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Band/Record: Caroliner - Rise Of The Common Woodpile

Label/Matrix: US 1987 Nuf Sed NSLP2

Condition Record/Sleeve: EX+/EX+

Extra Info: Fantastic Album !!  Original 1987 Caroliner vinyl LP with  handmade paper "sleeve" (actually a hand decorated envelope), and insert are near new.  RARE as HELL !!

Claiming the solitary influence of "Caroliner — the Famous Singing Bull of the 1800's," San Francisco's Caroliner is one of America's most original and difficult musical entities. Vaguely indicated by the tag "industrial bluegrass," the vehemently indescribable band consists of futuristic Luddites in the moral center of an avant-garde for erratic minds, covering turf wider than all alternative rock combined. The wealth of material ranges from shrill musique concrète to believable theater tunes, all pointing back to cowboy songs heard on dusty Victrolas.

Behind an ever-shifting facade of pseudonyms stands the dictatorial "singer from Caroliner"; the band's only predictable element is that each hand-packaged record will be credited to "Caroliner Rainbow something of the something something," and will include a double-sided photocopied lyric sheet meant to be read along with the music.

Rear End Hernia Puppet Show introduces the basic Caroliner concept. Simple, repetitive rhyme-songs are formed around the bass, with embellishing bells, whistles and unpredictable vocals upsetting the proceedings in various ways. Images of madness, bad health, broken wagons, gamblers and raging earth spirits weave together the genesis of the heightened-awareness Caroliner world. Primary influences — the Residents, Throbbing Gristle and Tom Waits — are evident, but even those touchstones become faint points of departure for the bewildering mass of references that follow.

Rise of the Common Woodpile is Caroliner at its most accessible, radiating a ghostly prettiness in the midst of haunted squeaking doors and other dangers. The delicate synthesis of disparate and competing incongruities is a real achievement. "Burdensome Blood" and "Child Heart of Dirt Pump" are sweet but morbid bluegrass banjo songs rearranged as surrealist film scores, interrupted by immense slamming noises and assorted racketry. The band is at a creative high, and the next album benefits from the gold rush as well.

A1         Hazel Wet Lap         
A2         Child Heart O' Dirt Pump         
A3         Beetown         
A4         Empty Halo         
A5         Burdensome Blood         
A6         Rise Of The Common Woodpile         
A7         Gut         
B1         Re-Corrupting Checkerfield         
B2         Climbing Jacob's Ladder Through The Fireplace         
B3         Sullivan's Lower Trunk         
B4         Brittleback         
B5         Victory Arm Fence