Skip

Offer Up Your Steps So I Can Climb
December 5, 2010 2:09 PM   Subscribe


 
I saw him a couple years ago at the knitting factory for the elephant 6 thing. It was truly something special.
posted by saul wright at 2:13 PM on December 5, 2010


Count me among the people who hope that Mangum can continue this slow return to public performance while keeping himself together.
posted by ardgedee at 2:25 PM on December 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


Honestly, I was driving around on some errands last night listening to In the Aeroplane Over the Sea and I thought, damn, I wonder if Mangum will ever make music again. And whaddaya know, he was - at probably that exact moment. As if, like Santa Claus, he was listening the whole time!

Anyway, a very good piece of writing to provide a bit of context for the uninitiated:

"Have You Seen Jeff Mangum?" (from the Atlanta altweekly Creative Loafing, 2003)
posted by gompa at 3:02 PM on December 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think what Jeff can teach us if that if we take a little time to be alone and learn a few chords, we could also try to make some simple songs that might touch someone else.

What we shouldn't do is think of him as some musical Sasquatch, hoping he lands somewhere, sometime and maybe even start singing a new song. That cult-like status is what keeps someone so sensitive from sharing himself. Anyways,
posted by alex_skazat at 3:09 PM on December 5, 2010 [7 favorites]


Looks like that was the second half of the set, news item at Pitchfork
posted by Prince_of_Cups at 3:41 PM on December 5, 2010


Where is the rest of it? WHERE IS TEH REST OF IT??
posted by Corduroy at 4:45 PM on December 5, 2010


Also, is it possible to download the mp3s from International Tapes? Can't figure out how, if it is actually feasible.
posted by Corduroy at 4:46 PM on December 5, 2010


Don't know why anyone would want to dl it as it doesn't sound very good but right clicking and choosing save as works.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 4:49 PM on December 5, 2010


It's probably a little inappropriate for me to want to accumulate as much from this man as I can, but I can't help it.
posted by Corduroy at 5:18 PM on December 5, 2010


gompa, thanks for the link to that article. I've got a friend who fell in love with In the Aeroplane Over the Sea and further Elephant 6 bands and through various exposure on Pitchfork I've come to wonder how this guy can put out such heralded music and then disappear from everything. I'm not really a fan, myself, but I suppose mysteries have their own allure.
posted by palidor at 5:54 PM on December 5, 2010


Honestly, I was driving around on some errands last night listening to In the Aeroplane Over the Sea and I thought, damn, I wonder if Mangum will ever make music again. And whaddaya know, he was - at probably that exact moment.

Last night while he was playing this show, I was throwing my copy of the 33 1/3 book about Aeroplane into my car so I would have something to read whole standing in line at the show I was going to.
posted by dogwalker at 6:15 PM on December 5, 2010


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. I

"mouthing the words of Mangum's lecture"? Seriously?

I mean, I kinda liked that record too when it came out, but fuck. Fuckety fuck.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:57 PM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Don't get me started on "malismatic bleat". FUCKETY FUCKETY SDOUFPAp7890f8d7F_A*U:sfja76sfd087sadf
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:58 PM on December 5, 2010


Considering that Mangum was freaked out that people showed up at his first shows screaming his lyrics, that's some consideration.
posted by stratastar at 7:23 PM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


The writer of that blog post should be punished for his style. But I'll cut him some slack for posting the mp3s.
posted by desuetude at 7:43 PM on December 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Meh.
posted by bardic at 10:00 PM on December 5, 2010


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.

I have no idea what it portends for future performances by him, but I'm glad it sounds like it went well.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:33 PM on December 5, 2010


melismatic bleat
His singing doesn't strike me as particularly melismatic. He doesn't sing r&b or maghreb style music after all.
The 'bleat' made me chuckle though.
(but then his music is to me like catnip to a dog)
posted by joost de vries at 10:55 PM on December 5, 2010


fixed:

malismatic bleat
posted by Joseph Gurl at 12:16 AM on December 6, 2010


Meh.
posted by bardic at 6:00 AM on December 6


Meh-tafilter
posted by Optamystic at 5:12 AM on December 6, 2010


For the life of me, I cannot understand why people worship this guy.
posted by SansPoint at 5:37 AM on December 6, 2010


And now for my very unimpressive name-dropping: My boyfriend is totally in a book group with Jeff Mangum's wife!!
posted by rmless at 8:57 AM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


how is this different than linking to an unauthorized download of an album?

and where's the rest?
posted by mrgrimm at 9:02 AM on December 6, 2010


For the life of me, I cannot understand why people worship this guy.

Imagine if after OK Computer, Thom Yorke disappeared for 12 years, only popping up for once-in-a-blue-moon acoustic shows.

People like drama and mystery, and On Avery Island and In an Aeroplane Over the Sea were two pretty damn good albums.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:13 AM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


mrgrimm: On Avery Island and In an Aeroplane Over the Sea were two pretty damn good albums.

Enh. I don't see the appeal, really. They're not bad, but I don't get why people gust over ITAOTS like it's the greatest musical achievement since Beethoven's 9th, or whatnot.

