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657934 Posts in 9260 Topics by 3396 Members Latest Member: - vlozan86 Most online today: 75 - most online ever: 494 (Jul 01, 2007, 02:59:53 PM)
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Author Topic: neutral milk hotel demos  (Read 41759 times)
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Ignatius
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Posts: 7082


« Reply #250 on: Dec 06, 2010, 04:44:50 AM »

NEEEEEECROOOOOOOO

So hey, wanted to dig this back up so maybe we could talk about Mangum playing a secret invite only show in New York over the weekend.

Story and half the set up here: http://www.internationaltapes.com/reviews/jeff-mangum-live-at-the-schoolhouse/

I really didn't think much of this apart from "oh hey, another Jeff Mangum appearance.  Glad someone got some of it on tape."  Then I read this post in the Metafilter discussion:

Quote
I have an acquaintance who was involved in organizing this. As I understand it, it was initially supposed to be an invitation-only event, with invitations going to fans who were in one way or another known to be low-key, non-over-the-top, no press -- so it would be a nice small show without some of the elements that have been a problem for him in the past.

From the twitter, it sounds like there ended up being about twice as many people as I had thought it was going to be -- and the guy who posted the recordings apparently was not one of the invitees, but somehow got in later anyway, so I don't know what happened with their plan. But from his description it sounds like it was a nice low-key night, which I'm glad to hear -- it's what they were aiming for.

Now I'm not sure how I feel.  Not about the tape, I'm still glad to hear this shitty quality half-concert that sounds like it was recorded a floor down.  But there's a couple things: Record and release new music or don't, play shows or don't--but an artist shouldn't have his audience hand-picked for him.  I understand they feel a need to protect him from people that are gonna freak out up in his grill, but this reads to me like Mangum is being treated a little like a mental patient who has to be handled veeery gently.

The only other parallel I can think of is Jandek.  Jandek's playing shows.  I saw him.  I know the guy who booked it.  It was in an out-of-the-way venue, but there were tickets and it was like a normal show.  And the cloak of privacy surrounding Jandek hasn't been breached.  I suppose maybe this Schoolhouse show may have been testing the waters to make sure it could be pulled off, so maybe this bodes well, and if so, great.  Maybe what's working for Jandek can be made to work for Mangum.  Then maybe everyone can start getting over it and he can be a normal musician again.

I dunno... That may be an accurate account, but referring to an 'acquaintance who was involved in organizing' is just hearsay. Especially when the reporter compares his through-the-grapevine assumptions about the intent of the show's 'organizers' to a vague twitter census.

In the abstract, of course a guy has a right to play a private show. Whether this particular performance was not strictly private, but handled with such overbearing concern for the man to the point of forming a patronizing Mangum-guard is not really something you can honestly determine from that metafilter thingy.

That's my opinion on the matter. Back to you, boss.
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davy
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Posts: 24822


« Reply #251 on: Dec 06, 2010, 08:47:13 AM »

but this reads to me like Mangum is being treated a little like a mental patient who has to be handled veeery gently.

I get the feeling that this is the general consensus in Athens.
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elpollodiablo
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Posts: 32624


« Reply #252 on: Dec 06, 2010, 08:59:53 AM »

The Jeff Mangum Story is one of the stupider subcultural creation myths.

Also, yikes

Quote
Hair a little longer and dressed in signature red flannel, Mangum played a 10 song set of Neutral Milk Hotel songs. The audience sat on the Schoolhouse’s hardwood floor cross-legged, quietly mouthing the words of Mangum’s lecture. Perched beside a music stand with a revolving cast of three acoustic guitars, he constantly traded instruments, sometimes in mid-song while sounding an entrancing, malismatic bleat. It was endearing to see Mangum go from having this powerful, raw, emotional presence while performing, and then between songs, change his composure and become meek and incredibly gracious for the opportunity to perform. It felt like this event was just as special to him as it was to his admirers.

My personal highlight, The Aeroplane Over The Sea finale “Two-Headed Boy, Pt. 2″, concluded the night’s festivities. Mangum thanked the audience, and left the hand-built stage to walk among the audience, who parted way for Jeff. People begin to talk a little softer or a little louder, depending on wether or not they want their words to be heard by the man while he continued to mingle, trying to find someone chill to hang with. Beyond his fuzz-folk demi-god status, at the end of the day Jeff Mangum is pretty much just a good looking bro rolling on.

By the time they started ladling out the Kool-Aid, I was too emotionally drained to resist

Seriously, fucking ick
« Last Edit: Dec 06, 2010, 09:20:18 AM by elpollodiablo » Logged

think 'on the road.'
Danen
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Posts: 642


« Reply #253 on: Dec 06, 2010, 09:44:19 AM »

But there's a couple things: Record and release new music or don't, play shows or don't--but an artist shouldn't have his audience hand-picked for him.  I understand they feel a need to protect him from people that are gonna freak out up in his grill, but this reads to me like Mangum is being treated a little like a mental patient who has to be handled veeery gently.

