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Menomena Biography

Home > Music > M > Menomena > Biography

Birth Place: Portland, Oregon
Years Active: 2000-present
Genres: Experimental Rock, Indie Rock

Menomena is an indie rock band from Portland, Oregon, and currently made up of Justin Harris and Danny Seim. Both members of the band share singing duties and frequently swap instruments while recording. 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.

Menomena played their first show in July 2001, at Meow Meow, a now-defunct all ages venue in Portland. Their debut album, “I Am the Fun Blame Monster!,” was self-released in May 2003. It was re-released by FILMguerrero in 2004, and then again by Barsuk/FILMguerrero in 2007. A white vinyl LP was released by FILMguerrero in 2005 that featured an origami design by band member Brent Knopf and hand screen printing/assembly by band member Danny Seim. In May 2011, the album was reissued as a double album alongside a bonus DVD. The bonus material featured nine bonus tracks and rare footage of the band's appearances on Portland cable public-access television program “The Sista Social Show,” a live performance at Meow-Meow and music videos for the album tracks, “Trigga Hiccups” and “Cough Coughing.”

In November 2005, Menomena released, “Under an Hour,” an album of instrumental music written for and performed with Monster Squad, an experimental dance company based in Portland. The release consisted of only three tracks, each of which is over 17 minutes in length.

Menomena released their third album, and first via Barsuk Records, in January 2007. As with their first two releases, “Friend and Foe,” was entirely produced, recorded and mixed by the band. The album featured an intricate packaging layout consisting of die-cut shapes, decoder rings and hidden messages. It was designed by Knopf and illustrated by cult graphic novelist/cartoonist Craig Thompson, of “Blankets” fame. Thompson's artwork for, “Friend and Foe,” was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Recording Package.

Menomena spent most of 2009 in and out of the studio. Their fourth full length album, “Mines,” was released in July 2010 by Barsuk Records, in North America, and City Slang, in Europe. The album was self-produced and recorded by the band and reached #96 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart.

In January 2011 Menomena announced the departure of Brent Knopf. Now a duo, Menomena issued their fifth album, “Moms,” in September 2012.