Neutral Milk Hotel: Ghost

By: Brad Shoup

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Posted 02/15/2006 - 04:22:52 AM by Hone_Heke:
 Hey I liked this, but that`s cos how I could not like it, like y`know? It was always Two-Headed Boy that spun my light sockets, but I`ve just been playing Ghosts over & over now. Any singer who, upon running out of lyrics, continues singing dee de de de de and aaoorrohhhh is clearly summoning up non-linguistic feelings from the pit of his soul. You`re 100% right. Thanks for the perspective. But now I`m listening to Two Headed Boy and I`m mentally back in my own car, which is the greatest place to sing a song like this at the ridiculously out of tune zenith of one`s lungs, thinking of the month I spent at JJs after moving out of my co-existence with Yoshie. This gets one thru the dark times just like that Okkervil River guy said.
Posted 02/15/2006 - 08:28:31 AM by whiteboysushi:
 which Two-Headed Boy d'you mean? (as if they weren't both utterly amazing...) I do have to agree, though, that Ghost is somethin' special; the part where the horns come in still makes me feel like I've just gone over the first hill of a rollercoaster every time I hear it.
Posted 02/15/2006 - 03:48:31 PM by AKMoose:
 One my favorite NMH songs. I think, in fact, it was the first one I heard, sent to me as a .WAV or something ridiculous way back when I was twelve year-old. I remember liking it, but also being kind of weirded out because I had never heard anything that wasn't pop or a classic and was unprepared for how strange it was. Anyway, nice choice.
Posted 02/15/2006 - 05:07:00 PM by roadrunner:
 that's not my favorite neutral milk track, but is dipdip's favorite Neutral MILK track, fer sure. i'm not messin', i just rock the 2-Headed Boi far more.
Posted 02/15/2006 - 07:14:07 PM by Hone_Heke:
 yeah yeah. god this would really weird out a 12 yr old weaned on mainstream radio. it may be a cliche but my first experience with weirded out was the Violent Femmes debut. i just couldnt fathom anything so awwwwful in my teens, until the 3rd listen and like a fish taking the bait my life changed irrevocably. "Hi, my name`s Hone & I`m here to admit I`ve got a problem."
Posted 02/16/2006 - 01:57:18 AM by bassman08:
 I'm pretty sure that Holland 1945 is my favorite NMH track, but Ghost has gotta rank up there as well. Damn, now I need to put that album on...
Posted 02/16/2006 - 09:04:57 AM by whiteboysushi:
 While we're talking about weirdness... I think the first album that really weirded me out was _Emergency & I_. I heard "The Dismemberment Plan Gets Rich" on one of the local college radio stations, and as a spastic attention deficit high school geek, thought it was the greatest thing ever, so when I finally saw a Dis-Plan album at Best Buy I bought it without having heard a single track off of it. That was more musical weirdness than lyrical weirdness, though; it was really my first experience with "indie" music and the only musical reference point I had was that the last track kind of sounded like something off of _Graceland_.
Posted 02/16/2006 - 09:05:51 AM by whiteboysushi:
 hrm, I guess that was a bit off-topic... anyway, now to dust off _Aeroplane_ and see how the rest of it holds up.
Posted 02/16/2006 - 03:33:16 PM by hunky_dory:
 I'll tell you how it holds up, whiteboysushi...beatifully. Aeorplane is catharsis every time I listen to it, which is at least weekly. Holland 1945, to my mind, is the greatest song ever, and more transcendent than Ghost...the perfect mix of the corporeal and the ethereal, and time is completely immaterial.
Posted 02/17/2006 - 12:33:47 PM by danman_d:
 Sigh. THis is such a great song, and i hate to be an anal asshole, but this bugged me: "The marvel in his voice while singing of a baby falling from a skyscraper." Mangum doesn't say a *baby* fell from a skyscraper, he says, "One day in New York City, baby, a *girl* fell from the sky." Baby is not the faller, baby is who he's talking to.
Posted 02/18/2006 - 05:04:45 PM by TheBrad:
 I saw those lyrics, too, in an everything2 entry. My copy of the liners is water-damaged beyond readibility; is that what they say? Cos I've always heard "a baby girl fell".

For the longest time, I thought he was singing "morning paper".
Posted 02/19/2006 - 01:16:21 PM by whiteboysushi:
 wait, it's not "morning paper"? then what is it?
Posted 02/19/2006 - 01:29:31 PM by whiteboysushi:
 (like much of "Ghost", the portion of the song in question is mysteriously absent from the liner notes)
Posted 02/19/2006 - 01:37:55 PM by TheBrad:
 A couple people I respect have it as "morning vapor," which makes about as much sense. Maybe more, maybe less. Once I heard that, I started hearing the 'v'.
Posted 02/20/2006 - 02:45:21 AM by Hone_Heke:
 thats tickles me. last week i googled Animal Collective Feels lyrics & only found the lyrics to Grass. but they had also published the readers `version` of the lyrics & when you listened to the song while reading either version, both sounded exactly right.