13 February 2008

But for now we are young let us lay in the sun and count every beautiful thing we can see

Ten years. February 10, 1998, was the original release date of Neutral Milk Hotel's In An Aeroplane Over the Sea. Here's a couple of good articles lamenting what this record has done for music.
I didn't discover this record until about five years after the release, but it doesn't really matter. I had heard it a few times in college and knew of its existence, but it wasn't until I was traveling to Indiana one Christmas to visit the folks with a spindle of CD's and a Discman in my carry-on. (Wow, remember traveling with a spindle of CD's?)
Driving out to the homestead from Indy, I slipped this in my rental car CD player somewhere on that stretch of 67 between Mooresville and Martinsville and then started it over again as I rolled through Bloomington, surveying the city I'd left only a couple years earlier.
Traveling to Indiana is always an emotional journey for me anyway, and something about this album just clicked as I plowed through the winter darkness in my rented Ford Focus, revisiting places I was glad to leave, but still a little homesick for.
I definitely didn't know that a couple years later the title track of the album would be considered an "our song" which is really kinda weird after you understand that its a meditation on Anne Frank's diary, but it really works for us, so that's all that matters, no matter how weird.
This album even bridged the gap between myself and a cow-orker that I know is about as right-wing Jesus freak as they come. (He drives the VW bus covered in hateful right-winger bumper stickers that I refer to as the "Hate Machine,".) I was blasting this album on Monday afternoon as he was leaving the building and he stopped to talk about how much this album meant to him. Everyone seems to have a story about the first time they really listened to it. That says a lot about it, striking up conversation between the socialist fag and the uber right-wing bible beater who have avoided each other for the past year and a half. Thank you Neutral Milk Hotel.


JT said...

Wow, I had no idea that album was 10 years old. Hard to believe it was already 5 years old when I stumbled onto it. It is definitely one of those albums that I can't get enough of and am always pleased when I discover someone else who is aware of its wonderful existence.

Slammin' Sam said...

i only have "on avery island" and had no idea they had another album. luckily the library has it and i will be listening to it in a week or so...

Slammin' Sam said...

i just picked it up from the library and am on my second listen. i can't believe i've never heard it before. i'm sad for me of the past, but happy now!