Jeff Mangum is the idolized former leader of Neutral Milk Hotel. His peak and premature swan song, 1998's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, most closely resembles New Zealand's Tall Dwarfs, Martin Carthy, and the group's Elephant 6 compatriots, but if you take it for a collection of unearthed sea chanteys performed by the Mad Hatter, you aren't far off. Some of the tunes play with campfire intimacy; some are awash in fuzz bass, crying saws, and out-of-tune horns; and at least half might stick with you forever. Since then, Mangum hasn't released any new, original material, and is sometimes spoken of as a recluse—a celebrated recluse, as Thomas Pynchon has shown, is often just someone who doesn't talk to reporters. Lately he's been out and about more, turning up to lead a sing-along of his oldies at Occupy Wall Street, and for concerts such as this much-anticipated solo show. With Andrew, Scott & Laura. (Photo by Cory Greenwell)
Sat., Feb. 4, 7 p.m., 2012
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