This has got to be the flimsiest excuse I have ever had for writing a piece on an American band, but, really, as a fan of “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea,” I just have to share this news: Neutraal Milk Hotel are reuniting, and will embark on their first concerts since 1999 this year and embark on a full-fledged world tour next year.
Ever since 1999, the band has been on hiatus, due in no small part to frontman Jeff Mangum’s suffering a mental breakdown after recording the album, (partly due to his obsession with Anne Frank becoming increasingly all-encompassing.) Despite having a few very low-key solo gigs since 2010, including one at Occupy Wall Street, he has yet to have actually use the band name. Until now.
The band recently announced they would perform five dates in 2013: Athens, Georgia (October 22-23), Asheville, North Carolina (October 25), the Hostess Club Festival in Taipei, Taiwan (November 28) and in Tokyo, Japan (December 1), and they’ve promised more to come. Also on their website, they gave this statement:
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And suddenly, David Bowie’s 42 words seem positively straightforward. The band will consist of Mangum, Scott Spillane, Julian Koster, and Jeremy Barnes, the same line-up of the band that performed around the time of the album’s release.
Later, a more straightforward interview with their agent Jim Romeo yielded this information: “Everyone is very excited which is great. People should know that they shouldn’t get discouraged if they don’t get tickets to these few shows, there will be some more fall shows announced soon and a much longer and fuller tour planned for 2014 that will span the globe.” So, odds are, there will be more concerts. Most likely some in the UK, and I hope that there’s some concerts in Chicago. Given how much of their current fame they owe to Chicago-based publication Pitchfork Media, it would be criminal to do so.
And, hopefully, if you don’t know this album, you’ll become a fan after you listen to this video: