Tag Archives: menya

EP Review: Menya – "Menya"

On their self-titled (and free) EP, Menya definitely puts the pop in electro-pop, shedding some (but not all) of the transgressive energy that marked their earlier releases. There isn’t anything approaching the sex-crazed “Ripe” or “D.T.F,” but in the band’s three year evolution, they have tended more and more towards the mainstream.

Menya opens with “Awkward in Between,” which sets the tone for the album. Lead singer Angie Ripe provides sugary teen-romance vocals over bouncy beats from Good Goose. Rapper Coco Dame handles the verses on “On the Run” and “Flames;” the latter’s hook and half-sung/half-rapped formulation puts the song in similar territory to the B.o.B. / Hayley Williams megahit “Airplanes.”

Sandwiched between new compositions are updated versions of three older tunes, “Oh,” “Diana (I Heart U),” and “Loose (Is The Goose).” “Oh” and “Diana” are two of the group’s catchiest songs; including them here gives new listeners a taste of what Menya has been up to since releasing songs as NYU students. “Loose,” which has been remixed by premier Baltimore club DJ James Nasty, is upfront, in-your-face sex talk – no disco sticks, here.

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/menya-loose(jamesnasty remix).mp3″ text=”Menya – Loose (James Nasty Remix)” dl=1]

Menya’s East Coast tour brings them through DC this Saturday at the Velvet Lounge, where they’ll be opening for Baltimore club queen Sherrell Rowe. The trio always bring high energy to their shows, and if this EP is any indication, they’re ready to pop.

The Verge: The #DirtyPopTour

Welcome to The Verge: a column dedicated to music on the edge of a breakthrough. Let’s talk about pop, pop, pop music.

From our coverage of Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber, to our teen pop extravaganza FRIENDS, it’s clear that TGRIOnline is committed to bringing you everything pop music related, no matter how saccharine or ephemeral. So it should be no surprise that a concert with a Twitter-friendly name like the #DirtyPopTour would be on our radar.

The #DirtyPopTour brings together three up-and-coming bands, each with a different take on pop music, to six cities this summer, including DC9 on Tuesday, July 6th. The bands have put together a little mixtape for the occasion, which you can download for free on Bandcamp.

Electroclash popsters Menya, after playing Virginia and Maryland in April, are hitting the road hard this summer and will bring their unique party vibe to DC a few times. The trio of Good Goose, Angie Ripe, and Coco Dame best exemplifies the “dirty pop” moniker, effortlessly shifting between Top 40 re-works and sex-crazed club bangers. For a taste of the former, check out their recent cover of Motown classic “You Can’t Hurry Love.”

NYC’s TVTV specializes in new wave flavored rock. The band will be releasing its debut record on Mom and Pop Records, the home of Sleigh Bells and Metric, and has a sound closer to that of the latter. TVTV combines big riffs, smooth synths, and catchy hooks on their lead single, “Much Too Much.”

Headliners 2AM Club play a radio-friendly mix of blue eyed soul and pop rock, with touches of electro and hip hop. Think Maroon 5 meets Gym Class Heroes. The band is coming off a tour with Chiddy Bang, and has a track on – I shit you not – Now That’s What I Call Music. Check out their video for “Worry About You” and you’ll see why these guys are on the verge of serious crossover success.

The #DirtyPopTour hits DC9 next Tuesday, and you could do a lot worse than an evening of guilty pleasure pop music.

Time to party with Menya

Meet Menya – a brash, electroclash-meets-party rap group out of New York. Out of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, to be specific: the twentysomething trio of Good Goose, Coco Dame, and Angie Ripe (names changed to protect the not-so-innocent) are getting their musical education both in the classroom and in the club.

Angie Ripe and Coco Dame are Menya’s sugar and spice, with Angie’s sultry singing and Coco’s fearless rapping over beats and keys by Goose. The no-frills set-up allows the band to oscillate between grimey, sex-fueled bangers (“Ripe” and “D.T.F.”) and summery, synth-poppers (“Bushwick Baby” and “Sleepover”). They do each equally well, which makes the Menya experience fun and playful – but decidedly naughty.<

Check out this TGRIOnline exclusive remix of “Loose” by STAMPED DJ James Nasty. He gives a Bmore feel to a song that demands the listener “twist my arms / bend my legs / pull my hair / I like it that ooh I like it that.” James Nasty and Menya – a perfect fit.

