Neutral Milk Hotel and the Olivia Tremor Control have long since lapsed into uneasy retirements plagued by periodic reunion-rumor-mongering and the occasional shadowy side project, while Of Montreal have skyrocketed into unlikely viability as a semi-delusional electro-pop act, but Julian Koster still keeps the Elephant Six twee-psych dream alive. A central member of the hallowed '90s indie-quirk collective, Koster resurrected his atypically bland-monikered Music Tapes project last year for a long-delayed sophomore album, with contributions by members of all the aforementioned outfits. Music Tapes for Clouds and Tornadoes is a particularly creaky incarnation of the E6 aesthetic, what with Koster's warbly blurt of a voice, fetish for antiquarian recording devices and reliance on novelty-factor instruments like banjos, toy organs and his beloved singing saw (not to mention whimsical creations like the 7-foot-tall metronome), but its fragile, folksy charms shine through the cutesy gimmickry. On Koster's last pass through Philly, a by-invite caroling tour of living rooms, his brief solo sets presented a sometimes uncomfortably intimate glimpse of his odd internal storyscape, unflinching preciousness and genuinely virtuosic saw-playing; his show at the Church will offer a full band and a bit more breathing distance, and possibly a mysterious, much-murmured-about participatory game.
Wed., March 4, 8 p.m., $12, with Nana Grizol and Brian Dewan, First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St., 866-468-7619, r5productions.com.