Efrim Menuck

Infobox musical artist
Name = Efrim Menuck

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Background = non_vocal_instrumentalist
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Origin = Canada
Instrument = Guitar, piano, vocals
Genre = Post-rock
Occupation = Musician
Years_active = 1994–present
Label = Kranky, Constellation
Associated_acts = Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band
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Efrim Menuck is a Canadian musician involved in a number of Montreal-based post-rock groups, most notably Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band. Menuck is also a frequent record producer, working with musicians from Montreal and abroad.

Biography

In 1994, Mauro Pezzente, Mike Moya, and Menuck founded Godspeed You! Black Emperor,Cite web|url=http://cstrecords.com/bands_godspeedyou.html|title=Godspeed You! Black Emperor biography|accessdate=2006-12-19|publisher=Constellation Records|year=2006|author=Constellation Records|work=Bands index|format=html] an influential post-rock ensemble. Their first album, "All Lights Fucked on the Hairy Amp Drooling", is the earliest recorded document of Godspeed You! Black Emperor.Cite web|url=http://web.archive.org/web/20001217064300/www.cstrecords.com/html/allfucked.html|title=Godspeed – "All Lights Fucked" Cassette|accessdate=2006-12-19|publisher=Constellation Records|year=2000|author=Constellation Records|work=Godspeed Releases|format=html] Self-released in December 1994, the cassette was dubbed only 33 times. It was not until the release of their official debut album, "f♯a♯∞", that they began receiving recognition for their work.

Menuck is also responsible for the creation of Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band, along with fellow Godspeed You! Black Emperor alumni Sophie Trudeau and Thierry Amar. Originally conceived as an aid to Menuck in learning how to score music,Cite web|url=http://www.archive.org/details/asmz2001-01-26.flac|title=A Silver Mt. Zion at VPRO Studio (2001-01-26)|accessdate=2006-12-19|publisher=Internet Archive|year=2001|author=A Silver Mt. Zion|work=Live Music Archive] the group has since blossomed into a regular collaboration.

When "He Has Left Us Alone but Shafts of Light Sometimes Grace the Corner of Our Rooms…" debuted, it was notable in that it included vocals by Menuck and his band mates; this was in contrast with the taciturn Godspeed You! Black Emperor. However, Constellation states on the biography for Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band that Menuck did in fact sing vocals before the creation of the group on a "rare 1996 GYBE cassette release".Cite web|url=http://cstrecords.com/bands_silvermtzion.html|title=A Silver Mt. Zion biography|accessdate=2006-12-19|publisher=Constellation Records|author=Constellation Records|work=Bands index|format=html] Whether or not that is a reference to "All Lights Fucked on the Hairy Amp Drooling" is speculation, as the cassette was released in 1994. However, it is worth noting that Menuck, along with presumably other band members, can be heard singing along with a guitar line on the track "East Hastings" from the 1998 release of "f♯a♯∞", perhaps conducting the playing. [The singing heard in "East Hastings", juxtaposing the simple guitar line, begins at 8:20 and ends at 8:50. The most prominent voice heard is that of Menuck, with other less pronounced voices singing along as well.]

While the music of Godspeed You! Black Emperor was marked by its sampling and symphonic development, Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band more regularly incorporated lyrics as well. Menuck confessed to being at odds with the role of the singer in bands, noting that lyricists are often featured as the main attraction at the expense of their bands. He also felt uncomfortable with his own singing, but has since overcome that feeling. Menuck often shares vocal duty with the seven other members of A Silver Mt. Zion.

The lyrical style of Menuck is best described as poetic. The topics of his lyrics range from the fear and loneliness experienced while driving alone on an American highway at nightCite web|url=http://www.wnyc.org/shows/spinning/episodes/2005/11/06|title=Spinning on Air: The Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra and Tra-La-La Band (2005-11-06)|accessdate=2006-12-19|publisher=WYNC Radio|year=2005|author=A Silver Mt. Zion and David Garland|work=Spinning on Air] to urban decay, and even a tribute to a deceased pet cat. Indeed, "This Is Our Punk-Rock, Thee Rusted Satellites Gather + Sing," the third album by Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band, was essentially created as a requiem for open and abandoned spaces in Montreal, as well as for similar loss and decay around the world, due to either urban development or military action. [http://www.cstrecords.com/releases/cst027 Constellation: Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band With Choir: "This Is Our Punk-Rock," Thee Rusted Satellites Gather + Sing ] ] Menuck is also known for integrating politics into song titles, lyrics, and album cover art for A Silver Mt. Zion. As such, references to anarchism and anti-war viewpoints are often expressed.

