"I knew Matt at Notre Dame, but we weren't good friends and weren't playing music together," says Mendenhall.
p(image-right). !/assets/9255/curreri.jpg(curreri.jpg)! As it happened, their sisters were roommates at Dartmouth. And so Mendenhall and Curreri were informed, relatively speaking, that they had a musical soul mate in New York. The two began performing together.
Little more than a year ago, the two musicians moved to San Diego, where Mendenhall was raised. "That's really where the music has taken off," she says.
What's also taken off are the duo's appearances in the four-person rock band The Exfriends. "Matt came up with the name," says Mendenhall. "In New York, people were always moving in and out. You make these great friends and inevitably someone always moves away."
The two write songs played by the indie group, which is fronted by vocalists Curreri, who plays guitar and sometimes drums, and Mendenhall, who plays guitar, Rhodes electric piano and sometimes the accordion. An upright-bass player and violinist complete the group. San Diego media have been effusive in their praise of the "delightfully disheveled" band and its two lead songwriters.
On a recent trip, the Exfriends performed in Virginia, where Curreri grew up, in Washington, D.C., and in Chicago. They plan to do a show in South Bend and hope to release a CD this year.
Both Mendenhall and Curreri recently came out with solo debut albums. Mendenhall's is appropriately named _Secretary Waltz_; it was released by Spinster. City Salvage Records has released _How to Play the Songs of Matt Curreri_.
More information on the two rock 'n' rollers, including show dates for The Exfriends and sound clips from their individual CD s, is available at their websites: www.joaniemen.com or www.mattcurreri.com.