Entries tagged with: Neutral Milk Hotel
Although Neutral Milk Hotel will not be touring for the foreseeable future, fans who miss the band's whimsical shows and music will have the opportunity to see band member Julian Koster and his own band The Music Tapes perform with his theatrical troupe, The Orbiting Human Circus, next month in NYC.
Koster is known for his eccentric nature and use of carousels in previous projects, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that this will take place aboard Hudson River Park's Pier 62 Carousel on October 23, 24 & 25 (moved from Oct 2-4). Told through songs from Music Tapes, Night, Janitor, Carousel tells the story of Koster's seriocomic alter ego, The Janitor, who has to clean the carousel in solitary at night. The Janitor combats loneliness and boredom through hallucinatory daydreams in an immersive theatrical experience, allowing the audience to join in on The Janitor's wild imagination.
Koster says of the character:
He ran away, and had all this knowledge and skill to clean and not much else, and he ended up being a janitor because he could get a job with this craft, but he hates it. But in a weird way, he can't get away from the thing that was foisted upon him as a kid, and though he ran away, he still couldn't get away from it. Now he's confronted with it, and he has to learn to be it. He doesn't get off that easy, and he has to learn to find his way through it and conquer it, and that's a lot like life.Specifics on the shows:
His loneliness is navigating him, and I feel like that navigation is just what that character is. In a lot of ways, I feel like it's like a drag queen or something in a funny way. It's a character, but it's another part of you. It wasn't so much I was deciding from the outside; it was more, "Who is this person?" His qualities just scream that he's a janitor at night and he's cleaning stuff alone. But only a little of it is in this particular play, and there's a lot of it to go around.[Gothamist]
OCTOBER 23 7:45PM SHARPPerformances are 30 minutes long and while it's free, space is limited. Arrive early. The show is part of the En Garde Arts' BOSSS (Big Outdoor Site-Specific Stuff) Emerging Artists Festival. More information can be found at the Orbiting Human Circus page.
OCTOBER 24 8:15PM SHARP
OCTOBER 25 8:15PM SHARP
We're officially in Music Festival Announcement Season, and the latest one is Atlanta's annual Shaky Knees Festival, happening May 8-10. This year includes The Strokes, The Avett Brothers, Wilco, Pixies, Social Distortion, Ryan Adams, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Tame Impala, Brand New, Mastodon, Neutral Milk Hotel (supposedly one of your last chances to see them for a while), Interpol, Flogging Molly, TV on the Radio, Manchester Orchestra, James Blake, Death from Above 1979, Dr. Dog, Spiritualized, Panda Bear, American Football, Clutch, Black Lips, The Mountain Goats, Best Coast, Real Estate, Wavves, Built to Spill, The Both, Mac DeMarco, Minus the Bear, Old 97's, FIDLAR, METZ, THe Bronx, Speedy Ortiz, Palma Violets, VIet Cong, Strand of Oaks and more. Tickets are on sale now.
Full initial lineup (even more TBA) below...
Grimes @ Pitchfork Fest 7/20/14
Photographer Dominick Mastrangelo has been contributing to BrooklynVegan for years, and this year he did most of his shooting in Chicago (as well as other places, like Finland's Flow Festival). Now that the year is coming to a close, Dominick has put together his favorite 14 photos that he took this year, as well as a list of ten records he's kept on heavy rotation throughout 2014. Check out more of his shots, and browse his album list, below...
Neutral Milk Hotel at FFF 2014 (more by Tim Griffin)
dear friends we love you but it's time to say goodbye for the never ending now to announce that spring 2015 will be our last tour for the foreseeable future and so we extend our deepest gratitude to all the beautiful people who came to see us over the last year.....No NYC dates on this one, but there's a few in the Northeast so you won't have to travel too far if you still haven't seen them yet and want to. All dates are listed below...
we'd also like to give thanks to ms. aurora borealis, father foam horse, and mr. valentich for there collaborative contributions to the "womb rume" message that made its way onto this ear area only a few months ago, but from now on, all ciphers shall be sealed exclusively by the meister milk. thank you.
photos by Tim Griffin
Austin's Fun Fun Fun Fest wrapped up this past weekend with a variety of killer music across punk, metal, hip hop, indie, electronic and plenty of the in-between, plus comedy, wrestling, BMX competitions and more. The lineup spanned legends like Judas Priest, Gorilla Biscuits and Nas through great newer artists like Angel Olsen, Deafheaven and Courtney Barnett. We've already written plenty about it -- check out our reviews of day 1, day 2 and day 3 -- as well as posted pictures of Judas Priest, Gorilla Biscuits and Mineral.
