Portland's Menomena are the rare experimental pop provocateurs whose tunes boast an insistent rhythmic pulse. Originally a trio of singers/multi-instrumentalists, Menomena's never suffered from a lack of musical ideas. At times they've been overstuffed with them, so the surviving duo of Justin Harris and Danny Seim weather the departure of co-founder Brent Knopf in fine form on this year's Moms. A song cycle dedicated to their mothers, the album contains intensely personal material — "You brought me into this shit show without a penny or a plan" — that is musically kinetic and uplifting even when lyrically despondent. The band continue deftly blending machine-manipulated rhythms and samples with atypical rock instrumentation — hello there, flute — and organic piano and guitar textures in a manner rarely heard since the Folk Implosion's heyday. 18+. (Photo by Alicia J. Rose)
Sat., Oct. 20, 8 p.m., 2012

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