It’s sort of funny this band’s bio boasts of member “Elephant 6 descendant Kiran Fernandes.” Nepo baby! Then again, how many youngish bands in Athens, Georgia can there be that don’t contain an Elephant 6 descendant or two? And why not? It’s cool that Olivia Tremor Control/Circulatory System’s John Fernandes has raised a kid who’s cool enough to be in a band like this.
Like many of their E6 forefathers, Immaterial Possession features a scrappy sense of D/I/Y ambition and dreamy psychedelia.
This is the third “single” (i.e., video) from the band’s thirteenth album. That’s crazy, right?
“All Things Combined” has an insistent sense of melancholy that reminds me a bit of Smashing Pumpkins’ “1979” with its chugging lead bassline. In a more just alternate reality, Elf Power would be half as big as those guys.
Hard to believe these Elephant Sixers have been going at it for over twenty years now. Good for them, though, as long as they keep making good psychedelic folk music like this. The video answers the age-old question: What would happen if you bring a Wubble to a baseball diamond? I’m rather shocked it didn’t just immediately pop the instant it touched the gravel.
The press release calls them “Elephant 6-affiliated folk-punks” which, I’ll admit, is enough to get my attention. I don’t remember ever hearing either of Nana Grizol’s first two records, Love It, Love It (2008) or Ruth (2010), but I like the sound of this song enough that I might have to go back and check them out. The new album, Ursa Minor, is due March 31 on Orange Twin Records.
Two Robert Schneider related posts in a row! This is his new side project with his brother-in-law. Family holidays must be blast. “Do you really want to know your mind / Want to blow your mind? / Want to grow your mind?” Yes, in fact we do! Album art by W. Cullen Hart and it even carries the Elephant 6 logo.
Robert Schneider has called Laminated Cat “the best young psychedelic band in years.” You can see why he might say that. Dude’s helium vocals probably remind him of his own, ha ha. Still, this is a nice bit of pop psych. Plus, for Elephant 6 fans, the album art was created by W. Cullen Hart and Bill Doss
There’s so much going on in this song that it can be initially overwhelming. On first listen you might think it sounds like when you’ve accidentally opened up two YouTube pages at the same time. After your second or third spin, though, the magic and the melody come shining through. Sure, “Overjoyed” sounds like it’s been futzed with for seven years—it has been. It takes a lot of skill to arrange this much clutter so artfully.
Signal Morning features all the members of the Olivia Tremor Control, as well as Jeff Mangum and Julian Koster of Neutral Milk Hotel. Vinyl will ship in October, and there’s a “deluxe” LP edition (limited to 300 copies in handmade jackets designed by W. Cullen Hart) that includes a bonus LP containing demos and alternate versions.
When reviewing kids music there are different criteria you have to consider. One is: does the kid like it? But the thing that really matters is: does it drive the parents crazy?
I resisted kids music for the first 24 months of my own kid’s life. Seemed unnecessary to me. Why not just play good music for him? Why condescend to him by playing stupid, simplistic crap recorded by greedheads hellbent on sucking every last penny out of concerned new parents.
I thought I was being clever by letting my kid watch the MGMT video on YouTube. And I was so proud of him when he would shout “BRUMS!” when the drums kick in. He called it the “bubbles song” because of the gurgling electronic noises in the song’s intro.
National Public Radio is streaming the Elephant 6 Orchestra’s Chicago concert (GLONO review) in almost all of its 3-hour glory. A few songs, including Jeff Mangum’s “Engine” have been “omitted at the artist’s request.” There’s also a slideshow and an interview with Music Tapes/Neutral Milk Hotel multi-instrumentalist/tour organizer, Julian Koster:
“We’ve been spending some really nice time together,” Koster said of his former Neutral Milk Hotel bandmates. “I don’t think any of us knows what’s going to happen. But we never did, and that’s probably the best indication that something really nice might happen. We’re all awfully excited to see each other, and we’re all excited to make things together. So who knows what can happen?”
The Elephant 6 Holiday Surprise Tour at the Bottom Lounge
Chicago, October 21, 2008
Several songs into the encore, I wormed my way in and a lot of people had split by then, so I had an okay spot. Jeff Mangum finally came back out with Julian Koster, Robert Schneider, and those Olivia Tremor Control dudes and sang an acoustic, meditative chant that went, “We will live forever and you know it’s true, you know it’s true.” I got the first minute of it on video.
It was nice. Pretty and hopeful. And to see those dudes up there with their arms around each other was genuinely touching. They all seemed happy to be there.
They got the crowd singing along, and then they walked off the stage with the crowd still singing. They walked into the middle of the crowd, right by me. I could’ve grabbed Mangum by the ears and yelled, “Where the fuck have you BEEN, man?” But instead I just stood there and said, “Woo.” But when Robert Schneider, the producer of all the best recordings from that whole gang, walked by, I leaned in and said, “Thanks for all the great records.” He smiled and shouted back, “Yeah!”