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Chris Knox and a Tribute Album

October 14th 2009 00:09
Chris Knox, if you don't know, is a singer from New Zealand. He started several influential bands (most notably The Tall Dwarfs), and has released a ton of albums. Sadly, he suffered a terrible stroke on June 11 2009, but is recovering. According to the blog that his friends and family made to provide updates on his recovery, yesterday he drank his first beer since his stroke!

Chris Knox



Of course his stroke was tragic, but every cloud has a silver lining. Jay Reatard is spearheading an album (entitled Stroke) of Knox tributes. He has assembled a bunch of big names in the indie music community to contribute to the album. Will Oldham, Yo La Tengo, Lou Barlow (of Dinosaur Jr, of course), Guided By Voices, Alec Bathgate (the other member of Tall Dwarfs), Bill Callahan, and several other artists (most of which, I'll admit, I've never heard of).

But by far the hugest name on the list of contributors is Jeff Mangum--my hero. He is Neutral Milk Hotel. He hasn't released anything since 2001. Well, he's on the new Circulatory System album, Signal Morning, and Apples in Stereo's 2006 release New Magnetic Wonder but he only plays drums so who cares? This will be the first time that he really pokes his head out of the obscurity that he's been living in for the last eight years. If he actually follows through with it, that is. I kind of doubt that he will, but at the same time he has a lot of reason to be on the album, so I have hope. Mangum played his last legitimate show in New Zealand in 2001 with Knox. And that was the first show he'd played in three years. He only played it because Knox asked him to. Chris Knox is one of the only people Mangum cites as an influence. If, after seemingly disappearing for three years, he played a show with Knox just because he asked him to, there is considerable hope he will finally record a song in order to benefit Knox.


Neutral Milk Hotel
Neutral Milk Hotel, Jeff Mangum, far left


There is no release date yet for the album, but assuming Jeff Mangum is on it, it should sell pretty well. And I think everyone who has ever even heard of Chris Knox is praying he makes a full recovery. I know I am.
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Comment by Mr. Bean II

November 12th 2009 03:29
=[ Pitchfork just reported today that the album will be released on Nov. 16 in New Zealand, and Feb. 2010 in the U.S. They also reported that my fears were confirmed. "Reclusive Neutral Milk Hotel leader Jeff Mangum, who was previously slated to participate, did not contribute."

I'm always one to look on the bright side of things, so maybe this means Mangum is so focused on writing his own new album that he didn't have time to record a song for Chris Knox. I can dream...

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