The only other parallel I can think of is Jandek.  Jandek's playing shows.  I saw him.  I know the guy who booked it.  It was in an out-of-the-way venue, but there were tickets and it was like a normal show.  And the cloak of privacy surrounding Jandek hasn't been breached.  I suppose maybe this Schoolhouse show may have been testing the waters to make sure it could be pulled off, so maybe this bodes well, and if so, great.  Maybe what's working for Jandek can be made to work for Mangum.  Then maybe everyone can start getting over it and he can be a normal musician again.

I don't know Mangum's mindset, but I would think that the "hushed reverence" would pass after about six months worth of shows. I was at the first Jandek show in America and it WAS like that, everyone all freaked out and lacking belief (most of us were old school fans who couldn't believe the man was playing a show, and many assumed he'd never play another after the initial New York shows). By the time I booked him in Denver people were used to it, the atmosphere was chill, and the man wasn't worried.

On the other hand, though Jandek has a fanatical following, people seem to believe Mangum's at a Lennon-esque level of God-likeness. The shows would sell out overnight and, as I said, my guess is that first six months would be unbelievable. Then he'd have to do what many (such as myself) have been waiting for him to do since the late '90s. He'd have to put out some music. If not, the hype might last a year but then people would "get it."

One thing that bothers me then, perhaps, is that by doing these "secret shows" and VERY occasional appearances Mangum keeps that cult of personality going. I want to add that all the while he's toured, Jandek has been releasing four plus records a year. You can lob whatever you like at him, but the man's prolific and will continue to be. Again, if Mangum truly is suffering from a severe disorder then that's understandable (in a Syd Barrett sort of way), and we should expect no more from him. On the other hand, I think if he gets out there and tours around he may find the muse to spark a new record. That would truly be something to look for.
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Andrew_TSKS
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Posts: 39426


« Reply #254 on: Dec 06, 2010, 12:56:53 PM »

That reminded me to look at Jandek's wikipedia page and see if he had released the Richmond show yet. Doesn't look like it, BUT--he is playing on Jan. 8 in California, with Mike Watt on bass and the drummer from HEALTH. Crazy.
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I just want to be myself and I want you to love me for who I am.
Maaik
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Posts: 15119


« Reply #255 on: Dec 06, 2010, 01:12:26 PM »

why shouldn't he choose his audience if he wants?

He's perfectly free to do that.  Thing is, I get the impression that its less Mangum calling those particular shots than it is organizers coddling him out of some sense of I don't know what.

I agree with Danen that this closing of ranks around the guy is only serving to compound this sense of mystique that encourages NMH's audience to put him on this pedestal.  If you can't see the guy play and if no information is forthcoming, then those that might otherwise be casual, appreciative fans become Subjects of this Cult of Mangum.  That's not doing anyone any favors.

Quote from: Danen
I think if he gets out there and tours around he may find the muse to spark a new record.

On that:  Whatever he does next, it simply isn't going to match ITAOTS.  And the best way to get people on-board with that idea would probably be to just release a new album.  The crapshoot of a mediocre-to-decent-to-really good album of new stuff is far preferable to this insufferable Cult of Jeff.

There is the possibility though, that all he really wants to do is occasionally play these songs for people.  And despite everything I've said here, I feel like that's okay too.
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Danen
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Posts: 642


« Reply #256 on: Dec 06, 2010, 01:26:18 PM »

[There is the possibility though, that all he really wants to do is occasionally play these songs for people.  And despite everything I've said here, I feel like that's okay too.

Yeah absolutely, a lot of people do that, clearly. How many "touring oldies" acts, after all, are on the basis of one or two singles, not even one solid LP? Mangum could pull a Pixies for a long time off a two album (plus demos and songs like "Engine") streak. If that's what he wants, great, or if he just wants to play from time to time, that's cool, too. I suppose it's the "everybody be quiet, Jeff's going to grace us with "Two Headed Boy" and change our lives" stigma that gets old. I agree as well that Mangum may not be entirely responsible for this, though he's not exactly speaking against it.
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narlus
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Posts: 2148


« Reply #257 on: Dec 06, 2010, 03:06:35 PM »

I suppose it's the "everybody be quiet, Jeff's going to grace us with "Two Headed Boy" and change our lives" stigma that gets old. I agree as well that Mangum may not be entirely responsible for this, though he's not exactly speaking against it.

did anyone else just get the scene from _Life of Brian_ in their head?

'Er, how shall we fuck off, O Lord?'
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ellaguru
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Posts: 5447


« Reply #258 on: Dec 06, 2010, 03:13:02 PM »

I suppose it's the "everybody be quiet, Jeff's going to grace us with "Two Headed Boy" and change our lives" stigma that gets old. I agree as well that Mangum may not be entirely responsible for this, though he's not exactly speaking against it.

did anyone else just get the scene from _Life of Brian_ in their head?

'Er, how shall we fuck off, O Lord?'

