Jeff Mangum sets up official Neutral Milk Hotel website, reveals info on unreleased music, sells box set to rich kids

Jeff Mangum sets up official Neutral Milk Hotel website, reveals info on unreleased music, sells box set to rich kids

Prepare to stain your mountaintops…

Jeff Mangum (the J.D. Salinger of the music world) has awakened from his eternal slumber in R’lyeh, and, upon discovering that the internet survived past 1998, decided to finally launch an official Neutral Milk Hotel website. However, instead of being just a retrogressive shrine to the late greatness of his project, the website contains information regarding new fucking releases from the band (kind of).

On November 22, Mangum will release a vinyl box set (at last, a reason to use that record player you picked up at Walmart to impress that chick you met at the coffee shop!), which will compile the band’s entire discography (all two albums). The interesting part is that the set will include 15 previously unreleased tracks (which I’m assuming Mangum put a bit of effort into polishing up, so that they don’t sound like a mosquito buzzing around in a tin can). The set includes the band’s two studio LPs, On Avery Island and the immortal In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. It’ll also include the Everything Is EP (in expanded 10-inch format with bonus tracks), a 7-inch that includes unreleased and live versions of the song “Little Birds,” another 7-inch with early four-track versions of “You’ve Passed” and “Where You’ll Find Me Now”, the previously released Holland 1945 7-inch, and a final 10-inch EP that compiles the rest of the unreleased material (original title Unreleased Songs About Nazis, Masturbation, and Ghosts scrapped for Ferris Wheel on Fire). The box set also comes with two 24” x 24” posters to hang up in your college dorm (Jeff Mangum still doesn’t realize you graduated college a long time ago).

You can/should also go ahead and stream two of the unreleased tracks — “Oh Sister” and “Ferris Wheel on Fire” — at the new website. The two songs will also be sold on Bandcamp starting November 22 for a “pay-what-you-wish” price model (isn’t that cute?), and if you’re dying to know but are too lazy to find out, yes, the two songs are awesome. Interestingly, the first song (about masturbation, of course) includes some of the lyrics from the band’s epic “Oh, Comely”.

The website also contains some extra information, including a promise of additional solo Mangum tourdates on the horizon, a 30-minute radio program hosted by Mangum (which will be updated regularly), and the option to buy some of Mangum’s childish scribblings (you know, for kids!) at $15 a pop!

Ferris Wheel on Fire EP tracklisting:

A1. Oh Sister
A2. Ferris Wheel on Fire
A3. Home
A4. April 8th
B1. I Will Bury You in Time
B2. Engine
B3. A Baby for Pree/Glow into You
B4. My Dream Girl Don’t Exist

Jeff Mangum tourdates:

09.07.11 - Northampton, MA - Academy of Music Theatre
09.09.11 - Cambridge, MA - Sanders Theatre (Harvard University)
09.10.11 - Boston, MA - Jordan Hall (New England Conservatory)
09.26.11 - Baltimore, MD - 2640 Space (St. John’s Church)
09.27.11 - Baltimore, MD - 2640 Space (St. John’s Church)
09.30.11 - Asbury Park, NJ - Paramount Theatre (ATP)
10.02.11 - Asbury Park, NJ - Paramount Theatre (ATP)
10.03.11 - Asbury Park, NJ - Paramount Theatre (ATP)
10.27.11 - Woodstock, NY - Bearsville Theater (Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary Benefit)
10.29.11 - New York, NY - Town Hall
11.06.11 - Jersey City, NJ - Loew’s Theatre
11.30.11 - Dublin, Ireland - Whelan’s
12.04.11 - Minehead, UK - ATP Curated by Jeff Magnum
12.08-09.11 - London, UK - Union Chapel

• Neutral Milk Hotel:

Andrew Bird documentary Fever Year premiering in New York (not a “how to” on whistling)

Andrew Bird has not put out a new album since 2009’s Noble Beast (TMT Review), but now fans have something to look forward to again: the upcoming premiere of Fever Year, a new documentary about the violinist to be released in October. It was announced Wednesday that the film, directed by Xan Aranda, will premiere at the 49th New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center, running from September 30 — October 16. You’ll eventually be able to secure tickets for the showings here.

Fever Year follows Bird on a year of relentless touring until he “crosses the December finish line in his hometown of Chicago — feverish and on crutches from an onstage injury,” said Aranda in a written statement. (He’s got a fever, and the only prescription is more whistling!) The film features Bird’s collaborators and famous friends St. Vincent, Martin Dosh, Jeremy Ylvisaker, and Michael Lewis.

