Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thank You, Good Night: Part 1: Neutral Uke Hotel

"Thank You, Good Night" takes a birds eye view of what it's like for a band to play a show that can only described as a pinnacle experience for the band themselves. It only seemed appropriate Shawn Fogel of Golden Bloom and now his side project, Neutral Uke Hotel, would kick off the inaugural post. Some may call it blasphemous (hint: read tomorrow's post to find out who) to recreate Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea in it's entirety. Even if it is in a live setting, in a space which only holds 60 people. Ourselves, we call it sheer poetry. This is what Fogel said of the experience: 

Neutral Uke Hotel at the Center for Arts at the Armory, Somerville, MA (Friday, May 7th, 2010)

"I've been playing music for almost 20 years (if you can count blowing into a recorder in third grade as music), and I've been playing my own songs in bands for about 10 years now. In that time I've played well over 200 shows, and I've never felt a stronger connection to both the music and the audience than I did during my first performance of "Neutral Uke Hotel" at The Armory in Somerville, MA.

The room only holds about 60 people. Every single person there had some kind of deep attachment with Neutral Milk Hotel's music, that album in particular. During Daniel Harris' opening set the audience was mesmerized and silent, so I made a point of inviting people to sing and clap along during our set. The whole point of this project for me is to get people who are in love with In the Aeroplane Over the Sea together in one room to share that love."

"After inviting the crowd to not hold back we dove into the album, and I consciously didn't say a word in between songs, to preserve the flow of the album. During that whole set I felt something I'd never felt before. I felt just as connected to the music as the audience did. Rather than the normal distinction between performer and fans, we were all fans that night. The experiment worked! That same spark I've felt every time I meet someone who shares my love of NMH was multiplied exponentially, the room was virtually glowing. I'm not embarrassed to say that I actually got choked up for a moment during the set. It was while we were playing the album's title track. As the words 'what a beautiful face I have found in this place' came out of my mouth, I realized that statement had never rang so true."

NXNE just confirmed both Golden Bloom and Neutral Uke Hotel showcases during the festival. Neutral Uke Hotel will perform Friday night, June 18th at the Painted Lady and Golden Bloom will perform Saturday night, June 19th at Czehoski.

Neutral Uke Hotel Facebook
Golden Bloom Facebook

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