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The Colbert Bump

February 1, 2010

Randall Roberts, LA Weekly

Buried in the middle of an LA Weekly piece about the Grammys, in a list of backstage highlights, is this:

Steven Colbert giving a shoutout to Neutral Milk Hotel, which he did first in the TV press room (as opposed to the print press room next door) when asked about what music he listens to. After he left the TV room, he arrived in print, and we followed up, asking him if he’d ever invited reclusive NMH founder Jeff Magnum Mangum onto the Colbert Show. No, he said, but when Apples in Stereo performed, Mangum came along as part of their entourage. Colbert was the only person to recognize him. (We didn’t get the exact quote, we’re embarrassed to say, because we were so shell-shocked from talking to Colbert that we forgot to write it down.)

Colbert is a noted E6 fan. As alluded in the quote, he’s had the Apples in Stereo on, as well as Apples frontman and E6 co-founder Robert Schneider performing solo (with Schneider, the admiration is reciprocal). I’ve also heard that, during commercial breaks on The Colbert Report, they often play music over the PA, and it’s not uncommon for Neutral Milk Hotel to be played. Colbert even sings along sometimes. So this is not breaking news, although it’s always good to hear.

It also gives me another impetus to track him down for an interview for the book. He doesn’t do a ton of press, which could be because he’s busy, because he doesn’t like it, or for any number of other reasons. Regardless, I’m having a lot of trouble getting to him. His publicist isn’t budging. But I’m going to keep trying.

From a commercial standpoint, it would obviously be great to have Colbert in the book somewhere, but even more, he’s obviously an incredibly smart guy, and I’m sure he’d have something interesting to say. And who knows?; maybe I could convince him to write a foreword, or better yet, bring me on his show for that sought after Colbert Bump.

A man can dream.

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