Proving that alt-folk is still cool, in 2005 Neutral Milk Hotel re-released their second album "In the airplane over the sea". Fronted by one Mr Jeff Mangum he is most definitely the first thing that stands out to anyone listening, not simply for his voice but for the words that come along with it. The music itself has a story-telling feel to it, although the stories seem to be dreamy and disillusioned - comprised of odd metaphors that occasionally add a dark element to the feel of it all.
The weird part is when you find yourself singing along to things like, "Two headed boy she is all you could need, she will feed you tomatoes and radio wires". Genius. I'm positive he's my all time favourite lyricist, even if a lot of the time I don't know what he's talking about.
Neutral Milk Hotel are known to be part of the Elephant 6 collective, which was set up by Mangum along with some of his friends, and spawned bands such as Of Montreal, Elf Power and Apples In Stereo. It was set up in the early 90's. It was Robert Schneider who set it up as a record label in late 1991 and the first release was the Tidal Wave EP - by his own band, Apples In Stereo - which came out in 1993.
HERE is an interview in 2002 with Mangum by Pitchfork.
*Note: by Kyle