"There was a certain amount of science to it. An entire week of work experience students left the office thinking that cutting-edge music journalism in 2014 mostly involves calculating which bands have been mentioned most in NME in the past two years, then hunting out references to the bands that influenced those acts online and finally adding up the number of times each influence came up. This gave us a rough list which our editorial team - heads swimming with all of the bands that Wolf Alice (or whoever) have raved on about over 4am ciders - then took to the pub, tore into shreds, fought and shouted about and finally reconstructed in the rundown of 100 you see in the mag today. The Beatles didn't make it. Sorry." [NME[NME went ahead and listed who they think the 100 most influential musicians and bands are (their latest cover story). Radiohead topped the list. Read the rest with justifications at NME, or just look at their full list below...
Last night's rainy NMH show (photo via @brooklynvegan instagram)
Indie rock legends Neutral Milk Hotel almost didn't complete a 2-night Brooklyn run in a rainy Prospect Park last night (Wednesday, 7/23).
It was the latest chapter in the huge reunion we waited so long for, but are now spoiled by. It doesn't seem like it was three-and-a-half years ago when the elusive Jeff Mangum first surfaced at a private loft show. Since then Jeff has continuously toured and played numerous festival and NYC-area shows, first solo and then with the whole band. Right before these shows was Pitchfork Fest, and they played SIX NYC-area shows earlier this year. Fun Fun Fun Fest and Merge Fest are still on the horizon. If you still haven't seen them (what are you waiting for?!?), there's always Boston Calling and a CT show in September too.
Tuesday night's Celebrate Brooklyn 'benefit' show (7/22) was a straightforward outdoor show on a summer night in Prospect Park. They played 18 songs including a four song encore, though their songs are not very long, so some fans left wondering why the band played for less than 90 minutes and didn't even come close to hitting the park's concert curfew (the show was over at 9:35). Check out the setlist below.
Wednesday night was less smooth. Rain was in the forecast and rain it did, but rain is not enough to stop a show in a NYC park. This storm also included lightning though, and that caused the show to stop 11 songs in. An announcement was made that the show was over. People started pouring out of the venue, but a 2nd announcement was quickly made that the show will restart if the storm passes. By then, many had left, but a majority stayed. Umbrellas were in the air. Announcements continued to be made, urging us to go home for our own safety, or stay in the park at our own risk. Concessions were still open, so you could continue drinking beer, buying merch, and eating ice cream sandwiches from the The Good Batch (who by the way are opening a storefront in Clinton Hill soon).
Then, the majority who risked sudden death by falling trees were rewarded when the band returned to the stage after what ended up being a 20-25 minute intermission. Considering all that had happened and the now-more-spacious grounds, this ending felt even more special as Jeff's voice cut through the warm night, under aeroplanes and over a sea of wet people that knew every word. The show, which ended up being 17 songs, still ended well before curfew (Jeff said goodnight to us at 9:55).
What did you think of the shows? Which night did you go? Did you go both? Check out both NYC setlists below...
photos by Dominick Mastrangelo; words by Zach Pollack and Milos Markicevic
Neutral Milk Hotel / St. Vincent / Danny Brown @ P4K Fest 7/19/2014
Day 2 of the 2014 Pitchfork Music Festival featured a headlining set by Neutral Milk Hotel, plus sets from St. Vincent, Wild Beasts, Danny Brown, FKA Twigs, tUnE-yArDs and more. Pictures and field report from Saturday's goings-on are in this post. Here we go...
