"It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child."
- Pablo Picasso
The Music Tapes, a sweetly quirky group of artists based in Athens, Ga., play with the innocent abandon and wild imagination of wide-eyed children. Admittedly, the group's toy pianos, singing saw, pump organ and various other mechanical instruments aren't for everyone. But I've always been drawn to the magical little world of sound they create.
The Music Tapes offer a glimpse into this world on a new video they've just released on the Merge Records site. It's for a new tribute song to Pluto called "For The Planet Pluto."
The song features backing vocals by a group of fourth graders at Barrow Elementary School in Athens. It also features a cameo from Kevin Barnes, frontman for the group Of Montreal. Both Of Montreal and The Music Tapes are part of the Elephant 6 collective.
The Music Tapes are fronted by Julian Koster who was also a key member of the band Neutral Milk Hotel. "I just find the imaginary more real than the physical," says Koster. "Magic — the way we find things beautiful, the light behind eyes, kindness, and how we want to serve and protect the things we care about — these things seem like the real foundation of the world to me."