I was very fortunate to have the pleasure of seeing the incredible, weird, and incredibly weird Jeff Mangum perform last night. And while the show was spectacular—really, you should be jealous—there was just one thing missing: April 8th.
But let me back up. Jeff Mangum is the former lead singer and songwriter of the seminal indie band Neutral Milk Hotel, a band with which every bespectacled hipster worth his or her flannel is familiar. And if "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea" is the band's most wide-reaching hit (it is) then "April 8th" is its most underrated (it is, damnit).
Off the band's 1996 debut On Amery Island "April 8th" is a crooning, unsettling ballad not so much depicting a life of twisted, wretched loneliness, but embodying it. The periodic, calculated out-of-key notes matched with Mangum's piercing wails make it seem very much haunted. And awesome. I really love this song, you guys. Can you tell? [Spotify, Amazon, iTunes]