32. The Music Tapes
My guest today, Julian Koster, is a master of the singing saw, a prominent member of cult heroes Neutral Milk Hotel, and the founder of his own group The Music Tapes, both part of the storied Elephant Six Collective and released by Merge Records. He is also the creator of a lavish scripted podcast from WNYC called “The Orbiting Human Circus,” which is in production on its third season. His music is created using an eclectic variety of antiquated recording equipment and unconventional instruments. Julian spoke with me earlier in the fall of 2020 about his involvement in the world of experimental pop, his affinity for cassette letters, The Music Tapes' homespun approach to production, the inner workings of his seven foot tall metronome, and the perks of having a global audience for the Music Tapes as the backbone of The Orbiting Human Circus.
The 1999 debut from the Music Tapes is a great place to start on a journey of Julian's musical storytelling. Find out the truth about televisions, Superman, and vacuum cleaners. Listen at your own risk!
The most recent full-length album "Mary's Voice" (2012) has a sort of Christmasy vibe, maybe. Lush and dreamy.
Hear the trailer for Julian's podcast "The Orbiting Human Circus: Naughty Til New Years"
We talked about this short film in the interview, and you can watch it here!