As a bearded, bespectacled lefty sort I generally find complaints about insufferable hipsters a little close to home – but the news that the maker of a documentary about the world’s most achingly indie record label is making said film available only by renting it on VHS makes me want to cry into my artisanal microbrew.
The label in question is Elephant 6 – which started up as a collective of a bunch of friends to live together, share equipment and play on each other’s stuff in Denver, Colorado, in 1991.
And all indie-cool aside, they formed goddamn amazing bands including Olivia Tremor Control, the Apples in Stereo and Neutral Milk Hotel.
Yes, it’s a real band. Not just a joke on Parks and Recreation.
Anyway: Chad Stockfleth started making a documentary about the label/musical collective/friendship group five years ago, now entitled A Future History Of: The Elephant 6 Recording Co.
This film has now been completed, and you can watch it. If you pick up a flyer at record stores around Portland, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles and other selected US cities.
Once you have the flyer, according to Pitchfork, you can get the number for the Elephant 6 Video Rental Club, who will give you instructions which eventually ends with you being sent the video cassette in the mail.
That package also contains as a “library card” to sign when the tape is mailed back, and a fresh flyer the renter is to put up in their ‘hood.
So yes, this is all offensively twee. But it’s also kind of perfect for the weirdly out-of-time music of the bands themselves.
Anyway, at the risk of looking even more hipster, now I just want to find a VHS player and watch this documentary. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to get on my fixie and play In The Aeroplane Over The Sea on wax cylinder (vinyl is SO mainstream, you guys…).