Something Like a Menomena

Image via Menomena at

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?


About Natalie

As the owner of three small, fluffy dogs, Natalie has accepted the fact that dog hair being everywhere and on everything is just part of her lifestyle now. She cannot stop decorating (and redecorating) her home, and lives by Robert Venturi's words, "Less is a bore." Fresh flowers, floral print dresses, and a good gin and tonic are just a few of her favorite things.

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  1. Avatar
    the clothing menu 11/12/2010 at 12:28 pm #

    i love them – i almost blogged about them today too!

  2. Avatar
    Lindsay (ModCloth) 11/12/2010 at 2:54 pm #

    I’ve loved this band since the blame monster! They’re great live and far easier on the eyes than that picture is giving them credit for, hehe.

  3. Avatar
    Dani 11/13/2010 at 12:34 pm #

    They’re fantastic! I work in a Cd store and if people ever want recommendations I send them to this band! SO great! “Rotten Hell” is great!

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