Jeff Mangum

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Not to be confused with Jeff Magnum.
Jeff Mangum
Jeff Mangum at Coachella 2012 (7260343156).jpg
Mangum at Coachella 2012
Background information
Born (1970-10-24) October 24, 1970 (age 43)
Ruston, Louisiana
Genres Indie rock, psychedelic folk, lo-fi, indie pop
Instruments Vocals, guitar, drums, bass, keyboards
Years active 1987–2002, 2006, 2008–current
Labels Merge Records, Orange Twin Records
Associated acts Neutral Milk Hotel, Circulatory System, The Olivia Tremor Control, Synthetic Flying Machine, Cranberry Lifecycle, The Apples in Stereo, Major Organ and the Adding Machine, Elf Power
Notable instruments
Gibson ES-125

Jeff Mangum (born Jefferson Nigh Mangum[citation needed]; October 24, 1970) is an American musician best known for being the lyricist, vocalist and guitarist of the band Neutral Milk Hotel, as well as being one of the cofounders of The Elephant 6 Recording Company. Born in Ruston, Louisiana, Mangum, along with the other founding members of the Elephant 6 including his sister Coraline (Anne Frank), attended Ruston High School in the late 1980s. The friends shared a passion for psychedelic acts of the 1960s, most notably The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Syd Barrett, and The Velvet Underground,[1] as well as an affinity for later alternative rock bands such as Sonic Youth and the Minutemen.[2] They reflected these influences in the tapes they recorded and shared with each other, forming the seeds of what would become the Elephant 6 Collective. He is married to Astra Taylor,[3] known for making the documentary film Žižek! about the Slovenian philosopher and psychoanalyst Slavoj Žižek.

With Neutral Milk Hotel[edit]

Neutral Milk Hotel was born after the end of Synthetic Flying Machine (which became The Olivia Tremor Control), with an original line-up of Will Cullen Hart and Bill Doss on guitar and bass and Jeff Mangum on drums. Around 1995 Mangum left Synthetic Flying Machine to focus on his own songs. A year of intensive songwriting (some of it accomplished, according to Mangum, while he was living in a haunted closet) and recording in Denver, Colorado with Robert Schneider at his Pet Sounds Recording Studio resulted in his debut album, On Avery Island, released in 1996, consisting mostly of Schneider and Mangum playing with friends. Mangum eventually expanded the line up of Neutral Milk Hotel and in 1998 released In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, also produced by Schneider at Pet Sounds Studio.

After Neutral Milk Hotel[edit]

The relative success of the album in addition to the pressures of sudden fame took its toll on Mangum, who disbanded Neutral Milk Hotel in 1998 after a tour in support of their latest album. Mangum has kept largely out of the public eye since, only rarely playing acoustic sets and concentrating more on his recorded sound and music collages.

In March 2001, Mangum and Julian Koster (also formerly of Neutral Milk Hotel) contributed to an album called Major Organ and the Adding Machine. Other involved players were Kevin Barnes from the band of Montreal, Eric Harris and Will Cullen Hart of Olivia Tremor Control, and Elf Power's Andrew Rieger.[4]

In the summer of 2001, Mangum released a compilation of field recordings of Bulgarian folk music called Orange Twin Field Works: Volume I followed by a live album on the Orange Twin label, Live at Jittery Joe's. The set was recorded by filmmaker Lance Bangs in 1997 and was put out to combat the exorbitant sums that Neutral Milk Hotel live albums were selling for on eBay. The CD features a QuickTime movie of the concert performance, featuring a backlit Mangum seen mostly in silhouette throughout the video. In 2005, Live at Jittery Joe's was released on LP by Isota Records.

In the summer and fall of 2002, Mangum hosted several radio shows featuring tape loops and other recordings on Jersey City, New Jersey radio station WFMU.[5][6]

On September 19, 2006 it was announced that Mangum would contribute to The Apples in Stereo's new album New Magnetic Wonder. Mangum is reported to be playing "drums, cow object, backing vocals, handclaps".[7] Mangum also contributed drums to the Circulatory System album, Signal Morning, released in September 2009.

Return to Live Performances[edit]

Mangum (right) in Pittsburgh, 2008

In October 2008, Mangum performed the song "Engine" on several stops of the Elephant 6 Holiday Surprise Tour. Prior to these performances, he had not played Neutral Milk Hotel songs in public since 2001. At the Lexington, KY stop, Mangum, Scott Spillane and Julian Koster led concertgoers outside the venue to a nearby tree. Prior to playing Engine, the group surprised the audience with a surprise performance of Neutral Milk Hotel's "The Fool" with the Fishetarians. This was the closest thing to a Neutral Milk Hotel performance since 1997.

In December 2009, Mangum contributed the song "Sign the Dotted Line" to a Chris Knox tribute album titled Stroke: Songs for Chris Knox.[8] On May 6, 2010, Mangum played a 25-minute acoustic set at a Chris Knox benefit show at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC.[9] He played: "Oh Comely," "A Baby for Pree/Where You'll Find Me Now," "Two Headed Boy pt. 2," "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea" and as an encore, "Engine." It was also announced it was not the start of a comeback, but a one time performance to benefit his friend Chris Knox.

On December 4, 2010, Mangum played a 10 song set at a loft in Bushwick, Brooklyn including 6 songs from In the Aeroplane Over the Sea and "Engine".[10]

On April 20, 2011, Robert Schneider debuted a score composed by Mangum for the Teletron, an instrument Schneider had invented. It is unknown whether the composition will have an official release.[11] On August 26, 2011, Mangum launched the website, where he is self-releasing a box set of Neutral Milk Hotel albums and unreleased tracks, as well as one-of-a-kind drawings and a radio show he curated.[12]

On August 12 and 13, 2011, Mangum played full sets at Trinity-St.Paul's United Church in Toronto, Ontario. Both shows were opened by members of the Elephant 6 Collective. Mangum played very similar sets at the two shows, performing several songs from Neutral Milk Hotel's "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea" and "On Avery Island". During the show on August 12, Mangum also played a cover of Daniel Johnston's "True love Will Find You In The End". Mangum performed "Engine" as an encore at both shows. On 30 September 2011, Mangum played a full set at All Tomorrow's Parties in Asbury Park, NJ - his first large show in many years.[13]

On October 4, 2011, Mangum made an appearance at Zuccotti Park in New York City and played several songs to the protesters participating in Occupy Wall Street.[14] On October 27, 2011, Mangum performed a benefit show for Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock, New York.[15]

On January 9, 2012 Goldenvoice revealed that Jeff Mangum would appear on the Saturday bill for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival alongside such acts as Radiohead, Bon Iver, and Feist.[16] On January 10, 2012 Mangum's official tour site revealed additional West Coast dates leading up to and through the Coachella festival.[17]

Mangum curated the 2012 ATP in Minehead, UK between the 9th and 11 March. This marked the first time that Mangum, The Apples in Stereo and Olivia Tremor Control - the founders of Elephant 6 - have officially all played at the same event.[citation needed]

On July 27, 2012 Mangum headlined the Friday lineup at the Calgary Folk Music Festival.[18][19][20][21]

On November 12, 2012, Mangum announced a 2013 tour of the United States.[citation needed]

In May 2013, Mangum announced a reunion tour with Neutral Milk Hotel via his website[citation needed]

On July 22nd and 23rd, 2014, Neutral Milk Hotel performed in Prospect Park at Celebrate Brooklyn![citation needed]

On July 26th, 2014, Neutral Milk Hotel performed at Merge 25. It was their first appearance at any Merge anniversary festival.[citation needed]


With The Olivia Tremor Control[edit]

With The Apples in Stereo[edit]

With Major Organ and the Adding Machine[edit]

With Laura Carter, Eric Harris, Chris Jolly & Heather McIntosh[edit]

With Neutral Milk Hotel[edit]

See Neutral Milk Hotel discography.

As Jeff Mangum[edit]


  1. ^ Beaumont, Mark; Aston, Martin (March 10, 2011). "Psychedelia (music genre),Deerhunter,Indie (music genre),Pop and rock (Music genre),Music,Culture". The Guardian (London). 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Brown, Jake (2008-01-09). "Article from Glorious Noise, accessed February 8, 2009". Retrieved 2011-09-11. 
  4. ^ "Major Organ and the Adding Machine". The Elephant Six Recording Company. Archived from the original on 2007-03-17. Retrieved 2007-04-17. 
  5. ^ "Archives for The Listener Hour-August 24, 2002". WFMU. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  6. ^ "Playlists and Archives for Jefferson". WFMU. Retrieved 2007-03-15. 
  7. ^ Llewellyn, Kati (2006-09-19). "Jeff Mangum Guests on New Apples in Stereo LP". Pitchfork Media. 
  8. ^ "Merge Records Store". Retrieved 2011-09-11. 
  9. ^ at 10:57 AM (2010-05-07). "Jeff Mangum, The Clean, Yo La Tengo, Portastatic & friends played for Chris Knox @ LPR - review, setlist, video & pic". Retrieved 2011-09-11. 
  10. ^ Phillips, Amy (2010-12-04). "Jeff Mangum Performs Surprise Show in Brooklyn | News". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2011-09-11. 
  11. ^ Fitzmaurice, Larry. "Jeff Mangum Composes Score for Apples in Stereo Frontman Schneider's Mind-Controlled Instrument". Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  12. ^ Fitzmaurice, Larry. "Neutral Milk Hotel to Release Box Set". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 26 August 2011. 
  13. ^ "ATP America presents I'll Be Your Mirror curated by Portishead & ATP - All Tomorrow's Parties". Retrieved 2011-09-11. 
  14. ^ "Live Stream (Updated With Video): Jeff Mangum Playing Live At Occupy Wall Street | Pigeons & Planes". Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  15. ^ Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, (2011-10-28). "Jeff Mangum Benefit for WFAS « Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary". Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  16. ^ Greenwald, David. "Coachella 2012: Radiohead, Dr. Dre, Black Keys and Punk Reunions Top Lineup". Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  17. ^ "Jeff Mangum Adds West Coast Tour Dates". Stereogum. Sterogum. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  18. ^ Calgary Folk Music Festival#2012
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  21. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]

Media related to Jeff Mangum at Wikimedia Commons