Jeff Mangum grew up in Ruston, Louisiana, with Robert Schneider, Bill Doss and Will Cullen Hart. In 1991, the four friends founded the Elephant 6 Recording Company — here in Denver, actually. The collective was influential because of its core bands: the Apples in Stereo, Olivia Tremor Control and Mangum's own Neutral Milk Hotel, which infused indie pop with strands of '60s garage rock, the Beatles and sheer enthusiasm. The rich imagination and vibrant poetry of the bands' music resonated deeply with anyone wanting to hear songs that articulated complex emotions while staying upbeat and catchy. Since its release in 1998, Mangum's enduring classic, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, has been very much a part of the DNA of all of the truly interesting modern psych pop.