Neutral Milk Hotel Are Trying To Preserve a Monument from My Childhood, Help Them Please


This morning, Merge Records issued a press release on behalf of Julian Koster–former Neutral Milk Hotel member, singing saw savant, man from the Music Tapes–asking for help in preserving a Massachusetts merry-go-round. Weird, right? Weirder: This is my shit!

Unlike you lucky punks, us native Massholes never had Coney Island. Instead, we had this run-down beachside amusement lot named Paragon Park with a rattletrap wooden rollercoaster and historic carousel. Then some nasty money-grubbers came when I was just a baby, bulldozed the park, and puked terrible seaside condominiums onto the lot. (Sound familiar?) Six Flags bought the coaster, renamed it “The Wild One,” and shipped it to Baltimore; local citizens rallied to preserve the Paragon Carousel, it stayed along the boardwalk, and I rode that thing more than my Pink Huffy.

So now it’s pretty awesome that Julian Koster has gotten Jeff Mangum to co-sign an official Neutral Milk Hotel endorsement of the Paragon Carousel, specifically asking for votes to win the monument $100,000. (An aside: Koster told the Boston Phoenix that Mangum is “doing wonderfully, and is definitely doing all sorts of creative things.”) So make little kids happy and Jeff Mangum stay wonderful by voting for the Paragon Carousel here, full text of the Merge release below.

April 30, 2009

The Paragon Carousel <> is a beautiful machine that has been my dear neighbor for many moons. Now 81 years old, it is in need of a little love and attention in order for it to survive.

It is my sincere wish for the Paragon Carousel to be a part of the magic of long seaside summer afternoons for many years to come. But it might not get to.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where the great whirling contraptions of mechanical music and light are not as profitable to operate as other things, and carousels are worth much more taken apart and sold in pieces to museums, where one must pay to look at them behind glass, rather than having them simply existing in the world that we now all share.

I spoke with Jeff and Scott and Jeremy about this and they agreed that I should, on behalf of Neutral Milk Hotel, make an appeal to the good people who might have enjoyed the music made over the years, because we think you’d understand especially, and want to help.

We humbly ask you to vote!

The Paragon Carousel is competing with 24 other historic Massachussettes buildings for a grant of $100,000. The historic site with the most votes wins, and anyone anywhere can vote. We would love it if by our collective effort we could ensure the continuation of this grand place. It only takes a moment and you can do so here <>

You are allowed to vote once a day untill May 17th . Your vote means a great deal to all of us at Elephant Six. Places like this are so special. They deserve to exist in the same world that we do. So we can visit them with our bodies, not just our memories and dreams.

We’d like to thank you for your help and for spreading the word.

~Julian Koster with Jeff Mangum on behalf of Neutral Milk Hotel