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The Aeroplane Flies High: Vinyl Box Coming from Neutral Milk Hotel

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As principal singer, songwriter and driving force between darling indie outfit Neutral Milk Hotel, Jeff Mangum has spent much of the last decade as one of the most mysterious and low-profile of respected musicians. It looks like things may be changing, however, thanks in part to a vinyl box set curating Neutral Milk Hotel’s discography.

Ruston, Lousiana-born Mangum began recording in earnest under the Neutral Milk Hotel moniker in the mid-1990s. The collective nature of his albums (early works essentially featured whatever side musicians were available, although friends Scott Spillane, Jeremy Barnes and Julian Koster eventually formed the official nucleus of the group) and lo-fi, eclectic style attracted great critical praise, although the group took an extended hiatus not long after the 1998 release of In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, one of the most critically-acclaimed records in recent history.

While Mangum has performed on a very small scale on and off since then, this year is one of his busiest of late, with nine shows planned in the U.S. through the end of the year. Mangum will also curate the U.K.’s famed All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in December, performing as well as curating the 40-plus bands that will play.

The gem for collectors, though, is a new self-released vinyl box set that contains the essential Neutral Milk Hotel discography. Included are two full LPs, 1996’s On Avery Island, 1998’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea; a 10″ LP featuring the group’s Everything Is EP with four bonus tracks; a set of unreleased tracks titled Ferris Wheel on Fire and three 7″ singles, two of which feature previously unreleased tunes.

The box set will be available on November 22, along with the 15 non-LP tracks (which will be available through the indie-band site Bandcamp – fans will be able to name their own price for the tracks). A dollar for every box set sold will be donated to the Eternal Blue Sky of Mongolia charity.

Pre-order links and a full track list are after the jump.

Neutral Milk Hotel Box Set (NMH Records, 2011)

LP 1: On Avery Island (originally released as Merge MRG-103, 1996)

  1. Song Against Sex
  2. You’ve Passed
  3. Someone is Waiting
  4. A Baby for Pree
  5. Marching Theme
  6. Where You’ll Find Me Now
  7. Avery Island/April 1st
  8. Gardenhead/Leave Me Alone
  9. Three Peaches
  10. Naomi
  11. April 8th
  12. Pree-Sisters Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye

LP 2: In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (originally released as Merge MRG-136, 1998)

  1. The King of Carrot Flowers Pt. 1
  2. The King of Carrot Flowers Pts. 2 & 3
  3. In the Aeroplane over the Sea
  4. Two-Headed Boy
  5. The Fool
  6. Holland, 1945
  7. Communist Daughter
  8. Oh Comely
  9. Ghost
  10. Untitled
  11. Two-Headed Boy Pt. 2

LP 3: Everything Is

  1. Everything Is
  2. Here We Are (for W. Cullen Hart) *
  3. Unborn *
  4. Tuesday Moon
  5. Rubby Bulbs *
  6. Snow Song, Pt. 1
  7. Aunt Eggma Blowtorch

Tracks 1 and 6 released as Cher Doll single 002, 1994
Tracks 2-3 previously unreleased
Track 4 released on Hype City Soundtrack – Elephant 6 Recording (no cat. #), 1993
Track 5 released on Those Pre-Phylloxera Years – Box Dog Sound 005, 1993
Track 7 released on Fire Records BLAZE79CD (U.K.), 1995

LP 4: Ferris Wheel on Fire (previously unreleased) *

  1. Oh Sister
  2. Ferris Wheel on Fire
  3. Home
  4. April 8th
  5. I Will Bury You in Time
  6. Engine
  7. A Baby for Pree/Glow Into You
  8. My Dream Girl Don’t Exist

7″ single 1 (originally released as Blue Rose Records BRRC-10237, 1998)

  1. Holland, 1945 (Single Version)
  2. Engine (Single Version)

7″ single 2 (previously unreleased) *

  1. You’ve Passed (4-Track Version)
  2. Where You’ll Find Me Now (4-Track Version)

7″ single 3 (previously unreleased) *

  1. Little Birds
  2. Little Birds (Live in Athens, GA)

* indicates tracks available for digital download on November 22

Written by Mike Duquette

August 29, 2011 at 12:01

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