by David Mendez
Following Jeff Mangum's Rialto show in March, Neutral Milk Hotel has announced that they're bringing the band back together for a reunion tour.
So far, no Tucson dates have been confirmed, though considering how vehement NMH fans are about defending their band's honor, they may want to consider playing here—if only because there appear to be people champing at the bit to see them in person, regardless of how poorly received Mangum's show was by Weekly writer Joshua Levine—or how poorly received his review was. A taste of that review [emphasis added]:
The recent announcement of Neutral Milk Hotel's upcoming fall reunion tour revealed Jeff Mangum to be a crass businessman, expanding his profit margin by selling out his fans. If he were Britney Spears doing a comeback tour, the scenario would be perfectly logical. But Mangum is not a pop singer; he is an artiste whose music changed and shaped many lives under the guise of honesty and integrity. He desecrated his own parables by turning his work into a 45-minute advertisement for his upcoming Neutral Milk Hotel tour. If he needed the money, he could have licensed his songs for Target or Volkswagen commercials. But he didn't. He disrespectfully pimped out his music to the people to whom it holds untold worth, belittling his audience and reducing them to common johns, impersonally serviced in place of the implicit promise of enlightenment.
That line drew a heated response from a number of people who were all-too-willing to jump down Levine's (and the Weekly's) throat, such as TucsonWeekly.com anonymous commenter george22:
This was the first article I've read in the Weekly in quite some time. I'm glad to say I haven't missed anything. Not only does this article structure its asinine opinion around completely false information, it paints one of the most gifted songwriters of the generation in an absoulutely unnecessarily negative light. God, to let such filth be published in your magazine is inexcusable. I don't even blame the writer; shame on you Tucson Weekly.
Levine was right. You were wrong. Deal with it, haters.
For more information and updates on Neutral Milk Hotel's reunion tour, check http://www.groundcontroltouring.com/artists/neutral-milk-hotel