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Neutral Milk Hotel is back at last -- but for how long?
When last seen on stage in Chicago playing a full set, in 1998 at the late, great Lincoln Avenue club Lounge Ax, Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Mangum strummed his guitar so hard it appeared the strings and wood would shatter. He sang vivid stream-of-consciousness lyrics about surreal gardens, Anne Frank and God with eyes closed, as if reliving a religious experience. There was a ramshackle band behind him, and a rapt audience in front of him, but Mangum was so wrapped up in the music that he might as well have been the only person in the room.
February 2, 2012