Menahan Street Band: The Crossing (snippet)
Every Day a Dream (snippet)
From 7″ (forthcoming on Dunham, 2011)

It’s always a goddamn good day when a new Menahan Street Band single arrives in the mail.

I heavily dig some of Charles Bradley’s album but to be really honest, at the end of the day, I’m more into the fact that he’s backed by the MSB than anything else. For a few years now, I’ve been trying to figure out what it is Tom Brenneck and company do that’s so effective (and why I like their output more than other similar instrumental bands). The easy – though hardly descriptive – way to put it is that the crew nail a particular “vibe” that’s relaxed, warm and most of all…dreamy. Maybe I’m being unduly influenced by the title of the B-side, but the best MSB songs float with a halcyon feel that’s grounded in a strong rhythm yet is never nailed to the floor. They drift.

That’s especially true on this single thanks to the acoustic guitar, playing alongside those subtly Afro-influenced horns. Seriously, I could listen to these kind of tunes all day, er’day.




  1. Word!

    I love the Menahan Street Band as well. I’d have to give the edge to the El Michel’s Affair though. I played that one album so much I thought the mp3 would bust.

    I haven’t found anyone else other than MSB and EMA that even comes close to nailing this vibe. Or maybe it’s just that their songs are a bit catchier.

  2. couldn’t agree more. i was so effing thrilled when they played some of their own music at the charles bradley show.

    it’s a shame they can’t come out west more often. i asked some of the budos guys why that’s the case. one reason is that some of them are teachers, so they can only tour when class is out.

  3. AK: Yeah, we here on the West get the short end of the stick. Those dudes tour the East Coast heavily but rarely make it to our coast.

  4. I too appreciate MSB’s ‘dreamy’ sound. I also think that they simply write better tunes than most of the funk/soul outfits I’ve heard. Too many bands feature the same ‘dancefloor’ tempo, the same drum pattern & the same shouty female lead vocals.

    That being said, a few things from the G.E.D. Soul and Colemine labels have caught my ear. Anyone else?

  5. yeah i picked up a few things from Colemine that caught my ear. Good stuff. Menahan’s stuff is so smooth, tho. They really offer something that just isn’t around anymore.

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