Day 2 began with an early afternoon set from locals Twin Peaks. Although guitarist/main vocalist Cadien Lake James was confined to a wheelchair due to a recent leg injury, the band still managed to put on the kind of appropriately rowdy performance that they've become known for. James and co. got things started with the Sunken standout "Stand in the Sand," and they also played their great, newish single "Flavor" off of their forthcoming LP Wild Onion. James traded lead vocals with fellow guitarist Clay Frankel and bassist Jack Dolan throughout the set. Before playing their final tune, James seemed to be feeling reflective -- he offered, "This is definitely our high point so far in our... whatever the fuck this is." -ZP
After Twin Peaks, I moved over to the nearby red stage to catch the Chicago debut of Brooklyn-based rapper Ka. Ka was able to hold a sizable crowd with his down-tempo beats and methodical delivery. His slow-moving tunes contain rich lyrical content and are undeniably impactful. Before playing the somber cut "Summer," he spoke about how the season in his Brownsville neighborhood isn't full of bikinis and BBQs, but rather an increased level of violence -- he also acknowledged that we've got a very similar summer landscape here in Chicago. Memorable numbers from his performance include "Our Father" and "Jungle." -ZP
Saturday's P4K-goers were treated not to one, but two Elephant Six Collective bands, both of whom have been touring together. Circulatory System was the first of the two, (the other being the day's headliner Neutral Milk Hotel) playing a solid set of '60s-influenced indie rock under the cool shade of the Blue Stage. Each of the band's members played multiple instruments, casually adding everything from a clarinet to a xylophone, with frontman Will Cullen Hart even contributing some additional drumming. One highlight was an excellent instrumental interlude, a duet between the band's violinist and cellist. The band played some new songs off their most recent release, Mosaics within Mosaics, which was released earlier last month. Fans of Yo La Tengo had a lot to enjoy here. - MM
Back over at the Red Stage, Merrill Garbus and the rest of tUnE-yArDs were a few songs into their set and playing "Hey Life" off of their 2014 LP Nikki Nack. In addition to bassist Nate Brenner, two backup vocalists and a percussionist rounded out the band. This allowed for expanded versions of Whokill favorites "Gangsta" and "Bizness." The additional members took a breather during "Powa," providing the room for Garbus and Brenner to experiment a bit. Though the project is now more pop-forward, tUnE-yArDs' funky and jammy backbone was still able to peek through. -ZP
Danny Brown intended to throw a party during his Pitchfork Fest set. The Detroit rapper sprinted back and forth across the stage while performing fan favorites like "Break It (Go)," "Smokin' and Drinkin'," "I Will," "Bruiser Brigade," and "Kush Coma." It was without a doubt the funnest set of the day, and Brown appeared to be having just as much fun as the massive crowd watching him perform. -ZP
Swedish techno minimalist The Field played a largely ambient set to a crowd that was eager to get out of the sun and recharge before the day's headliners played. The set started slow but progressively built up to include a live drummer. Generously borrowing stylistic cues from early Warp Record signees like Aphex Twin, The Field kept things simple and steady, opting for a more IDM approach. The set might have been better suited for a venue with less light, but listeners, myself included, were entranced throughout. - MM
St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) brought her now-choreographed performance to Pitchfork Festival for an evening set on the red stage. The choreography only enhances and doesn't hinder her guitar heroics and pitch perfect vocals. Clark and her band began their set by playing "Rattlesnake" into "Digital Witness" into "Cruel." For "Cheerleader," she mounted her podium-like setup and the song was played slower than usual, reminding me of "We Are The Champions." During "Birth in Reverse" the band left room for a freak-out section, and Clark ended up kneeling on the stage to headbutt her drummer's bass drum. Clark has consistently reinvented what St. Vincent is from album to album, and has now honed the live chops to be able to play to whichever attribute she'd like. -ZP
Headliners for the night were storied indie rock band Neutral Milk Hotel whose two '90s album have become massively influential since main man Jeff Mangum dropped out the music world shortly after making 1998's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. That has turned the band into a huge draw for their current reunion tour and his songs still hold power. The fests big projection TV screens were turned off for the performance that showcased favorites from the band's two albums. (Setlist is below.) NYC can expect the same when Neutral Milk Hotel play Celebrate Brooklyn! in Prospect Park on Tuesday (7/22) and Wednesday (7/23). Tickets are still available for Tuesday's show.
Pictures from Day 1 of Pitchfork Fest are HERE and HERE and a second set from Day 2 (including FKA Twigs) are HERE and Day 3 are HERE. More of Day 2, including sets from Pusha T, Empress Of, and Wild Beasts, below...
The 2014 lineup of Austin festival Fun Fun Fun Fest, happening NOV 7 . 8 & 9 at Auditorium Shores, is here. In the poster above and listed below....
Like FYF Fest, they've got a Blood Brothers reunion show.
This is also Austin's show on the growing Failure reunion tour.
Ditto for emo vets Mineral
So much more greatness listed below....
