Indie icons return
2013 has been a banner year for the return of eccentric geniuses. In February, My Bloody Valentine finally released their third studio album, “m b v,” a record that’s been in the works since Kevin Shields and his shoegazer bandmates signed with Island Records in 1992. Following their ’91 release, “Loveless” (named one of the 500 Greatest Albums of all Time by “Rolling Stone”), the lead singer “went crazy” and retreated from the public eye. Shields’s Salingeresque withdrawal lead fans to rabidly speculate on the troves of unreleased material he was hoarding. My Bloody Valentine reunited in 2008, but their current fall tour is the first to feature new material in more than a decade.
Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Mangum is another brilliant musician who suffered a nervous breakdown due to media scrutiny. “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” wasn’t an immediate financial success, but is now considered one of the most influential indie albums of all time, inspiring the likes of Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, and The Decemberists. Neutral Milk Hotel disbanded in 1999, but announced their return to touring in April.