• Albert Birney

[UPDATE: This contest is closed and the winners have been notified.]

The Music Tapes are one of the many offshoots of the Elephant 6 collective, and the band of former Neutral Milk Hotel member Julian Koster. Their unique live performances are some of the most inventive staged by any band, from small-scale house shows to carnival productions in opera houses. While the circus vibe has been tainted by the surge of "contemporary circus" that has come into vogue in recent years—which Portland has no shortage of—the Music Tapes' current show, The Traveling Imaginary, is more of a dreamlike, childhood-evoking assemblage of ghostlike sounds and imagery from the past, present, and future, as opposed to a steampunk-hippie celebration of tattoos, twirly mustaches, and manufactured whimsy. The Music Tapes' Mary's Voice album from last year was perhaps the best approximation of haunted vaudeville combined with modern songwriting since In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.

And the Music Tapes are bringing The Traveling Imaginary to Portland, for two performances (7 & 10 pm) on Tuesday, May 7 at the Mission Theater. If you're curious how they're going to erect a circus tent inside of the Mission, me too. We've got two pairs of tickets to give away, so shoot an email to this address with "Send me to the Traveling Imaginary!" in the subject line. In the email, you must include your first and last name, and whether you'd like to attend the early or late show. We'll select two winners at random and send each of them and their respective guests on their way! This contest will close Monday at noon, at which point our winners will be selected.

Still not sure what to expect? This may not answer too many questions, but take a look at the trailer for The Traveling Imaginary after the jump.