>Reclusive Neutral Milk Hotel Frontman Jeff Mangum to Play a New Jersey Festival Next September


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Jeff Mangum

In 1998 an album that, in all likelihood, changed the face of indie music forever, was released. The mind behind the music was that of Jeff Mangum. His stream of consciousness lyrical flow and lo-fi recording process melded together seamlessly in order to create In an Aeroplane Over the Sea, an album dedicated to the memory of Anne Frank. For the past decade the notoriously private frontman has made very few public appearances. He has rarely set foot on a stage, or released new material since the late 90s. Despite his agoraphobic tendencies in relation to his fans, Neutral Milk Hotel, the band fronted by Mangum, has developed a cult following over the past decade. The combination of unorthodox instruments, swirls of light distortion over his acoustic, folkie style, and stream of cryptic, yet stunning lyrics has created fans across the universe of music.
Mangum with members of Neutral Milk Hotel
After a decade of mystery, Mangum is stepping into the spotlight again. He has signed on to play the first day of the three-day-long I’ll Be Your Mirror festival in Asbury Park, NJ, on September 30th. The event is to be helmed by Portishead as well as All Tomorrow’s Parties. Audience members however, will need to have a three day pass in order to see Mangum’s solo set at the festival. A few days after the I’ll Be Your Mirror festival he will be playing a non-festival solo show at Paramount Theater, also in Asbury Park. If you happen to be in the area next September, and you’re looking for something to do, check out Jeff Mangum, you won’t be disappointed. 
Oh Comely is without a doubt one of the most perfectly orchestrated pieces of music I’ve had the pleasure of hearing in my lifetime. Lyrically it is a masterpiece. In terms of the instruments, the movements transition beautifully and the horn solo comes with such a sad, yet royal touch, like a hue of purple pouring out over the soft guitar and Mangum’s voice ranging from quiet and shaky to harsh yells. 
Here is an example of Neutral Milk Hotel before In an Aeroplane Over the Sea, as well as a great example of Mangum’s use of distortion in folk. 



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