Released in 1998 — not coincidentally, about the time Gen Y was hitting 18 — Aeroplane’s un-self-conscious poetry was immediately recognized as an antidote (even when we hadn’t been looking for one) to the quotation-mark-laden Matador catalog, featuring the plausibly deniable plaints of Pavement, Guided By Voices, et. al. These bands were smart, clever, and knowing. Mangum, on the other hand, was smart, guileless, and unknowable. Aeroplane is an album Dave Eggers wished he could have written, if he hadn’t been back there with me — and others — on the other side of the dividing line.
In today’s column: In the Aeroplane over the Sea, revisited.