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Research material

October 11, 2009

Key to this book will be digesting any and all information germane to the Elephant Six Recording Company that I can. That means interviews, yes, with both E6ers and others (descendant musicians, prominent rock critics, folks from record labels, native Athenians, et al), but it also means reading whatever I can find.

While a big reason I’ve undertaken this project in the first place is because there simply has never been enough E6 coverage, there’s still some out there, and it’s important I consume what I can. This mostly means interviews and features published online, but it also means Kim Cooper’s book.

33 1/3 is a series of books about records. Each of more than 60 titles published so far (as well as the dozens still to come) focuses on an individual album, covering only the most seminal of records. Kim Cooper wrote one about In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, and it’s one of the bestselling titles in the series, on a level with books about the Smiths’ Meat is Murder and the Kinks’ The Village Green Preservation Society.

I began reading it last night (and because it’s only 100 or so pages, should be done soon and will have a review up shortly thereafter). I’ve been warned by a few people (with varying degrees of venom) that it’s not the most accurate account, so I’m taking everything with a grain of salt, but at the very least, it adds to the pool from which to draw questions when it comes time to interview.

It’s also good to read to make sure I don’t simply recount the same stories. Cooper’s book (obviously) focuses more on Jeff Mangum than mine will, as hers is about a Neutral Milk Hotel album in particular and mine will be much broader in scope. Still, for context, Cooper offers a lot of peripheral E6 information, and I don’t want simply to recapitulate. I want to forge new territory, especially with how much is left to be forged.

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