By twhalliii | THE BACK ROW MANIFESTO by Tom Hall June 28, 2006 at 9:35AM
At the risk of this blog going all rock and roll...
Wow. One day after I mentioned the likelihood that we'd never hear from Jeff Mangum and Neutral Milk Hotel ever again, I read on Pitchfork reports from the Elephant Six message boards...
for the past few months ive been putting together the pieces of everything ive written in the past three years and its been a revelation. whenever i had the time ive been writing melodies and keeping them in my head for later, and songs just accumulate, im not waiting as some have said. i still dont know how we're going to put it all together, the songs will have more noises and collages in them. because of that we dont know whether this will be korena pang or neutral milk hotel or michael bolton but that doesnt really matter. names are just a box we put things in to separate them, and we're figuring out what box these songs go in.
we dont have a timetable for releasing the album yet, so dont get your hopes up for new songs now. if you want more "aeroplane" just ignore all of this, the songs are songs but they're longer and more free. when jeremy came down after his tour we just spent days playing noise while screaming and it was incredibly liberating. it has been so much fun that we will for sure be playing a show or two, probably more. freedom is a wonderful thing but at a certain point you need the routines of normal life. ive had that for a while but i realized last year at the show with the livys that the best sort of normal ive ever had was on the road with my friends. getting to gigs late with cars coughing and trombones smacking on doors, the giant egg leaks over the masses, the yolk sustains us, we eat whites for days. it can never be the same but i need to get as close as i can to that again. so thats all. everything is happening soon, this is the year.
thanks for listening. jeff"
Now, what are the chances that everyone's favorite American rock recluse will come out of his self-imposed exile and begin creating music for the public again? There have been rumors for years as to how, where, when and why Jeff quit recording music, including a MUST READ, famously controversial profile in Atlanta's Creative Loafing that merely interprets his absence in a swirl of innuendo.There is also a revealing Pitchfork interview that captures the difficulty of describing the issues surrounding Mangum's absence. If this message from 'jeff' is real, then it represents some great news. In the wake of longing (The Spinanes) and loss (Sleater-Kinney), I am so ready for some good news that I am willing to believe it is true. All I can hope is that the same freedom that allowed NMH to create their classic records will allow Jeff to create something new and transcendent. Fingers crossed...
Ruby Bulbs by Neutral Milk Hotel. Live, April 12, 1998
UPDATE: The note from 'jeff' was apparently a HOAX... Well done!