Neutral Milk Hotel

Yes, it's a departure, but the creator of a an unbelievably enduring and singular (not to mention closeted-Christian) album, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, has long been an enigmatic and inspirational figure for Peek (to download a short audio clip, see comments...).

Go figure.

Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel spoke with Pitchfork's Marci Fierman a while back on visions, dreams, and the twisted and beautiful album he's yet to follow up on. One minute he's a little kid caught in grandiose Alice in Wonderland-like fantasies and the next he's lionizing Anne Frank (I think, he never mentions her by name). Nobody integrates our opaquest emotional depths with the body's viscera quite as joyfully.

Nonprophet introduces an excerpt of the interview with: "He's a fascinating guy, and if you haven't listened to In the Aeroplane Over the Sea yet even 9 years after its release it is not to late to start."

Mangum's vision:

Well, I was lying in bed slowly coming out of sleeping, and this voice in my head told me to go back in; to not quite wake up yet, but just to stay in that in-between place... I was standing on the ocean. I saw a blur come around, from my right side to my left. It was a hand putting something next to me. When I looked closer I saw that what the hand had put there was a little sea turtle... I picked up the sea turtle and put in my hand and it turned into a butterfly. And then it turned into a black spider. It kept turning into a butterfly, a spider, a butterfly, a spider. It would pulsate between the two... So that whole sequence repeated two or three times: it would land back in my hand, turn into a creature, and when I tried to hold it, it would crush again into blood, and when I would let go the blood would rise back up and turn into a ball of light.

Pitchfork: Do you know what it means?

Jeff: Yes, I pretty much understood it right away... [MORE].

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