Tag Archives: jeff mangum

Chad VanGaalen “Shrink Dust”

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Chad VanGaalen

Shrink Dust

[Sub-Pop; 2014]

Rating: 7.5

Chad VanGaalen should probably be one of the biggest indie music artists out there today. Over the past ten years he has released five solid albums of his signature psychedelic, folk-scapes. Van Gaalen isn’t some little artist hidden on an obscure record label; all of his work has been released by SubPop, the same label that carries indie heavyweights like Fleet Foxes, Beach House, and The Shins.

Yet when I bring his name up to other fans of underground music, it often results in quizzical looks. Yes, his songs are filled with grotesque imagery and off-kilter story-lines that may appall the masses, but that same recipe once gave Jeff Mangum and his band Neutral Milk Hotel legendary status.

VanGaalen’s talent as a songwriter is matched by his artistic integrity. All of his albums have been recorded in his garage with VanGaalen doing most of the production and instrumentation. He does all the artwork on his album covers, and he even goes so far as to create all of his music videos as well. Obviously SubPop recognizes this genius amongst us by allowing him to do pretty much whatever he wants with his music, but why hasn’t the rest of the music world wisened up to this brilliance?

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Audio Clip of the Week: Jeff Mangum Surprise Show

Instead a video clip of the week, I’m going to post an “audio clip” of the week in leu of Jeff Mangum’s surprise show last night in Brooklyn.  Since his band Neutral Milk Hotel went on hiatus over ten years ago, Mangum has made sporadic appearances either playing a song or two with an Elephant 6 band, or billing himself as World of Wild Beards Incorporated.  Last night’s last minute show furthers the mysterious legend of this indie cult icon, and based off the audio provided by InternationalTapes.com, it turned out to be a pretty incredible show.


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