Jeff Mangum to play Chris Knox benefit. Also playing: people who aren’t indie rock’s version of Bigfoot.

Jeff Mangum to play Chris Knox benefit. Also playing: people who aren't indie rock's version of Bigfoot.

I’m sure I’m not telling you anything new here, but Jeff Mangum is hardly Bradford Cox or that guy from Wavves or . Aside from rare occasions like the Elephant Six Holiday Surprise Tour or popping up at Elf Power shows, the public has hardly seen hide nor hair of the Neutral Milk Hotel leader in the past decade. So, when the man is scheduled to play honest-to-god music on stage, it’s a big deal. Big deal of the moment: Mangum will play a short acoustic set at the May 6 benefit for Chris Knox taking place at New York City’s Le Poisson Rouge.

Surely you already know who Mangum is (if not, I’d recommend picking up In The Aeroplane Over The Sea real quick like), but who is this Knox fellow and why is there a benefit for him? Well, he would happen to be one of New Zealand’s most respected punk rock musicians of the 70s and 80s, along with also wearing the hats of comic artist, television host, film reviewer, and producer of many releases on the legendary Flying Nun label. Last year, Knox suffered a series of life-changing strokes. To benefit the musician and his family, Merge has put out Stroke, a tribute record featuring covers of the man’s work, and Le Poisson Rouge, Wordless Music, and WFMU are putting on the aforementioned benefit. Aside from the roughly $2,500 in costs for club expenses, all money from the benefit will go to Knox’s family.

Although Mangum’s participation in the event will be the main incentive for many, there’s no lack of major talent involved in the proceedings. Among those playing are Yo La Tengo, Portastatic, TV On The Radio’s Kyp Malone, The Magnetic Fields’ Claudia Gonson, Sharon Van Etten, The Clean (along with solo sets by members Robert Scott and David Kilgour), comedian John Mulaney, and Dimmer, which is fronted by Straitjacket Fits singer Shayne Carter. Tickets are SOLD OUT of course, but the show will be partially broadcast on WFMU (at a later date), along with various New Zealand community radio stations.

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