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        Any hot tips to share? please email gavin7@gmail.com (Please note that I'm simply a fan and have zero personal contact with Jeff Mangum, the band, or anyone connected to them.)

Neutral Milk Hotel Returns!!!
(posted 12May2013)
As foretold by the prophesy, the classic lineup of Neutral Milk Hotel will reunite for a worldwide tour starting in Fall 2013 and extending into 2014.
Exciting times, indeed!

Keep up with all the dates n' details with the below links.
Tour page at the official NMH site
Ground Control's page for the band
Merge Records' tour page
Pitchfork's NMH news
E6 Townhall's NMH fan message board

Jeff Mangum live update
(posted 7Aug2012)
Jeff played a bunch more shows in recent months, with still a couple more scheduled for September 2012. Sorry I'm not always quick about listing dates here, but good places to check for any upcoming shows are the tour page at the official site, Ground Control's page for Jeff, and Merge Records' tour page. There are rumors in the Elephant 6 camp that a full-fledged Neutral Milk Hotel reunion tour may be on the horizon in the not-too-distant future. So that's definitely something to be excited about!

early 2012 Jeff Mangum performances announced
(posted 7Nov2011)
01-18-2012 New Haven, CT - Shubert Theater
01-20-2012 Brooklyn, NY - Gilman Opera House at Brooklyn Academy of Music
01-25-2012 Philadelphia, PA - Irvine Auditorium at University of Pennsylvania
01-27-2012 Washington, DC - Lincoln Theatre
01-30-2012 Chapel Hill, NC - Memorial Hall at University of North Carolina
02-01-2012 Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse
02-04-2012 Minneapolis, MN - Pantages Theatre
02-06-2012 Chicago, IL - Athenaeum Theater
02-07-2012 Chicago, IL - Athenaeum Theater
02-08-2012 Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theater
02-10-2012 Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club
02-11-2012 Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club
03-07-2012 Dublin, Ireland - Vicar Street
03-09-2012 thru 03-11-2012 Minehead, England - ATP Curated By Jeff Mangum
03-13-2012 London, England - Union Chapel
03-14-2012 London, England - Union Chapel

Neutral Milk Hotel vinyl box set with unreleased tracks!
(posted 27Aug2011)
Possibly the biggest NMH news since they went dormant all those years ago, the band is finally getting some unreleased material released! And there's a wonderful new official website!
Visit the aforementioned website here for all the info: http://walkingwallofwords.com/
Read the Pitchfork article here: http://pitchfork.com/news/43655-neutral-milk-hotel-to-release-box-set/
Message board topic: http://www.e6townhall.com/showthread.php?18773-Neutral-Milk-Hotel-Boxset-%28currated-by-Jeff%29

Tours
(posted 30July2011)
The Music Tapes are touring with The Olivia Tremor Control this summer. A good place to check current tour dates (and for upcoming Jeff Mangum shows) is http://www.mergerecords.com/tour.php 

Updated 2011 Jeff Mangum tour dates
(posted 26June2011)
August 08 Burlington, VT – First Unitarian Church
August 10 Montreal, Quebec – Cabaret du Mile-End
August 12 Toronto, Ontario - Trinity St. Paul's United Church
August 13 Toronto, Ontario - Trinity St. Paul's United Church
September 07 Northampton, MA - Academy of Music Theatre
September 09 Cambridge, MA - Sanders Theatre at Harvard University
September 10 Boston, MA - Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory
September 26 Baltimore, MD - 2640 Space at St. John's Church
September 27 Baltimore, MD - 2640 Space at St. John's Church
September 30 Asbury Park, NJ - Paramount Theatre (ATP)
October 03 Asbury Park, NJ - Paramount Theatre (ATP)
October 29 New York, NY - Town Hall
November 06 Jersey City, NJ - Loew's Theatre
November 30 Dublin, Ireland - Whelan's [postponed]
December 02-04 Minehead, England – ATP Curated by Jeff Magnum [postponed]
December 08 London, England – Union Chapel [postponed]
December 09 London, England – Union Chapel [postponed]

 Watch Jeff Mangum Perform With a Weird Experimental Athens, Georgia Supergroup
(Pitchfork article, posted 10May2011)

A masked Mangum played with out-there outfit the Soap Scums

Watch
        Jeff Mangum Perform With a Weird Experimental Athens, Georgia
        Supergroup

Photo by Will Westbrook

A few weeks ago, we reported that Apples in Stereo frontman Robert Schneider had employed his mind-controlled synthesizer Teletron to perform an original score written for the instrument by Neutral Milk Hotel mastermind and notorious recluse Jeff Mangum. We also reported that Schneider would perform more music with the Teletron at Athens, Georgia's AUX Festival. That festival went down last weekend, and it turns out that Mangum took part in a surprise performance at the fest-- a very, uh, special kind of performance.

Pitchfork photo contributor Mike White sent over the below video of Mangum performing with ultra-outré outfit the Soap Scums, which also counts Elf Power's Laura Carter and Olivia Tremor Control's Peter Erchick, John Fernandes, and Eric Harris as members. (The Merge Blog confirms that it is indeed all of those people in the video.)

The set was a surprise that took place at the very end of the festival at Athens' Little Kings venue, and since all the members were wearing masks, there is a great chance that those in attendance and not super in-the-know weren't even aware that they were watching the guy responsible for "Two-Headed Boy" make a whole bunch of noise and wriggle around on the floor. Crazy stuff. Watch video of the band's very, very weird performance below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOBp0lJxRzc

Posted by Larry Fitzmaurice on May 10, 2011 at 4:10 p.m.


Jeff Mangum tour dates
(posted 16Feb2011)
08-12 Toronto, Ontario - Trinity St. Paul's United Church
08-13 Toronto, Ontario - Trinity St. Paul's United Church
09-09 Cambridge, MA - TBA
09-10 Boston, MA - Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory
09-30 Asbury Park, NJ - Paramount Theatre (ATP)
10-03 Asbury Park, NJ - Paramount Theatre (ATP)
10-29 New York, NY - Town Hall
11-06 Jersey City, NJ - Loew's Theatre
12-02 Somerset, England - All Tomorrow's Parties

Jeff Mangum plans fall 2011 live performances
(posted 26Jan2011)
Very exciting times for NMH fans! Pitchfork reports:

After years of shying away from public appearances, Neutral Milk Hotel's Jeff Mangum has been slowly returning to the spotlight over the past year. Just yesterday, he announced two more shows as part of the Portishead-curated ATP I'll Be Your Mirror festival in Asbury Park, New Jersey. And according to Mangum's friend and spokesman Ben Goldberg, head of the Ba Da Bing label, there's going to be more shows scheduled in the future.

Goldberg sent over a statement today, saying that Mangum is "planning some additional performances to start in the fall of 2011. The goal will be to play more American shows, as well as get over to Europe." He also mentioned that "I spoke with Jeff  and he is quite honored and excited to be playing ATP." Mangum isn't the only one who's excited.

Mangum will perform at the Portishead-curated All Tomorrow's Parties festival I'll Be Your Mirror, which takes place in the Jersey shore town of Asbury Park September 30 - October 2. Mangum's performance takes place on the first day, and only those who purchase three-day passes to the festival will be able to attend. A press release notes that Mangum will also perform the Monday after the festival, October 3, at Asbury Park's Paramount Theatre.

Elephant 6 Collective Holiday Surprise Tour 2011 announced
(posted 18December2010)
From http://www.elephant6.com/

Last week it was announced that there would be another Holiday Surprise tour in early 2011. If you are familiar with the last tour they did in 2008, the show will follow a similar format with 14+ musicians performing in various configurations (sometimes everyone on stage at once), swapping instruments and playing each other's songs. Last time the set was well over 2 hours long. They'll also be screening short films and Julian is going to conduct some audience participation games.

The players this time include: Will Cullen Hart, Bill Doss, Peter Erchick, John Fernandes, Julian Koster, Scott Spillane, Andrew Rieger, Laura Carter, Derek Almstead, Heather McIntosh, Bryan Poole, Theo Hilton, Robbie Cucchiaro and others play the music of The Olivia Tremor Control, Elf Power, Circulatory System, Neutral Milk Hotel, The Gerbils, The Music Tapes, Major Organ and Adding Machine, Pipes You See, Pipes You Don’t , The Instruments, The Late BP Helium and Nana Grizol.

Tickets are already on sale in many cities. 1 show sold out in 3 days and several more will sell out this week. If you're planning to go, don't wait too long to reserve a ticket!

