Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Getting to know....Jeff Mangum

Jeff Mangum, born in 1970 in Louisiana, is the founder and main lyricist and songwriter of what was the band Neutral Milk Hotel (1989-1998). Neutral Milk Hotel was a highly influential indie rock band who released two full-length albums, On Avery Island (1996) and the epic In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (1998). He was also one of the founding members of The Elephant Six Collective, along with three of his childhood friends Bill Doss, Will Cullen Hart, and Robert Schneider. The Elephant Six Collective spawned many notable independent bands, including The Apples in Stereo, Elf Power, and Of Montreal.

Jeff Mangum was also a member and contributor of many side projects loosely affiliated with either Neutral Milk Hotel or The Elephant Six Collective, including Major Organ and the Adding Machine, Circulatory System, and The Olivia Tremor Control. Not long after the release of and supporting tour for In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, which was somewhat of a concept album partly inspired by the story of Anne Frank, Jeff Mangum disbanded Neutral Milk Hotel and since then has avoided public eye and has performed live only a handful of times. An article discussing Mangum's Barrett-esque dissappearing act can be found here. Recently there was circulation of a message credited to Mangum reporting that he would return to the spotlight in the near future, but ultimately the message turned out to be contrived.

Apparently if you are in hopes of hearing any new work by Jeff Mangum or seeing a live performance the mantra is "don't hold your breath." However, we can still look back and listen to the work that he has left with us, from which I have selected the following tracks. In each of the songs below Jeff Mangum is either the main artist, a contributor, or sometimes producer.


Jeff Mangum:
(from Live at Jittery Joe's) Buy it

mp3 Where You'll Find Me Now
mp3 I Love How You Love Me (Phil Spector)

Neutral Milk Hotel:

mp3 In the Aeroplane over the Sea (Live)
mp3 Little Birds (Live)

(from On Avery Island) Buy it
mp3 Song Against Sex
mp3 Gardenhead/Leave Me Alone

(from In the Aeroplane Over the Sea) Buy it
mp3 King Of Carrot Flowers Part 1
mp3 Oh Comely

The Olivia Tremor Control:
(from Dusk at Cubist Castle) Buy it

mp3 No Growing (Exegesis)
mp3 NYC-25

Circulatory System:
(from their self-titled cd) Buy it

mp3 Yesterday's World
mp3 Inside Blasts

Major Organ and the Adding Machine
(from their self-titled cd) Buy it

mp3 Madam Truffle
mp3 Life Form (Transmission Received)

Neutral Milk Hotel live

Additional Neutral Milk hotel live footage
Jeff Mangum on Wiki