I was just surfing the web when I came across this amazing video of Jeff Mangum from Neutral Milk Hotel performing "Engine," the B-side to "Holland 1945". I got the video and photo from the Pitchfork site just to give credit where credit is due. "Engine" is not only one of my all-time favorite songs by Neutral Milk Hotel, but I believe it is one of the best songs I've ever heard. Neutral Milk Hotel released two albums and an ep before they moved on and left a legion of fans breathlessly awaiting a new album or reunion tour. Legend has it that Mangum decided to run off with the circus to live out his reclusive existence, but there have been several sightings throughout the past decade of him making cameo appearances at Elephant Six Collective reunion shows, as well as a short stint as a radio DJ. Their music is something special that can only be described as magical and otherworldly. This band and especially this song never fails to bring tears to my eyes and make me believe in the beauty of music.
Magum's minimal acoustic plucking is only accompanied by Julian Koster's haunting singing saw. One of the most amazing things about the video is that it appears to be filmed completely in darkness, only showing quick glimpses of Mangum as the flash bulbs light up the auditorium floor where Jeff is playing. He is performing right in the middle of the audience for what looks to be his most intimate performance in years. For those of you who are just learning of NMH, please go visit the links below for further info. As for the rest of you, smile, take a breath and be grateful for the slight hope of a Neutral Milk Hotel reunion.
Neutral Milk Hotel - Engine - 10/18/2008 Brillobox, Pittsburgh PA from Engine on Vimeo.