Also, Thom Yorke is a bad example. I can't stand Radiohead.
posted by SansPoint at 9:17 AM on December 6, 2010


When I listen to ITAOTS, I always get a sense of understanding about why he stopped making music. Jeff's lyrics and delivery seem to come from deep down, like every time he sings the songs it's an emotionally cathartic event. Hell, even listening to them can be. It doesn't seem possible that one could continue going through that on a long-term basis.
I'm glad he's performing again, but I don't think we'll be getting any more songs quite like those.
posted by rocket88 at 9:19 AM on December 6, 2010


Your favorite dude who freaked out too much to be in a band on the regular anymore sucks.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 9:41 AM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I finally got to see him at the Chris Knox benefit some months back — he was so, so good and completely lived up to whatever hype had grown over the last decade.

I'm glad he's performing and I truly hope he's enjoying it and not just doing it for the fans. Something special about Mangum and NMH and E6 is that they sort of had/have a mission statement: create awesome music that helps better their lives and the lives of their audience. The story with Mangum is that ostensibly this started happening, with the audience at least, in the response to Aeroplane but he couldn't feel it. Just thinking about that makes me feel sad, honestly. He has a true gift.

I've seen him around Brooklyn. I want so badly to tell him these things, but I guess that's part of the problem. I hope he sticks around. I hope he has the urge to create, to share. More than anything I hope that he does what's right for him — he's already given us a lot.
posted by defenestration at 9:48 AM on December 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


A comment from retired mefite ludwig_van:

"First the obligatory: nobody but nobody gives a fraction of a flying fuck that you don't like Neutral Milk Hotel. If you are reading this thread and feel the need to share your disinterest with the world, do everyone a favor and punch yourself in the face until the urge passes.

Anyway on the one hand this is awesome but on the other hand I have a hard time getting too excited about it. I used to live in Pittsburgh and play and see shows there, now I live in Philly. I remember when I heard that Jeff Mangum had unexpectedly appeared at a show at Brillobox, of all places. I was crushed to think that I could have been there and had missed out. Then I saw the Youtube videos of the performance where you can just about make out Jeff singing Engine above the talking and noise in the crowd and all of a sudden I was really glad I hadn't driven 6 hours for the show.

I have a hard time imagining what it would be like if Jeff decided to do a real tour again. Would he play small seated venues where everyone would be quiet and respectful and the tickets would sell out in 5 seconds and then get scalped for exorbitant prices on Craigslist and everyone in the audience would be bloggers and photographers? Would he play the bigger rock clubs that he could probably fill where I'd have to be bumping up against a lot of noisy jackasses like in the Brillobox video? If Jeff wants to get back into the music biz that's great and I wish him all the best and this is probably me being a snob and a weirdo, but it's hard for me to imagine that not being a frustrating disappointment in some way and I guess I feel like if he never tours or makes new music again it'll be ok. He made two beautiful albums and they will always exist with or without anyone's seal of approval and for that I'm thankful.

I'm glad his voice still sounds great, though."
posted by useyourmachinegunarm at 9:54 AM on December 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


The reason I think Neutral Milk Hotel was so good is that Mangum means it. That's about my only qualification for whether or not I will like a band. And he really, really means it.
posted by Kafkaesque at 10:15 AM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


how is this different than linking to an unauthorized download of an album?

I doubt I can find it, but I could've sworn I have read that there is a sort of tacit acknowledgment by Mangum that distributing his/NMH bootlegs is okay, as long as they're not being sold or officially on sale (like the Jittery Joe's recording.)
posted by griphus at 10:34 AM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, I said this last time, but I have 14 live NMH shows (of wildly varying quality) and other rare stuff to share. I'd be willing to upload them somewhere to swap with MeFites, but I don't know any headache free options.

Anyone have any ideas? Or other things to share?

Live at Aquarius Records
Live at Cat's Cradle '98
Live at King's Arm, Auckland, NZ 02/04/01
Live in Manchester, UK 10/10/98
Live at Terrastock II Festival 04/18/98
Live at the Crocodile Cafe, Seattle
Live at the Knitting Factory 07/01/96
Live at the Knitting Factory 07/17/96
Live at the Knitting Factory 07/23/96
Live at the Side Door 05/05/97
Live in Denver '96
Live in New Orleans 04/03/96
Live in San Francisco 04/12/98
Live XFM Radio Session May '98
"Rare Tracks"
Unreleased Demo #1
Unreleased Demo #2
Shannon's Monroe House Demos

posted by defenestration at 11:36 AM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Do you have the Synthetic Flying Machine version of "April 8th"? The fast one that's got like almost an R&B beat? I had it ages ago and lost it.
posted by griphus at 1:44 PM on December 6, 2010


I'm a huge fan of his lyrics and music. It feels like he sings in riddles from his soul.
posted by indifferent at 4:53 PM on December 6, 2010


Do you have the Synthetic Flying Machine version of "April 8th"? The fast one that's got like almost an R&B beat? I had it ages ago and lost it.

Hmm, unfortunately, no — at least not on this computer. I'll see if I can track it down, though!
posted by defenestration at 1:03 PM on December 7, 2010


« Older 'Most Embrace a Role for Islam in Politics'   |   Resting, missed the final note... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post