Ballroom Marfa Art Fund


Find Jeff Mangum

28 Mar 2013


As we have mentioned before, people get kind of worked up over the work of Jeff Mangum, in particular the albums he recorded in 1996 and 1998 with Neutral Milk Hotel. And while there is plenty of obsession over the lyrical and instrumental intricacies of Mangum’s artistic practice, such an enduring emotional resonance is surely sustained by something more elusive than structural complexity and earworm melodies.

Thus we have the essays at Find Jeff Mangum, personal accounts of “the first time you heard Neutral Milk Hotel,” stories of sadness and hope, young romance and suicide from the Arkansas suburbs, the Yakima Valley and a food blogger living in East Tennessee. All of them unfolding while In the Aeroplane over the Sea or On Avery Island plays on car stereos or bedroom speakers.

Jeff Mangum performs two shows here in Marfa this Sunday with Tall Firs at the Crowley Theater. The 7:30p show is sold out. Click here for tickets for his 10:30p performance.

Beach House – “Wishes”

20 Mar 2013

Eric Wareheim of Tim and Eric Awesome Show directs Leland Palmer through a lip-synch performance of Beach House’s “Wishes” that seems to be informed by some kind of Twin Peaks meets Friday Night Lights dream logic, chills and creep-vibes blended together.

Tickets for Beach House’s Marfa show with Holy Shit on 21 April 2013 are currently sold out. However if you are interested in attending a riveting musical performance out here on the high desert grasslands of Far West Texas, there are still tickets left for Jeff Mangum on 31 March 2013. Just sayin’ …

An Introduction to Jeff Mangum from WFMU

19 Mar 2013


It’s understandable, given the reputation that Jeff Mangum has won based on a relatively small number of cryptic recordings, that commentary on his output runs toward the obsessive. From Slate declaring him to be “The Salinger of Indie Rock” in 2008, to Kim Cooper’s book-length discussion of the impact of Neutral Milk Hotel’s lauded 1998 album, In the Aeroplane Sea.

As we prepare for Mangum’s two (!) shows at The Crowley Theater on 31 March 2013, we would also like to suggest that you direct the internet-connected audio device of your choice to his run of broadcasts on Jersey City’s legendary freeform radio station, WFMU.

In 2002 Mangum took to the airwaves for nine fried shows collaging together snippets of in-studio dialogue from the Beach Boys, poetry by James Wright, field recordings of cheetahs, the sound of “ritual mouth organs” as well as music from Robert Wyatt, Ornette Coleman and John Fahey — and that’s just the first installment.

Mangum is a practiced field recordist and sound collage artist — his discography includes a collection of field recordings from a of Bulgarian festival in 2001 — and it shows in these ecstatic, transformative programs, all of which are currently available for streaming at WFMU.

And though he understandably declined to interrupt these whirling sonic kaleidoscopes by back-announcing his selections, the Mangum fan community has risen to the occasion: Annotations for all nine shows are available over at the Neutral Milk Hotel website, complete with links to more information for many of the esoteric sound bites heard across these hours of music.

It’s not so much a demonstration of what Mangum’s music sounds like, as an exploded guidebook to where it comes from. And an excellent way to GET PUMPED for Mangum’s two performances here in Marfa at the end of March. The early show is sold out, but there are still tickets available for the 10:30pm performance.

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Post SXSW Advice

12 Mar 2013

True for now, but not forever! Also thankfully available without the whole SXSW part.

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