One of these days I should really write something long and unnecessarily expository about Neutral Milk Hotel. For those music nerds out there, you should already know what I’m talking about. But for the rest, those 3 words probably just cause confusion or indifference. So to make it simple I’ll just say that they are an indie rock back from the 90s led by Jeff Mangum who, after putting out 1 excellent and 1 epic album, disappeared for a decade.
After obsessing over those albums for years, I finally got a chance to see Jeff perform solo when he officially rejoined the human race back in 2011. He did not disappoint and, in spite of his reclusive nature, hinted that a full band reunion might just happen. As wonderful as hearing songs so near and dear in an such an intimate setting was, the prospect of the full-on, cacophonous, fuzz noise experience of Neutral Milk Hotel live kept me wanting for more.
Well, last night I got more.
I don’t think I could possibly convey how absolutely awesome the show was. There were accordions, uilleann pipes, a toy saxophone, magnificent beards, a pornstache, several types of horns, a questionable sweater, at least 3 hand saws, and one guy bowing a banjo. Combined it formed a joyous noise that kept us all on our feet for its entirety. It’s a shame it had to end – thankfully I’ve got a ticket for their Philly show in 2 weeks…
If you love Neutral Milk Hotel, get to one of their shows. And if you have no idea who they are, step outside of the usual and give them a listen.