There’s a certain magic to be felt any time a band can bring a group of people together in song, whether it’s from an album playing or a live performance. Neutral Milk Hotel provides prime source material for group song, especially from their record, In An Aeroplane Over the Sea. I’ve seen people bust out in unison to their songs in hotel rooms, at dinner parties, and at punk shows; there really seems to be no bound to their audience. Perhaps you may be sad at the reality of no future NMH shows; the group of course, disbanded in 1999. But Julian Koster, a former member of NMH, is still highly active, touring the country with songs and stories, and sometimes, a saw. Right now, his group, the Music Tapes, are in the midst of their unique Lullaby Tour, where the band seeks out invitations to play at people’s homes.
This weekend, The Music Tapes are playing about five house shows (roughly) in the DC area. Where at? Hole in the Sky? Paper Sun? Red Door? No, no, and no. They’re actually playing in people’s homes, just not at the the typical house show venues that we’re used to. And by doing so, they are making these series of shows even more intimate.
“Each place is completely different,” says Koster. ” We never know what to expect. Sometimes [the place] is a mansion in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and sometimes it’s a crazy squat arts venue with a million gutter punks, and geodesic dome covered in moldy-fabric for us to play in, sometimes we play for super-rich people, other times, for a bunch of 15-year-old Mexican immigrants and their parents…”
Koster stated that he could go on forever describing the adventures from the Lullaby Tour, and that I could write a novel on it. Instead, I think I’ll just look forward to whatever surprises and songs that Koster and the Music Tapes will have in store for us this weekend.