Sunday, November 22, 2009

Friemblies: Jeff Magnum and Elephant 6

Jeff Magnum at the Knitting Factory in 1998 courtesy of Merge Records [via Pitchfork].

Jeff Magnum's disappearance is still one big ball of mystery to me. I didn't get into Neutral Milk Hotel until after Jeff stopped touring and recording, but I can see why he still has such a rabid fan base. He's the kind of performer he throws himself completely into his act. And on top of that, his affiliation with the Elephant 6 Collective puts him into that awesome-est of musical cliches that really, actually work: friends making music together. It's why, ten years later, I'm still obsessed with David Bazan, Damien Jurado, Rosie Thomas, Sufjan Stevens and Daniel Smith, even if some of their recent material has been a bit uneven. They're not the sort to be unaffected by their music. And they don't mind handling background vocals for their peeps.

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