Well, these are things I was thinking about, anyway, when Neutral Milk Hotel and Elf Power played the Tower Theater last night. Oh geez, it’s a thousand words. Facial hair comes up a lot.
1. Wow. Look at that. The for-real and expanded lineup of NMH is playing again, right before my eyes. And they sound good. Not a note-perfect rendition of the records — each note of which is seared into my brain — but full, booming, glorious. The opened with “Holland, 1945.” Chills. Seriously. [Correction: They opened with "Two-Headed Boy" and "The Fool." I guess I remembered it wrong. Thanks commenter!]
2. Nice. It’s the motherfucker with the Amish Leprechaun Lincoln goat beard. It’s white now, but the dude is still rocking it. That bastard is all kinds of cool, and a killer horn player.
3. Jeff Mangum sounds good. Like a raspy, grizzled old angel.
4. Is Mangum wearing a fake beard? It’s hard to tell. Most of his face is consumed by shadow, thanks to a tightly affixed Castro ballcap.
On Friday night, the Electric Factory felt like Two Street on New Year's Day. Icy drinks sloshed around in plastic cups. Pixies fans wrapped their arms around each others' shoulders and hung on as if they hadn't seen each other in years.