Neutral Milk Hotel, In The Aeroplane Over the Sea, King of Carrot Flowers Parts 1-3

Posted in Neutral Milk Hotel, Youtube Favs on September 21st, 2011 by Willie

Jeff Mangum’s “Neutral Milk Hotel” was the third founding wing in the Elephant 6 Collective.  If the Apples in Stereo represented the happy side of the Beatles, and Olivia Tremor Control were the, ahh, trippier side of the Beatles, then Neutral Milk Hotel was Elephant 6’s approximation of Blonde on Blonde’s Bob Dylan.  Mangum’s breakthrough record, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, was produced by founding Apple Robert Schneider, who matched Mangum’s intensely personal songs about childhood, sex, and death, with a New Orleans marching band on acid.  The album also is said to contain a loose concept concerning Anne Frank, World War II, and the holocaust.  While the lyrics are very abstract and practically impenetrable, Mangum sings them with such clarity and emotion, that somehow, these themes are evoked.  When the album was released in 1998, it was a smash hit in the indie world, and Mangum was in high demand.  Having sold over 200,000 copies of the LP, and offered an opening slot for fellow Athens natives R.E.M., Mangum decided to go into recluse mode, effectively breaking up the band, and only making sporadic live appearances in the last 13 years.  It is rumored that he is on the verge of releasing some new material through this website,, where you can stream the song “Little Birds (Unfinished Version 2),” a haunting psych ballad.  Besides that track, you can also listen to two of the strongest tracks from his now legendary album below.  The first song is the title track of the LP, is a swirling emotional journey through the sky, and the second, “King of Carrot Flowers Parts 1-3,” is just as adventurous and bizarre.  A lot of people either love or hate this band, but I fall somewhere in the middle.  I’m intrigued by Mangum’s obvious talent and singing style, but have always wanted more songs to get a more complete picture of the guy.  As it is, there exists only two records, some scattered songs, and not much else, which creates a scattered portrait of man only really known by his close friends. I actually think that’s a pretty cool feet for a musicians like Mangum.  Stay tuned tomorrow as we begin to explore the E6’s auxiliary members!

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Matthew Sweet, We're The Same and Girlfriend

Posted in Matthew Sweet, Youtube Favs on April 12th, 2011 by Willie

Welcome to a special Two for Tuesday of my youtube countdown.  This is part 34, and today we are featuring two fantastic clips from 90s indie rocker Matthew Sweet.  The first is “We’re the Same.”  I love this video and song.  It’s such a classic tasteful 90s rock song.  A perfect 60s throwback featuring a gorgeous Kinks-esque melody and guitar arrangement.  The lyrics are also brilliant, a universal love song about two lovers in perfect synchronization..I think.  I remember reading somewhere that the song was about resentment over a lover for being “the same.”  Anyway, the video is wonderful, directed by video hit maker Roman Coppola.  It features a whole bunch of beautiful models pretending to be in Matthew’s impossible 60s group.  You will probably need to play it a few times, the video is that good, and the song is that catchy.  The second song is Matthew’s other big hit, “Girlfriend.”  It’s another fab-tastic 60s retro number featuring a killer Deep Purple like riff and another unbelievably catchy melody.  Again, its a song composed at the height of rock and roll taste, a real gem.  The video features clips from Matthew’s favorite anime movie, “Space Adventure Cobra.”  Apparently he’s really into anime as he has a bunch of anime tattoos.


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