Menuck is a follower of Judaism, often utilizing religious imagery in the lyrics and albums of Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band. The recording sessions of "He Has Left Us Alone but Shafts of Light Sometimes Grace the Corner of Our Rooms…" were described by Menuck as a "Jewish experience". With "Born into Trouble as the Sparks Fly Upward", the band references the Book of Job Ch. 5:7. Menuck has been an outspoken critic of the Israeli government; the liner notes for Yanqui U.X.O criticize Ariel Sharon's 2000 visit to the Temple Mount.Cite web|url=http://www.sputnikmusic.com/album.php?albumid=2271|title=Godspeed You! Black Emperor – "Yanqui U.X.O."|accessdate=2007-03-29|publisher=Sputnik Music|year=2005|work=Reviews|format=php]

Along with Howard Bilerman, Radwan Moumneh and Thierry Amar, Menuck owns and operates the Hotel2Tango, a loft space that acts as a practice area, recording studio, and one of the very few non-commercial venues in Montreal capable of accommodating live concerts. The studio was originally confined to the recordings of friends and the bands of the people who own it, but has of late opened its doors to a multitude of other bands. As such, Menuck can often be found in album credits for a wide variety of bands as the record producer. When presented with the opportunity, he will often contribute musically to making the album, contributing guitar or sound effects.

In 2006, Menuck, with Sophie Trudeau and Thierry Amar, assisted in the recording of Carla Bozulich's first release for Constellation Records, "Evangelista".

Musical equipment

The following is a list of musical equipment used by Efrim Menuck.

Guitars

* Fender JaguarSunburst, modified with a humbucker in the neck position and a Bigsby vibrato tailpiece [http://www.duke.edu/~drw5/gybe.htm All Angels Gone: Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Gear] ]
* Travis Bean

Effects pedals

* BOSS GE-7 Equalizer
* BOSS TR-2 Tremolo
* Maestro Fuzzstain
* Z.Vex Tremolo Probe
* Z.Vex Super Hard On
* Mutron Phaser II
* Line 6 DL4 Delay Modeler

Amplifiers

* Ampeg V4 head
* Mesa/Boogie Rectifier Trem-O-Verb head

Discography

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

*"All Lights Fucked on the Hairy Amp Drooling" demo (1994)
*"f♯a♯∞" (1997, Constellation Records)
*"aMAZEzine! 7"" (1998, aMAZEzine!)
*"Slow Riot for New Zerø Kanada" EP (1999, Constellation)
*"Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven" (2000, Constellation)
*"Yanqui U.X.O." (2002, Constellation)

Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band

*"He Has Left Us Alone but Shafts of Light Sometimes Grace the Corner of Our Rooms…" (2000, Constellation)
*"Born into Trouble as the Sparks Fly Upward" (2001, Constellation)
*""This Is Our Punk-Rock," Thee Rusted Satellites Gather + Sing," (2003, Constellation)
*"The "Pretty Little Lightning Paw" E.P." (EP, 2004, Constellation)
*"Horses in the Sky" (2005, Constellation)
*"13 Blues for Thirteen Moons" (2008, Constellation)

Menuck also contributes small samples and guitar work to various artists for whom he produces; these are not listed here.

Notes

External links

* [http://www.tra-la-la-band.com A Silver Mt. Zion] official website
* [http://www.cstrecords.com Constellation Records] official website
* [http://zuihitsu.org/etc/archives/2002/08/godspeed-you-black-emperor-and-the-politics-of-chaos/ Godspeed You Black Emperor! and the Politics of Chaos] - An essay by Brad Weslake from the zine Neo-Industrial Opera

Persondata
NAME= Menuck, Efrim
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=
SHORT DESCRIPTION= Musician
DATE OF BIRTH=
PLACE OF BIRTH= Canada
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