Sounds like a fun time. No word if Jeff Mangum will be involved, but he did make an appearance at some shows on the last tour (2008), plus he's played a couple shows in 2010, so who knows.
dates:
02-24-2011 Roswell, GA - WhirlyBall Atlanta
02-25-2011 Tallahassee, FL - Club Downunder (Florida State University)
02-26-2011 New Orleans, LA - One Eyed Jacks
02-28-2011 Austin, TX - Emo's Inside
03-01-2011 Dallas, TX - The LOFT at the Palladium
03-03-2011 Phoenix, AZ - The Duce
03-04-2011 Los Angeles, CA - The Satellite
03-05-2011 San Francisco, CA - The Independent
03-08-2011 Portland, OR - Backspace at the Someday Lounge
03-09-2011 Seattle, WA - The Vera Project
03-11-2011 Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
03-12-2011 Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge
03-14-2011 Minneapolis, MN - Varsity Theater
03-15-2011 Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
03-16-2011 Kalamazoo, MI - The Strutt
03-17-2011 Cleveland Heights, OH - Grog Shop
03-18-2011 Toronto, Ontario - Horseshoe Tavern
03-19-2011 Buffalo, NY - Big Orbit's Soundlab
03-20-2011 Easthampton, MA - Flywheel
03-22-2011 Brooklyn, NY - Knitting Factory (sold out)
03-23-2011 New York, NY - Le Poisson Rouge
03-24-2011 Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church
03-25-2011 Charlottesville, VA - The Southern Cafe and Music Hall
03-26-2011 Raleigh, NC - Kings Royal Barcade

Pitchfork article: http://pitchfork.com/news/40964-elephant-6-collective-plans-holiday-surprise-tour/

Jeff Mangum played a surprise show Dec 5th, 2010
(posted 15December2010)
Jeff played a set of 10 NMH songs at a small venue called The Schoolhouse in Brooklyn, NY for a crowd of about 75 recently on December 5. The setlist was as follows:
01 Oh Comely
02 In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
03 Gardenhead
04 Engine
05 Ghost
06 King of Carrot Flowers Pt. 1-3
07 Song Against Sex
08 Naomi
09 Two Headed Boy
10 Two Headed Boy Pt. 2
Over at http://www.internationaltapes.com/reviews/jeff-mangum-live-at-the-schoolhouse/ you can find the last half of the set. Unfortunately, since the person who posted these showed up halfway through the set, a recording of the first half hasn't popped up online yet. Needless to say, a treat nonetheless.
[thanks to Colin and Pete for the heads up]
Pitchfork article: http://pitchfork.com/news/40910-jeff-mangum-performs-surprise-show-in-brooklyn/

A recap of Jeff's performance at Chris Knox benefit back on May 6, 2010
(posted 26October2010)
In May, Jeff Mangum played a benefit show for Chris Knox in NYC.
The setlist:
Oh Comely
A Baby for Pree
Two-Headed Boy Pt 2
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
Engine


The venue was strict about not allowing recording, but here are a few YouTube videos recorded from cell phones.

Jeff's entrance:



Oh Comely:


A Baby For Pree (first half):

A Baby For Pree (last half)[no video]:

Two-Headed Boy Pt 2 [sideways]:

In The Aeroplane Over The Sea:

Clips from several songs [sideways]:

 

Jeff Mangum to play a "very short acoustic set" at Chris Knox benefit in NY on May 6, 2010
(posted 27March2010)
Here's the article from Pitchfork:

Jeff Mangum Announces Rare Performance at Chris Knox Benefit

Yo La Tengo, members of TV on the Radio and Magnetic Fields lined up as well

On May 6, downtown Manhattan's Le Poisson Rouge will host a benefit show for New Zealand punk originator Chris Knox, who suffered a series of strokes last year.

The big news: Reclusive Neutral Milk Hotel leader Jeff Mangum will make an extremely rare appearance at the show, playing a "very short acoustic set." According to the show's publicist, Mangum "is doing the show specifically to help raise money for his close friend and it's not the start of a comeback." Still, Jeff Mangum! Live! This doesn't happen every day. Or every year. Or ever, really. Other acts playing the benefit include Yo La Tengo, TV on the Radio's Kyp Malone, Portastatic, Claudia Gonson of the Magnetic Fields, Sharon Van Etten, and Knox's fellow New Zealanders Robert Scott and David Kilgour of the Clean (who will each do solo sets). Most of the performers also contributed to the recent Knox covers disc Stroke.

Portions of the show will be recorded to be broadcast on WFMU and New Zealand radio stations at a later date. Tickets will go on sale on Kickstarter.com on Tuesday, March 30.

Posted by Ryan Dombal on March 26, 2010 at 9:55 a.m.

Jeff Mangum's Chris Knox cover song available now
(posted 8Dec2009)
Marking the first new song Jeff has put out in quite some time, he's contributed the track "Sign The Dotted Line" to Stroke: Songs for Chris Knox. You may recall earlier this year, it was announced Jeff would have a track on the tribute album benefitting Chris Knox, but then last month the tracklist was posted and it seemed Jeff didn't get his submission in before the deadline, sadly. So it was a pleasant surprise when the album became available today via digital download and his track was indeed featured. "Sign The Dotted Line" was written by Chris Knox and Alec Bathgate and first appeared on the Tall Dwarfs album Weeville (1990). The mp3 of Jeff's solo acoustic rendition can be purchased for about a dollar, or you can buy the entire album for $11.99 for mp3s or $14.99 for flac. You can also pre-order the 2-CD set which is due out in February 2010.
Here's the link: http://www.mergerecords.com/store/store_detail.php?catalog_id=673
It's also available at Amazon: CD, mp3s

Fall 2009 news briefs
(posted 10Sept2009)
º There's a hoax (mix-up?) going around about a forthcoming Jeff Mangum album called Negative Acid Trailers. Doesn't seem to be any truth to this, sorry to say.
º The long-awaited second album from The Circulatory System called Signal Morning is finally out. It features a non-singing appearance of Jeff Mangum recorded a few years ago. It's available at Cloud Recordings.
º NMH horn player Scott Spillane apparently has a new project going called The Scott E. Spillane Explosion or Scott E. Spillane EXP. He (they?) will perform a set at an Orange Twin festival happening October 9, 2009 in Athens, GA. More info at orangetwin.com/octobershow.html
º Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records, the Indie Label That Got Big and Stayed Small is a new book about the label that released both On Avery Island and In The Aeroplane Over The Sea. It's sure to have a fair amount of NMH tidbits. You can get a taste on the website ournoisethebook.com and order it from Amazon.
º With The Needle That Sings In Her Heart, Amanda Palmer’s high school musical adaptation of In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, can be viewed online at ustream.tv/recorded/1485833 and there's more info at npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=103939612
º Here's a blog post with a few NMH demo/live mp3 uploads http://dullsoundofsharpmath.blogspot.com/2009/07/rare-neutral-milk-hotel.html
º The Music Tapes have a darling new song/video tribute to Pluto: http://pitchfork.com/tv/#/musicvideo/3758-the-music-tapes-for-the-planet-pluto-3-merge
º Update on that Major Organ And The Adding Machine movie that's been in the works for years: It's apparently going to be released on DVD as a 2-disc set with a reissue of the Major Organ CD, complete with 7 unreleased outtakes. Jeff Mangum was involved with some of the music, and apparently has a small part in the film (hidden in a Lobster costume, it seems). Not sure of the release date, but hopefully by the end of 2009. orangetwin.com/majormovie.html

2009 T-Shirt art piece by Jeff Mangum for charity
(posted 09Aug2009)
Jeff has donated a shirt with an original drawing for an eBay auction. It's "organized by a small group of NYC musicians, filmmakers and artists, who donated their work in support of Children of the Blue Sky, an organization that helps homeless kids in Mongolia to get off the street by finding foster families for them and enabling them to get back into school and become independent adults."
Here's the link to the auction (ends Aug 16, 200922:17:04 PDT):
http://cgi.ebay.com/T-Shirt-art-piece-by-Jeff-Mangum-of-Neutral-Milk-Hotel_W0QQitemZ150364385403QQ
The seller also mentions, "Over the next few weeks, we will be listing other Neutral Milk Hotel rarities donated by Jeff Mangum, including autographed and hand-decorated LP copies of both In the Aeroplane Over the Sea and On Avery Island. Look for other Elephant 6 items as well."

Jeff Mangum featured on upcoming Chris Knox tribute CD
(posted 22July2009. updated 2Nov2009)
UPDATE: Jeff will unfortunately not be appearing on this after all. (source)
Jeff Mangum is slated to make a contribution to a tribute CD tentatively titled Stroke benefitting Chris Knox of Tall Dwarfs. Jeff has worked with Knox in the past on a couple Tall Dwarfs songs, as well as playing a one-off show with him in New Zealand back in 2001. I'll try to post an update when we know the release date of the album and which song Jeff is contributing. Until then, you can check the below links for the other artists involved and more info.
http://pitchfork.com/news/35985-jeff-mangum-will-oldham-yo-la-tengo-contribute-to-chris-knox-covers-comp/
http://chrisknox.blogtown.co.nz/2009/07/17/press-release/
http://chrisknox.blogtown.co.nz/2009/07/13/children-of-the-night-what-music-they-make/

NMH request your help in saving a carousel
(posted 30April2009; Updated 1June2009)
This is a note from Julian Koster to Neutral Milk Hotel fans:

The Paragon Carousel is a beautiful machine that has been my dear neighbor for many moons. Now 81 years old, it is in need of a little love and attention in order for it to survive.