However! Aranda insists this is not just another rockumentary: “Fever Year isn’t a document of Andrew’s intimate details or an assay of his sweat. It’s a snapshot of a time during which he became “perfectly adapted to the music hall” — his risk and reward for being an undeniable creative force,” she writes. Aranda is a long-time collaborator of Bird’s, previously working on the music videos for “Lull” and “Imitosis,” as well as the background visuals for his 2007-2008 tour.

The film will also screen at the Vancouver International Film Festival and a European festival still to be announced. On the other hand, for those fans who don’t care about Bird’s “process” and are just looking forward to more tunes, hang in there til 2012!

• Andrew Bird:
Fever Year:

Stare Case, “blues roots” Wolf Eyes offshoot, fills debut full-length with scales, notes, and Clapton-inspired dread

It was a dark and stormy night. John Olson had just returned from the Hair Cuttery and was hard at work on the packaging for his favorite American Tapes release yet — a 2xCD-R + c60 by Tipple Thief, the HNW project of Olson, Alivia Zivich, and Darren Gunt (label head of Sternum Pierce Cassettes). Strewn across the drafting table were back-to-school Target ads, printouts of Invasion of the Body Snatchers stills, and a pile of thick permanent markers. John mused on the possibility of releasing 50 copies of the set before quickly settling on a more manageable edition of 11. He took a pair of scissors and started to cut the backpack off a child wearing a Mossimo t-shirt when he heard a faint rumbling in the driveway — a sign that Nate Young was back from the Army Surplus store.

“New Spykes material?” Nate asked, kicking his boots off on the rug.

“Nah, Tipple Thief collection. Killer stuff, ‘specially the tape. Sounds like fuckin’ Masonna meets the Necronomicon audiobook.”

“Rad, save me a copy. So I had this idea for a new setup we should try sometime. I’d learn bass guitar, and you—” John was already up out of his seat and flicking switches on the reel-to-reel. 40 minutes later, the duo had over six hours of usable tape, which they immediately started editing into a series of two dozen 8-inch lathe cut records. This still left roughly 30 minutes of prime material, which they sequenced and designed cover art for on the spot, and an hour later they had a record deal with De Stijl, who started gathering press material that same night.

“I say we call the album Save Tonight,” Nate whispered around midnight, drunk.

“Nah man, Eagle Eye Cherry got there first. How ‘bout Lose Today?”

“Coool… and the band name ‘s—” He looked around John’s living room. “Boots. Wait: Coat Hook. No… Staircase.” One misspelling later and the project was complete. Nate drifted off to sleep and John used the raw recordings of his snores for a new Spykes tape, released the following morning.

Lose Today tracklisting:

01. Days Like Faces
02. First Fire
03. Lose Today
04. Bed That Eats
05. Don’t Get Caught

• Stare Case:
• De Stijl:

Wavves composes music for MTV comedy series. I know, who thought we’d ever see the words “Wavves” and “composes” next to each other?

Is it just me, or is Nathan Williams from Wavves making it hard for the rest of us to blithely declare “weed” as the reason we don’t do anything? I mean, seriously, his version of “slacking off” is really making my version look bad. In addition to starting his own label, releasing a new EP on that label on September 20, and announcing that a full-length is coming before year’s end, he’s scheduled to perform with freakin’ GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan on Fuel TV tonight and has just announced that he’ll serve as “guest composer” for a new scripted comedy series on MTV titled I Just Want My Pants Back. Fuck, man. What happened to “got no job/ got no money”?

The MTV show, which is executive produced by Doug Liman (Swingers, The Bourne Identity), is based on David J. Rosen’s novel of the same name, and features former KCRW music director Nic Harcourt as music supervisor; it premieres this Sunday (August 28) at 11 PM (a.k.a. immediately after the MTV VMAs that everyone apparently still watches). In addition to the “20 original compositions” by Williams featured, the ridiculously-titled show will also serve as the big-timey premiere of the new Life Sux EP cut “I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl.” Fans and/or Dave Grohl can visit after the show to get a free download of that song. And yes, I totally feel like this scenario makes it exceedingly more likely that Williams and Grohl will eventually hang out. I can just see it now: Williams teaching Grohl how to “mellow out” more; Grohl teaching Williams how to write increasingly shittier songs…

• Wavves:
• MTV:

AIDS Wolf announce US tour, as if I didn’t have enough problems already

The rent’s due tomorrow. The bills are piling up. My dog keeps barking inside my ear. Not even into my ear, the little fellow is actually sticking his snout inside my ear canal and yapping up a storm. It’s really annoying and also it hurts. My girlfriend just left me for the guy who works at Subway, which is inconvenient because I also work at Subway and so does she. Every time I put pickles on some chump’s sandwich, I can see, out of the corner of my eye, them slobbering all over each other. So, no, I’m not taking responsibility for this whole AIDS Wolf US tour thing. I have a full plate already.

