Indie/Psych Pop crew Elf Power will be screening Major Organ and the Adding Machine, an artsy, long-awaited film featuring numerous members of the influential Elephant 6 collective (a sort of less pretentious/glam version of Andy Warhol’s Factory, but with more of a music focus), before the band’s 12:30 a.m. performance on Sept. 25 at the Blue Wisp, part of the MidPoint Music Festival.
The short film, which has only been screened in public a handful of times (notably on the “Elephant 6 Holiday Surprise Tour” in 2008), was spun off of the collaborative Major Organ and the Adding Machine’s 2001 eponymous debut. The band featured several Elephant 6 members and, while they have never been officially identified, fans with good ears recognized key members from E6 bands like Neutral Milk Hotel, The Olivia Tremor Control, of Montreal and Elf Power. Likewise, in the film, the actors are disguised, but it has been revealed that of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes plays a sheriff and the reclusive Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel is … a lobster. (For more on Elephant 6, go here for a reasonable explanation.)
A DVD of the film is set for a mid-September release as part of a package that includes an expanded version of the original album and bonus footage. Like the album, the film is loaded with psychedelic, collaged experimentalism, which has split E6 followers who either see it as a true cult classic or an impenetrable piece of garbage. On Sept. 25, you can judge for yourself. Here's a taste via the official trailer (and, no, your coffee has not been spiked with PCP):
The IMDb.com synopsis probably offers the best explanation of the film: “A disgruntled, inter-dimensional pastry chef sends two children on a mysterious quest. Beards ensue.”
In other weird Elephant 6-related news, a band called Neutral Uke Hotel — which performs the classic Neutral Milk Hotel album In the Aeroplane over the Sea … driven by a ukulele — plays the Southgate House's parlour stage next week (Sept. 18).