Though it was officially founded in Denver, CO, and many of its mainstays hailed from rural Louisiana, the Elephant 6 Recording Company and collective put Athens on the cultural map in the 1990s in much the same way R.E.M. had the previous decade. Bands like Neutral Milk Hotel, the Olivia Tremor Control, of Montreal and Apples in Stereo offered inspired variations on a similar theme, exploring the contours of pop music and psychedelia with equal parts passion, subversiveness and ingenuity.
The world took notice, and when Neutral Milk Hotel, arguably the most successful of the E6 crowd, reconvened last year, it inspired yet another wave of attention. Now, per a press release, several Athens venues and organizations "are coordinating to celebrate the impact of [E6] in a season-long series of exhibitions, screenings and events."
From August to December of this year, Athenians and visitors can dive into E6's rich artistic history via exhibits like the Georgia Museum of Art's display of original album-cover art by Will Hart, Chris Bilheimer, Jill Carnes, David Barnes, Will Westbrook and others (Oct. 4–Jan. 4, 2015); props from Music Tapes performances, collages by Laura Carter and a selection of photographs by Jason Thrasher at the Lyndon House Arts Center (Aug. 14–Oct. 4); a film series that will feature a screening of Joey Foreman's Major Organ and the Adding Machine at Cine (fall 2014); and a project curated by the mysterious collective Dixie Blood Mustache at ATHICA, among many other events.
Along with these art exhibits and film screenings, other events are in the works to "enhance and commemorate" the series. Many details are yet to be announced, including dates for some of the exhibits and which, if any, E6 bands will perform.
Stay tuned to Homedrone for further news. Below, watch the remaining members of the Olivia Tremor Control (performing as Victrola Rotor Oilmen) deliver a stirring tribute to the late Bill Doss at the 2013 Flagpole Athens Music Awards.