It is my sincere wish for the Paragon Carousel to be a part of the magic of long seaside summer afternoons for many years to come. But it might not get to.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where the great whirling contraptions of mechanical music and light are not as profitable to operate as other things, and carousels are worth much more taken apart and sold in pieces to museums, where one must pay to look at them behind glass, rather than having them simply existing in the world that we now all share.

I spoke with Jeff and Scott and Jeremy about this and they agreed that I should, on behalf of Neutral Milk Hotel, make an appeal to the good people who might have enjoyed the music made over the years, because we think you'd understand especially, and want to help.

We humbly ask you to vote!

The Paragon Carousel is competing with 24 other historic Massachusetts buildings for a grant of $100,000. The historic site with the most votes wins, and anyone anywhere can vote. We would love it if by our collective effort we could ensure the continuation of this grand place. It only takes a moment and you can do so here:

http://www.partnersinpreservation.com/boston/index.php?sec=vot

You are allowed to vote once a day until May 17. Your vote means a great deal to all of us at Elephant Six. Places like this are so special. They deserve to exist in the same world that we do. So we can visit them with our bodies, not just our memories and dreams.

We'd like to thank you for your help and for spreading the word.

~Julian Koster with Jeff Mangum on behalf of Neutral Milk Hotel

UPDATE: Happy to say that the Paragon Carousel won the grant. The news comes from a report at PatriotLedger.com via Pitchfork.

early 2009 news briefs
(posted 30April2009)
º Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls is currently working on a stage play with her former high school in Lexington, MA. The show will feature and is based on the music of Neutral Milk Hotel. Read all about it here: http://www.kenphillipsgroup.com/Phillips/palmer.htm
º In the soundtrack to the new film Examined Life, director Astra Taylor's husband Jeff Mangum is credited for "Words of wisdom" and two songs: "The Timer" (by Eric Harris & Korena Pang [a.k.a. Jeff]) and "Chicago Invention" (written by Heather McIntosh & Korena Pang. Performance by Nick Taylor, Tyler Kerr, Mike Barth, Matt MacLaren, Don Kerr, Marney Isaac). He doesn't sing on the songs, and perhaps doesn't even play on them, but apparently had a hand in the writing. Here's an interview with Astra Taylor: http://www.ifc.com/news/2009/02/interview-astra-taylor-on-exam.php
º The official Elephant 6 website is back up with a redesign courtesy Kelly Ruberto, with more content to be added. Check it out.
º There's a new A Hawk and a Hacksaw album titled Deliverance.
º I know I don't update this news page all that frequently these days. If you want to be kept up-to-the-minute on NMH-related happenings and whatnot, I recommend bookmarking the Elephant 6 blog Optical Atlas.

Jeff Mangum made more appearances recently (playing NMH!)
(posted 28Oct2008)
More E6 fun on the Holiday Surprise tour, with some shows featuring a Neutral Milk Hotel reunion of sorts, with Jeff and Julian Koster performing the NMH b-side "Engine". Apparently the first occurrence was Pittsburgh (Oct 18), and then again at every show (pretty much?) until the final stop of the tour in Lexington, Kentucky (Oct 23). Also, Scott Spillane and Julian performed "The Fool" several times on the tour, adding to the NMHness. Rumors of a new album from Jeff are premature (reports linked to a terribly outdated webpage claiming such an album to be "coming soon"), but let's hope this bit of activity was Jeff's way of sticking his toe in the water, and if we're lucky, maybe we'll hear more from him soon.. but who knows.
links:
Video of "Engine" (Pittsburgh, PA 10/18/08): vimeo.com
Video of "Engine (Columbus, OH 10/19/08): youtube
Video of "The Fool + Engine / Happy Birthday" (Lexington, KY 10/23/08): youtube
Mp3 of "Engine / Happy Birthday" (Lexington, KY 10/23/08): youaintnopicasso
Photos of Pittsburgh, PA 10/18/08: pitchfork
Photos of Chicago, IL 10/21/08: pitchfork

Jeff Mangum returns to the stage with E6 friends in NY
(posted 13Oct2008)
Jeff made an appearance at the NYC stop of the 'Holiday Surprise' Elephant 6 tour (Oct 11, 2008). While he didn't play any NMH songs (sadly), he made guest appearances on 2 Olivia Tremor Control songs, and "The Arrow Flies Close" by Elf Power.
More info: http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/news/146431-jeff-mangum-surfaces-at-elephant-6-show-in-nyc
Videos: http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/download/146428-video-elephant-6-collective-with-members-of-olivia-tremor-control-the-musi
Pictures: http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/news/146441-photos-jeff-mangum-and-friends-new-york-ny-10-11-08

Return of the Music Tapes
(posted 6July2008)
Julian Koster has a new album coming out, Music Tapes for Clouds and Tornadoes, due August 19, 2008 on Merge Records.
Music Tapes for Clouds and Tornadoes spotlights Julian's songcraft and distinctive vocals, his almost religious devotion to the singing saw, and numerous contributions from other musicians in the Elephant 6 orbit. As on previous efforts, recording was done using an array of antique hardware, giving Music Tapes for Clouds and Tornadoes a timeless, texturally rich sonic palette. It is the sound of Julian's world poking through the curtain surrounding objective reality.
The band will also return to the stage, with a performance at the Athens Popfest on August 15, 2008 at the 40 Watt Club.
More info can be found on Merge's site, along with a downloadable song and a new video on youtube.

NMH Tributes
(posted 3Apr2008)
º The latest installment of the NMH fan online tribute series is now available. Fanfare 5 - All Your Miracles features 20 interpretations of NMH songs and is available for free download here or here.
º Some fans made videos for the songs on Aeroplane. You can check them out at tomatoes-radiowire.com and read more about it at Pitchfork.
º That album has been getting tributes on stage, as well. Back on March 27, some indie musicians performed a live tribute to Aeroplane at the Drake Hotel in Toronto. And coming up Sunday (4/6/08) in Austin, TX, there's another tribute at the Scoot Inn.

Jeff picks some of his favorite songs for a Yeti compilation
(posted 19Feb2008)
The 5th issue of the magazine Yeti includes a bonus cd of various artists, and 4 of the tracks were selected by Jeff Mangum from his personal collection of rare vinyl. Among his choices are a couple Marika Papagika tunes, a frequent selection from Jeff's days on WFMU. Yeti #5 is available for pre-order now, and will be out March 7, 2008 (Yeti's website).
For more info, see Pitchfork's article.

10 year anniversary of Aeroplane
(posted 11Feb2008, updated 12Feb2008)
Yep, it's been a decade since In The Aeroplane Over The Sea was released. Wow!
Pitchfork celebrated by posting a couple interviews with Jeff Mangum from 1997.
And then they posted a bunch of people talking about how cool ITAOTS is.
I feel like I've been linking to Pitchfork a lot lately, so in attempt to not get my nose brown, let's revisit some NMH-related moments Pitchfork would rather forget. For kicks. First there was their original review of Aeroplane which gave it a rating of 8.7 and mistakenly called him Jeff Magnum. (archive.org's backup). But in 2005, they overruled that with a new review (of the no-frills UK reissue), this time giving it a perfect 10.0, quietly removing the initial review from their site, no doubt embarrassed that the album they later ranked as the #4 top album of the 1990s had originally been given only a short, dismissive review. Then a year later, there was the hoax they reported on, where some guy pretending to be Jeff Mangum posted on a message board saying he was getting ready to release new music. Pitchfork ate it up, but deleted/edited/updated their story a day or two later when it was revealed to be a hoax. Oh, and there's the 2002 interview they conducted with Jeff Mangum, where allegedly part of the agreement was Jeff got final say and veto power over the article's content, an rather taboo arrangement in the journalism world.

