November 12, 2012

Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel to Play State Theatre

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Jeff Mangum of the band Neutral Milk Hotel will embark on his last ever acoustic tour this January, taking to Ithaca’s State Theatre Feb. 13 with his signature blend of quirky lyrics and acoustic melodies. Hosted by the Cornell Concert Commission in association with Dan Smalls Presents, Mangum’s show in Ithaca was announced Tuesday with his excitement.

“Hello friends in a flock of finches unfolding from the face of a foam horse on the phone to inform you that jeff is heading out for a u.s. acoustic tour, giving him the chance to play to all the silver citizens dwelling in cities that he has yet to sing in,” Mangum wrote in a post on the Neutral Milk Hotel Records website Sunday.Dave Rodriguez ’13, executive director of CCC, said Dan Smalls reached out to the organization to help promote the show to Cornellians.“We would like, even if its not us throwing the concert, for students to be getting out there, going to concerts, seeing new music and getting excited for shows,” Rodriguez said. “Our goal is to get as many Cornell students to this show as we possibly can.” In order to make the show more appealing to Cornellians, CCC will sell discounted tickets in a presale to Cornell students, faculty and staff on its website. CCC tickets will go for $19.50, down from the general admission price of $29.50, according to Rodriguez, who said tickets will be available beginning Wednesday.­­­Rodriguez added that, per Mangum’s request, $1 of the proceeds from each ticket sold for the concert will be donated to Children of the Blue Sky — a non-profit organization that seeks to rebuild the lives of children living on the streets in Mongolia.It is not certain yet whether Mangum will exclusively play his solo material or will also play Neutral Milk Hotel songs, according to Rodriguez.However, with Julian Koster — also of Neutral Milk Hotel fame — opening the show with his current project The Music Tapes, Rodriguez said he is hopeful that Neutral Milk Hotel material will be incorporated into Mangum’s set. “I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some Neutral Milk Hotel songs played, but I don’t know for sure … I think if you’re a fan of him you’re going to go down to see him either way,” Rodriguez said.On the heels of Cat Power, the last CCC and Dan Smalls Presents collaboration, Mangum is indicative of CCC’s push to bring indie bands made possible by these partnerships, according to Rodriguez.“That’s what we’re doing now, but in the future who knows,” Rodriguez said.“Something I’m happy about is this is definitely a different audience than who we’ve been reaching out to with our Barton shows.”Rodriguez said that he is personally “psyched” for the show.“He is a legend to me. I love Neutral Milk Hotel. They’re one of my favorite bands. The fact that he’s touring at all is super exciting,” Rodriguez said.Many students echoed Rodriguez’s sentiments.“I’m really excited,” Liselle Pires ’16 said. “I think he has a really interesting style of music and I think it would be good for people to experience that if they haven’t.”Levi Schoenfeld ’15 agreed that Mangum’s music is complex.“It evokes a good mixture of happiness, introspection and darkness,” he said in an email. “I really admire his ability to invoke such heavy emotion just by his voice.”

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly the new ticket price for the concert. Tickets are being sold at $19.50, not $28.50.

Original Author: Lianne Bornfeld