Image via Menomena at Last.fm
Some say that Menomena, a Portland, Oregon-based trio, got their name from The Muppet Show staple, Piero Umiliani’s “Mah Nà Mah Nà.” ?uestlove of The Roots once tweeted, “@Menomenaut best band name. i’m jealous i didn’t think of it first.” Menomena’s resident guitarist, keyboardist, and glockenspiel-ist, Brent Knopf, also once stated that the name is a portmanteau of “men” and “phenomena.” However, the band’s website then warns fans that this statement “is most likely a joke.” While the true story behind Menomena’s name remains a mystery, one thing is certain — they’re awesome.
If you’re a fan of music with many layers (think: pared down “Paranoid Android”), prepare to be swept away by “Dirty Cartoons” — the song that got me hooked. Simple acoustics give way to twinkling piano and glockenspiel notes, which fade into expansive bass and solid percussion, all while Danny Seim’s dusky baritone provides the vocal backing to lyrics that you just can’t help but relate to.
While their amazing music speaks for itself, I can’t help but share these tidbits with you: Their first album, “I Am the Fun Blame Monster!” is an anagram for “Menomena’s first album,” and was packaged in an 80-page flipbook that Seim designed and hand-assembled. The packaging for their third album, “Friend or Foe,” was designed by band member Brent Knopf, and features artwork by graphic novelist Craig Thompson, die-cut shapes, decoder rings, and hidden messages, earning it a Grammy nomination for “Best Recording Package.” Gotta love a band that goes above and beyond.
What do you think of Menomena’s monumental music?