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I also engaged in a rigorous study of philosophy and religion...but cheerfulness kept creeping in.
lucky strike
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Posts: 3220


« Reply #259 on: Dec 11, 2010, 06:23:13 PM »

I was at the first Jandek show in America
hey, was this the atx one at the scottish rite temple? i was at that show too
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lucky strike
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Posts: 3220


« Reply #260 on: Dec 11, 2010, 06:25:44 PM »

That reminded me to look at Jandek's wikipedia page and see if he had released the Richmond show yet. Doesn't look like it, BUT--he is playing on Jan. 8 in California, with Mike Watt on bass and the drummer from HEALTH. Crazy.
also, not exactly how committed i am to this sentiment, but, this kind of sucks. maybe not
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Danen
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Posts: 642


« Reply #261 on: Dec 12, 2010, 01:57:08 AM »

I was at the first Jandek show in America
hey, was this the atx one at the scottish rite temple? i was at that show too

That's the one! And we had to stand at the front of the temple and get let in a few at a time and have our tickets checked and re-checked and that sort of silliness. The show itself is preserved on the "Austin Sunday" CD and DVD. Did you, by chance, follow the crowd to the pub down the road after the show? This guy from Rolling Stone (okay, this guy who SAID he was from Rolling Stone) kept trying to get people to talk about Jandek, but everyone from the show just wanted to talk ABOUT the show, and about the music we'd just heard, so the guy left frustrated. Great scene, great time.

Andrew, the Richmond show should be out next year. Considering I was supposed to be at that show and had to miss it, then had to hear about how amazing it was, I can't wait to finally hear the thing.
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lucky strike
Registered user

Posts: 3220


« Reply #262 on: Dec 12, 2010, 08:03:42 AM »

no, i didn't go to the pub. i think i was only 20 at the time of the show, just about to be 21 (20 and a half!). to be honest, i've been out of touch with jandek lore for a couple of years. i didn't know about austin sunday! i definitely want to hear that
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jordanmichael
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Posts: 3725


« Reply #263 on: Dec 15, 2010, 12:28:43 AM »

jordanmichael39@gmail.com

email me for information about the story behind this.
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davy
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Posts: 24822


« Reply #264 on: Dec 15, 2010, 01:11:49 AM »

Exclamation
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Antero
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Posts: 7526


« Reply #265 on: Dec 15, 2010, 01:24:19 AM »

jordanmichael39@gmail.com

email me for information about the story behind this.
Behind Mangum?
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Quote from: nonotyet
this has been OPINIONS IN CAPSLOCK
kyle
Registered user

Posts: 1478


« Reply #266 on: Dec 15, 2010, 02:22:04 PM »

jordanmichael39@gmail.com

email me for information about the story behind this.
Behind Mangum?

Wait, is he saying he has the info, or that he wants the info?
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yeah but i like holding things
davy
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Posts: 24822


« Reply #267 on: Dec 15, 2010, 03:43:22 PM »

I took it like he's got the scoop.
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The drummer IS the foundation, p3wn.
kyle
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Posts: 1478


« Reply #268 on: Dec 15, 2010, 05:01:14 PM »

itsyourfriendkyle@gmail.com

email me with information about the story behind this
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Jeb, you know you live in the age of internet thievery, right?
yeah but i like holding things
Doctor Bob
Registered user

Posts: 2882


« Reply #269 on: Dec 15, 2010, 06:57:38 PM »

Maybe just post it?  Or is it incendiary?
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Greg Nog
Registered user

Posts: 21629


« Reply #270 on: Dec 16, 2010, 12:06:25 PM »

If you guys want the real story behind this, I suggest you check this out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uguXNL93fWg
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kyle
Registered user

Posts: 1478


« Reply #271 on: Dec 16, 2010, 12:11:33 PM »

If you guys want the real story behind this, I suggest you check this out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uguXNL93fWg

Thank you for clarifying this confusing situation.
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Jeb, you know you live in the age of internet thievery, right?
yeah but i like holding things
Greg Nog
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Posts: 21629


« Reply #272 on: Dec 16, 2010, 12:20:17 PM »

No prob; just try to keep it on the DL.  I don't think Mangum wanted that to be widely known.
« Last Edit: Dec 16, 2010, 03:14:53 PM by Greg Nog » Logged
kyle
Registered user

Posts: 1478


« Reply #273 on: Dec 16, 2010, 12:24:19 PM »

Shh... Quiet now.

See that? That's a very rare specimen. Hard to find a Mangum with that kind of plumage in the wild this late in the season. No no... don't make any requests. You'll only scare him!
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Jeb, you know you live in the age of internet thievery, right?
yeah but i like holding things
Andrew_TSKS
Registered user

Posts: 39426


« Reply #274 on: Dec 16, 2010, 04:24:31 PM »

Man, I thought that was gonna be the Ernie and Bert blastbeat. It was SO MUCH BETTER.
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I just want to be myself and I want you to love me for who I am.
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