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NMH Definitive Discography pt. 4:
Related Bands / Guest Appearances

(listed in no particular order)

A Hawk and a Hacksaw
Release Date: 2002
Label: Cloud Recordings
Format: CD (cat# 002)
Availability: in print (Midheaven Mailorder, Amazon)
Comments: The current project of Jeremy Barnes. This album is an atmospheric disc of mostly instrumental, folky piano compositions supplemented with bells, voices, accordion, trumpet, and other accoutrements from the usual Elephant 6 gang of contributors, including Barnes' Neutral Milk Hotel bandmates Jeff Mangum and Scott Spillane, the Olivia Tremor Control/Circulatory System's Eric Harris and John Fernandes, and Of Montreal's Derek Almstead. For more visit
Jeremy has also released solo music under the name Marta Tennae, with a track on the Japanese compilation U.S. Pop Life vol. 10 - Athens Experimental (January 2001) and a self-released a limited edition CD-R recording entitled Excerpts from a Janitor's Almanac (April 2001).


A Hawk and a Hacksaw - Darkness At Noon
Release Date: March 28, 2005
Label: Leaf
Format: CD and LP (cat# BAY43)
Availability: in print (Midheaven Mailorder, posteverything, Amazon)
Comments: Jeremy Barnes returns with another ecclectic collection of songs. To quote Midheaven Mailorder, "A reverential madman, he drops an impassioned bomb on traditional structures, mines through the wreckage and reassembles pieces with the attentive care given to holy relics. AHAAH doesn't break from musical history as much as sing its essential values in wholly new forms." Again, Jeff Mangum makes a guest appearance.


A Hawk and a Hacksaw - Way the Wind Blows
Release Date: October 9, 2006 (UK), October 17, 2006 (US)
Label: Leaf
Format: CD and LP
Availability: in print (Amazon)
Comments: Jeremy Barnes returns with another ecclectic collection of songs.
A Hawk and a Hacksaw & the Hun Hangar Ensemble was released on June 5, 2007. (Amazon)


Bablicon - In A Different City
Release Date: Aug. 1999
Label: Misra, Pickled Egg
Format: CD and LP (cat# MISRA 001 and EGG 13)
Availability: in print (Orange Twin, Amazon)
Comments: Bablicon was formed in Chicago in 1996 by The Diminisher (Dave McDonnell), Marta Tennae (Jeremy Barnes), and Blue Hawaii (Griffin Rodriguez). Each member of the trio plays an arsenal of instruments. In A Different City, their first album, has both material which is highly composed and wholly improvised. It was recorded by the band in an abandoned machine shop. The roar of Chicago's elevated train (whose tracks ran only a few feet away from the shop's walls) continually interrupted the proceedings.
Bablicon also released an EP called The Orange Tapered Moon (2000) and a second full-length called A Flat Inside a Fog: The Cat That Was a Dog (2001). There's also a 7" single for the track "Chunks Of Syrup Amidst Plain Yoghurt" (August 1999), and they have a song on the Japanese compilation U.S. Pop Life vol. 10 - Athens Experimental (January 2001).


Black Swan Network - Late Music, Vol. 1
Release Date: August 4, 1997
Label: Camera Obscura
Format: CD (cat# 3)
Availability: out of print
Comments: The first and only full-length release by the Olivia Tremor Control's alter egos the Black Swan Network (following an EP credited to both bands earlier in 1997), the album sounds almost nothing like the quirky but accessible psychedelic pop of OTC. The seven lengthy untitled tracks are based on tapes sent in by listeners of the Olivia Tremor Control's debut album, Dusk at Cubist Castle, describing their dreams. However, the tapes have been manipulated to the point where, for the most part, the spoken word parts are unidentifiable, and only occasionally recognizable as speech. Similarly, only on rare occasions are instruments identifiable as themselves. The results, particularly on the longer pieces, can slip into formlessness at times, but not bad, as far as experimental noise goes. Both Jeff Mangum (loops) and Julian Koster (electronics) lend a hand.


Chocolate U.S.A. - All Jets Are Gonna Fall Today
Release Date: 1992
Label: Bar/None
Format: CD and cassette (cat# 26)
Availability: out of print (used at Amazon)
Comments: Julian Koster's band before joining NMH. Formed in 1989, they were originally called Miss America, but a lawsuit prompted them to rename the band. Described as "fun with a lot of depth behind the wackiness.... think ween/ dead milkmen/ they might be giants/ camper van beethovan," this album was originally a self-released demo cassette, but was later put out by Bar/None.
There's also a 7" single for the song "100 Feet Tall" b/w "Skateboard Heaven" that preceded this album on Bar/None. Also, the band ran a monthly tape club called "Chocolatey Good Smash Hit Of The Month Club" for several years, which gave members a new lo-fi tape of songs and stories each month.


Chocolate U.S.A. - Smoke Machine
Release Date: September 25, 1994
Label: Bar/None
Format: CD and cassette (cat# 48)
Availability: out of print (used at Amazon)
Comments: The second and final album from Chocolate USA, the band led by Julian Koster, is a more cohesive record, as opposed to their first release which was basically a collection of demos. This album also features the talents of Olivia Tremor Control members Eric Harris and Bill Doss.


Circulatory System
Release Date: August 2001
Label: Cloud Recordings
Format: CD (cat# 1)
Availability: in print (Cloud Recordings, Amazon)
Comments: Olivia Tremor Control offshoot lead by William Cullen Hart. Jeff Mangum pops up on this recording (drums and voices), as do many other Elephant 6 players, such as Julian Koster, Scott Spillane, Jeremy Barnes, Eric Harris, Laura Carter, Andrew Rieger, John Fernandes, Heather McIntosh, Pete Erchick.
There is also a CD-R from Circulatory System on Cloud Recordings called Inside Views, which is a "reanimation" of the album. Basically the same songs but in very different forms.


Curse Of The Seven Jackals (soundtrack)
Release Date: 2001
Label: Perhaps Transparent
Format: CD-R
Availability: Hard copies apparently out of print, but mp3s are available for purchase (Amazon)
Comments: Soundtrack to an underground film by Chris Jolly. Original music featuring: Laura Carter, Eric Harris, Jeff Mangum, Heather McIntosh, and Chris Jolly. Winner of Best Film at the 8th New York Underground Film Festival and Best Feature 2001 at the Chicago Underground Film Festival. Kevin Barnes of Of Montreal plays the lead role in the film. From a synopsis: "A haunting score of piano, cello and theremin helps maintain the otherworldly mood that Jolly manages to cull from his mundane sources." There are four instrumental tracks on the CD, plus some dialog bits from the movie. The CD was available for sale (CD-R copy) on the small label Perhaps Transparent for a while, but is currently available only as mp3 downloads from Amazon, I believe. The film, by the way, has not been commercially released for purchase as of yet, and might never be.


Elf Power - When the Red King Comes
Release Date: October 1997
Label: Arena Rock/Elephant 6
Format: CD (cat# 007)
Availability: in print (Amazon)
Comments: This perennial Elephant 6 band is lead by Andrew Rieger and Laura Carter. Jeff Mangum contributed to this album, the band's second, most notably singing brief backing vocals in the lovely track "The Arrow Flies Close". John and Will (The Olivia Tremor Control, The Circulatory System), Kevin Barnes (Of Montreal), Dave Wrathgeber (Fablefactory), and Julian Koster (The Music Tapes, Neutral Milk Hotel) also appear.


Elf Power - A Dream In Sound
Release Date: May 11, 1999
Label: Arena Rock Recording
Format: CD (cat# 10)
Availability: in print (Amazon)
Comments: Elf Power's third album. It was recorded by the band and Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev) over two weeks at his studio in Cassadaga, NY in the fall of 1998. It was their first real "studio" album. Some contributors include Jeff Mangum, John D'Azzo (The Gerbils), W. Cullen Hart (The Olivia Tremor Control, The Circulatory System), Scott Spillane (Neutral Milk Hotel and The Gerbils) and Dave Wrathgeber (Fablefactory). Additionally, Jeff drew the illustration that appears on the cd itself.


Elf Power - The Winter is Coming
Release Date: October 17, 2000
Label: SugarFree Records
Format: CD (cat# 21)
Availability: out of print (Amazon)
Comments: Elf Power's fourth album. It was recorded over several months at a home studio in Athens, GA with the help of producer Chris Colbert and the usual contributors including: Raleigh Hatfield, Roxanne Martin (Dixie Blood Mustache, Fablefactory), Scott Spillane (The Gerbils, Neutral Milk Hotel), Dave Wrathgeber (Fablefactory), W. Cullen Hart (The Olivia Tremor Control, The Circulatory System), and Jeff Mangum.


The Gerbils - Are You Sleepy?
Release Date: 1998
Label: Hidden Agenda
Format: CD (cat# 006)
Availability: in print (Amazon)
Comments: Band featuring, among others, Neutral Milk Hotel cohorts Scott Spillane (bass, guitar, vocals) and Jeremy Barnes (drums, vocals). This album features the track "Glue", which has been performed/covered by Neutral Milk Hotel.


The Gerbils - The Battle of Electricity
Release Date: 2001
Label: Orange Twin
Format: CD (cat# OT-006)
Availability: in print (Orange Twin, Amazon)
Comments: Another release from the band lead by Scott Spillane and John D'Azzo. Also featured are William Westbrook, Eric Harris, Bill Doss, Heather McIntosh, Kevin Barnes, Pete Erchick, and Jeremy Barnes.

The Gerbils have also put out a few 7" singles and compilation tracks. For more info, visit


The Instruments - Billions of Phonographs
Release Date: October 1, 2002
Label: Orange Twin
Format: CD (cat# OT-010)
Availability: in print (Orange Twin, Amazon)
Comments: Somewhat of a solo album from Heather McIntosh, cellist for Japancakes and Circulatory System. It's been described as a beautiful and brilliant record of entrancing folk melodies and orchestration. Contributors to the album include Jeff Mangum (vocal harmonies), Will Hart (drums and vocal harmonies), Julian Koster (singing saw), and Laura Carter (clarinet, accordion, vocals), to name a few.


Major Organ and the Adding Machine
Release Date: June 18, 2001
Label: Orange Twin
Format: CD (cat# OT002) and LP (cat#  SODY031)
Availability: in print (Orange Twin, Merge, Amazon). Vinyl also in print, released October 2005 by Isota Records.
Comments: Insane, surreal, often annoying psych from this Elephant 6 assembly. Jeff Mangum contributes some vocals and whatnot. The mysterious Major Organ is the apparent leader of this project, though some have speculated he is in fact a pseudonym for Mr. Mangum, or at the very least, a revolving pseudonym Jeff has had a turn as. Other contributors featured include Julian Koster (Music Tapes, Neutral Milk Hotel), Eric Harris (Olivia Tremor Control), Will Cullen Hart (The Circulatory System, The Olivia Tremor Control), Andrew Rieger (Elf Power), and Kevin Barnes (Of Montreal).
For more info, visit


The Music Tapes - 1st Imaginary Symphony For Nomad
Release Date: July 6, 1999
Label: Merge
Format: CD and LP (cat# MRG158)
Availability: in print (Merge, Amazon)
Comments: Julian Koster's (Neutral Milk Hotel) conceptual pop project involving TV's from outer space, offing your parents, and other youthful concerns...part tape collage/musique concrete pop-art experiment, part Beach Boys song-cycle. An 1895 Edison wax cylinder recorder, a wire recorder from the '40s, and reel-to-reel and cassette tapes were used to record the album. Recording took 4 years and was done mostly at home and at the home of Grandmother of Music Tapes (Julian's grandmother's house in Long Island, NY). Additional recording was done on state of the art hard drive. The album was compressed and E.Q.'d using the original EMI desk and limiter at Abbey Road studios in London. Also contributing to the record was The Elephant Six Orchestra, Eric Harris (The Olivia Tremor Control, Chocolate USA), Andy Gonzales ( Marshmallow Coast, Of Montreal), Robert Carter, W. Cullen Hart (The Olivia Tremor Control, Circulatory System), Brian Dewan, Jeff Mangum (Neutral Milk Hotel, Circulatory System), Scott Spillane (Neutral Milk Hotel, The Gerbils), and the school kids who used to buy pretzels from Julian when he was a pretzel seller in Union Square Park, NYC. A supplemental comic book is also included with the CD.
The Music Tapes have also put out a couple 7" singles and a few compilation tracks. For more info, visit
A followup LP, The 2nd Imaginary Symphony for Cloudmaking, was recorded, but has yet to see proper release. You can find it online. Jeff Mangum is again listed amongst the contributors. It's a story with music by Julian and his group The Music Tapes, narrated by Brian Dewan accompanied by bowed banjos, singing saws, and sound effects. It's a strange and lovely tale for all ages.


Of Montreal - The Gay Parade
Release Date: February 16, 1999
Label: Bar/None
Format: CD (cat# 105)
Availability: in print (Amazon)
Comments: Jeff Mangum is credited on this album with "holding hands while jumping on the furnace." Among the many other contributors to this album are Scott Spillane, Jeremy Barnes, Laura Carter, Andrew Rieger, John Fernandes, Heather McIntosh, Pete Erchick, and John Dazzo.
Jeff is also listed in the credits for the 2003 Of Montreal release Then Who Will Protect Big Oil, while Jeremy and Scott also guest on 2002's Aldhil's Arboretum.


The Olivia Tremor Control - Singles & Beyond
Release Date: August 8, 2000
Label: Emperor Norton / Kindercore
Format: CD and LP
Availability: out of print (Amazon)
Comments: OTC's original line-up was childhood friends Bill Doss, Will Cullen Hart, and Jeff Mangum. As this trio, the band released their debut vinyl EP, California Demise, on the Elephant 6 label in 1994. Shortly after, Jeff left the band to concentrate his efforts on NMH, though he returned several times throughout the band's existence to lend his talents, both in studio and on stage. While the original EP is long out of print, the Singles & Beyond CD compiles the songs, along with several other rare tracks from the band. Jeff pops up on some of the other tracks as well, notably faint backing vocals on "Fireplace".


The Olivia Tremor Control - Music From The Unrealized Film Script "Dusk At Cubist Castle"
Release Date: 1996 (2004 reissue)
Label: Flydaddy (US), Blue Rose (UK), Cloud Recordings (reissue)
Format: CD and LP
Availability: in print (Cloud Recordings, Amazon)
Comments: Psychedelic opus in the vein of the late '60s output of the Beatles and Beach Boys. Guest contributors include Jeff Mangum (Piano, Vocals, Melodica, Chant, Slide Guitar), Julian Koster (Guitar, Saw, Mallets), and Robert Schneider (Bass, Vocals, Melodica, Producer, Engineer, Tibetan Bowls).


The Olivia Tremor Control - Black Foliage: Animation Music volume 1
Release Date: 1999 (2004 reissue)
Label: Flydaddy, Cloud Recordings (reissue)
Format: CD and LP
Availability: in print (Cloud Recordings, Amazon)
Comments: Another OTC release featuring Jeff Mangum as a contributor, notably supplying some vocals on "I Have Been Floated". Was out of print for a while, but recently re-released on Cloud Recordings, run by former OTC members John Fernandes and William Cullen Hart.


Orange Twin Field Works - Vol. 1
Release Date: June 18, 2001
Label: Orange Twin
Format: CD (cat# OT-003)
Availability: in print (Orange Twin, Merge, Amazon)
Comments: A cinematic collage of music recorded and edited by Jeff Mangum, though he does not perform on the recording. Includes 6 panel poster. There are no liner notes or track separations. This is a recording on the way to, from, and at the Koprivshtitsa Festival of 2000 in Bulgaria. As a field recording, it's is a bit different because you can hear the mood of the festival here and there... horns from the street, people participating. Songs flow in and out of each other due to some deft editing, so it's not one stage-recorded snippet after another. The songs are great quality and represent some of the region's most beautiful sounds... "flat" Balkan-style folk singing, bells and bagpipes, accordions, unusual strings and percussion and Turk-sounding wind instruments, 7/8 and 9/8 time signatures. You get Indian gamelan, mussette accordion, vocal choruses, foreign tongue talking, and psychedelic bagpipes all in one trippy 33 minute track.
For more info, visit:


Pipes You See, Pipes You Don't - Individualized Shirts
Release Date: July 4, 2001 (reissued June 3, 2003)
Label: Cloud (reissued by Orange Twin)
Format: CD (cat# 16)
Availability: in print (Orange Twin, Amazon, pipesyousee)
Comments: Project led by Pete Erchick (Olivia Tremor Control), joined by a roster of friends, including Jeff Mangum [drums], Eric Harris [drums, accompaniment], Will Cullen Hart [drums, voices, sounds], John Fernandes [violin], Heather McIntosh [cello], and Scott Spillane [guitar, trumpet].


St. Thomas - Hey Harmony
Release Date: 2003
Label: City Slang
Format: CD
Availability: in print (Amazon)
Comments: Norway's favorite alt-country singer St. Thomas' 2003 album features both Jeremy Barnes and Scott Spillane. It's produced by Mark Nevers from Lambchop. Reissued on the Racing Junior label in 2004.


Tall Dwarfs - The Sky Above, The Mud Below
Release Date: February 11, 2003
Label: Carrot Top
Format: CD (cat# 31)
Availability: in print (Amazon)
Comments: The Tall Dwarfs, formed in 1979 by singers/songwriters Chris Knox and Alec Bathgate, are pioneers of the lo-fi aesthetic and towering figures of the New Zealand pop music scene. What should especially interest NMH fans about this recording is the involvement of Jeff Mangum on two songs, "Possum Born" (a crazy freak-out) and "Over the Waves" (an almost Aeroplane-esque tune). In addition to co-writing the pair, Jeff contributes backing vocals and acoustic guitar to the latter. Sometime NMH member Laura Carter also performs on the album.


