Bill Doss – song writer, multi-instrumentalist, audio engineer, sonic artist – was an imaginative and creative force, founding the highly influential psychedelic pop bands Sunshine Fix and Olivia Tremor Control (OTC), contributing to works by Chocolate U.S.A., Apples in Stereo, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Call and Response, and leaving his mark upon countless other musical acts to surface in the past two decades (including, Elf Power, Of Montreal, Animal Collective, and many others). Inspired by the Beatles, Bill and fellow Ruston, LA kids, Will Cullen Hart (OTC, The Circulatory System), Robert Schneider (Apples in Stereo), and Jeff Mangum (Neutral Milk Hotel) forged a revivalist psychedelic & experimental pop movement in the early 90’s, making Athens, GA their home base and founding the Elephant 6 Collective.
Going to school in Athens at the time, I felt a deep and personal connection with the band given their Louisiana roots, their Beatles-inspired sound, and their innovative and experimental approach to music. They were a welcome change to the fizzling grunge sound. I was fortunate to see them perform live a handful of times (more than once with the brilliant Julian Koster (Chocolate U.S.A., Neutral Milk Hotel, Music Tapes); the shows were always joyous, fun, and inspiring. If you don’t have them, you should check out 1996’s Dusk at Cubist Castle and 1999’s Black Foliage – great works that hold up with age.
Olivia Tremor Control were recently touring and working on a new album. They played a small, acoustic set in June at the Northside Festival in Brooklyn, NY. Thanks to the Northside Festival, L Magazine, hi and lo and Good Company for posting the live set. The following two tracks were taken from that post.
Watch: Opera House
Watch: The Game You Play is In Your Head
Watch: Jumping Fences
Bill Doss died suddenly on July 31st at his home in Athens, GA. He was 43. He is survived by his wife Amy Hairston Doss, a family of band members, and music lovers the world over. Our sincere condolences to everybody.