Elephant 6′s About page begins like this: “A Collective, a Label.. a Cult? Elephant 6 may be all of these things or none of these depending on your point of view. And we’re certainly not going to try to define what it is now!” Seems about right. And with Jeff Mangum coming out of the woodwork for a bunch of shows (including All Tomorrow’s Parties at Asbury Park), anything the collective does is sure to stir up some excitement. That, plus everything they do is actually exciting.
I’m not sure which holiday this tour is commemorating, but that might be part of the surprise. The way it works is about a dozen musicians take the stage together for a marathon show known to last over two hours. The musicians swap out instruments, play each others songs, create new configurations and sometimes all play together at once in a giant climax of psych-out radness. Also, Julian Koster organizes the audience in crowd participation games. Fun!
The lineup includes a ton of people: Will Cullen Hart, Bill Doss, Peter Erchick, John Fernandes, Julian Koster, Scott Spillane, Andrew Rieger, Laura Carter, Derek Almstead, Heather McIntosh, Bryan Poole, Theo Hilton, Robbie Cucchiaro and others play the music of The Olivia Tremor Control, Elf Power, Circulatory System, Neutral Milk Hotel, The Gerbils, The Music Tapes, Major Organ and Adding Machine, Pipes You See, Pipes You Don’t , The Instruments, The Late BP Helium and Nana Grizol. Plus, possibly more!
The surprise takes place tonight and tomorrow at Knitting Factory.