Under the ragged flag of the Elephant 6 Recording Company, some of the most enduring and endearing music of the 1990s was crafted by Neutral Milk Hotel, The Apples in Stereo, Of Montreal, and countless other loosely defined projects born in a nebulous cloud of creativity and friendship that started in Ruston, Louisiana, then took form in Denver and Athens, Georgia.
The hallmark of an Elephant 6 record, buffeting the existential anxiety at its core, is a pervasive framework of wonder. According to Julian Koster, singing saw-impresario and master of ceremonies for the tour, that hasn’t changed over the last 20 years. “What changes is that the world is constantly being transformed around you—it’s almost like a potter making a bowl on one of those spinning things, and they touch it and it starts making the shape that your finger makes.”
Speaking to the collective’s seemingly adverse relationship to commercial viability, he adds, “If you were in your right mind, you’d never do something like this. But, that’s the whole thing about wonder, that it’s a very real thing and a valid thing and you have to begin to wonder about anyone who isn’t feeling that, when you think about how amazing this universe is and how miraculous it is and how little we are in control of it.”
Aquarium Drunkard presents Elephant 6 Holiday Surprise Tour, February 26, 9 p.m., One Eyed Jacks, Tickets $12.