Posted by: hankwillenbrink | October 10, 2008

Jeff Mangum in the Bluegrass???

Add this one to your list of unexplained sightings.  Bigfoot, Chupacabra, Mothman, Jeff Mangum???  Well, Matt at Youaintnopicasso is blogging about Billboard reporting that, according to Olivia Tremor Control co-frontman Will Cullen Hart, Mangum MIGHT BE at Matt’s show:  The Music Tapes at the Red Mile Round Barn in Lexington.  That’s right, we heard it from a guy who read it somewhere from someone who thinks (possibly) that a guy might show up at a show.  Hmm.  We bring you the best of reporting over here at Backseat Sandbar.

Mangum has been reclusive or just anti-social since the dissolve of Neutral Milk Hotel in 1998.  In 2001, he played a show in New Zealand and suffered a nervous breakdown.  After that he released some field recordings of Bulgarian folk music called Orange Twin Field Works: Volume I and then Live at Jittery Joe’s a live document of Mangum playing NMH songs and a Phil Spector cover.  Fast forward to aught 5 when Mangum appeared on stage in NYC with Olivia Tremor Control and reprised this by appearing with Elf Power and The Instruments.

In 2006, a post on the Elephant 6 forum implied that Mangum would be returning to music soon.  But Mangum denied the message.  It didn’t happen other than contributing to The Apples in Stereo’s 2006 LP, New Magnetic Wonder.

And like the tales of King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table, the rumors of Mangum appearing will not die.  So if you go to the show, remember, you heard it from a friend of a friend.

You Ain’t No Picasso, WRFL and Lexington Action Arts presents…
The Music Tapes @ the Red Mile Round Barn (1200 Red Mile Road, Lexington)
October 23 – FREE – All Ages – 7:30pm

Jeff Mangum- I Will Bury You in Time



  1. This article is pretty confusing, and the spelling and punctuation isn’t helping anything.

    For the uninitiated:

    Ten years ago, a band called Neutral Milk Hotel released and album called ‘In the Aeroplane Over the Sea’, which got mixed reviews and didn’t sell well.

    1998 was such a crappy year for music, that the few good albums that were released didn’t even get noticed for a few years, like Outkast’s Aquemini or Cat Power’s Moon Pix.

    Since then, ‘In the Aeroplane Over the Sea’ has been elevated to a compete indie rock classic, maybe the best ever. Pitchfork even revised their review of it to give it a perfect score, which is really rare, because they’re usually a bunch of meanies.

    The Music Tapes, a band fronted by Julian Koster the former banjo/bass/saw player for Neutral Milk Hotel, is playing in Lexington in a few weeks. There’s also some other people from the Elephant 6 record label (which has bands like The Apples in Stereo, The Olivia Tremor Control, of Montreal, and a bunch of bands I’ve never heard of) playing on this tour, including Scott Spillane who was the horn player (which is important for once, since they used a lot of horns) for Neutral Milk Hotel.

    Jeff Mangum, who wrote all the songs and sang in Neutral Milk Hotel, hasn’t done much of anything since besides play and record with a couple of other Elephant 6 bands. People really, really wish he would go out on tour with Neutral Milk Hotel and perform the songs from ‘In the Aeroplane Over the Sea’, but that’s really unlikely, because he’s a fucking wierdo.

    He might join The Music Tapes onstage and perform on a few dates of this tour. Probably in Chicago, maybe in Lexington. Either way, the show is free, and The Music Tapes are a pretty good band, so you can’t go wrong even if Jeff Mangum doesn’t show up.

  2. Tell you what…

    I would give my first born child for another NMH album. Hell, any full-fledged studio recordings of new Mangum songs would make me happy.

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