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Elf Power, indeed redux

January 27, 2009

Let’s try this again, this time without such heavy eyelids. Also, pictures!

As I said, Elf Power has become something of an Elephant Six All-Star team, so let’s roll down the lineup.

Andrew Rieger has been around since the beginning. The two times I’ve seen him perform (last night and at the Holiday Surprise show back in October), I’ve been shocked at how pleasant his voice sounds. He doesn’t look how you might expect listening only to records. I don’t know if that’s a compliment or an insult or both or neither, so let’s move on lest I offend someone.

Multi-instrumentalist Laura Carter, like Rieger, has been around since Elf Power began. Last night alone, she played clarinet (as pictured above), glockenspiel, accordion, keys and synth. She’s also been a key member to a bunch of other E6 bands, including Neutral Milk Hotel and the Gerbils. Also, she wears a sweet hat that has ears.

On bass is Derek Almstead, who has been playing with Elf Power for about five years now. Prior to that, he was the bassist for Of Montreal. Since moving down to Athens in 1995, he’s played some role or another with at least a dozen or two other bands.

Drumming/wearing the same shirt as me is Eric Harris, who has also drummed for the Olivia Tremor Control and Circulatory System, assuredly among others. Dude absolutely killed last night.

Of the five members of Elf Power, guitarist Jimmy Hughes is the newest to the Elephant Six thing, but he definitely fits in well. He’s also been one of the most helpful people I’ve met to this point in regards to this project.

Jimmy introduced me to Laura before the show and to Eric and Derek after (I had met Andrew when I saw him in Pittsburgh a few months ago). I had probably the most constructive discussion with Derek, first sort of giving him my pitch and then talking about some of the ideas I’ve had so far. He seemed receptive and actively interested in what I had to say, and he’ll definitely be a valuable contact going forward.

Derek also apologized for not being able to hang out when I was in Athens a few weeks ago. Apparently, John Fernandes had called him one of the nights we were hanging out, but he was busy. The fact that he even remembered was sort of flattering.

So, in short, last night pushed me a little further through Phase One (making contacts and establishing a bit of a rapport).

Today, I sent them all an e-mail just sort of saying “thank you” for the help so far and promising that I’d stay in touch. I haven’t heard back yet and don’t expect to for a little while (they’re still on tour for a little while longer and likely don’t check their mail all that often), but at this point it’s important to maintain contact. I can’t let anything get stale.

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