Jeff Mangum performs a five-song Neutral Milk Hotel set at the Chris Knox Benefit last night

Jeff Mangum performs a five-song Neutral Milk Hotel set at the Chris Knox Benefit last night

When word was out that Jeff Mangum was scheduled to perform a short acoustic set at Manhattan’s (Le) Poisson Rouge — as part of a benefit show for Chris Knox, who needed help with the bills after suffering a series of strokes last year — indie rock fans appropriately lost their shit. This would be the first time Mangum was specifically billed to play a show in over a decade since the last Neutral Milk Hotel show. But would he perform Neutral Milk Hotel songs or new songs? Last night, those who attended the benefit show had that question answered, as they were treated to an acoustic set that was indeed comprised solely of Neutral Milk Hotel songs.

According to our friends at Flavorwire, Mangum played five songs, including three from In The Aeroplane over The Sea (“Two-Headed Boy Pt. 2,” “Oh Comely,” and the title track), one from On Avery Island (“A Baby for Pree”), and B-side “Engine.” Thanks to a couple fans in the crowd, we can catch a glimpse of these performances through some grainy YouTube videos (check out the spectacular sideways action in the last video!).


• “Oh Comely”:


• “A Baby for Pree”:


• “Two-Headed Boy Pt. 2”:


• Chris Knox:

Reschedule your summer vacation: Neu!’s box set delayed until July, Rother to perform Neu! tracks live with members of Sonic Youth, School of Seven Bells, Tall Firs

Perhaps it’s best not to get into the stereotypes of German punctuality and work ethic. Whether or not you want to give it that unrelated cultural significance, Neu!’s retrospective vinyl box set (TMT News), for which we’ve all been waiting für immer, will not be released May 10 (so soon!), as previously announced. The date has now been pushed back until July 27, and Krautrockers are not happy. A quick refresher: the box set, released by Grönland Records, includes four vinyl LPs and one vinyl maxi-single (Neu!, Neu! 2, Neu! ‘75, Neu! ‘86, and Neu! ‘72 non-public test), plus a pretty sweet book, Neu! stencil, t-shirt, and a download code. Yes, the box set will be awesome when it comes out. But in the meantime, we demand compensation.

Luckily, Michael Rother is a dear and he heard our cries (or, rather, was inspired by compiling the set). On Friday, August 6, he begins a short series of concerts as Hallogallo 2010, accompanied by Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth), Benjamin Curtis (School of Seven Bells, Secret Machines), and Aaron Mullan (Tall Firs). This first scheduled show will be at the Lincoln Center in New York, with free admission. For the first time in 35-plus years, Rother and co. will be performing music live by Neu!, as well as by Harmonia (Rother’s 70s side-project with Cluster’s Roedelius and Moebius) and Michael Rother’s solo work. Okay, Rother. You’re off the hook this time.

• Neu!:
• Grönland Records:

[Photo: Peter Lindbergh]

Antony and The Johnsons to release Swanlights in October

Antony and The Johnsons are BACK! In early October, the group will be releasing Swanlights, which serves as the title for both their fourth full-length album and a 144-page art book. The album will be released October 5 via Secretly Canadian (October 4 in the UK via Rough Trade), while the book — which will include artwork/writing by Antony, as well as the album on CD — will be released through Abrams Image. I don’t know how much the book costs, but I’m assuming it’s out of my budget since Mr P doesn’t pay me shit.

Anyway, I caught up with Antony on AIM to talk about the album. While I can’t verify that he’s in fact Antony of Antony and The Johnsons, I can verify that he was, for lack of a better word, “troubled”:


Me: Hey, man. Do you have time to talk?
Antony: I don’t know. Do u have time 2 just talk randomly out of nowhere?
Me: Um…
Antony: I mean, it’s not like I’m sitting here all day doing nothing.
Me: Oh, I didn’t think that. That’s why I asked if you have time. Are you busy right now?
Antony: No, I have nothing 2 do. Just YouTubin’.
Me: Find anything awesome?
Antony: Yes:
Me: Really awesome. Hey, want to talk about your new album Swanlights?
Antony: Wait, who r u again?
Me: My name’s Mango Starr, reporter for Tiny Mix Tapes. I got your AIM name through Abe.
Antony: Who’s Abe?
Me: I don’t know. Just some dude. I got his AIM name from Lucy via Gchat.
Antony: Ah, Lucy. She’s okay. I talk 2 her on Skype.
Me: Yeah, she’s great. I haven’t talked to her on Skype yet.
Antony: Shut up, Mango. You don’t know Lucy like I know Lucy. She’s helped me through sum troubling times.
Me: Wanna talk about those times?
Antony: Not really.
Me: Why not?
Antony: Because you’re a fucker, that’s y.
Me: What do you have against me?
Antony: U think u’re the shit. U think you can just IM me out of nowhere like this? IT’S FUCKING RUDE. I don’t IM u when u’re writing some stupid article for TinyMixedTapes, do I? It’s so fucking annoying that people just IM me expecting me 2 have some conversation w/ them out of the blue. I have a publicist 4 a reason, u know. I can’t just fucking field questions all day.
Me: Jeez, sorry…
Antony: Sorry you have an ugly face.
Me: Hey, no need to get personal.
Antony: Sorry your mom’s a fucking whore. What a slut. She hits on me.
Me: Really, please don’t talk like that…
Antony: Sorry your dad likes to hit you, you sorry sack of shit.
Me: Antony, please, I’m begging you… I’ve been going through some hard times lately.
Antony: Awwww, poor Mango! Poor wittle baby!! Wah wah wah wah wah!! Hey everybody, I’m Mango. I’m stupid and going through hard times! POOR ME!!
Antony: Hey hey, that’s really sweet. Where’d you find that?
Me: I just searched YouTube a little… thought you might find it beneficial.
Antony: Shit, Mango… sorry I treated u like an asshole earlier. I mean, people just can’t IM me out of nowhere, you know? I hate that.
Me: No, yeah, no…I totally understand. I’ll let you get to your whistling.
Antony: Thanks.
Antony: Mango?
Antony: Hey, sorry again Mango.
Antony: Hello?
Me: Yeah?
Antony: Sorry again. Thanks 4 the link.
Me: No problem.
Antony: Did u see that IM where I said I can whistle loudly now?
Me: Yep!
Antony: Oh, why didn’t u respond?
Me: Sorry, I’m in the middle of a few things.
Antony: Oh…
Me: I’ll hit you back later, okay?
Antony: Whatever… I might be gone by then.
Me: Oh, well, no big deal then. Talk to you some other day.
Antony: Well, just IM me in case. I might be around for a bit.

