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Local news: Julian Koster's Christmas carol tour comes to town

Julian KosterJulian Koster puts a new spin on Christmas caroling. (Courtesy of Merge Records)

Christmas caroling seems like a relic from a bygone era, something you only see in old movies or TV shows. So leave it to an indie rock free spirit to keep the tradition alive. Julian Koster, the man with the singing saw who helms experimental group the Music Tapes (and was a former member of Neutral Milk Hotel), is in the middle of his second annual caroling tour. Christmas classics played on singing saw (and banjo) in living rooms. What's not to love?

The local stop is Saturday afternoon in Arlington, and will be at the house of 16-year-old Garret Littler, a junior at Wakefield High School. Well, technically it's his parents' house. After missing out on last year's caroling tour Littler said he was "extra aware" of it this year. He sent an e-mail to Koster's Web site volunteering his home as a caroling spot on the first day submissions were accepted. "I am a very, very big fan of the whole Elephant 6 collective," Littler said about the group of musicians that produced bands such as Neutral Milk Hotel, Olivia Tremor Control and Of Montreal. "I'm a big fan of the Music Tapes, especially. I tend to like everything [Koster] does. He inspired me to buy an old saw and restore it. I got 'Clouds and Tornadoes' on vinyl over the summer. It's a great record to listen to late at night."

How do his parents feel about inviting Koster and a bunch of strangers into their home for this event? He says they "were perfectly fine with it. They were almost excited as I was." Littler's also preparing vegan food, eggnog and apple cider for the event, which could have an extra-Christmasy feel if the weather forecast for Saturday turns out to be correct. Koster's caroling is expected to begin around 4 p.m. The event is free, at 409 S. Barton St., Arlington.

The Music Tapes - "White Christmas"

By David Malitz  |  December 18, 2009; 12:18 PM ET
Categories:  Local news  | Tags: Christmas, Julian Koster, The Music Tapes  
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