Menomena /mɨˈnɒmɨnə/ is an indie rock band from Portland, Oregon, United States made up of Justin Harris and Danny Seim. Both members of the band share singing duties and frequently swap instruments while recording. In concert, Seim plays drums while Harris swaps between a myriad of instruments.
Menomena began as a side project of Seim's solo project Lackthereof.
The band formed in late 2000, when Brent Knopf graduated from Dartmouth College and returned to Portland to collaborate with Harris and Seim.
The name "Menomena" was chosen for "the way it rolls off the tongue, sexually, or something" and has no specific meaning, although it is often assumed to refer to the Piero Umiliani song "Mah Nà Mah Nà", a staple of The Muppet Show. In an audio clip from SpotDJ, Knopf sarcastically stated that the band name was a combination of the words "Men" and "Phenomena." It is Greek for "what remains."
Menomena played their first show in July 2001, at The Meow Meow, a now-defunct all ages venue in Portland. The trio opened with a cover version of "The Abandoned Hospital Ship" by The Flaming Lips.
Shortly after, they joined the roster of High Road Touring, a San Francisco-based booking agency. For their first U.S. tour in 2004, Menomena drove a 1977 Dodge Sportsman RV. The aging vehicle suffered many breakdowns along the way. Knopf detailed these issues in an interview in Spin: "Systems that failed (and had to be replaced) during the tour included the following: tires, muffler, brake, master cylinder, exhaust manifold, windshield wipers, horn, side-view mirrors (both fell off). Oh, and did I mention that there were two fires? Not one. Two. This vehicle promptly earned the moniker 'RV Danger.'" RV Danger (most likely a reference to Seattle band Harvey Danger) was later immortalized in a tour poster illustrated by Tyler Stout, who has collaborated with the band on numerous occasions. Other notable tours in Menomena's early career were with Gang of Four, The National, and The Long Winters.
After several releases and national tours, Menomena signed with Barsuk Records in August 2006. The band still maintains a relationship with their original label, FILMguerrero. It was stated that FILMguerrero will continue be involved in their back catalog and possibly with future vinyl releases.
Menomena signed a contract with German record label City Slang, to release their album Friend and Foe across Europe on August 31, 2007. The band toured Europe twice that year, and their adventures were extensively chronicled by Seim in a blog for Portland-based website Local Cut. ClearartWide ThumbFanart Banner User Comments