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Minden MFNW Set at Branx 9.5

Minden, one of the most soulful bands that Portland has seen in a long while, makes its MFNW debut tonight at Branx. Their songs are complex and involve many different arrangements with their two singers. The distinct keyboard sound brings a 70s pop feel that the drummer turns it into rock. This band may or may not be the result of seven children not listening to their gospel choir teacher, I wouldn’t know because their bio only says that “none of them have tattoos.” Nonetheless, these Kansas City transplants know how to put together conceptualized songs and can play them with fun energy that can even make a PBR spokesperson dance. - Colin Hudson


Minden Play Rontoms 2.24

Minden are as groovy a they are captivating. Their sounds are layered with contagious rhythms, hypnotic guitar leads and fluid bass lines that result in some of the best party music the city has to offer. Their latest release, Exotics Cakes, is a driving yet calming collection of indie-pop gems that brings to mind the therapy that comes with a momentary loss of inhibition. Soothing vocals, tight instrumentation and magnetic hooks make it an addicting album that you’ll find yourself moving to without realizing it. This Sunday night Minden will be sharing their music at Rontoms with De La Warr and Reva Devito, be there for a vivid performance. - Benjamin Toledo


There's Still Time to Go to the Ball

Who throws the biggest ball of them all? You know it's Portland. We have several ballrooms to spin and bounce in and we revel in our abounding culture of local music and amazing breweries. What better way to celebrate than at the 2nd Annual Malt Ball within The Wonder Ballroom? It's an all day thing if you can handle it, with a whopping performance of 12 bands and 26 participating breweries. Or you can split it up into two sessions (2pm-7pm, 7:30-Midnight) if you’re like, a wussy, or have a job or something. There is a barrel aged, Belgian sour from Old Market Pub and Brewery, sweetened up with some cherries to taste with the "Exotic Cakes" of Minden. Or how about a black bock (6.66 percent ABV) from Gigantic Brewing, paired with Suns of Huns? A fuzzy sunny citrus ale from The Commons accompanying the psychedelic rock of Wooden Indian Burial Ground?  Dancing? Get on it.... - Brandy Crowe

Album review: Minden - Exotic Cakes

When Casey Burge and company packed their leather pants and headed for the coast, it was a tough blow for Kansas City's thriving music scene. There is little room to question that they were losing both one of their most eccentric and fiercely talented family members.

Minden had slammed onto the scene with a hipster pop meets dance rock sound, turning heads of indie snobs and shaking the asses of scene girls. Having the ability to go note for note and toe to toe with any band in the surrounding area, Minden had gathered a massive following. Due to their ability to kick in teeth and fill bars, a majority of the scene pouted in unison at the announcement of their departure. But alas, even the addition of Google Fiber couldn’t make them stay. Skipping town for Portland, Oregon's thriving and bearded scene, the band's first full-length album, Exotic Cakes, which was recorded at Element Recording of Kansas City by producer Joel Nanos (bro-love), would only be partially an “816” release. For this review however, we're simply going to assume Portlandia is a long reaching suburb to the KC Metro.

Upon first listen, Exotic Cakes is a touch underwhelming. While spectacular in both production and musicianship, the album seems to lack the hooks essential in pushing a release right over the top. The truth is however, that they are there. They're just sneaky little bastards, slipped into the folds of the band's unique songwriting. Once the listener dives deeper into the "dance-if-you-want-to" qualities of the release, they’ll find tiny hidden quirks buried and layered in the mix. If committed to the growth process of an album, the average listener will be blessed with Minden's ability to give. They're like a Christmas tree that never runs out of presents, regardless of how many you manage to open.

Elements of Minden's magical live show manage to slip into their release and cling to the listener like glitter on a dance hall floor. The energy that can be heard in the approach of the band is unquestionable. There is no room to deny that the band adores the music they are making. Take “New Age” for example. The drum- and vocal-based track oozes sexuality and begs for a slow grind. The shifts from the chorus to the verses manage to be balanced somewhere between smooth and unexpected. This keeps the listener both interested and on their toes. Chances are, if you know what chord progression or instrument is coming next, you’re probably in the band. Minden is either that ahead of the curve or bat shit crazy.

One might be able to make a logical case for both. I’d be willing to argue that they were brilliant in an “Andy Kauffman” kind of way.

Score: 8/10

-Joshua Hammond

After stints drumming for both The Afternoons and Jenny Carr and the Waiting List in the Lawrence/Kansas City music scene, Joshua Hammond found his footing as a music journalist, launching the national publication Popwreckoning. After running the show as Editor in Chief for 6 years, Hammond stepped away from the reigns to freelance for other publications like Under The Gun Review and High Voltage Magazine. This shift allowed the adequate amount of time for him to write passionately, allow the Kansas City Royals to break his heart on a daily basis and spoon his cats just enough that they don't shred his vinyl. 

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