Friday, June 18, 2010

Jeff Mangum - Live at Jittery Joe's (2001)

Recorded in 1997 by documentary filmmaker Lance Bangs (known for the awesomely spastic video for Death Cab for Cutie's "Talking Like Turnstiles," among many, many others), but released in 2001 to combat the gargantuan prices that bootlegs were going for on eBay, Live at Jittery Joe's is a recording of a solo performance by Neutral Milk Hotel frontman Jeff Mangum at Jittery Joe's in Athens, GA. It's a wonderful and intimate performance, as there was no official setlist prepared, so Jeff accepted and honored requests from audience members. Being that's it's Jeff Mangum and it's not a studio release by Neutral Milk Hotel, it of course includes the track "Engine," as well as a cover of Phil Spector's "I Love How You Love Me." The rest of the setlist is a captivating mixture of songs from both of Neutral Milk Hotel's studio releases. Get comfortable, plug in your headphones and give this a listen. It's really something else, and has that prodigious quality that a choice few records possess, and that is that it never plays the same way twice. It's unpolished and unadulterated, but as most of us know, some of the world's most prolific beauty can be found in imperfections.

For fans of: Neutral Milk Hotel, The Mountain Goats, The Olivia Tremor Control

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