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Thread: Neutral Milk Hotel

  1. #1
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    Default Neutral Milk Hotel

    I am wondering, am I the only one who has heard of Neutral Milk Hotet?

    Its quite popular in the Indie circles but I have yet to see any songs by them mentioned in any of the "song of the moment" threads (save by me of course)

    For those of you who haven't heard of NMH I will provide you with a synopsis. The band is one formed by the Elephant Six Collective, a group of men from Louisana who have formed such bands as Apples in Stereo (Robert Schneider of Elephant Six and from AiS performed recently on the Colbert Report) and Olivia Tremor Control, as well as many others. This particular band was the brain child of Jeff Mangum, the singer-song writer. He wrote two full albums On Avery Island in 1996and In the Aeroplane Over the Sea in1998. The latter being the collectives most enduring work and the darling of music critics, widely considered the best album of the 90's. It dealt with many subjects stemming from Mangum's reading of the Diary of Anne Frank and takes on the nature of death and reincarnation. However, after the release of this Album and being approached by several record companies who wanted to sign him to their label Mangum suddenly stopped writing and has since spent the the past eight years in seclusion.

    Jeff Mangum is one of the best and most solid lyricist since Bob Dylan and I have been wondering if anyone besides myself has listened to their albums or their songs. If so post here with your thoughts. And maybe one day Jeff will return.
    The tragedy of life comes not from pain, despair, sorrow, or even death; but the constant annihilating amnesia that begs us to forget we live.


  2. #2
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    I've heard of them. I couldn't name any albums or too many of their songs, but the things that I have heard were pretty interesting. The song "In The Aeroplane Over the Sea" is great. I love trippy songs like that.

  3. #3
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    Yeah its one of my favs "And one day we will die/ and our ashes will fly/ from the aeroplane over the sea/ but for now we are young/ let us play in the sun/ and count every beautiful thing/ we can see/ love to be/ in the arms of all i'm keeping here/ with me"

    I love that verse so much.
    The tragedy of life comes not from pain, despair, sorrow, or even death; but the constant annihilating amnesia that begs us to forget we live.


  4. #4
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    I love this band. In The Aeroplane Over The Sea is awe-inspiring.


    And I may just love you for making this thread. <3

  5. #5
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    Thank you, I'll take that as a complement (by the way do you mean the album or the song)

    Speaking of which have you listened to Jeff Mangum's EP Everything Is (a rough early recording but you can see his talent developing) or his concert Live at Jittery Joe's? I need to get the second of them.
    The tragedy of life comes not from pain, despair, sorrow, or even death; but the constant annihilating amnesia that begs us to forget we live.


  6. #6
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    I meant the album, I consider it flawless.


    To be honest, I only have that album. I have not gotten anything else by NMH or Jeff, but I have heard about the Everything Is EP.
    Last edited by Ryth; 01-23-2007 at 03:06 PM.

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    Well, as i mentioned in the intro post, they also have a second full album On Avery Isle which i highly recommend
    The tragedy of life comes not from pain, despair, sorrow, or even death; but the constant annihilating amnesia that begs us to forget we live.


  8. #8
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    I've heard a couple songs from it, Song Against Sex being one of them. I think I will see the same level of quality from NMH on Avery Isle as I did in Aeroplane.
    Last edited by Ryth; 01-17-2007 at 06:41 PM.

  9. #9
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    my only problem with Avery is that the last song "Pree-sisters swallowing a donkey's eye" Is 13 minutes long and half of it has no sound... other then that its a killer album.

    I love Song Against Sex mostly because its fun to say on "song of the moment" threads and when ever anyone asks what song I'm listening to. Song Against Sex is just a strange song name and given recent musical and social trends its very...unique

    However, my favorite song on the album is Naomi (sometimes on Naomi I'll take out one of my earbuds so there is no guitar in the intro part just the tempo of two drumsticks smacking together and Jeff's voice... i think it sounds so beautiful like that)
    Last edited by Luzifer; 01-17-2007 at 08:52 PM.
    The tragedy of life comes not from pain, despair, sorrow, or even death; but the constant annihilating amnesia that begs us to forget we live.


  10. #10
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    I think Aeroplane Over The Sea is decent, but his voice is so whiney and annoying that I think it drove me to delete it from my computer.

    He sounds like his sings through his nose.
    This post has been approved by Dancing Alec™



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whispers View Post
    I think Aeroplane Over The Sea is decent, but his voice is so whiney and annoying that I think it drove me to delete it from my computer.

    He sounds like his sings through his nose.
    Personally I found his voice, especailly on IAAOTS to be rather haunting and beautiful. Especailly given the subject matter, the life of Anne Frank, Reincarnation, the pursuit of place, sexual frustration and longing. Given all that i think his voice was perfectly suited for it. However, I do recognize that if you're not in sync with the kind of voice he uses it does sound annoying and awful however I think that it was perfect.

    It much like Bob Dylan. Doing anything other than what he did his voice would have been horrible, however it was perfect for the songs he sang and i can hardly imagine anyone else singing them properly. Thats also why his cover album sucked so bad. He should never cover the songs of others. The same thing applies to Mangum
    The tragedy of life comes not from pain, despair, sorrow, or even death; but the constant annihilating amnesia that begs us to forget we live.


  12. #12
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    I've only listened to a little bit of NMH, but what I heard, I liked. They sort of remind me of Of Montreal and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

    In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is definitely my favorite song by them though.


  13. #13
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    I've never heard of them, but that's a cool name.

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    I thought Jeff's voice was perfect, the love the sense of urgency (I think that would be the proper word).

    In my opinion, Holland, 1945 was the best song on Aeroplane.

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    Off of IAAOTS my fav song is Oh Comely

    The last part (from "Godaline my dear...") about the simese twins stranded in the forest to be eat is crazy beautiful and just in general the immagery is great "Sparks from the dark of a stadium/ the music and medicine"

    Also, I was listening to the EP Everything Is recently and I realized how awesome tuesday moon is.
    The tragedy of life comes not from pain, despair, sorrow, or even death; but the constant annihilating amnesia that begs us to forget we live.


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    I'm quite partial to IAAOTS album track by that name and also the Communist Daughter.. acutally the album is really very good. He has an interesting voice indeed, but I would not consider them to be an Indie band; in some ways I like to think of them as slightly folky but they are quite experimental or alternative.

    I used to be rather obsessed with that record but I have neglected it of late, he does have a wonderful haunting voice, I really think it suits the music they write and the lyrics he sings.


    So when the birds fly South, I'll Reach up and hold their Tails

    Pull up and out of here
    And bridle the autumn gales



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by I'm Ol' Gregg View Post
    but I would not consider them to be an Indie band; in some ways I like to think of them as slightly folky but they are quite experimental or alternative.
    Indie, while a type of music, also refers to Independent meaning he is not signed by a major label. When I said he was popular in the indie circles i meant the underground music venue of those who are too outside the mainstream to be or just choose not to be signed with a major label. I wasn't making any comments on his musical style

    On that note I'd agree though I'd perfer to clarify and say he's like a marching band on LSD
    The tragedy of life comes not from pain, despair, sorrow, or even death; but the constant annihilating amnesia that begs us to forget we live.


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