You could say Jeff Mangum is the J.D. Salinger of indie rock. Or perhaps hes a bit more like Thomas Pynchon, barring Pynchons penchant for remaining eternally unphotographed. Point is, Mangums now-legendary 90s outfit Neutral Milk Hotel produced a frustratingly minuscule amount of material just two studio full-lengths, an EP and a handful of hard-to-come-by demo cassettes, really all of which ranks among the most influential and critically acclaimed experimental rock of its time. Without overstating it, I can comfortably say that NMHs ramshackle, Sonic Youth-goes-folk instrumentation, gut-wrenching vocals and powerfully intimate lyrics more adequately depict the human experience than any of Mangums Elephant 6 counterparts ever managed to (from The Apples in Stereo to Of Montreal and Olivia Tremor Control). Mangums notorious abhorrence for the spotlight has limited his output and public appearances in the past decade, making him the stuff of rock n roll legend. Replicating songs like Two-Headed Boy, Oh Comely and Holland, 1945 is a tall, tall order, and one that true indie-rock audiophiles would never take lightly. James Wallace and the Naked Light, The Blue Steel Tacks, Fairmount Revival and Dusty Lightswitch perform.
Sat., March 20, 9:30 p.m., 2010