You can't always get Thom Yorke, Occupy Wall Street protesters, but if you try sometimes, you might find — you get Jeff Mangum. Coming right on the heels of last Friday's Radiohead hoax, Neutral Milk Hotel's famously reclusive lead singer made an appearance at Occupy Wall Street, playing an eight-song acoustic set for the protesters gathered at Zuccotti Park.
The demure Mangum began his impromptu concert at 10 p.m. with a cover of The Minutemen's "Themselves." As reported by You Ain't No Picasso, the singer then turned his talents over to his rapt audience, saying, "I'm here to serve you. What do you want to hear?" From there, Mangum moved his way through Neutral Milk Hotel's greatest hits (i.e, the songs that still make me cry when I am drunk and alone in my bedroom), playing the indie-rock anthems "Holland, 1945" and "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea". The rag-tag show ended with "Oh Comely," leading to a poignant climax in which the crowds gathered around the singer erupted with passionate fervor at the line "we know who our enemies are."
Yet the most exciting moment of the night came when Mangum dropped the news that many NMH fans have been waiting to hear for years — when asked what he thought about the grassroots protest, the singer declined to comment since he's planning to write something about it soon. Fighting financial greed and killing me softly with your beautiful songs — Jeff Mangum, you are such a cool dude.
"Song Against Sex"
"Two Headed Boy, Pt. 2"
"In the Aeroplane Over the Sea"
"King of Carrot Flowers"