Legendary indie band Neutral Milk Hotel still have many reunion dates coming up, including NYC shows on July 22 & 23 at Prospect Park with Circulatory System (night 1 sold out, night 2 still on sale). When NMH announced the first Prospect Park show, they said the July NYC, Philly and DC shows would be their last headline shows in the area for the "foreseeable future." Well depending on your definition of "forseeable future" and "the area," that may turn out to already not be true.
The band announced even more tour dates, including one happening in Bridgeport, CT on September 7 at The Klein. They also play Cooperstown venue Brewery Ommegang (9/6) a day earlier. That one's a bit further from NYC, but a good excuse for a little road trip if say, your brother wants to check out the Baseball Hall of Fame or something. Tickets for the Cooperstown show are on sale now. Tickets for the Bridgeport show go on sale Friday (5/16) at noon. Both shows are just after they play Boston Calling (9/5).
Call them "Neutral 'Milking It' Hotel" all you want, but there's better things to complain about than one of the best bands of the '90s playing a ton of shows. Updated dates are listed below.
Also, other upcoming Brewery Ommegang shows include Modest Mouse (with Frank Turner, tix & with Brand New, sold out) and Conor Oberst / Dawes/ The Baseball Project which is in celebration of the Baseball HoF's 75th Anniversary (tix).
The Replacements at Coachella 2014 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
The spring edition of the Boston Calling Music Festival is a month away (May 23-25), and they've already announced the fall edition which goes down in Boston's City Hall Plaza from September 5-7. The September lineup, which is listed in full below, includes The National, The Replacements, Nas x The Roots, Neutral Milk Hotel, Spoon, Volcano Choir, The War on Drugs, The Hold Steady, White Denim, Sky Ferreira, Future Islands, San Fermin, S. Carey, Lorde, Childish Gambino and more. 3-day passes go on sale Monday (4/28) at 10 AM.
Tickets (3-day, 2-day and single day passes) for the May festival, which includes Modest Mouse, Built to Spill, Death Cab for Cutie, The Decemberists, Brand New, Kurt Vile, Phosphorescent and more, are still available.
Full September lineup, flyer, and announcement video, and video of Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong joining the 'Mats at Coachella, below...
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
Motörhead / Chance the Rapper / Little Dragon / Toy Dolls
However, Sunday's lineup thankfully featured some guitar-brandishing acts, besides Motörhead, who proved that rock is not dead at Coachella -- or in general. For instance, British punk veterans the Toy Dolls pulled a respectable crowd to the Mojave Tent (opposite the very different Calvin Harris's set) and kept a proper counter-clockwise, Doc-Martens-kicking-up-dust slam pit going at full churn throughout their high-energy performance. "Do you think I'm getting too old for this?" spiky-haired frontman Michael "Olga" Algar asked the crowd. It was likely a rhetorical question, but fans ceased their slam-dancing just long enough to shout back, "Noooooo!" - [Yahoo! Music]The first weekend of Coachella 2014 wrapped up Sunday night (4/13) with dance music and Arcade Fire, but there was lots of other stuff going on too. Motörhead, with Lemmy back in action after some health issues, was there to show them how it's done and brought out Slash for a few songs; punk pranksters Toy Dolls and indie rock vets Superchunk both played a high energy set that would tire bands 20 years their junior; and Chicago's Chance the Rapper brought out, um, Justin Beiber.
There were also Swedish pop charmers Little Dragon, Australia's very talented Courtney Barnett, photoshy North Carolinians Neutral Milk Hotel, industrial-techno outfit Factory Floor, and lots lots more. Pictures from Coachella weekend 1, day 3 are in this post.
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Ex Hex @ Red 7, 3/15/14
As mentioned, Merge Records is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year, including the four-day Merge 25 festival which happens July 23 - 26 in Carrboro, NC. Merge has released the initial line-up, which includes Wye Oak, The Clientele, Destroyer, Caribou, Lambchop (performing Nixon), Neutral Milk Hotel, The Rock*A*Teens, Ex Hex, and Bob Mould. While day schedules haven't been announced events will happen at the following venues:
July 23 Baldwin Auditorium, Duke University Campus, Durham, NCFull Festival Passes are $195 and will go on sale to the general public on Friday (3/21) at 11 am EST via the Cat's Cradle website. Individual tickets for the events in Carrboro will go on sale Wednesday, March 26 and the Duke University show goes on sale Tuesday, April 22.
July 24 Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, NC
July 25 Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, NC
July 26 Full Day Music Concert, outdoors, Carrboro, NC
Both Wye Oak and Ex Hex played our Saturday SXSW free day party this past weekend in Austin. Ex Hex (featuring Mary Timony of Helium and Wild Flag) put on a killer set of glammy powerpop. Pics from their performance are in this post and you can check out Wye Oak pics here. Ex Hex also have a new video for "Hot and Cold" that costars Ian Svenonius (Chain & the Gang, Make-Up, etc). You can watch that below.
More BV SXSW day party pics of Ex Hex, plus the new Ex Hex video, below...
Bonnaroo 2013 (more by Katherine Hansen)
As mentioned, Bonnaroo 2014 happens June 12 - 15 in Manchester, TN. The fest has already been dropping hints as to who's going to play this year (Kanye and Elton John seem likely as headliners) but will finally spill the beans tonight via a web show called "Blam!" which airs at 9 PM EST on Bonnaroo.com (or an Xbox app). (Maybe you watched last year's with Weird Al Yankovich and Portugal the Man.) This year's announcement special is hosted by SNL's Taran Killam and Broad City's Hannibal Buress, with a "superjam" between The Flaming Lips and Ben Folds.
There's also a pre-Blam! web event from 7 - 9 PM EST featuring live cover song performances from Tenacious D, Kings Of Leon, Phish, My Morning Jacket, and others.
Or you can just check back here: we'll have the full Bonnaroo 2014 line-up in this post once its announced.
UPDATE (9 PM): Lineup now being announced and includes Kanye West, Elton John, Vampire Weekend, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Arctic Monkeys, Phoenix, Mastodon, Frank Ocean, The Flaming Lips, Neutral Milk Hotel, Meshuggah, Damon Albarn, Disclosure, Broken Bells, James Blake, Lionel Ritchie, Jack White, Deafheaven, Janelle Monae, CHVRCHES, Darkside, Phosphorescent, Cloud Nothings, Danny Brown, Cut Copy, Typhoon, Sam Smith, Pusha T, Warpaint, Those Darlins, Cass McCombs, Lauryn Hill, Chromeo, Dr. Dog, The Bouncing Souls, Classixx, First Aid Kit, Fitz and the Tantrums, Chance the Rapper, Ice Cube, Caveman, Washed Out, Real Estate, Rudimental, Ty Segall, Polica, A$AP Ferg, Little Dragon, Omar Souleyman, Lucero, Goat, Okkervil River, Jonathan Wilson, Wiz Khalifa, The Avett Brothers and MANY more.
Tickets go on sale Saturday (2/22) at noon.
Full lineup (spoiler: no Outkast) below...
Pitchfork Music Festival returns to Chicago's Union Park from July 18-20 and the lineup was just announced. It includes Neutral Milk Hotel, Kendrick Lamar, Beck, Slowdive (their first reunion show in the US so far), Giorgio Morder, Sun Kil Moon, Factory Floor, Death Grips, the Haxan Cloak, Sharon Van Etten, tUnE-yArDs, The Julie Ruin, Grimes, Wild Beasts, DIIV, Ka, Circulatory System, Pusha T, The Range, Mas Ysa and more TBA. Tickets are on sale now.
In related news, Pitchfork is teaming up with ATP and Primavera Sound for London's Jabberwocky Festival which includes Neutral Milk Hotel, Electric Wizard, Deafheaven, Kode9, Earth, Pissed Jeans, Connan Mockasin, The Ex, Speedy Ortiz, Iceage, Vatican Shadow, Joanna Gruesome, Metz, Jesu, Chelsea Wolfe, Hookworms and more.
Initial day-by-day Pitchfork Fest lineup below...
Neutral Milk Hotel recently expanded their tour to include more Northeast dates, including a return to NYC on July 22 at Prospect Park with Circulatory System. That show went on sale last week and not surprisingly sold out, but if you couldn't snag tickets you're in luck because the band have added a second Prospect Park show happening a day later (7/23). Circulatory System are on this one too, and tickets go on sale Friday (2/14) at noon. Stay tuned for presale info.
Updated dates are listed below...