• Antony and The Johnsons:
• Secretly Canadian:
• Abrams Image:

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart release new single and announce summer tourdates; how cute!

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are greeting the spring with a smile and a single, not to mention a tour beginning in June with Surfer Blood and Hooray for Earth. Their newest single, “Say No to Love,” is out via Slumberland June 8 (though copies will be sold from the start of the US tour, June 3 — on sea foam green vinyl, no less). “Say No” isn’t a far cry from the POBPAT repertoire that precedes it, with the exception of the fact that the single was recorded in a professional studio as opposed to the basement setting of their two EPs and self-titled debut. Don’t let that scare you, though — The Pains think pretty highly of it, and how could anyone with so earnest a name lead you astray? According to the band, after the tour they’ll be returning to New York for work on a second full-length. Now go to the shows and get that sea foam green vinyl!

“Say No to Love” tracklisting:
A. Say No to Love
B. Lost Saint

Tourdates (with Surfer Blood and Hooray for Earth):

06.03.10 - Milford, CT - Daniel Street
06.04.10 - Rochester, NY - The German House
06.05.10 - Buffalo, NY - The Tralf
06.06.10 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom
06.08.10 - Memphis, TN - Hi Tone Cafe
06.09.10 - Birmingham, AL - Bottletree Cafe
06.10.10 - Tallahassee, FL - The Engine Room
06.11.10 - Orlando, FL - Club at Firestone
06.12.10 - Miami, FL - Grand Central - Poplife 11
06.13.10 - Jacksonville, FL - Jack Rabbits
06.15.10 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle
06.16.10 - Washington, DC - Black Cat

• The Pains of Being Pure at Heart:
• Slumberland:

[Photo: Annie Powers]

RIP: Bob Mercer, CEO of Now That’s What I Call Music

From Billboard:

Music industry veteran Bob Mercer, the British CEO of the NOW compilation business in the U.S., has died aged 65.

Mercer was headhunted by EMI from General Foods in the early ’70s and tasked with shaking up the major’s marketing.

He went on to become managing director and signed artists at EMI including Queen, Kate Bush, Marc Bolan and Olivia Newton-John in the ’70s.

• Now That’s What I Call Music:

Mahjongg touring what will basically be the indie version of Stomp in support of new LP on K, The Long Shadow of the Paper Tiger

If anyone has ever made the statement that there can be too much drumming in a single song, well, Chicago’s tribal crew Mahjongg have made it their credo to ensure that person feels like a damn fool. Personally, I hope they continue to ride that snare and tom all through their upcoming tour and next full-length LP, The Long Shadow of the Paper Tiger, out July 20 on K Records. Everybody loves a good beat, especially when it’s surrounded by some post-punk abstractness. Which is exactly what Mahjongg has been bred to do.

The Long Shadow of the Paper Tiger tracklist:

01. Gooble
02. Miami Knights
03. Grooverider Free
04. Wardance
05. DeVry
06. Whoop
07. LA Beat

Tour season:

07.09.10 - Chicago, IL - Subterranean
07.10.10 - Lincoln, NE - Bourbon Theatre
07.11.10 - Denver, CO - Hi Dive
07.14.10 - Irvine, CA - UC Irvine (UCI Student Center)
07.15.10 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
07.16.10 - Los Angeles, CA - Bootleg Theatre
07.18.10 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill
07.21.10 - Portland, OR - Backspace
07.22.10 - Vancouver, BC - Media Club
07.24.10 - Olympia, WA - Northern
07.27.10 - Fargo, ND - The Aquarium
07.28.10 - Madison, WI - Triple Rock Social Club
07.29.10 - Madison, WI - University of Wisconsin (Memorial Union)

• Mahjongg:
• K: