Ten years ago this month (Feb. 10 to be exact), Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea was released. I am sure most of you have already worn through 4 copies of it, but for those of you who are unfamiliar, it is one of my favorite albums of all time. Singer/Songwriter/NMH-ruler Jeff Mangum absolutely captured some of the most beautiful, heartbreaking, and bizarre imagery ever put to tape. (You can read a lot about the recording process in the interesting, but not terribly insightful 33 1/3 book.) It’s positively an album that truly exists as an album. Some of the songs are catchy standouts, but the real experience requires a full-on listen…and many such repetitions. One of the remarkable things about Aeroplane is the way in which the great obtuseness of lyrics had somehow shed pretension and artiness. If you have not heard it, please do yourself a favor and hop to.
Here’s a mellow, but lovely live performance of the title track: