Neutral Milk Hotel’s shy, retiring flower Jeff Mangum has poked his delicate tendrils out of the soil a few times of late, though they’ve almost always been at places you had to know someone who knows someone to hear about it. But this time it’s right out there in the open: Mangum will be the “very special guest” on the first day of the Portishead/All Tomorrow’s Parties-curated festival I’ll Be Your Mirror, which takes place at New Jersey’s Asbury Park from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2. Get him! Get him!
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Jeff Mangum show without some caveats: According to the rules this year, only those who purchase three-day passes (and really believe) can see Mangum play that Friday, but the good news is that Portishead will also headline both of the other nights, presumably warming up for its promised split-headlining tour with Arcade Fire later this year. And the other performers booked so far include Shellac, Chavez, The Album Leaf, and Cults, with more to come—so it’s not like you’d be wasting your money. Alternately, you could skip the festival entirely and see Mangum play that Monday, Oct. 3, at the Paramount Theatre for just $35, provided you can get a ticket when they go on sale this Friday. And yes, the press release promises that Mangum will perform Neutral Milk Hotel songs—most likely similar to that surprise set he played back in December. Baby steps into the world, baby steps.