Ugh, who am I kidding? Of course, I’ll be responsible for the Canadian noise rockers on their upcoming tour. I’ll book the shows, I’ll drive the van, I’ll build the stages, I’ll even make sure there are some pretty lights pointed at them. Maybe this is just the sort of project that’ll get my mind off the ever-increasing number of sores that are slowly covering my left arm. Maybe one of the AIDS Wolf members will help me find a cure. Please, somebody help me with these sores, they are really weird.

Maybe the secret to solving all my problems actually lies in the new AIDS Wolf album, Ma Vie Banale Avant-Garde. I don’t know why I think it would, since there’s little information out on it, aside from the fact that it is coming out this fall through Lovepump United. Still, I keep watching this special live video of their new song “Le Cercle Des Ratés,” in search of wisdom and cures. So far, nothing, but I will not rest. Just like the goblins that continually slap my face as I sleep, never rest.

AIDS Wolf dates:

10.20.11 - Brooklyn, NY - Death By Audio *
10.21.11 - Cleveland, OH - Now That’s Class *
10.22.11 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle *
10.23.11 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry *
10.24.11 - Iowa City, IA - Gabe’s Oasis *
10.25.11 - Lawrence, KS - Replay Lounge *
10.26.11 - Normal, OK - Opolis *
10.27.11 - Austin, TX - 29th St. Ballroom @ Spide *
10.28.11 - Denton, TX - Rubberglove *
10.29.11 - Hot Springs, AR - TBA *
10.30.11 - Birmingham AL - Firehouse *
10.31.11 - Athens, GA - Farm 255 %
11.03.11 - Miami, FL - Churchill’s %
11.04.11 - Tampa, FL - Crowbar %
11.05.11 - Orlando, FL - Will’s Pub %
11.06.11 - Atlanta, GA - 529 %
11.07.11 - Chapel Hill, NC - Nightlight %
11.08.11 - Harrisonburg, VA - Festival Ballroom at JMU %
11.10.11 - Washington DC - Comet Ping Pong %
11.11.11 - New York, NY - 92Y Tribeca %
11.12.11 - Binghamton, NY - Pajama Kazama %
11.13.11 - Boston, MA - Church of Boston %

* Henry and Hazel Slaughter
% Unicorn Hard-On

• AIDS Wolf:
• Lovepump United:

Paul McCartney signs with Decca for ballet album, world learns Beatles in tutus would’ve gotten them a deal 50 years ago

If there’s one thing we can learn from Paul McCartney’s signing to Decca, it’s that the label heads there probably would’ve given his little band a record deal 50 years ago had the mop-topped foursome been clad in pink tutus and traded their rock riffs for more plié-ing, mes amours. But finally, after decades of scoring number one albums for a label not named Decca, Paul McCartney has finally proven himself worthy in the UK label’s eyes. It’s not clear at this time whether they consider him as historically important as their legendary first recording of Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas,” but that’s tough to beat.

McCartney’s first ballet, Ocean’s Kingdom, marks his first time putting on a leotard and gracefully dancing it out with the company, commissioned by the New York City Ballet. Described as “a love story within the story of an underwater world whose people are threatened by the humans of Earth,” the new ballet will premiere this September. McCartney stated, “What was interesting was writing music that meant something expressively rather than just writing a song.” True, who knows what Ob-la-di, ob-la-da really means on an emotional level?

If you’ve always admired his work but thought he’d be better if he were to focus on underworld themes and ocean-size dreams, then you’ll definitely be in line for the NYCB’s Fall Gala on September 22. The score will be released on October 4 in the US by Hear Music/Telarc. View the full tracklisting and get ready to get deep with Paul McCartney.

Ocean’s Kingdom tracklisting:

01. Movement 1: Ocean’s Kingdom
02. Movement 2: Hall of Dance
03. Movement 3: Imprisonment
04. Movement 4: Moonrise

• Paul McCartney:
• Decca:


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