Jeff Mangum update
(posted 13Jan2008)
News came out a few days ago that Jeff married filmmaker Astra Taylor (Žižek!), perhaps as far back ago as 2005. Congratulations to them. Read more about it here: http://www.gloriousnoise.com/articles/2008/jeff_mangum_married.php Sadly, the article also says that Jeff's father recently passed away.
Last month Pitchfork had an update on the Major Organ film Jeff is involved with (here). Looks like it'll finally be coming out this spring. You can check out the trailer at Orange Twin here.. http://www.orangetwin.com/trailer.html

News briefs
(posted 15Nov2007)
º The perma-delayed On Avery Island reissue had been bumped to Novermber 12, and now currently to January 7, 2008. Will this date prove to finally be the actual release date? Probably not, but we'll see. It's not even that big of a deal anymore, because as previously mentioned, instead of the promised bonus disc of live/rare tracks, now it's slated to include only "Everything Is" and "Snow Song Pt. 1" as the bonus tracks, two songs that are already available. *shrug* From the Fire Records website: "Lovingly repackaged in double gatefold sleeve. Digipak includes both the original US and European Artwork. Disc includes the ‘Everything Is’ single and b-side ‘Snow Song Pt.1’ from the original 7” release."
º Midget and Hairs will be releasing a collection of songs on Royal Rhino Flying Records. Midget and Hairs was a mid-90s project lead by Paige Dearman. Jeff Mangum sometimes played in the band as drummer. He's featured on some tracks on the forthcoming CD, which compiles vinyl singles and unreleased tracks. So keep an eye out for that in early 2008.
º Julian Koster is apparently still working on new stuff. Let's hope for a release sometime in 2008.
º A Hawk and a Hacksaw & the Hun Hangar Ensemble, the latest album from Jeremy Barnes, was released on June 5, 2007. Another album is planned for Spring 2008. They are playing some European dates in November and December 2007.
º The online magazine Bridgerack has posted a short feature on Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.
º Lots of live/rare NMH mp3s have recently been put up here at the blog Notes Are Shattered.

Julian Koster pops up online
(posted 30July2007)
The below message was recently posted to the e6townhall website, heralding a reemergence of NMH member Julian Koster.

hello all!
i am here at the request of our friend mister
julian koster to let you all know about his lovely new
little website. it can be found at:
www.orbitinghumancircus.org
He will be sending me things periodicaly to be put
up on the website...updates, announcements and other
magical things...we will see! the first announcement
that this website wishes to tell you is about a
musical saw performance that julian will do on Aug 8th
in NYC. please visit our friendly little website from
time to time for further info. hope you all are well!
love,
the orbiting human calliope
(adam)

more of nothing
(posted 13Apr2007)
Seems the only NMH news these days is bad news and disappointment. As the 1st of April approached, so did various rumors of a Neutral Milk Hotel reunion. Of course it didn't surprise many diehard fans when these were revealed to be nothing more than hoaxes. Now in another letdown, the long-promised "deluxe" reissue of On Avery Island has been shelved for at least the rest of 2007. Here's the quote from James at Fire Records (thanks to Stormx):

Because of the (constant) delays and difficulties in making this re-issue as good as it needs to be the band have decided to wait until next year to give it the time it needs. The record is still available in the US but because its long since been deleted in Europe Fire is going to re-package it with the 'Everything Is' single as a bonus disc inside new packaging. It will be a limited edition run of 5,000 copies to fill the gap between the bonus material surfaces.

Another Avery Island reissue update
(posted 26Jan2007)
James from Fire Records was nice enough to email me an update regarding the On Avery Island deluxe reissue:

Hello there. Just to let you know that the NMH re-issue will happen and although we have now scheduled it twice it has unfortunately had to be delayed… I spoke to Jeff last week and he said he's going thru “a mountain of tapes” for the bonus disc.

So the bad news is it's delayed again, but the good news is it's still a 'go' and Jeff is closely involved and carefully picking out some nice unreleased bonus material.

News briefs
(posted 10Jan2007)
º Avery Island reissue update: Fire Records site posted an update in late November, only recently pointed out (thanks, Stormx), saying, "Viking Moses has announced details of his Neutral Milk Hotel covers EP - which co-incides with Fires re-issue of the classic album in early 2007. 'Swollen & Small - Songs Of Neutral Milk Hotel' is released in January and features (in order): You’ve Passed, Gardenhead/Leave Me Alone, Where You'll Find Me Now, Holland 1945."
The covers EP is listed in the "Upcoming Releases" as due on January 23, 2007. No mention of NMH there, though, nor more details on the reissue anywhere else on the site. So who knows.
º NMH tab site: A new site compiling guitar tabs for Neutral Milk Hotel songs has been started at http://www.gardenhead.tk
º NMH mention on David Letterman: show aired January 5th, 2007. Basically Dave brought up an "infamous" photo of his guest Mary Lynn Rajskub ("Chloe" on the show 24) kissing Rush Limbaugh. She explained that it was just a weird moment in time that happened to be captured on film.. Rush just unexpectedly kissed her, but some people saw the pic and assumed the two were a couple. Then she said something like, "And one band.. I think, I think, I THINK {she obviously wasn't sure} called Neutral Milk Hotel wrote that they were all offended and said, 'Oh, how could she date him!'"
Obviously it WASN'T really NMH who made those comments, since they've been inactive since 1998 and Jeff (and the rest of the guys for that matter) just about never make public comments, and even if they did, I really doubt they give a crap about who an actress is dating, even if it IS someone as lame as Rush.
º Julian Koster Christmas follow-up: If you read the last month's update, your heart may have been filled with magic and wonderment. Unfortunately, much like children whose houses Santa skipped, Julian's caroling adventure was apparently a cruel disappointment, leaving the few fans who attempted to follow the instructions of the letter in the cold, with no sign of Julian anywhere. No explanation of any kind has yet been posted. (UPDATE: An explanation of sorts has been posted to the Music Tapes message board here.)

A Julian Koster Christmas
(posted 18Dec2006)
The following was posted in various places online and has been verified to be on the level.

This is official and not a hoax:

Julian Koster’s SAW will be caroling holiday and new years lullabies for doorsteps, with his gentle encouragement… (a carol or two)

On the evening of WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 20th in any of the near OUTLYING ISLANDS of Portland MAINE or PORTLAND itself, one might lure the aforementioned saw, by drawing a simple picture in the shape of an animal and cutting it out. Attaching to it a string. Writing on it’s back your address (and simple directions).. Bringing it to Portland’s Eastern Promenade path where one will find the Narrow Gauge Railroad. Following then these tracks to a small group of abandoned trains and there finding Another Boxcar Full Of Cranberries. Upon this, beside the word OCEAN in white pealing paint (and pealing red paint backround), finding a horizontal metal bar, and tying your animal to it by 4 o’clock on Wednesday. Beware of the stationmaster! The Caroling will take place some time between 6 and 9 in the evening,

On the evening of SATURDAY DECEMBER 23rd in BENNINGTON VERMONT, or near outlying areas, one might lure the aforementioned saw, by drawing a simple picture in the shape of an animal and cutting it out. Attaching to it a string. Writing on it’s back your address (and simple directions). Bringing it to the big white Church in Old Bennington, and tying it to the fence on Monument avenue near the entrance to the graveyard By 4 o’clock on Saturday. The Caroling will take place some time between 6 and 8 in the evening, and therefore may require an otherwise pleasant evening at home.

On Christmas Eve in CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUCETS or any place QUITE NEAR to it, One might lure the aforementioned saw, by drawing a simple picture in the shape of an animal and cutting it out. Attaching to it a string. Writing on it’s back your address (and simple directions). Going to the Park on Mount Auburn St. that is beside the Cambridge Skating Club with the circular walkway that extends to the Friends meeting place and Brattle Street. This park is located just a few blocks away from the square in the direction of Watertown. Entering the Park and tying it to the fence that separates it from the Ice skating somewhere closest to Mount Auburn Street by 6 on Christmas eve. The Caroling will take place some time between 10:00 and 11:15 PM!

On the evenings of DECEMBER 26th and DECEMBER 29th in the ISLAND OF MANHATTAN or IMMEDIATE vicinity (within only a few subway stops out), one might lure the aforementioned saw, by drawing a simple picture in the shape of an animal and cutting it out. Attaching to it a string. Writing on it’s back your address (and simple directions), AND WHICH OF THE TWO DATES YOU PREFER; and entering CENTRAL PARK at west 79th St, following the entrance road in, and crossing over to the other side of the Central Park Avenue. Finding there in front of you a path leading to and around a circle of ivey, foliage, and bushes and on to an outcropping in the lake. Not entering but finding BESIDE THE MOUTH OF THIS PATH (to the left), just off of the avenue, a sign post with the name HERNSHEAD upon it, and tying your animal to it. Do so by 4 o’clock one day prior to the date you’ve selected. Caroling will take place some time between 6 and 9 in the evening. If you do not live in the City but will be visiting, write such on back of your animal and the Carolers shall meet you at the HERNSHEAD signpost NEAR 6PM on the selected day.

ON ALL LISTED DATES:
Julian’s saw will accept (non compulsory) donations of hot chocolate which he will drink on it’s behalf.

Thank you.

R.I.P. Will Westbrook
(posted 13Dec2006)
Sad news to report. Will Westbrook passed away on December 11, 2006. While not usually thought of as a member of Neutral Milk Hotel, Will was often part of the live band on tour as an invaluable utility player, helping create the epic sound of the band's songs, whether it be with guitar, horn, or anything else. Will worked with Jeff Mangum dating back to the early days of Neutral Milk Hotel. He was also a member of The Gerbils, along with fellow NMH'ers Scott Spillane and John D'Azzo. Additionally, Will was an accomplished photographer, and in fact he's responsible for many of the band's press photos, as well as the picture adorning the home page of the official Neutral Milk Hotel website. Will had been experiencing undisclosed health problems recently, which are believed to be the cause of his death.
Will Westbrook was a wonderfully talented member of the Elephant 6 collective and will definitely be missed.
Links:
Optical Atlas blog with more
Forum topic at e6townhall

More news briefs - nothing much new going on
(posted 16Nov2006)
º Another update on Fire Records reissue of On Avery Island.. The release was first announced in July 2005, then pushed back many times until finally disappearing from Fire's website. The company has been nice enough to reply to emails asking about it and have said, "its delayed by the band - looking at Jan 07," (quote from October) and "Early in 2007," and that more details are upcoming (quote from November). So the bad news is it's still apparently in a state of perpetual push-back, but at least it hasn't been cancelled outright. (Thanks to Barney and Trevor for getting the quotes)
º The mp3 blog My Old Kentucky Blog has a Cover Song Project for "Aeroplane" (the song). Not many version up right now, but cool idea. Check it out and maybe send the guy a cover if you have one he doesn't.
º Remember last update where I speculated that Jeff might make a guest appearance at the Apples in Stereo and/or Elf Power NY shows? He didn't. Oh well.

News briefs
(posted 3Sept2006, updated 25Sept2006)
º Jeff Mangum makes an appearance on the new Apples In Stereo album, New Magnetic Wonder, due out February 7, 2007. The band is playing Irving Plaza in New York on November 3, 2006. It's a safe bet that Jeff will be in attendance, but who knows if he'll join them on stage.
º What's up with Fire Records oft-delayed reissue of On Avery Island? The release, purported to be a 2CD set including a bonus disc of live tracks and outtakes as well as a poster-booklet tucked inside a limited edition slip-case, had been re-re-rescheduled for August 10th, 2006. That obviously didn't happen. And at the moment it's not mentioned on Fire's site anywhere except the original announcement from nearly a year ago. But rogersbowne from the e6townhall forum says, "i emailed fire records, they did respond, and the album comes out in late october." So let's hope it actually does come out this time.
º Check out The Giant Egg Leaks Over The Masses: Fanfare Vol. 4 if you haven't already. Several fans on the e6townhall message board came together to celebrate the songs of Neutral Milk Hotel on 3 separate occasions (Fanfares 1 through 3). Then they got creative on the 4th time, and created the mythical "new Neutral Milk Hotel album" by combining original music with Jeff Mangum's words from interviews and whatnot.
º A Hawk And A Hacksaw has a new album coming out. The Way The Wind Blows will be released in mid October by the Leaf label. It will be the 3rd release for this Jeremy Barnes project. The cd can be pre-ordered from Amazon. They're touring soon.. check Optical Atlas for the dates.
º Elf Power is touring, including a stop in Brooklyn, NY on September 30th, 2006 at Union Hall. There's no guarantee that Jeff will join them onstage like he did at their last NYC-area show (scroll down to the 18Nov2005 news update), but check them out anyways if you can. (and for crap's sake, somebody be prepared to record it this time! audio or video.)
º Speaking of recordings, you can still help out the site and get yourself a neat NMH live cdr or dvd from our shop section.

Jeff Mangum makes appearance with the Instruments in NY (twice)
(posted 22July2006)
E6 blog Optical Atlas reports Jeff Mangum performed the other day (July 21, 2006) with the Instruments at the Cake Shop in New York City. The small crowd was treated to Jeff singing harmonies on "When The Stars Shine", a track he helps sing on The Instruments' 2002 album Billions of Phonographs. He did it again at the band's in-store performance the next afternoon at Sound Fix Records in Brooklyn, NY.
Links:
Jeff Mangum Appears with the Instruments at the Cake Shop (Optical Atlas story)
http://www.myspace.com/theinstruments (The Instrument's official site/myspace)
Billions of Phonographs can be purchased at Orange Twin or Amazon

Fanfare 3 tribute & NMH live highlights online
(posted 13July2006)
NMH fans have once again recorded a fine selection of cover songs which have been compiled as Songs Against Sex: Fanfare for Neutral Milk Hotel Vol. 3. Also, while you're in a downloading mood, some fans have compiled various highlights from NMH live performances into a collection titled Sweetness Sings From Every Corner. Both are available for free download via those links.

NMH discussion on KXLU radio Friday night (July 14, 2006)
(posted 13July2006)
Kim Cooper says:

My pal Nathan Marsak and I have been invited by Stella, whose Stray Pop has filled the L.A. airwaves with much wonder since 1980, to co-host her show this Friday night from midnight to three a.m. (Pacific Time) We'll be talking about a whole bunch of things, including my book about "In the Aeroplane Over The Sea." Call in if you like! It streams over the internet, so you don't need to be in Los Angeles to hear the show.
What else will we be talking about? Obscure true crime stories (we blog and lead bus tours at 1947project). The thrift store record discoveries we used to play on The Manny Chavez Show in the early 90s. Bubblegum Music. My little journal of unpopular culture, Scram. And more TBA.
We hope you can tune in!
-Kim
What: Manny Chavez Show Reunion
When: Friday July 14/Saturday July 15 from midnight-3am
Where: KXLU 88.9 FM in L.A., streaming at http://www.kxlu.com
Request line: (310) 338-KXLU

The Return of Jeff Mangum? Nope. (But some pre-NMH reissues due out eventually.)
(posted 28June2006)
Lots of hype over a post claiming to be from Jeff, talking about a return:
"Mangum Moving Closer To New Album?" Bilboard article
"Jeff Mangum Returns!" Pitchfork article
But unfortunately it was a hoax. Jeff's close friend Robert Schneider posted the following message:

dear friends--

i had not commented on this thread because i wanted to hear back from jeff mangum directly about it-- i sent jeff an email quoting the initial post on this thread yesterday, and he just replied:

hello robert-i am sorry to inform you that this is not my post. could you please inform the good people on the e6 list that this is not my writing? thank you robert. much love-j

this came directly to my email from jeff's email account-- the post attributed to him is 100% FALSE, sorry to bear the disappointing news-- it was a very beautifully written fake post!

you are all beautiful and brilliant kids, it would do the whole world a great deal of good if you took all this great energy and excitement you have been passing around here, rolled it up with your anger and disappointment into a big wonderful pissed-off ball, and recorded a bunch of kickass songs!!! please go right now and make something special, do something great, retaliate against the mediocrity that engulfs us!!

don't just do it for me, or jeff, or elephant 6 (although it would please us all immensely) do it because the world needs it!!

love,
robert schneider

 

But in real, though slightly less exciting news, elephant6.com reports that a couple of Jeff's enigmatic old projects, the Clay Bears and Cranberry Lifecycle will see old material released in some form in the coming months.

June 23, 2006
Yes, Yes, Yes. There are a few DVD projects being assembled regarding elephant six or particular E6 bands. So dig out those boxes from your closets and basements. we want it all! we've got some real gems already (including rare footage of the infamous clay bears!) but we'd like what else is out there. please email me if you've got questions. kelly (at) elephant6 (dot) com.

(also, posted a few days later on the e6townhall messageboard)
they are also planning to re-release some of the old e6 tapes soon. will hart and derek almstead are mastering the cranberry lifecycle tape today. no joke! always red society is also planned for re-release.

News briefs
(posted 28Apr2006. updated 29Apr2006 and 6May2006)
º New music from Jeff? Well, kinda. AUX: Experimental Sound from Athens, GA is a limited edition cd that contains the track "excerpt from Dogbirthed Brother in Eggsack Delicious" by Korena Pang (who some may know as the alter-ego Jeff sometimes uses for his sound collage work). For more info, see the Optical Atlas entry. Or for more and ordering info, check its official site, auxcd.com (word of warning.. the track sounds nothing like NMH.)
º Kim Cooper says the following of issue 22 of her magazine Scram: "The new issue of the journal of unpopular culture includes a feature comprised of the interviews that informed the Ruston section of my 33 1/3 book about Neutral Millk Hotel. Robert Schneider, Laura Carter, Julian Koster and Scott Spillane all speak at greater length than they did in the book about E6 pre-Athens, and Robert shares some live photos from 1996 that I think have not been published previously." Visit http://www.scrammagazine.com for more info.
º The On Avery Island deluxe reissue has been pushed back a third time, with its tentative release date now set for August 10th, 2006. And still no word on any bonus tracks or anything. Pretty lame how it's been delayed so long. Let's hope it doesn't disappoint. UPDATE: Fire's website finally posted a bit of good news on this release: Special edition of the classic Neutral Milk Hotel album includes a bonus disc of live tracks and out-takes as well as a poster-booklet tucked inside a limited edition slip-case
º The e6townhall NMH online community has been working on putting together a third installment of the fan tribute Fanfare For Neutral Milk Hotel.
º New live recording surfaced recently: Check out this post at the blog "Bicycle Kick My Worries Away" for a download link for Neutral Milk Hotel - 1997-09-14 Broad River Outpost, Danielsville, GA.. very cool previously uncirculated show.

NMH/Elephant 6 documentary on the horizon from Kim Cooper
(posted 24Mar2006)
Optical Atlas, the Unofficial Elephant 6 News Blog has posted the following:
Kim Cooper, author of Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, has given a brief interview in L.A. Weekly in which she announces that she will be teaming with Chris Dortch to produce a documentary on Neutral Milk Hotel and the Elephant 6 collective in general. She has also informed Optical Atlas that, should the conversation turn that way, she will discuss more about the project when she appears with Robert Schneider on 93.9 WNYC's "Soundcheck" program on Monday, March 27. (She will be interviewed from the Pasadena studio.)

This news comes after Kim posted the following on the NMH message board:
On Monday 3/27 you can hear an interview on WNYC's "Soundcheck" program (11am-noon Pacific, 2-3 Eastern) featuring discussion about Neutral Milk Hotel and my new book about their album "In The Aeroplane Over The Sea." I'll be sharing the spot with producer Robert Schneider, and we hope to have a big scoop to share with you all.
To tune in live in NY, it's at 93.9, and to hear it on the web live or archived, go here: http://www.wnyc.org/shows/soundcheck/
more info is at http://www.scrammagazine.com/nmh.html

And days earlier, Kim announced another book reading/signing:
On Saturday, March 25, starting at 4pm, I'll be at Vroman's Bookshop in Pasadena, CA reading excerpts from "Neutral Milk Hotel's 'In The Aeroplane Over The Sea.'" I'm delighted to announce that I'll be joined by Ben Sisario, who'll be previewing his brand new book on the Pixies' "Doolittle," also from the 33 1/3 series. We'll both be answering questions and signing books--and this might be the first chance anyone has to buy Ben's book, which will be hot off the presses. The reading is free, and Vroman's is a wonderful shop. Please join us if you're in the neighborhood.
WHERE: Vroman's Bookshop, 695 E. Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91101. Free lot parking.
WHEN: Saturday, March 25, 2006, 4:00pm

It's a quiet winter in the world of NMH
(posted 24Jan2006)
º I apologize for the delay regarding Shannon's Monroe House demos.. it's really out of mine and Shannon's hands as we wait for word from Jeff regarding correct song titles and his final approval. So all I can say is be patient and keep an eye on this page and Shannon's blog for the latest.
º In other non-news, the On Avery Island deluxe reissue has been pushed back a second time, with its tentative release date now set for April 10th, 2006. And still no word on any bonus tracks or anything. But as I said after the first delay, let's hope the extra time it's taking results in a better finished product.
º  NMH book reading in Los Angeles on Feb 8th, 2006. Kim Cooper says: I'd like to extend an invitation to SoCal readers to join me at Book Soup on the Sunset Strip on Weds., February 8, at 7pm for a reading, book signing and q&a for my 33 1/3 book "Neutral Milk Hotel's 'In The Aeroplane Over The Sea.'" If you have any questions about how the book was researched or organized, or would like to pick up an autographed copy for yourself or a friend, or would just like to meet fellow fans and visit a great indie bookstore with an excellent bargain room, I hope you'll stop by.
WHAT: Kim Cooper reads from Neutral Milk Hotel band bio
WHERE: Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., WeHo CA 90069. Free lot parking.
WHEN: Weds., February 8, 2006, 7:00pm
More info: http://www.scrammagazine.com/nmh.html

Shannon's Monroe House Demos cause stir online!
(posted 1Dec2005)
Wow! ...So, thanks to the wonderful Shannon Palmer, a tape of a bunch of old NMH songs has been rescued from obscurity and will soon be made available for fans to freely download and enjoy. We've teased a few of the songs so far, but before unleashing them all into the vast reaches of the world wide web, we're trying to check with people in-the-know who might be able to solve some of the tape's mysteries, including the titles of some unknown songs, and the names of other artists featured on the tape. For the full story, visit Shannon's blog entry: http://skipgoshannon.typepad.com/shannons_arty_arty/2005/11/thepreview_of_t.html
The recording is 69 minutes long and features 30 tracks (though about half of them are previously available or don't feature Jeff.) Check back soon for more info/mp3s.
We knew this would be a special thing for the little NMH fan community, but we had no idea such a big deal would be made out of it. Who knew that it'd end up as the top story on Pitchfork?! Last year a similar tape popped up on Soulseek (Unreleased Demo #2) with little fanfare. And just a couple months ago, a never-before-heard NMH song surfaced in the form of an old live version ("Arms So Real").. and it was hardly given any attention, even on the NMH message board. But anyways, it's neat to get some hype for the Carrot Flower Kingdom. If this is your first time here, enjoy the site!
Links:
Pitchfork news article
Tiny Mix Tapes news article
Shannon Palmer's blog

News briefs
(posted 23Nov2005. updated 26Nov2005)
º This tidbit was posted on the YouAin'tNoPicasso blog on Monday 11/21: "I don't know if I'm allowed to say this, but oh well. It's all rumor anyways. There are some rumblings here in Lexington (where Robert Schenider of the Apples in stereo lives) that Robert has mentioned that he, Will Hart and Jeff Mangum might get together and record something in the future. Like I said, it's all hearsay (though apparently I have it third-hand from Robert from two good sources). Just the same, it's kinda interesting."
NMH message board member kartoonz somewhat corroborates this info, posting, "Robert is recording with The Apples in Stereo. Bryce Gogging is helming it. Bryce works for an analog recording studio in Brooklyn. There is news that there will be a very special guest on these recordings. Who would be a very special guest? Who is a longtime friend of Robert's? Who lives around NY and has made guest appearances at the gigs of a few friends in NY? I think Mr. Mangum is an educated guess."
º The On Avery Island deluxe reissue release date has been pushed from January 3, 2006 back to February 20, 2006. Still no info on bonus tracks or anything.. but let's hope the 7 week delay is a sign that big things are in store for it, as opposed to the anticlimactic recent Aeroplane reissue.
º Kim Cooper's Aeroplane book should be shipping any day now, though when exactly is still a mystery. (UPDATE: Amazon apparently shipped out pre-orders on 11/25. Amazon purchase link) While we wait, Kim says, "I've built an interactive map of some special places in the band's history. Many locations have excerpts from the book in their descriptions, so it's a sneak peak."  The World of Neutral Milk Hotel: http://communitywalk.com/map/301
º An interesting audio interview with former NMH drummer Jeremy Barnes was recently made available on the NMH message board. It was recorded before a performance by his band A Hawk and A Hacksaw in Malmö, Sweden back in February 2005. He talks a bit about his time in the band, and mentions that he would definitely be onboard should Jeff ever decide to resurrect the band.

Jeff Mangum makes appearance at NYC Elf Power show
(posted 18Nov2005. updated 21Nov2005)
This was posted on the nmh message board by blacksheepboy:
"im not sure if this is a big deal or not (i feel like it is), but i just wanted to let everybody know that jeff showed up at last night's elf power show at the knitting factory in ny [Nov 17, 2005] and sang on the last verse of "the arrow flies close." strangely enough, there was little to no fanfare (unlike when he sang with otc in august) and most of the audience didnt seem to know or care who he was. it was a fairly small show, and jeff didnt seem particularly nervous or unsure of himself like he did at the otc show. he seemed very impassioned though, and laura carter was beaming the whole time."
Links:
message board topic
pitchfork article

Update on the Aeroplane book straight from the author
(posted 2Nov2005)
Kim Cooper posted on the nmh message board to clarify the release date of the book.

Hello, this is Kim, the author of the 33 1/3 book. I'd like to apologize for the confusion about the publication date, which has shifted several times. The book is finished and being printed, and I have been assured that copies will be in stores around November 17th. Pre-orders should arrive around the same time.

The publishers tell me this book has received much more advance interest than any other book in the series--nearly 1000 copies have been pre-ordered from Amazon and the Continuum website. I'd like to thank the folks on this list for helping to get the word out. It's been pretty exciting to see it spike up into the 3000s on Amazon without any press to speak of!

