Last June, the New Zealand punk pioneer Chris Knox suffered a debilitating stroke; a few months later, the tribute record Stroke - Songs For Chris Knox was released. Its benefits went towards Knox's rehabilitation costs, and the record featured, among others, Yo La Tengo, Bonnie Prince Billy, The Mountain Goats, and the ever-reclusive former Neutral Milk Hotel frontman Jeff Mangum. The charity continued last night when New York's Le Poisson Rouge hosted a benefit concert for Knox, and Mangum actually appeared and played a short acoustic set - his first public set in nine years. Mangum, who's often called the most reclusive man in rock and roll, or the J.D. Salinger of rock, played five NMH songs:
A Baby for Pree
Two Headed Boy Pt. 2
In the Aeroplane over the Sea
Fan-made cell phone footage is popping up around the net today; check out this clip of Mangum playing "A Baby For Pree," off NMH's 1996 full-length, On Avery Island. It's shaky but better than nothing!
NMH fans, don't get your hopes up though. According to the concert's publicist, Mangum did the show "specifically to help raise money for his close friend and it's not the start of a comeback."
Click here to read Tom Williams of Radio Exile's review of the set.