But Fogel found that by stripping the album's 11 tracks of electric Salvation Army Band mayhem down to two ukuleles (played by himself and Michael Epstein of Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling and the Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library), melodica (the Boston-based Josh Cohen of Golden Bloom), trumpet (the Future Everybody's Matt Girard), and a snare drum (Golden Bloom's Andrew Aubacher), he could, uh, milk a sing-along/campfire vibe out of Aeroplane's often cacophonous and emotionally high-pitched songs. And people who never heard the music performed live got the chance to experience the album in a different sonic way — in a fun and refreshingly unsnobby way. "It wasn't even [as much] about the ukulele itself as it was about stripping down the songs as much as possible," says Fogel. "What's great about a ukulele is that it has only four strings — it's a really, really narrow harmonic range. So when you play a chord, all the notes are really close to one another. It's a great way of stripping down a song to its barest essence."

The irony is that Jeff Mangum recently came out of hiding to announce his first string of solo shows in years — one of them in September at New England Conservatory. Even though his famous record was made only 12 years ago, it is already being treated like public domain.

NEUTRAL UKE HOTELGOLDEN BLOOM + MICHAEL J. EPSTEIN MEMORIAL LIBRARY + ROCKI ROCK | Brighton Music Hall, 158 Brighton Ave, Allston | April 20 @ 6 pm | $10 | 617.779.0140

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  Topics: Music Features , Neutral Uke Hotel, Brighton Music Hall, Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library
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