Tonight at Spectacle is the final opportunity to catch two highly sought-after live videos from the inimitable Caroliner, a.k.a Caroliner Rainbow Scrambled Egg Taken For a Wife, a.k.a. Caroliner Rainbow Grace Blocks Used in the Placement of the Personality, a.k.a. Caroliner Rainbow Fingers of the Underworld & Their Unbreakable Bones, a.k.a. Caroliner Rainbow Customary Relaxation of the Shale, et cetera.
Stewed Angels: Caroliner on Tour is a double-bill of concert footage from the micro-legendary performing group, formed thirty-five years ago in San Francisco during the heyday of art school punk and Subterranean Records. Featuring a rotating cast of semi-anonymous players (confirmed members include bandleader Grux, Brandon Kearney, Gregg Turkington, Dame Darcy, and Angst Hase Pfeffer Nase), the band has long spun a convoluted mythology for itself across a litter of fanzine interviews and scrawled liner notes in their “creatively packaged” releases. The music, says Grux, is derived from the songbook of a singing bull who lived in Wisconsin in the 1800s; the performances include massive, impractical theatrics and handmade day-glo costumes, stagecraft, and puppetry.
Like LAFMS in Los Angeles and Borbetomagus on the East Coast, Caroliner were part of the overture for the freewheeling American noise tape-trading moment late ‘80s onward, and have embedded themselves into the cosmic cultural consciousness in many surprising ways—including an improbable endorsement from Fox News’s Greg Gutfeld. It is a true rarity to see them play live these days—the closest approximation in recent memory is Hans Grusel’s Krankenkabinet at last year’s Ende Tymes—so one has to count their blessings. This is a must-see for fans of Richard Meltzer, Charlie McAlister, American frontier history, Harry E. Smith, GWAR, and/or calling Greil Marcus a “milquetoast.”