First order of business: Menomena has signed to Barsuk Records (Death Cab for Cutie, Rilo Kiley). Says drummer Danny Seim, "We've always been skeptical about the stereotypical 'label guy' throughout our career as a band, and Josh Rosenfeld of Barsuk was no exception at first. Since our meeting two years ago, Josh has proven himself to be an extremely ethical and intelligent businessman, and more importantly, his overall personality has proven to be the exact opposite of our predetermined stereotype. We're finishing our third album this week, and I'm feeling really optimistic for once."
Next order of business: It looks like Portland could get a new FM station. Rumor has it that the FCC is looking to give out some FM signal space to select nonprofits and, in the right hands, it could do some intense good. Davis, CA-based DJ Rick Ele posted the following on an Urban Honking message board: "For the first time in over a decade, the FCC is opening a five-day application window for nonprofits to establish full-power non-commercial FM radio stations. The availability of open frequencies is random, mostly outside urban areas, but some anomalies do exist. There appears to be a frequency in the lower part of the FM band which can reach Portland from a tower site southeast of the city."
Money business: Local Morgan Grace won $10,000 in an online American Idol: Underground contest. "In a moment of pure dorkdom, I paid $25 to upload my feel-good hit "The Rules of Dating" at American Idol: Underground," says Grace. "I sent a shout-out to our mailing list basically saying, "Hey look, I'm a total dork, go rate my song on American Idol, woot!" The rewards of her dorkdom: $10,000.
Final business: Local guy Eric Johnson, along with his buddy Joel Trussell, have animated a new video for (ex-local) M. Ward's "Chinese Translation" and it looks like it's MTV bound. According to Eric, "The song's lyrics were already telling this super lovely tale, and so all we really needed to do was to illustrate that narrative already happening in the song. We wanted to have it be fun and playful, but not hokey." M. Ward recently moved to New Hampshire. His new record, Post-War, is out August 22.
Check out the video, and read more about the potential FM station at portlandmercury.com/blogtown