Major Organ and the Adding Machine.
We're not going to shit on Elephant 6. The Athens-based music collective, which held in its orbit such mind-bogglingly pure bands like Neutral Milk Hotel, Elf Power, and Apples in Stereo, produced most of the pop music worth listening to throughout the 1990s. So we're not, we promise, going to shit on Elephant 6.
We are, however, going to shit on the trailer for the forthcoming Elephant 6 movie, Major Organ and the Adding Machine. Sympathies, Elephant 6 fans worldwide-- it looks like the long awaited film debut is the biggest bomb since Hiroshima.
If you don't know, Major Organ and the Adding Machine was a shadowy music project that released a single album on Orange Twin in 2001. It bore the Elephant 6 seal. It sounded oh-so-suspiciously like a supergroup. It was woefully unpublicized, badly distributed, and kept under such hush-hush terms that even diehards scarcely knew it existed. Put plainly, it was a conceptual masterpiece.
The album was a heartbreaking overture of everything that made Elephant 6 a meaningful movement through the 1990s. It was melodic, bittersweet, covered in fuzz and noisy distortion, and listening to the album, in part because of its secretive buzz, felt like an intensely private thing, as though you just might have been the only person on the face of the Earth listening to it.
There had always been whispers of a movie attachment-- there was even buzz that the film would hit big screens last year. Alas, it seems that Orange Twin has decided to go straight to DVD. And, judging by the trailer, not without good cause.
The trailer exhibits none of the album's care, and little of its ambitious whimsy.And even if it features every member of the collective, including the reclusive Jeff Magnum, it seems like assembling the posse was as far as they thought. It'll be engaging enough for fans of their music, and, perhaps more importantly, it will come packaged with a reissue of the elusive Major Organ album from 2001. But if you're looking to keep Elephant 6's good name untarnished in your memory, you might want to close your eyes after you pop the DVD in.