Neutral Milk Hotel – Holland, 1945 – Play It Again, Sam

Throwback Thursday – Neutral Milk Hotel – Holland, 1945

Man, Overblown was all set to see Neutral Milk Hotel (coming soon: our top ten list of 90s bands with three word names) at Jabberwocky this weekend. We were pretty excited too! Ah well, such is life. At any rate they have announced a gig at The Forum tomorrow night, so hopefully we might make it to that. Fingers crossed.

The legend of Neutral Milk Hotel precedes them. After releasing the classic album In The Aeroplane Over The Sea in 1998, frontman and songwriter Jeff Mangum disappeared. Apparently the relative success of the album freaked him out and he got the fuck out of dodge. Better to burn out than to fade away.

Until 2008, he kept mostly out of the public eye, playing rare acoustic sets and making low key contributions to music like his compilation of field recordings of Bulgarian folk music along with a live album called Live at Jittery Joe’s and contributing to The Apple’s In Stereo album New Magnetic Wonder. In 2008, Mangum slowly began to return more regularly to the live setting which culminated in his curation of All Tomorrow’s Parties in 2011.

However now, Neutral Milk Hotel are back together and touring again now! They’re talking their indie/folk/alt. rock miasma to all and sundry. “Holland, 1945” is a highlight from In The Aeroplane Over The Sea with it’s upbeat crunchy fuzz guitars, idiosyncratic evocative lyrics and regal trumpets. Neutral Milk Hotel are probably the best band you’ve never heard of.