The Apples in Stereo, I Told You Once

When I was 17 years old, I first heard Her Wallpaper Reverie, a sort of mini Apples in Stereo LP, and I was blown away.  It was the first time I’d ever heard anyone from the Elephant 6 Collective, and they were making the exact sort of music I was missing in the world.  In my mind, I pictured front man Robert Schneider as a young, handsome, and skinny punk rocker, a new symbol for the pop world to rally around.  Little did I know he was a portly balding redheaded nerd with glasses.  The resurrection of neo psychedelic pop would have to wait for a more photogenic rock star to emerge, but goddamn did Robert and the Apples know how to make songs.  Obsessed with the Beatles and the Beach Boys, Robert and his band of merry rockers cut some of the catchiest and well recorded rock and roll of his generation, all in relative cult like obscurity.  His one problem were his lyrics, which ran the gamut between childlike and stupid, and often ruined the gorgeous creative gems he would cut with silly irrelevance.  This in no way stops the band from being great, or fun, but in my mind, holds them back from being anything really daring or meaningful.  It’s kind of a harsh criticism, because the music Robert was making was so beautiful, that the lyrical content should be considered an afterthought to his overall concept of bringing true psychedelic pop back to life.  His accomplishments in this field influenced a ton of great bands including Of Montreal, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Olivia Tremor Control, all groups found on the E6 roster.  The song below, “I Told You Once,” from 2010’s Travellers in Space and Time, is another example of Robert’s insane ability to write perfect pop music with flawless mathematical precision.  This song, and all the songs from the album, are heavily influenced by ELO’s Time, the only ELO record I’ve ever listened to coincidentally.  Time was a pompous, overblown, snyth rock explosion, and not for anyone but serious pop music nerds.  The fact that Robert of the Apples sites this as a major influence endears me to no end, and is proof positive that even the most inane cultural artifacts all have their worshipers.  All this talk about the Apples and E6 is taking me hard and fast down memory lane, so expect more of this stuff all week.

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