Archive for Elephant 6 Collective

What An Amazing History Of The Apples In Stereo, And Other Elephant 6 Stalwarts

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , on October 15, 2013 by johnbuckley100

If you really want to read a good history of the Elephant 6 Collective, with insights into the Olivia Tremor Control and the great Apples In Stereo, then head on over to the great writeup of Ruston, Louisiana’s finest.  Seriously good reading.

The focus of the piece is on Robert Schneider (Apples), Bill Doss (OTC), and Jeff Mangum (Neutral Milk Hotel), but it delves into the many projects each was involved in along the way.  And it reminds us of how sad it was, in the summer of 2012, when Bill Doss passed away, just as the reformed Olivia Tremor Control was getting ready to put out a new album.

Which reminds us, where is that Olivia Tremor Control album promised before Bill Doss died?  There is a reference here to it being finished.  When will we see it?



Reflections On The Passing Of Bill Doss

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on August 4, 2012 by johnbuckley100

We found out early in the week that Olivia Tremor Control founder Bill Doss had died at 43.  To date, there has been no front-page New York Times obit,  but there should have been.   We expect figures from rural Louisiana to have an influence on Delta blues, but Doss was a revivalist, not of American idioms, unless you consider psychedelic rock as such, but of the trippy weirdness that came when the Beatles and Stones hit their “Tomorrow Never Knows”/”Citadel” late ’60s form.

The Olivia Tremor Control came out of nowhere in 1996 with Music From The Unrealized Film Script “Dusk At Cubist Castle”, and today, 16 years after its release, it holds up as the finest psychedelic rock album since the Summer o’ Luv.  We say this with all due respect to our faves, First Communion Afterparty, and any of the mushroom swallowing young ‘uns who emerged in the OTC’s immense wake.  Dusk At Cubist Castle was a first album that  sounded like a marriage of Sgt. Pepper’s, the second side of  Abbey Road, and Badfinger — it was melodic and pure and surpassingly straightforward for all the weirdness, an accomplishment of a mature band with a big label’s budget.  And yet this first album was recorded for a pittance on a four track, albeit by a cast of musical geniuses that apparently included Doss’s Ruston (LA) High School classmate Robert Schneider, the George Martin of indy rock.

Doss and Olivia Tremor Control spawned The Elephant 6 Collective, which never had a major impact on the mainstream, but in those divots and caves where real rock’n’roll reproduces in mutant cell division, their impact was legion.  Bands like Elf Power, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Of Montreal may have gotten airplay and sold songs to Madison Avenue but they never played Madison Square Garden.  Schneider’s Apples in Stereo may have sent a mighty arrow through red fruit with their theme song for The Powerpuff Girls, but none of the Elephant 6 bands were ever featured on the cover of the Rolling Stone.  If Beulah had stayed together, they might have gone all the way.  But they didn’t.

And still, on the occasion of his early passing,  we come back to Bill Doss, and Dusk at Cubist Castle, and Olivia Tremor Control.  Last year, right around this time, came word that the reformed OTC was releasing some new material, and sure enough, the magical release of their first new music since 1999 sent the entire staff of Tulip Frenzy out in search of  celebratory lysergic mead snow cones.  And word spread, even as the band toured and were featured on NPR, that a new album was in the offing.

And then last week came the bitter rejoinder: Bill Doss had died, which leaves us approximately nowhere. Singer, guitarist, dreamer, entrepreneur, front man and inspiration,  Doss is dead.  Long live Music From The Unrealized Script “Dusk At Cubist Castle”.

Bill Doss R.I.P.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on August 1, 2012 by johnbuckley100

Bill Doss was a founder of Olivia Tremor Control, and thus a founder of the Elephant 6 Collective.  His death at age 43  was announced today.  When we search the path back to the best developments in rock’n’roll music over the last twenty years, we find Bill Doss’s footprints are deeper and clearer to see than so many others, which makes this a very sad day.

Stop The Presses: Olivia Tremor Control Release First New Song Since 1999

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , on August 31, 2011 by johnbuckley100

“The Game You Play Is In Your Head, Pts. 1, 2, & 3,” which Elephant 6 Collective founding papas The Olivia Tremor Control gave birth to today, contains in its 5:15 a history in miniature of what we’d presumed was a late and lamented band (at least in the studio.)  Sure, they’ve played gigs over the last few years when others of their ilk — from Neutral Milk Hotel to The Gerbils — have, well, collected themselves.  But a new recording?  One thinks of the great line by John Dunsmore when asked what it would take to get him to perform under the band name The Doors, and he said, “Well, if Jim Morrison returned…” We don’t know what led to this happy iTunes posting, but here’s the essential info:  it sounds exactly like the band that recorded Dusk At The Cubist Castle — you know, the Beatles and The Stones take a break from recording “We Love You” to all get high on nitrous oxide, while Eno, or is it Owsley? keeps the magnetic tapes running.  No, it doesn’t rock exactly as much as “The Opera House” or something, but in at least the loping opening movement, when the drums kick in, it has the power of a pachyderm on thorazine, and then turns into a hummingbird orchestra all playing kazoos!  And it’s only after that that that the real fun begins… And the album to follow?  Watch this space…

%d bloggers like this: