Jeff Mangum

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Consequence

Neutral Milk Hotel’s On Avery Island at 25: Why I’m Glad Jeff Mangum Disappeared

I don’t know much more about Jeff Mangum now than I did when I first heard his voice wavering off of a cassette tape in the winter of 2001. The mix in question came from a friend I had a crush on, one who’d finally agreed to clue me in to the cool bands she listened to, and I spent the early part of that year dutifully studying its bands and songs. It’s 20 years later, and in some ways, I’m still gathering intelligence. I’ve read all about Ben Gibbard’s divorce and mid-life dive into ultramarathons. I attend living room concerts from Ken Stringfellow, where I listen to him sing and reminisce and crack jokes about Posies bandmate Jon Auer. I follow Travis Morrison on Instagram; a couple weeks ago, I liked his post revealing that he’d received his first dose of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. Middle age comes for everyone, even my teenaged merchants of cool.
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