Hear This

Menomena exhibits its will-to-rock; the Doves fly back into town with their grandiose Britrock

Menomena's debut disc, I Am the Fun Blame Monster, comes packaged with a 70-plus-page flip-book of the band members playing their instruments, except for one of the dudes; he's doing nothing but spinning around in a stylish leather office chair. Then he suddenly disappears from the frame, which means he probably got all crazy-dizzy and lost his lunch during the photo shoot. But let's press pause on the cheap vomit jokes just long enough for me to tell you that this Portland, Ore., group is one of the finer indie-pop bands I've heard since Clinic. That's primarily because the drummer's grooves, like Clinic's, are as regulated as a drum machine, making the group's sparsely arranged, piano-driven indie-pop more of a moody indie-dance jam with totally outta sight organ tones and a slightly more palatable will-to-rock than exhibited by most groups these days that possess all the right hooks (which Menomena most definitely does) to make it kinda big. And, shit, Menomena just seems way more concerned with sonic exploration and constructing progressive compositions, and those are always good qualities to see in a pop band. So make sure to get your flip-books autographed when the group plays Café Du Nord on Friday, June 10; call 861-5016 or go to www.cafedunord.com for more info. -- Justin F. Farrar

Stick your nose in the music business long enough and you learn that when bands postpone tours because of things like "vocal cord ailments" or "extreme exhaustion," that's usually code for "One of us really needs to get his ass into rehab for a little while" or "We hate each other's guts and need to get the hell away from one another before the band breaks up." Now, we don't have a doctor's note or anything, but Doves frontman Jimi Goodwin swears up and down that a long-brewing throat problem was the honest-to-goodness culprit behind the Manchester, England, nü-gazer trio's nixing its May 1 U.S. tour launch at the Fillmore. A few weeks of honey tea and layin' off the smokes seems to have done some good, though: Reports from the first of the rescheduled dates say Goodwin's laconic drawl -- which often summons Swervedriver's Adam Franklin -- is in solid form, leading the group through the expansive, smoldering, guitar-fueled grandeur of its fantastic third album, Some Cities. If they can keep their show on the road, Doves should have little problem convincing us that they -- not Keane, Coldplay, or Kasabian -- are the shiniest stars of Britrock in 2005. See for yourself on Monday, June 13, at the Fillmore; call 346-6000 or visit www.thefillmore.com for more info.-- Michael Alan Goldberg

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