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The two full-length records that Jeff Mangum made as Neutral Milk Hotel sound both in and out of time. Like translations of a shared subconscious, 1996’s On Avery Island and 1998’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea give voice to the perennial spirit of youthful epiphany, of beginning to see the world clearly, to process and express it—no matter when you encounter them. With lo-fi indie rock, accordion, singing saw, tape collages, the so-called “zanzithophone” and beyond, Neutral Milk Hotel created an eternal entry into their Elephant 6 scene and an enduring feeling of possibility.
Mangum was born in the small city of Ruston, Louisiana, coming of age within the ’80s and ’90s indie and punk undergrounds, a movement of teenagers recording in their bedrooms, sharing zines and trading tapes, listening to hardcore and experimental music on college radio. For all the mythology Mangum’s elusive persona has accrued, it’s the beguiling songs themselves that have resonated so deeply for generations. In 2011, Mangum collected nearly all of the band’s recorded output in a limited-edition box set (self-released under Neutral Milk Hotel Records, a small operation helmed by Mangum and his mother) which is now being updated for wide reissue by the band’s longtime label Merge Records.
CONTENTS: Black matte box is a 2-piece telescoping casewrapped package. Outer shrinkwrap includes a front sticker with “Neutral Milk Hotel,” and a back sticker listing box contents.
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea LP is 11 tracks pressed 33RPM to black vinyl in a gatefold jacket. // On Avery Island 2-LP is 12 tracks pressed to double black vinyl in a gatefold jacket + 11 x 11 printed insert. Sides A, B and C pressed 45RPM. Side D pressed 33RPM // Live at Jittery Joe’s 12-inch picture disc is 11 tracks pressed 33RPM to a full color picture disc in a heavyweight poly jacket // Ferris Wheel on Fire 10-inch is 8 tracks pressed 45RPM to black vinyl in a printed jacket + postcard insert // Everything Is 10-inch is 7 tracks pressed 45RPM to black vinyl in a printed jacket + postcard insert + “Little Birds” 7-inch is 2 tracks pressed 45RPM to black vinyl in a printed jacket. 7-inch housed in a heavyweight poly jacket // “You’ve Passed” 7-inch is 2 tracks pressed 45RPM to black vinyl in a printed jacket. 7-inch housed in a heavyweight poly jacket // “Holland, 1945” 7-inch is 2 tracks pressed 45RPM to black vinyl in a printed jacket. 7-inch housed in a heavyweight poly jacket // 2 folded posters, each printed one side and each 24 x 24 inches when flat // 1 postcard, printed front and back with box set information and sized 3.75 x 5 inches.