It's not so easy nowadays to play the J.D. Salinger card in today's everything-is-revealed music world, and the latest artist to cave in to the overwhelming pressure to stop being a doof and get in the van is reclusive NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL main man JEFF MANGUM.
A few weeks ago, he announced a couple of solo shows as part of this fall's Portishead-curated All Tomorrow's Parties event, I'll Be Your Mirror (9/30-10/2 in Asbury Park, NJ) but any level-headed NMH-head Boston-ite would have known to hold back the impulse to get out the old credit card, as clearly a tour would be imminent as soon as ATP became moderately sold out, which it did very quickly.
And now, that patience is rewarded, as we have word that Mangum will be doing not one but two Boston-area gigs in a brief East Coast tour in advance of the ATP gigs: announced first, today, is a show September 10 at Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory (tickets go on sale here on 2/25). Additionally, and more cryptically, is the announcement that there will be a show the night before, September 9 in Cambridge at "an historic 1,150-capacity venue to be announced next week."
If you've been wearing out your scratchy cd of In the Aeroplane over the Sea for all of these years, hoping against hope that Mangum would emerge from his self-imposed exile to do something other than work to save a local-area carousel, the wait from now until September will be nothing, right? In the mean time, perhaps tide yourself over with this 1998 conversation between Mangum himself and our own Carly Carioli.
Jeff Mangum (Neutral Milk Hotel) on tour:
Aug 12 Toronto, ON Trinity St. Paul's United Church - on sale 2/25
Aug 13 Toronto, ON Trinity St. Paul's United Church - on sale 2/25
Sept 09 Cambridge, MA TBA
Sept 10 Boston, MA Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory - on sale 2/25
Sept 30 Asbury Park, NJ Paramount Theatre - Sold Out
Oct 03 Asbury Park, NJ Paramount Theatre - Sold Out
Oct 29 New York, NY Town Hall - on sale TBA
Nov 06 Jersey City, NJ Loew's Theatre - on sale TBA
Dec 02 Somerset, UK All Tomorrow's Parties Curated by Jeff Mangum (Neutral Milk Hotel) - on sale 2/18