When: Sat., Oct. 9, 9 p.m. 2010
Sometimes calling a band’s latest effort “less weird” is as much criticism as compliment: Bands can lose the quirks that made them compelling, or get safe and formulaic in a misguided attempt to move units. On their new album, Mines, Portland’s Menomena have definitely gotten less weird — the herky-jerky pastiche that made 2007’s Friend and Foe such a treat has given way to more conventional melody. So it’s hard to believe the record was composed using the same method of herky-jerky pastiche — via email between band members who are never in the same room for any of the recordings. The songs are more song-y, for lack of a better word, but they still ring with energy, inventiveness and playful experimentation.