Indie legends Neutral Milk Hotel just brought their long-awaited ongoing reunion tour to the NYC-area for seven total shows, but if you missed all those opportunities to see them, or just need to catch them again (we wouldn't blame you), you're in luck. The band have just expanded their tour and the new dates include a Northeast run that brings them to Celebrate Brooklyn at Prospect Park on July 22! Fellow Elephant 6 band Circulatory System open and tickets for that show go on sale Friday (2/7) at noon with a Fan Club presale starting Wednesday (2/5) and a BRIC member presale starting Thursday (2/6) at 10 AM. According to the band, the new NYC, Philly and DC area shows will be their last headline shows in the area for the "foreseeable future." NMH were also just announced for Washington's Sasquatch! Festival. Updated dates are listed below.
If you missed it, you can read out review of NMH's Capitol Theatre show.
Updated NMH dates are listed below...
Sasquatch! Music Festival is returning for two weekends in 2014 to The Gorge in Quincy, Washington, and the lineups (which are different both weekends) have just been announced. The May lineup (5/23 - 5/25, aka Memorial Day Weekend) includes Outkast, The National, Queens of the Stone Age, M.I.A., Haim, Neko Case, Foals, Cut Copy, Violent Femmes, Elbow, Mogwai, Tyler the Creator, Chance the Rapper, Rudimental, Phantogram, tUnE-yArDs, First Aid Kit, Rodriguez, AlunaGeorge, Panda Bear, Phosphorescent, Bob Mould, Washed Out, Austra, Parquet Courts, Deafheaven, Big Freedia, Liars, Waxahatchee, Tacocat, Princess (feat. Maya Rudolph), Bridget Everett, Eric Andre and more.
The July lineup (7/4 - 7/6, aka Independence Day Weekend) includes Soundgarden, Kraftwerk, New Order, Frank Ocean, Royksopp + Robyn, Neutral Milk Hotel, Spoon, Broken Bells, Tegan & Sara, Local Natives, Gogol Bordello, Rhye, Black Angels, Deltron 3030, The Horrors, Junip, The Notwist, Kurt Vile, Talib Kweli, of Montreal, Action Bronson, Punch Brothers, Sharon Van Etten, Casey Veggies, RL Grime, Fuck Buttons, Courtney Barnett, Cloud Nothings, Foxygen, Palma Violets, Mikal Cronin, Mac DeMarco, Jon Hopkins, Gold Panda, Majical Cloudz, Duke Dumont, Oneohtrix Point Never, Death, Black Prairie, Latryx, Metz, John Grant, Reigning Sound, Young & Sick, Chad VanGaalen, Mutual Benefit, Helms Alee, Demetri Martin, Eugene Mirman, Kurt Braunohler, John Hodgman and more. There will also be fireworks for the 4th of July.
Tickets (including a 2-weekend pass option) go on sale Saturday at 10 AM.
Full lineups for both weekends below...
One of the coolest festivals in the world, Barcelona's Primavera Sound will hold its 2014 edition from May 29 - 31. Arcade Fire, Pixies and Neutral Milk Hotel were announced as headliners a while back but the fest announced it's headliners today via an online short film. They've outdone themselves this year, as the three day event includes a reunited Slowdive (!), Godspeed You! Black Emperor, The National, Television, Slint, Foals, Warpaint, St. Vincent, Majical Cloudz, Kendrick Lamar, The National, Metronomy, Queens of the Stone Age, Disclosure, CHVRCHES, Darkside, Julia Holter, Cloud Nothings , and more.
Full line-up below and tickets are on sale now.
by Andrew Sacher
photo via BrooklynVegan Instagram
"Thanks so much for coming to the show. Thanks so much for listening to our music," said Jeff Mangum at Neutral Milk Hotel's Capitol Theatre show last night (1/22) as he stood on stage alone, about to launch into opening song "Two Headed Boy Pt. 1." It could be an oddly humble thing for a veteran band playing their first of six sold out shows in and around the same city to say, but you got the feeling Jeff wasn't being insincere. This is a band who ceased activity after releasing two indie records in the '90s, a time when indie bands didn't win Grammys. He probably never thought Neutral Milk Hotel would be on a tour at all in 16 years, let alone one this massive, and I think just about everyone in that room felt the same way. This didn't look like a crowd casually checking out a show, these were die-hard fans who probably couldn't believe they were seeing this band here, now.
