Danny Seim and Justin Harris have been making experimental rock together as Menomena (above, performing “Heavy Is as Heavy Does”) for more than a decade—although they’ve been doing it as a duo only since early 2011. No matter. Last year’s personal and intimate Moms, the band’s fifth LP but first as a twosome, was released to favorable reviews.
While Menomena hail from Portland, Ore., another alternative-rock duo, the Helio Sequence (above, doing “Lately” for KEXP FM), reside not too far west, in Beaverton. Brandon Summers (vocals and guitars) and Benjamin Weikel (drums and keys) teamed up in the late ’90s to do their own take on psychedelic, ambient music. But their sound has evolved over their years becoming more like dream folk on last year’s Negotiations. See both bands, along with Philly rock duo Pattern Is Movement, tonight at Webster Hall.
Lee Fields (above, doing “Ladies” for KEXP FM) has been making music for quite some time. His first album came out in 1969. So he’s been around. He started out in the funk business, earning favorable comparisons to James Brown throughout the ’70s. And while the ’80s were somewhat quiet for him, he returned strong in the ’90s, making bluesy soul music. But since teaming up with local label Truth & Soul and its house band, the Expressions, his music has been reinvigorated. To witness: last year’s excellent Faithful Man, which marries old-school R&B and soul with modern touches.
Nick Waterhouse (above doing “Is That Clear”) may not share the same background as Lee Fields, but the young singer-songwriter-producer from Southern California is still well versed in R&B. His debut album, last year’s Time’s All Gone, reveals an old soul with contemporary style. But truthfully, you’ve got to see him live to take it all in. And you can see him alongside Lee Fields and the Expressions tomorrow night at Webster Hall.