Neutral Milk Hotel to Play the Ryman Feb. 4

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Not even the best publicist in the world could fabricate the sort of mystique that swirls around Neutral Milk Hotel frontman and founder Jeff Mangum. After the success of 1996's On Avery Island and 1998's seminal In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, the notoriously reclusive Mangum disbanded NMH and, for a long time, kept out of the spotlight — and all the while, rumors surfaced regarding what he was up to.

"I heard he's making a movie about snails." "Well, I heard he punched somebody in the face." "No way, he joined the circus. That's what I heard."

Well, whatever it was that was keeping Mangum and his Hotel out of the public eye, it's not doing so any longer. The band's original touring lineup — that's Mangum, Jeremy Barnes, Scott Spillane and Julian Koster — have recently announced a whole truckload of tour dates that will take them from Baltimore to Japan to Spain and beyond. (Good Cause Alert: A portion of all NMH's ticket sales will go to Children of the Blue Sky.) OK, so, here's the part you're skimming this post to find: Neutral Milk Hotel will play Nashville's Mother Church of Country Music, the Ryman Auditorium, on Tuesday, Feb. 4. Tickets — which will run you $36 plus service fees — go on sale this Saturday, Aug. 3, at 10 a.m. via the Ryman's site and Ticketmaster.

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