If you do plan to pre-order on Amazon, please consider making the order through the link on my page http://www.scrammagazine.com/nmh.html
For any order coming from that page, Amazon gives me a small portion of the purchase price, which I will blow on candy. That page also has a form where you can sign up to get updates of any upcoming book or Scram Magazine happenings--there will definitely be some readings--and will be a clearinghouse for book reviews and news as it happens.

This book was a delight to research, and I'm really pleased with how it turned out. I hope y'all like it, and look forward to your feedback.

Jittery Joe's and Major Organ vinyl reissues are finally out
(posted 2Nov2005)
Jeff Mangum - Live at Jittery Joe's and Major Organ and the Adding Machine are now available on vinyl for the first time thanks to Isota Records, an indie label based in Berkeley, California. They had been penciled in for release around this past June, but just recently came out.
Links:
IsotaRecords.com

News briefs
(posted 28Sept2005)
Updates on a few things (check posts below for more info).
º The first batch of Jeff's original drawings have sold out. More expected soon. (link) Share yours here, if you want.
º The On Avery Island deluxe reissue has been given a release date of January 3, 2006. Still no info on bonus tracks or anything. [update 11/22/05, now the release date is 20th Feb 06]
º Music news/reviews website Pitchfork recently posted a new review of Aeroplane, giving it a perfect score of 10.0 (link)
º The Aeroplane book by Kim Cooper was supposed to be out now, but apparently it's been pushed back. Reports vary as to when it's due out now, with some saying a few days and others saying as far off as early 2006.

Jeff Mangum's drawings for sale on NMH website
(posted 22Sept2005)
The official Neutral Milk Hotel website has just added a page where you can buy an original drawing by Jeff very reasonably. And yep, they are all originals, not photocopied or anything.
Links:
http://neutralmilkhotel.net/drawings.html is the place to buy them.
e6townhall message board discussion topic

Fanfare Vol. 2 cover project finished
(posted 22Sept2005. updated 1Dec2005)
Just can't get enough of listening to other people perform Neutral Milk Hotel songs? Well, you're in luck. Fanfare For Neutral Milk Hotel Vol. 2, featuring many NMH covers by fans for fans, is now available for download in the popular mp3 format. It's currently available through a Gmail account (username: fanfarevol.2
password: majororgan), and is searching for a kind soul with webspace to spare who would be willing to host it online. (update: it's now hosted here)
Links:
e6townhall message board discussion topic about Fanfare 2
2nd fanfare: what did you like? (another discussion topic about Fanfare 2)
revisit Fanfare Vol. 1

Cover version of "Aeroplane" played on The O.C.
(posted 22Sept2005)
Not sure how significant or newsworthy this is, but reports are saying (ie, I'd like to stress I didn't find this out first-hand) that on tonight's episode of The O.C. (9/22/05, "The End of Innocence", Episode #303), the show ended with "In The Aeroplane Over The Sea" as performed by Matt Pond PA playing in the background. I suppose that's likely the most mainstream exposure NMH has ever gotten, albeit somewhat indirectly.
Links:
Matt Pond PA's EP with their version of "Aeroplane" at Amazon
e6townhall message board discussion topic

Aeroplane reissue update
(posted 26Aug2005)
Bartholomew McDonagh from Domino Records gave me an update on the forthcoming UK reissue CD of In The Aeroplane Over The Sea.
"in the end we couldn't secure any additional music, which is a shame. we did a cardboard sleeve that goes around the cd case though. with the same artwork, but featuring quotes from the arcade fire, boom bip, franz ferdinand & fog. i'm trying to get jeff to do some interviews as well, so fingers crossed!"
The release date is apparently still set for September 5, 2005.
Links:
The CD listed on amazon.co.uk
Domino records official site

Jeff Mangum performs with Olivia Tremor Control (twice)!
(posted 3Aug2005. updated 4Aug2005)
In his first appearance on stage in years, Jeff joined the Olivia Tremor Control during their show on August 2, 2005 at New York's Bowery Ballroom. He helped sing a song in the middle of the set, "I Have Been Floated", and returned again for the encore, taking lead vocals on the song "Shaving Spiders". The crowd went nuts for him, and he delivered an intense performance.
The next night (same venue), Jeff again guested on "I Have Been Floated", and played drums on the encore, "Memories Of Jacqueline 1906".
For more info, reviews, and pictures, check out the e6townhall message board topics about the shows...
Links:
message board topic "Neutral Milk Hotel Leader Makes Rare Appearance"
message board topic "I Have Been Floated & Shaving Spiders"
message board topic "Photos from OTC show!"
message board topic "Neutral Milk Hotel Leader Makes Rare Appearance (2)"
message board topic "OTC 8/3/05"
pitchfork news article about the 8/2/05 show
spin news article about the 8/2/05 show (with small video clip)

More Jeff collage guitars available
(posted 3Aug2005. Updated 12Aug2005)
Some NMH fans may remember back in February when an acoustic guitar Jeff decorated with a collage of old photos was auctioned for charity. Now the record label Orange Twin has more guitars decorated by Jeff. You can buy one through their website for $900. Proceeds will benefit non-profit groups including the Boys and Girls Club of Baton Rouge.
Link:
http://www.orangetwin.com/jeffmangum.html

Jeff Mangum considered playing Intonation?
(posted 1Aug2005)
According to an article in the Chicago Sun-Times, Jeff was possibly considering playing the Intonation Music Festival in Chicago during July 16-17, 2005.
From the article's second to last paragraph:
Among the major disappointments [the festival's primary promoter and talent booker, Mike] Reed suffered in compiling the bill was ... a glimmer of interest from the legendary leader of Neutral Milk Hotel, Jeff Mangum, evaporating.
If true, this could be seen as another sign of Jeff's eminent return, and yet another instance of recent life in the Neutral Milk Hotel camp.
(thanks to wingedfeetxc for pointing out this news.)
Links:
the Sun-Times article

intonationmusicfest.com

Both main NMH albums to be Reissued in UK
(posted 13July2005. updated 26July2005)
UK label Fire records will be releasing ON AVERY ISLAND REDUX, saying on their website, "We are very pleased to announce we'll be re-issuing the classic Neutral Milk Hotel record 'On Avery Island' at the bands request. Theyre planning a whole new package including some live bonus tracks. More to follow." Exciting news to be sure. No tracklist or release date mentioned yet.
Additionally, In The Aeroplane Over The Sea is being reissued in the UK by Domino records. It's not expected to have any bonus tracks or anything, but we'll see. The album has been out of print in the UK since its original label overseas Blue Rose folded not long after its release. No date for the rerelease has been announced, but a promo copy has already surfaced on eBay (picture), so it shouldn't be far off... though it isn't mentioned on Domino's site as of this writing.
I'll be sure to post when I get more details on these reissues.
(Thanks to Filip Hnizdo for the heads up on this news.)
UPDATE 1 (26July2005): I asked Domino for more info on the re-release, and was happy to receive an informative reply from Bartholomew McDonagh: "I'm looking after the release of In The Aeroplane Over The Sea. I'm speaking to Jeff about any extra tracks to the album, it's still undecided at the moment. I should have an idea in the next week or so. Any additional tracks will be on a separate disc, rather than on the same CD. The release date is the 5th September."
The CD is now listed on amazon.co.uk.
Links:
Fire records official site
Domino records official site

Aeroplane book update
(posted 14June05)
The book Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Kim Cooper is set for release on September 15, 2005 by Continuum International Publishing as part of their 33 & 1/3 series. Should be a good read, delving into the album's creation and the impact it had. Now available for pre-order at Amazon and Continuum's website.
Links:
publisher's official website
amazon pre-order
pitchfork's news article on the book from back in July 2004.

