30 April, 2009

Save a Carousel!

Julian Koster, singing saw extraordinaire, and the rest of Neutral Milk Hotel recently released a plea asking to save the historic Paragon Carousel by casting as many free, easy, daily votes as possible between now and May 17. Votes can be cast here. The winner of the most votes (and voters can be from anywhere, not just Boston) will receive $100,000 toward preservation.

I've never heard of the Carousel before tonight, but now--along with Avery Island and Athens, GA--it's one of the holy sites for my eventual Aeroplane Hajj. Please vote.

Here's Koster's statement:

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

22 April, 2009

This blog isn't dead.

I've been sorting out some business in my life this past rainy month, including but not limited to the completion of my graduate course, attempts to get published, and an excess of work accompanied by the influx of tourist season. For once I can say that I've been very busy and not feel like I'm kidding myself and making excuses. I am full of motivation and--gasp--actually doing something about it.

Anyway, I'll be back with real posts soon, and to keep you on the edge of your seat and to keep me organized, here are some topics I may cover:

-Movie reviews of Manhattan, In the Mood for Love, Runaway Train, Yi Yi, the entire Jim Jarmusch filmography, Alien and Aliens, The Untouchables, Videodrome, Life Boat, Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, The Last Emperor, The Accidental Activist, The Grand Silence, Django, and/or Dear Zachary.
-Fiction possibly involving pickpockets, a Thanksgiving road trip, and/or a confused mother.
-A report on music, musicals, and drum kits.
-An analysis of my days at Johns Hopkins.
-Book reviews referencing Moby Dick, Middlemarch, The Coquette, and the stories of Richard Ford.
-A conversation with this article about Doris Lessing's Briefing for a Descent into Hell.
-My feelings about travel, prescription drugs, gay marriage, and the Russian language.