Thimble Circus - Lullaby For Worriers
Release Date: February 2003
Label: self-released
Format: CD
Availability: in print (Orange Twin)
Comments: Thimble Circus is the recording project of Jill Carnes. She has toured with The Music Tapes where she was accompanied onstage by Eric Harris (The Olivia Tremor Control, The Music Tapes). She also contributed to Of Montreal's Coquelicot Asleep in the Poppies album on the track "The Events Leading Up to the Collapse of Detective Dullight." Not only a musician, Jill is also a visual artist. She designed the artwork for the UK version of Neutral Milk Hotel's On Avery Island album. In 2001, she completed the recordings for this, her first album. It features guest appearances by Jeff Mangum (Neutral Milk Hotel), Scott Spillane (The Gerbils, Neutral Milk Hotel), Peter Erchick (Pipes You See, Pipes You Don't, The Circulatory System), Heather McIntosh (The Circulatory System, The Instruments). An album of fun and playful songs featuring toy piano and ukelele, Lullaby for Worriers was self-released in February 2003.


Various Artists - Christmas in Stereo
Release Date: November 1997
Label: Kindercore Records
Format: CD (cat# KC 018)
Availability: out of print? (Japanese import version available from Amazon)
Comments: Jeff Mangum and Julian Koster recorded a version of Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World" for inclusion on this CD under the moniker Major Organ and the Adding Machine, years before the name was used for the Orange Twin album mentioned above. I've heard that Jill Carnes (from Thimble Circus) handles most of the vocals on this track.


Other albums Scott Spillane has played on:
The Apples in Stereo - Her Wallpaper Reverie (2002) [Flugelhorn]
Five-Eight - Good Nurse (2000) [Euphonium, Flugelhorn, Bugle]
Great Lakes - Great Lakes (2000)
Great Lakes - Distance Between (2002) [Trumpet]
Je Suis France - Fantastic Area (2003) [Sound Effects]
Of Montreal - Coquelicot Asleep in the Poppies: A Variety of Whimsical Verse (2001) [Trumpet]
Of Montreal - Aldhils Arboretum (2002) [Horn]
Princeton Reverbs Colonial - Ring the Pair-A-Bells (2002) [Voices]
The Sunshine Fix - Future History of a Sunshine Fix (2000) [Guitar, Trombone, Trumpet, Vocals, Loops]
Various Artists - Happy Happy Birthday to Me, Vol. 2 (2001) [Scott contributes a song called "Angels Wings Will Carry Me"]

Other albums Julian Koster has played on:
Elf Power - Vainly Clutching at Phantom Limbs (1995) [Moog Synthesizer]
Elk City - Sea Is Fierce (2001) [Saw]
Fablefactory - American Custard (1999) [Moog Synthesizer]
Masters of the Hemisphere - Masters of the Hemisphere (1999)
Of Montreal - Coquelicot Asleep in the Poppies: A Variety of Whimsical Verse (2001) [Accordion, Vocals]
They Might Be Giants - Factory Showroom (1996) [Saw, Singing Saw]
They Might Be Giants - Dial-A-Song: 20 Years of They Might Be Giants (2002) [Singing Saw]
Various Artists - Serotonin Ronin (1998) [Electronics]

Other albums Jeremy Barnes has played on:
Bright Eyes - Letting Off the Happiness (1998) [Percussion, Drums, Sound Effects]
Now It's Overhead - Now It's Overhead (2001) [Percussion]
Alan Jenkins (The Thurston Lava Tube) - Free Surf Music #3 (2001) [Drums]
Of Montreal - Aldhils Arboretum (2002) [Handclapping]
Broadcast - played drums with them on a tour
Guignol - Angela, David and the Neopolitan Road Issue (2003)
Beirut - Gulag Orkestar (2006)

And lastly, I should mention Robert Schneider, an important contributor to both Avery Island and Aeroplane, and Elephant 6 in general, has a band called the Apples In Stereo who have put out several great albums. Jeff plays on some of them (though you can't really tell by listening). For more info, visit

See also: the musical adventures of Jeff Mangum - The Carrot Flower Kingdom
nmh releases // compilations // misc. / other // related / guest // gigography // bootography // song index // news // everything else // links