Update: Jeff Mangum Returns?

Update: Jeff Mangum Returns?

SEE UPDATE AT BOTTOM OF STORY

Late Sunday night, a mysterious post appeared on E6 Townhall, the Elephant 6 message board. Credited to a poster named "Nigh" and written under the subject heading "news and fish and meaningful messages." Here is what it said:

"hello again.

"for the past few months ive been putting together the pieces of everything ive written in the past three years and its been a revelation. whenever i had the time ive been writing melodies and keeping them in my head for later, and songs just accumulate, im not waiting as some have said. i still dont know how we're going to put it all together, the songs will have more noises and collages in them. because of that we dont know whether this will be korena pang or neutral milk hotel or michael bolton but that doesnt really matter. names are just a box we put things in to separate them, and we're figuring out what box these songs go in.

"we dont have a timetable for releasing the album yet, so dont get your hopes up for new songs now. if you want more "aeroplane" just ignore all of this, the songs are songs but they're longer and more free. when jeremy came down after his tour we just spent days playing noise while screaming and it was incredibly liberating.

"it has been so much fun that we will for sure be playing a show or two, probably more. freedom is a wonderful thing but at a certain point you need the routines of normal life. ive had that for a while but i realized last year at the show with the livys that the best sort of normal ive ever had was on the road with my friends. getting to gigs late with cars coughing and trombones smacking on doors, the giant egg leaks over the masses, the yolk sustains us, we eat whites for days. it can never be the same but i need to get as close as i can to that again.

"so thats all. everything is happening soon, this is the year.

thanks for listening. jeff."

Could it be? Jeff Mangum, arguably indie rock's most elusive character, announcing his return to the spotlight? Or just an elaborate hoax?

Well, according to Kelly Ruberto from Cloud Recordings, it is not a joke. Jeff Mangum really did write that.

John Fernandes of Olivia Tremor Control ("the livys"), Circulatory System, and Cloud Recordings, had only this to say:

"Sounds like him, but you never know, probably is."

Holy shit.

However, according to Robert Schneider, Apples in Stereo frontman and Mangum's close friend, Mangum confirmed via email that he did NOT author the post.

Schneider posted the following on E6 Townhall today:

"dear friends--

"i had not commented on this thread because i wanted to hear back from jeff mangum directly about it-- i sent jeff an email quoting the initial post on this thread yesterday, and he just replied:

'hello robert-i am sorry to inform you that this is not my post. could you please inform the good people on the e6 list that this is not my writing? thank you robert. much love-j'

"this came directly to my email from jeff's email account-- the post attributed to him is 100% FALSE, sorry to bear the disappointing news-- it was a very beautifully written fake post!

"you are all beautiful and brilliant kids, it would do the whole world a great deal of good if you took all this great energy and excitementyou have been passing around here, rolled it up with your anger and disappointment into a big wonderful pissed-off ball, and recorded a bunch of kickass songs!!! please go right now and make something special, do something great, retaliate against the mediocrity that engulfs us!!

"don't just do it for me, or jeff, or elephant 6 (although it would please us all immensely) do it because the world needs it!!

love,
robert schneider"

Pitchfork spoke to Schneider on the phone just a few minutes ago, and he confirmed that his post’s contents were all true. "It didn’t sound like his writing style because, for instance, it closed with the words 'thanks for listening,’ which is a phrase that I’ve always used on Elephant 6 literature, not Jeff. It was kind of my little catchphrase,” Schneider said.

He added, "I wish it were true!"

So do we, Robert. So do we.

While we had him on the horn, we asked Schneider about the new Apples in Stereo album. He said that he'd been working on the record for the past 10 months, and that he’s headed to Brooklyn soon to mix it.

Schneider had mentioned earlier that the infamous email exchange with Mangum had also included a discussion about "Apples stuff," so we asked if Mangum had any involvement in the creation of the new album. But all that Schneider would say is "I don't want to comment on the making of the record until it’s done."

Posted by Amy Phillips on Wed, Jun 28, 2006 at 7:00am