Posted in music on October 31, 2011

(photo by _crobin)
Mangum

For the entire hour-long set, during which he played only old songs, the audience sat rapt, hanging on every note. And between songs, if anything, the focus sharpened alongside a collective hope that the odd, angular figure in the page-boy cap might take five minutes to explain everything: why he took a J.D. Salinger-like dive out of public life, why he's back now, and what the future holds.

But true to character, Mangum gave up little. At one point, he said the audience could ask him questions -- and a few rang out. But the one he chose to answer -- "What's your favorite book?" -- he didn't really answer at all. "You know the answer to that one," he said, cryptically. Devoted fans suspected, perhaps, that he was referring to "The Diary of Anne Frank," which supposedly inspired many of the songs on "Aeroplane." But it could have just as easily been anything else -- "The Catcher in The Rye" or "Gravity's Rainbow," the Bible or the Koran or "How to Make Friends and Influence People." Who the heck knew?

Over the course of the set, we did get something out of the guy: When he performs, he craves a sense of community. It was unexpected, coming from someone who has so cautiously guarded his privacy throughout the years. But he repeatedly asked the audience to sing along with him -- and uttered gracious notes of thanks when we complied. Twice, he asked for the house lights to be raised so he could "see the faces" of those to whom he was playing, and he answered several "we love you, Jeff!" hoots throughout the night, with an earnest and direct: "Thank you, my friend." [Wall Strett Journal]

Jeff also played a Roky Erickson cover, like he did in Asbury Park, at Town Hall in NYC on Saturday night (10/29). Olof Arnalds opened. If you missed it, you have two more chances to see him in Jersey City. The Town Hall setlist is below...

--
Jeff Mangum @ Town Hall, New York, NY, USA on October 29, 2011
Two Headed Boy Pt. 2
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
Song Against Sex
Gardenhead / Leave Me Alone
Oh Comely
I Love The Living You (Roky Erickson cover)
Ghost
A Baby for Pree
Naomi
The King of Carrot Flowers, Part One
The King of Carrot Flowers, Parts Two & Three
Holland, 1945

Encore:
Two-Headed Boy
Engine
--

---

      

Comments (49)

Same ol'

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 11:06 AM

jeff mehgum

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 11:07 AM

I'm very much looking forward to Jeff's collaboration with Peter Frampton.

Posted by nygrump | October 31, 2011 11:12 AM

Wall Street Journal review?

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 11:14 AM

Best NY/NJ Jeff shows so far....
1) Monday Night ATP
2) Friday Night ATP
3) Town Hall
4) Sunday Afternoon ATP

let's see how Lowes Theater shows end up....

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 11:16 AM

Wait no one is complaining about 12 songs/60 mins set?!

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 11:16 AM

Yay! Has he ever done communist daughter live? I've never found a bootleg

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 11:17 AM

Who wants to bet Jeff Mangum will play Coachella next year.....

we already know he'll be curating ATP UK event in March 2012....

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 11:17 AM

What does it tell you when the WallSt Journal covers this?

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 11:22 AM

It was 14 songs, and no one is complaining because the show was fantastic. I'd pay to see him play 3 songs.

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 11:23 AM

Cool story bro.

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 11:24 AM

Caught 5 sets so far

1. ATP - Monday
2. Woodstock
3. Boston jordan Hall
4. Town Hall
5. ATP - Sunday


cannot wait for the two Jersey City!!!!

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 11:27 AM

Show was very good. Predictable set-list of course, but still good. Anyone know why Jeff uses 4 guitars that all just kind of sound cheap and kinda crappy?

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 11:35 AM

1135 b/c he's not rich hipster and can't afford to buy guitars that cost over $1,000!

whew thank god 1127am was there to back me up. atp monday was seriously an awesome set!

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 11:44 AM

best set had to be his impromptu at Occupy Wall St - only crowd that gave back the community aspect he desires. An assigned seats venue (Town Hall) doesn't yield actual fans getting best seats so the most devoted and sing-a-longingly of the crowd were unconcentrated.

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 12:04 PM

"the most devoted and sing-a-longingly of the crowd were unconcentrated."

I don't know about the rest of the people who were there, but I really hated the fact that he kept asking the crowd to sing along. I think we've all had enough, over the last dozen years, of listening to OTHER people sing NMH songs. Myself included.