And while the band covers Top 40 pop songs by Justin Bieber and 3Oh!3, they have a knack for flipping the lyrical message into something a little more Menya-like: Kelly Clarkson’s “I Do Not Hookup” becomes “(So what) I hook up,” for example:

I’ve seen Menya rock a capacity-crowd show at NYC’s Bowery Poetry Club and a cramped basement show at the 3rd Street Co-op here in DC; both were shows for the ages that left the crowd sweaty, breathless, and ready to party. Menya is returning to the DMV the weekend, playing two shows that promise more of the same. On Friday, Menya will be at the University of Maryland for The Get Down, with Bullfight Academy and Leftist. On Saturday, the band headlines the Faze Electro Dance Party at Jammin Java with DJs Ypset and Santi.

I had a chance to speak with Goose and Coco about the past, present, and future of Menya.

Where’d you guys grow up, and how long have you been performing as a group?

Goose: I grew up in northern Virginia and got out as soon as I could. As a group, we’ve been performing together about two years. Our first show was April of 2008. We were quite a sight then. I was dressed in really casual clothes- a hoodie and jeans. Angie and Coco were dressed almost entirely in sparkles and gold lame. There are pictures somewhere.
Coco: I was born in Manila, Philippines and grew up in Maryland, near DC.

What musical influences have resulted in the sound of Menya?

Goose: I’m obsessed with the production on late 90s and early 2000s hip-hop: Timbaland and the Neptunes, mainly. I’d like to think my contributions are a combination of that and my lifelong love of Stephen Merritt’s projects.
Coco: Spank Rock, M.I.A., The Cure, Lil Kim, T. Rex, Prince, KRS-One. Artists who are lyrically clever or thoughtful, and are not afraid to expose themselves and put themselves on the line to speak their mind.

Your re-fix/re-mixes have put a fun twist on hit songs. How’d you come up with that approach to covering songs?

Goose: We’re big youtube fans. We were seeing a lot of DIY parody-type videos and wanted to give it a shot with our own brand of silly potty humor. Plus it allows us to cover our favorite guilty pleasure pop songs. I love Justin Bieber’s music a lot, actually. How lame am I?
Coco: I barely listen to the top 40, mostly because I only really listen to the radio waiting in line in a store, or when I am in the car with the band. Covering popular songs, even ones I didn’t necessarily like at the beginning, has kept me interested in the mainstream for a new reason- to pull a song apart and create something fun!

You guys recently did a spring break tour which I believe is your most extensive touring yet. How did that go?

Goose: I loved the tour. I ate so many burgers and we got to have biscuits at a Cracker Barrel in South Carolina. Best moment that wasn’t music related was swimming in Miami. Worst moment was the rain. There was so much rain on that tour.
Coco: Worst moment by far was getting a stomach virus. Luckily it struck the only day we did not have a show. My friend’s mom was a sweetheart and helped me get better. I was upset because I couldn’t join the St. Patty’s festivities. Florida was my favorite state overall, and Charlotte has really wonderful drag queens! Met a lot of great people.

After seeing this video, I had to ask – how was meeting and playing with Andrew WK?

Goose: I’ve been a big AWK fan since I was in middle school when “Party Hard” came out. I gushed a little to him about how much I love his music at the show, which made me feel silly.
Coco: I really appreciate him opening up his venue Santo’s Party House for us to throw a big show. The rumor that he is awesome is true- W.K. is a nice dude.

Any hints to what’s next for Menya?

Goose: We’re writing new songs in May, then touring for most of the summer and fall, mostly to places we’ve never been before like the midwest and hopefully up to Canada. The plan is to do about 50 dates before mid-August, which I’m booking now. After that, we plan on making our own organic fruit smoothies and outselling Lady Gaga.
Coco: I will probably grow my hair out from my mohawk until I can’t stand it no more.