I never saw Neutral Milk Hotel the first time around so I can't say how this compares to seeing them back then, but last night's show felt way too full of life to come off as a band having some fun for old time's sake, or worse, cashing in on a past success. He sang these 15-year-old songs with the urgency of a band getting out of the basement and onto the touring circuit for the very first time, not to mention that also says something of how timeless they are. The rest of the band were ace performers too, all of them multi-instrumentalists. With only five constant members and a few guests here and there (one of which was in openers/fellow Elephant 6 band Elf Power), NMH managed to get the show sounding as detailed as the record, switching between guitars, bass guitars, accordions, horns, saws, banjos and more in the middle of songs without missing a beat. All excellent players (the drummer was especially flawless), and these guys were into it. In a time where certain indie bands are taking the "slacker" thing a bit too far, it's nice to have a band we can almost all agree are indie legends come back and remind us how it's done.
As for the set, they gave us almost the entirety of In the Aeroplane Over the Sea mixed in with cuts from its predecessor On Avery Island and various tracks from their demos, EPs, and compilations. It was split up nicely too, never staying in one part of their discography for too long. So whether or not you were just all about the In the Aeroplane Over the Sea stuff or you prefer their deeper cuts, it was never long until you got catered to. And of course if you just love it all, there was just about no way you were walking out of that venue disappointed.
Neutral Milk Hotel's tour begins its 5-night run in NYC proper tonight with three shows at BAM (1/23, 24 & 25) and then two at Webster Hall (1/27 & 28), all sold out. Check out the setlist from last night's show below...
by Bill Pearis
There are too many super-specific Tumblrs to keep track off -- many doing clever riffs of other people's art -- but Dangerous Minds tipped up to the LEGO Albums that renders classic LP art in building block form. They aren't done with real LEGOs, it's pixelated art where those pixels are then turned into LEGO pegs, but it's still kinda cool. Especially on a cold and wet Friday like today.
Some of the choices are questionable -- why would you choose to do Best of The Smiths over The Queen is Dead or Meat is Murder -- but I did laugh when I saw they'd done Death Grips' NO LOVE DEEP WEB. Check out a few below and peruse the entire collection at LEGO Albums.
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival 2014 - April 11-13, April 18-20
Read the full lineup below...
The Neutral Milk Hotel reunion tour is underway and set to hit the NYC-area for six shows in January. Well, make that seven, because since we last spoke they've added a Jersey City show happening on January 14 at Loew's Jersey Theatre. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
You can also still grab Capitol Theatre (1/22) tickets, and call BAM to check availability on tickets for the BAM Howard Gillman Opera House shows (1/23, 24 & 25). The Webster Hall shows (1/27-28) are sold out.
Updated dates are listed, along with a recent live video, below...
Neutral Milk Hotel's stage at 2640 Space (via Andrew Foote)
While Jeff Mangum has been back in action for a while Neutral Milk Hotel -- the band -- broke their 15-year silence over the weekend when they began their extensive reunion tour, which so far has hit Baltimore's 2640 Space on Friday (10/11) and Richmond's The National on Saturday (10/12). The setlists so far have been pretty similar (but not identical), including almost every song from In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, plus material from their only other studio album, On Avery Island, and some other tracks from throughout their career like "Engine." Photos and videos weren't allowed, but you can see a picture of NMH's stage setup above and a video from realllllllly far back of them playing "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea" at the Richmond show, below. Also below are the setlists from each night, including a picture of the Baltimore one (via Stereogum).
Both shows (and most of the October run), were with Elephant 6 pals Elf Power, who just played some of their own shows, including NYC's Knitting Factory last Monday (10/7). The NMH tour continues in Covington, KY tonight (10/14) and comes to the NYC-area for shows at Capitol Theatre on January 22, BAM Howard Gilman Opera House on January 23, 24 and 25, and Webster Hall on January 27 and 28. The Webster Hall shows are sold out, but you can still get Capitol Theatre tickets, and there's VERY FEW (around half a dozen) left for the BAM shows, which needed to be ordered by phone.
Updated dates are listed, along with the setlists and video, below...
The Music Tapes in Chicago in 2011 (more by John Yinging)
Julian Koster's The Music Tapes project had been doing their Traveling Imaginary tour this year, and they've now announced that they'll do one final (and free!) week of shows in NYC from September 3-6 at 133rd St. Arts Center Lab before Julian heads on tour with his other band, Neutral Milk Hotel.
The shows include a dress rehearsal on the Tuesday (9/3) at 9 PM, a preview on the Wednesday (9/4) at 9PM, two shows (2 PM and 7:30 PM) on the Thursday (9/5), and one show at 7:30 on the Friday (9/6). Though they're free, RSVP is required, and capacity is very limited.
Check out a video of what to expect at these shows, below...