synthesizer hooks combined with tripped-out guitar, machine-gun drumming and looped, reverberating vocals to erect a leg-and-sternum-vibrating wall of sound. It took a little while for the crowd to loosen up some, but by the end, some folks were calling for an encore. Impressive.
Menomena took the stage next. This Portland group's music struck a winning balance between eccentric, goofy, cute and rawkin'. Crooned vocals, honking saxophones, soaring guitar and tinkling, ringing, buzzing, blaring, weeeeeooooo-ing synthesizers danced around with driving basslines and nimble drumming. It got kinda lonely standing back by the bar while everyone else got as close to the stage as they could, grooved out and stood on their seats. Their body heat flowed back to keep me company, though. The band was feeling it too: the drummer paused at one point to futilely smack the fan over the stage.
You can find info on these groups on Facebook and elsewhere online. Special thanks to Eric Gilbert and Radio Boise.