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 12:09 PM

Weirdest part of the night was listening to an (I'm only assuming) mostly liberal, NYC audience all loudly singing "I love you, Jesus Christ!"

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 12:10 PM

@11:22 The WS Journal has a pretty good Arts section, as far as I know. What it tells me is this is an important artistic event that happened in NY, and is worth reviewing in a newspaper that's sometimes wrongly thought to be only economic.

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 12:12 PM

Scott E Spillane is opening the Loews gigs. Looking forward to them! Todd will be wearing one of his fancy sweaters!

Does anyone know if they will be selling beer?

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 12:15 PM

Really wish he had a full band with him. Or at least the trumpet or saw.

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 12:21 PM

he sucks

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 12:27 PM

Some cool merch, I didn't buy anything, but what I saw looked pretty good.

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 12:32 PM

zzz...
so not fresh

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 12:42 PM

In Woodstock he had a saw player!

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 12:46 PM

jeff can definitely afford any guitar he wants...

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 12:47 PM

ugh.

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 12:55 PM

They usually have a bar at the Lowes Theater for shows.

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 1:04 PM

wish he'd man up and play "Oh Sister"

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 1:07 PM

I want to hear "My Dream Girl Don't Exist"

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 1:10 PM

Thats cool if he has Scott Play with him at jersey city. He had Jeremy play with him at the monday night Asbury Park Show, also had Julian play Saw at the Woodstock and one of the Baltimore Shows - Now just need all of them together!!! Also Monday Asbury show got Little Birds & April 8th!!

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 1:18 PM

no reason why this should be an acoustic tour. full band set would kill..

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 1:31 PM

He would like to take all 100 Percent of Gross for these events 1:31


OCCUPY Mangums Wallet!!!

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 1:32 PM

Def referring to Diary of Anne Frank don't know how this is confusing at all

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 1:44 PM

I'd bet that there will be a full band tour at some point. Why else would they launch a new website and reissue box sets? Gotta promote that shit.

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 1:44 PM

Anyone else get the feeling that some obsessed NMH fan who thinks Mangum is talking directly to them is going to go all Mark David Chapman on him? Show definitely had a weird, cultish vibe at times.
At other times, annoying hipstery crowd yelling out 'clever' shit.

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 1:53 PM

Got it. Reunion band for Coachella 2012 will be Neutral Milk Hotel!

along with Radiohead/No Doubt of course....

Posted by Takk | October 31, 2011 2:00 PM

same, same, same, same, same, same, same, same, same, same, same, same, same, same, same, same, same, same, same, same, same, same, same, same, same, same, same, same, same, same, same, same, same, same, same, same, same, same, same.

hello, 1998!

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 2:37 PM

After GYBE reunited, everything else is a footnote

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 2:55 PM

Bunch of Jesus freaks. I hear Mancum is a pro-lifer.

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 3:05 PM

Wait...people are paying to see this guy play the same songs over and over and over? I mean...I wouldn't do that for freaking Paul Simon, and he's actually talented!

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 3:35 PM

There may be money in it, but I really don't envision NMH reuniting at a festival like Coachella. It will more likely take place at a gallery in Bedstuy while 30 of their closest friends feast on a party-size hummus platter.

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 4:41 PM

i think i saw mangum living in a tent at occupy wall street

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 6:00 PM

12:10

why would a "liberal NYC audience" singing a line from a song, regarding Jesus Christ, baffle you?

Posted by Anonymous | October 31, 2011 6:57 PM

Jeff Magnum goes from playing for Occupy Wall Street to playing for the vilest of corporate show promoters in the city Bowery Presents? Who got Amex Presales ?

Fuck the world.

Posted by Anonymous | November 1, 2011 1:47 PM

Will you fanboys quit hogging all the Jeff Mangum tickets? Here you are bragging about how you've seen him 4+ times while some normal people would just like a chance to see him once.

Posted by Anonymous | November 2, 2011 6:59 PM

still a few tickets left here

http://www.ticketfly.com/event/70025/


Posted by Anonymous | November 3, 2011 12:10 AM

Jesus was a communist

Posted by Anonymous | November 3, 2011 9:27 PM

wish he'd man up and play "Oh Sister"

Posted by JasmineSmith | November 4, 2012 2:00 PM

jeff is amazing

Posted by jordon | August 12, 2013 7:24 PM

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