NMH fans raise a collective eye to upcoming Athens HHBTM Popfest 2005
(posted 29May2005. updated 1June2005 and again 13July2005)
There's a big music festival happening in Athens, GA coming up in August. Lots of Elephant 6 bands will be playing, including Circulatory System and the Gerbils, just to name a couple. There are also a couple of "Secret Surprise Guests" who will be headlining, and some fans have been speculating one of them might be the return of Jeff Mangum and/or Neutral Milk Hotel. It's really all just rumors at the moment, but it'll be interesting to see what happens. Tickets are going quick, and it should be a great festival regardless if the rumors pan out or not.
UPDATE 1: Well, the excited buzz has died down now, with sources saying the secret guest is not Neutral Milk Hotel, or even anyone e6 related. Oh well.
UPDATE 2: Reports are that the special guests are Pylon and Marbles.
Link:
The official website for the festival

Scott Spillane and Julian Koster help Olivia Tremor Control rock reunion
(posted 22Apr2005)
As speculated (see news item near bottom of the page), former Neutral Milk Hotel members Scott Spillane and Julian Koster joined OTC for their brief reunion jaunt. Fan reviews of the April 15th show in Athens say Scott fit in perfectly, with his horn parts bringing a lot to the songs. Julian's eccentric on-stage antics were quite entertaining to those in attendance (or distracting to some). They also played a show at the Garage in London the other day, and will play the ATP festival April 23 at 5:45pm.
Links:
some Athens show pictures
more Athens show pictures

more A Hawk and a Hacksaw news
(posted 22Apr2005)
Don't forget, the new album Darkness At Noon is out now (with guest appearance by Jeff Mangum).
Also, "Zizek!," a feature length documentary that travels the world exploring the eccentric personality and esoteric work of the most important cultural theorist working today, the incomparable Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek, features a soundtrack by Jeremy Barnes (aka A Hawak And A Hacksaw). The film's premiere took place at the Roxie cinema in San Francisco on April 21.
On Saturday, April 30, A Hawk And A Hacksaw will play a record release party at The Solart Theatre in Jeremy's current domicile, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Support comes from The Rumble Trio, which features AHAAH's tuba player Mark Weaver.
Expect a West Coast US tour in late May, followed by some European shows.
Links:
Zizek! official site
The Leaf Label
A Hawk and a Hacksaw official site

Fans cover NMH songs on Fanfare For Neutral Milk Hotel online tribute
(posted 24Mar2005)
Several months in the making, the tribute album put together by fans on the NMH message board is just about finished. For more info, including where to download it for free, see the below link.
Links:
Fanfare for Neutral Milk Hotel tribute page
nmh message board

Second NMH tribute album in the works?
(posted 24Mar2005)
Apparently Jeff Mangum is getting the shit covered out of his songs these days! First the Holy Rattlesnakes cover band performance earlier this month, then the Fanfare for Neutral Milk Hotel project, and now it turns out another tribute album is being compiled. The below was posted last month on the
dreadful Saddle-Creek Web Board:

I work for this very small, upstart label and we are looking to put out a tribute/cover cd of neutral milk hotel by many different artists.
If you or your band is interested in contributing to the disk, please send me an e-mail at augustfaint@hotmail.com
we can't afford to pay you anything, all the cds are going to be cd-r, we're selling them in stores in nova scotia, canada. on tour, and through mail order.

Links:
SCWB

Jittery Joe's and Major Organ both slated for vinyl releases
(posted 15Mar05. updated 16Mar05)
Good news for vinylphiles, as Jeff Mangum - Live at Jittery Joe's and Major Organ and the Adding Machine will be released on vinyl for the first time ever this summer (probably early June). Isota Records, an indie label based in Berkeley, California, will put them out, and is currently taking pre-orders on their website.
Links:
IsotaRecords.com
pitchfork article
forum discussion

NMH tribute band plays benefit show in Philly
(posted 7Mar05)
Sorry this news came too late, but the following appeared in the Philadelphia Daily News in late February:
The Holy Rattlesnakes, a group made up of local indie rock luminaries, will perform Neutral Milk Hotel's "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea" from beginning to end to benefit Doctors Without Borders' tsunami relief efforts. The Holy Rattlesnakes include members of National Eye, Adam Arcuragi & Royalty, Like Moving Insects and Evil Janet (9 p.m. Wednesday, Mar. 2, the Khyber, $6).

Links:
forum discussion

Jeff sighting at NY concert
(posted 7Mar05)
Jeff was seen enjoying a live performance from Marbles (current project from Apples In Stereo bandleader Robert Schneider) at a record store in Brooklyn, NY on March 5th. Reports are Jeff looked healthy and happy. (is this "news item" too creepy? i don't want to give this page a stalker vibe or anything, but i know many fans are curious about the guy.)
Links:
Marbles myspace

new A Hawk And A Hacksaw album (w/ guest appearance by Jeff)
(posted 23feb05. updated 25Mar05)
See? Jeff hasn't totally forsaken music! He will appear on the new album from A Hawk And A Hacksaw, Darkness At Noon, due out March 29, 2005.


Jeremy Barnes has just finished work on his second album under the name A Hawk And A Hacksaw. The album will be released worldwide by The Leaf Label in spring 2005. Featuring contributions from the elusive Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel (of whom Mr Barnes was also a member), the album is a mindmelding concoction of silent movie soundtracks, Central European, Middle Eastern, Jewish and even Mexican influences. We can assure you it's unlike anything you might have heard before.

The "band" also played some shows in Europe earlier this year. Violinist Heather Trost accompanied Jeremy, who took on accordion, vocals, and percussion (simultaneously!)
Links
:
The Leaf Label
A Hawk and a Hacksaw official site
You can also order the album on LP or CD through Revolver's mailorder wing - http://www.midheaven.com

Guitar decorated by Jeff Mangum auctioned
(posted 23feb05)
Jeff recently decorated an acoustic guitar with a collage of old photos and gave it to a charity for auction. It fetched a whooping $1,075! Way to go!
Links:
pictures of the guitar
the auction
the charity

Neutral Milk Hotel rarities album scrapped
(posted 23feb05)
If you're reading this, you're probably a Neutral Milk Hotel fan. And if you're a Neutral Milk Hotel fan, you'd probably love to hear more music from Jeff Mangum and company. And you've probably also been to the official Neutral Milk Hotel website. And you've probably gotten a little frustrated when you realize that site apparently hasn't been updated since the 90s. But you might have been hanging on to a shred of hope by the note at the 'news' section that reads as follows:

There are currently plans to release a two-volume set of early Neutral Milk Hotel, featuring music from the early, self-released cassettes, live performances, and unreleased recordings. The band wants to do this as a result of the excessive prices at which bootlegs are currently selling online and elsewhere. They will be available from Orange Twin. No date has been decided upon for released. It could be awhile in the future.

Years went by with no progress. Then in March 2004, hope sparked anew, with Orange Twin's own Laura Carter posting the following on a message board:

we've gotten half an album's worth of non released NMH/Jeff songs approved by Jeff, but the rest he's not interested in releasing, so we are trying to get more stuff that he likes. We are thinking now that it will be two discs, the second being a DVD of a live show that we played in San Francisco.

But now another year has come and gone and it seems the entire project has finally been killed. Andrew from Orange Twin replied to an email from Sashwap at the knerd fansite, basically saying that Jeff decided he didn't like any of the tracks, and shot down the project completely. So that's a bit of a downer. Hell, most of the stuff is already widely available online as mp3s or on bootleg cdrs. It'd be nice to have an official release. To put a positive spin on this, at least it shows that Jeff still cares about his musical legacy, and that bodes well for an eventual triumphant comeback. Or at least I'd like to think so. You know, like how for years Brian Wilson didn't want to release the SMiLE sessions, then just recently re-recorded and released it on his terms.
Links:
official Neutral Milk Hotel website
Orange Twin site

Knerd fansite down
(posted 23feb05. updated 7mar05)
Speaking of the knerd fansite, you might've noticed the site has been down for a few days now. Apparently the host server crashed or something. Webmaster Dan/Sashwap says, "yeah, the crash sucks, but i've been told not all is lost. worst case scenario is i can re-upload all the files, but i'm waiting to see if it'll all be restored."
As most NMH fans already know, that site is an excellent resource for info and rare mp3s, so here's hoping it's back up soon.
Update: it's back up.
Links:
http://www.knerd.com/~sashwap/

Olivia Tremor Control reunites with a little help from some NMH friends
(posted 23feb05. updated 7Mar05)
The Olivia Tremor Control will regroup, briefly, to play a music festival in England. That's right, the UK's annual All Tomorrow's Parties festival will be curated by film director Vincent Gallo this year, and he got OTC to play it. Band member John Fernades explained to Pitchforkmedia.com: "This will be a one off affair, except for one other show at the Garage in London while we are over there. We haven't played together since 1999, but we were like a family for so many years that it doesn't seem right not to get together to rock every once in a while. We might possibly be joined by Neutral Milk Hotel members Scott Spillane and Julian Koster, and we are going to try to convince Yoko Ono to sit in with us on 'Holiday Surprise III'."
It has since been learned that the band will also play a US show, this at the 40 Watt Club in Athens, GA on April 15th. Elf Power are also on the bill.
Fernades adds that while no recording or touring is in the immediate future for OTC, old out-of-print material is due for reissue on the Cloud Recordings label later this year.
The ATP festival is set to run from April 22nd to April 24th.
Links:
Pitchfork article
Cloud Recordings site

new Music Tapes music being taped
(posted 23feb05)
Julian Koster, an integral component of Neutral Milk Hotel in their prime, is readying a new album from his band the Music Tapes. Actually 2 albums: MUSIC TAPES FOR CLOUDS AND TORNADOS and THE 2ND IMAGINARY SYMPHONY FOR CLOUDMAKING. No definite info on these yet besides the titles. Hopefully they'll be released sometime this year.

 

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