Elf Power Channels Hendrix On LP, Maps Out Tour

The Elephant 6-associated band Elf Power has already leapt into the top 15 of the "CMJ" radio chart with its just-released new album, "The Winter Is Coming," and is gearing up to launch a tour in support of the new LP on October 31 in Houston.

For "The Winter Is Coming," Elf Power -- composed of multi-instrumentalists Laura Carter, Andrew Rieger and Adrian Finch, along with bassist Bryan Poole and drummer Aaron Wegelin -- opted to trade in some of the lo-fi, indie-rock aesthetic that has typified most releases from the Elephant 6 Collective, a loose affiliation of like-minded bands such as the Apples in Stereo, Neutral Milk Hotel and the Olivia Tremor Control.

The difference from previous Elf Power records, including 1999's "A Dream in Sound" and 1997's "When the Red King Comes," is obvious on the first "Winter" track, "Embrace the Crimson Tide," which features a lead guitar bit partially inspired by, of all things, Jimi Hendrix's "Third Stone from the Sun."

"It wasn't intentional," Poole said, "and we caught it pretty early on. [Frontman] Andrew [Rieger] brought it in and he started playing it, and it was either me or somebody else [who pointed it out]. I think I picked up the guitar and was like, 'Aw, I think I know this. What is it?' I kind of figured it out and I said, 'You know that's Jimi Hendrix?' And Andrew was like, 'Yeah, yeah. I thought it was, but I didn't mean to do it.' He only noticed it a couple of days after he [recorded] it, and we were just kind of like, 'Oh, screw it.'

"We lifted, kind of intentionally, for 'A Dream in Sound,' a bit of Captain Beefheart off of 'Trout Mask Replica,'" Poole continued. "That

was intentional, and a couple of people have caught that and, of course, everybody will know now," he said, laughing. "But I don't think anything is wrong with that, per se. It's not like we're ripping off 'Third Stone from the Sun,' but it is, yeah, that melody line for sure." [RealAudio]

As with previous Elf Power LPs, "The Winter Is Coming" is branded with the Elephant 6 Collective logo, although Poole noted that there was talk between band members about perhaps omitting the logo this time around, if only to make it clear that they are ready to stand on their own merits.

"I kind of feel like maybe we shouldn't put it on anymore," Poole said. "I don't know. Like, the Minders have decided

that they're not going to do it

anymore, and Olivia [Tremor Control] didn't even put it on their last record, and that wasn't by mistake. They kind of got tired. So I don't know. I guess it's a good thing. I mean, we're not ashamed [of the association]. It's turned into kind of a marketing thing, and that's not what it was meant to be." [RealAudio]

Hendrix isn't the only classic-rock icon to be channeled by Elf Power on "The Winter Is Coming," as the band indulges in some full-on, hard-rock chops on "The Albatross," a song Poole said was indicative of the album's "darker edge."

"Andrew came to us and said, 'I just wrote the heaviest song of all time. It is, by far, the heaviest song of all time,'" Poole related. "When we first tried to play it, I did have my reservations about it, [thinking,] man, this is just going

to come off as cheese.

People are going to be like, 'Oh, c'mon. Oh, funny.' But I think the album version may be my favorite track on the album. It has got the power, I think." [RealAudio]

Here's where you can catch Elf Power flex their live power during their upcoming tour in support of "The Winter Is Coming":

  • 10/31 - Houston, TX @ No Tsu Oh
  • 11/1 - Dallas, TX @ Gypsy Tea Room
  • 11/2 - Austin, TX @ Emo's
  • 11/4 - Phoenix, AZ @ Modified
  • 11/5 - San Diego, CA @ The Casbah (w/ the Minders)
  • 11/6 - Los Angeles, CA @ Knitting Factory (w/ the Minders)
  • 11/7 - San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill (w/ the Minders)
  • 11/9 - Seattle, WA @ Crocodile Café (w/ the Minders)
  • 11/10 - Portland, OR @ Satyricon
  • 11/13 - Minneapolis, MN @ 400 Bar
  • 11/14 - Chicago, IL @ Schubas (w/ the Glands)
  • 11/15 - Cleveland Heights, OH @ Grog Shop (w/ the Glands)
  • 11/16 - Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern (w/ the Glands)
  • 11/17 - Waterloo, ON @ Jane

    Bond (w/ the Glands)

  • 11/18 - Boston, MA @ Middle East Upstairs (w/ the Glands)
  • 11/19 - New York, NY @ Knitting Factory (w/ the Glands)
  • 11/21 - Carrboro, NC @ Go! Rehearsal (w/ the Glands)