Wednesday, August 1st, 2012
The Sky Is A Harpsichord Canvas
Bill Doss of The Olivia Tremor Control, The Sunshine Fix, and Elephant 6 (1968-2012)
Frank YangTerrible news yesterday out of Athens, Georgia as it was announced that Bill Doss, co-founder of The Olivia Tremor Control and The Sunshine Fix and one of the original members of the Elephant 6 movement, had passed away at the too-young age of 43. Details on the cause of death have not been revealed, but it must have come as a shock considering that Doss had been playing with The Olivia Tremor Control as recently as last week at a hometown show in Athens.
I feel extra-fortunate to have caught the recently reunited Olivia Tremor Control when they came through Toronto last September but had really hoped that the vague intentions Doss and Will Cullen Hart had for new recordings would come through and bring them back again and again with new material. Alas, it was not to be but there is some comfort to be found in the two masterpieces of psychedelic-pop he made with the OTC – Dusk At Cubist Castle and Black Foliage: Animation Music Vol. 1 – and the more classically pop work he did with The Sunshine Fix is also worth hearing.
A lack of details on what happened and an overall sense of shock have mostly limited coverage of Doss’ death to straight reportage, but expect heartfelt tributes from friends and fellow musicians in the coming days and weeks. A couple worth reading are already up at Chunklet, You Ain’t No Picasso, Pitchfork, and NOW. And if you’re new to or unfamiliar with the legacy of the Elephant 6, this primer at Spin is a good entry point; they’ve also assembled a playlist of some of his work. NPR still has the Olivia Tremor Control’s New York show from that Fall 2011 tour available to stream and a couple of clips from their appearance at Pitchfork Fest a couple weeks ago are up on YouTube; hopefully more will follow.
Rest in peace, Bill Doss.
MP3: The Olivia Tremor Control – “Love Athena”
MP3: The Olivia Tremor Control – “A Familiar Noise Called Train Director”
MP3: The Sunshine Fix – “Age Of The Sun”
Video: The Olivia Tremor Control – “Jumping Fences” (live at Pitchfork Festival 2012)
Video: The Olivia Tremor Control – “The Games You Play In Your Head” (live at Pitchfork Festival 2012)
For a while it seemed like Rich Aucoin was never going to play a regular, non-festival-type show in Toronto. Well now he is. He and presumably his crowd-surfing surfboard will be at Lee’s Palace on September 20, tickets $12.50.
MP3: Rich Aucoin – “It”
If you thought that Lee’s Palace was an awful small a venue for an artist having as good a year as Grimes, you’d be right. She’s added a second show at Lee’s on September 22 to go with the one on the 21st, tickets again $20. The Globe & Mail has a feature piece on Ms Claire Boucher.
As the October 2 release date of Transcendental Youth draws lazily closer, The Mountain Goats have announced the first leg of North American touring in support, which includes a Toronto date at The Phoenix on October 20, tickets $21.50 in advance. Word is they’re bringing horns! And also in Goats news, they recorded the theme song for this week’s episode of Weeds so you can download that if you want to hear it but don’t want to watch the show. Which is totally reasonable.
It’s been hard to say if this counts as a reunion or if they’ve been reunited for years but just not very active, but in any case The Super Friendz will be getting off their duffs for a show at Lee’s Palace on November 16, tickets $15. Power pop will ensue.
That unexpected Feist/Mastodon split 7″ released for Record Store Day has yielded a cool interactive video that allows you to choose your preferred ratio of Feist-to-Mastodon. Check it out at Pitchfork.
Video: Feistodon – “A Commotion”