First of all, I would like to say that quite possibly the coolest band ever is a band out of Athens, GA called Neutral Milk Hotel. The singer/songwriter, Jeff Mangum, writes the most surreal lyrics about people sticking forks into other people’s shoulders, people with white roses for eyes, and playing pianos filled with flames. I have their two most popular full-length albums, On Avery Island and In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, and although On Avery Island is brilliant, I think that In the Aeroplane… Is probably one of the best records I have ever heard. If you get anything out of this ramble of a post, it’s that you should GO BUY THAT RECORD. Its brilliance has to do with Mangum’s ability to take open and power chords and create these completely unique, beautiful melodies with his vocals. When I listen to the record, the moment of “God, I wish I had written this song; it seems so obvious” happens quite often, but the truth is that while these songs seem to have been destined to be written, Mangum is the only one who could have pulled it off properly. There are accordians, fuzzed out classical acoustic guitars, harmonicas, horn ensembles, all of which add greatly to the basic wonder of the record. The most striking part about the record though, is Mangum’s vocals. He’s got one of the most unique, eerie voices I’ve ever heard and writes some of the most honest, disturbing lyrics evern written. He also apparently has his shit together- if you go to www.pitchforkmedia.com and check out his interview from 2002, he offers some of the most insightful perspectives on life that I’ve heard in a while. I’d cut and paste it, but hey, this is www.mrfuriousrecords.com, I mean, come on! Am I right?
The person who turned me on to NMH is someone who sort of haunts the past of Mr. Furious, namely, Josh Oberndorfer. Josh is a friend of mine from way back and Josh and I both became friends with Howie during Freshman year. We had plans to start a band and get our stuff together musically, and it worked out perfectly, in a way- Josh and I both played guitar and Howie was a drummer, and we were able to find a bassist in fellow Doane Tiger Matthew Wisecarver. Matt, from Omaha, now works as an engineer at a recording studio in LA, the birthplace of fear and everything caloric. So we started this band, The Remnants, and it turned out to be the weirdest, rockinest mix of people ever. Josh and Matt and I were all heavy partiers, and Matt would often have a friend pour beer in his mouth while he was playing a show. Howie, with a smile, would nod his head as if to say, “I think Matt is secretly from Oklahoma.” We were also a weird party band in a way, but the irony is that when we did record songs, they were recorded acoustically and filled with delightful flaws that make them the songs they are today. To paraphase The Streets, in 500 years they’ll play The Remnants in museums.