After eleven years of almost total silence, word came yesterday from Merge Records that Neutral Milk Hotel has finally decided to… ask for your help as they try to save the Paragon Counsel carousel in Hull, Massachusetts. Yeah, that’s right. They’re not making another record or playing any shows or anything. They’re just trying to stop a fucking 81-year-old merry-go-round from being torn down. It’s somewhat frustrating when they toy with their fans this way, as they continue using the Neutral Milk Hotel platform long after having done anything worthy of even having a platform. But then you see them describe a carousel as a “great whirling contraption of mechanical music and light,” and you forgive them. Again.
After the jump, a letter to fans from Julian Koster and Jeff Mangum.
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