Song of the day: The Carousels – "Call Along The Coast"

July 9, 2011

I was contacted by an exceedingly polite young man by the name of Jamie (Hi, Jamie!) who’s in a British band called The Carousels.

When I went looking for a photo to put at the top of this post (I always like to have something for you to look at apart from all those pesky words) and found a website for a band called The Carousels. However, I have a feeling that this isn’t the band that Jamie’s in:

So I went searching a bit more, and found a MySpace page for The Carousels

…which looked a bit more promising – but those Carousels are based in California.

I finally found today’s Carousels on Facebook:

Anyway, Jamie asked if I wouldn’t mind listening to a song of theirs, and possibly “…if you would write up anything about us on your blog.”

I was very pleased, because when I saw the “write up anything” bit I interpreted that as an invitation to write anything I want. To me, that means anything at all. Excellent.

Alrighty then. Here’s a biography of The Carousels:

The Carousels are a group of former bandoneón enthusiasts who met each other at the 2005 Upper Thistlethornington Bandoneón Appreciation Society’s annual Cup Cake Juggling charity event. After one spirited jam session they decided to form a band. Unfortunately, they were unable to use bandoneóns as there was already a bandoneón band in Upper Thistlethornington (The Cavalier Cads featuring Ted Trumpet). Instead, they chose standard electric stringed instruments, the kind used by ‘young people’, but modified for their specialised bandoneón-honed skills. As none of the members could read, write, or listen to music, they realised that creating their own songs would be more difficult than first thought. For compositions they concentrated on adapting 16th century Norwegian sea shanties. With the music taken care of, they had to come up with a name. The band’s name came from the lead singer’s great-aunt (twice removed), Augustinaminamette. She named the band after her favourite brand of microwave oven, the Sharp Carousel:

Now that they had a name, they needed a manager. In 2006 they secured the services of Reginald Smythe-Biscuit who did more than anyone else to help the band on its way toward semi-sub-super-stardom. Because he was distrustful of British music management companies (“They’re all flibbertigibbets and hobnobbers!”), Smythe-Biscuit decided to look elsewhere for a company that would be most in tune with the band’s vision. He signed the band to the Temperamental Artists Agency, the second largest music company in Lesotho at the time. (It has since gone on to become the third largest.) Then, with the $15.27 advance supplied by the agency, Smythe-Biscuit secured the band a 15-month tour of Newfoundland. When the tour finished, the band secluded themselves in a treehouse in Borneo to write their first album. Armed with their collection of 16th century Norwegian sea shanties (3,621 in total), The Carousels set about sculpting the sound that would become their first long-player, Begin the Beggin’ Beguine? Begone and Begorrah!. This 93-track magnum opus holds the distinction of being the first 17-disc debut album ever to be released. To celebrate this monumental achievement, free sets of clothes pegs were given away with every copy. The album, with a majority of its songs dealing with the sadness of Norwegian mariners repairing their leaking boats, resulted in something the band hadn’t expected: sales of handkerchiefs went up wherever the album sold well. (This was in two areas: Pirate’s Nose in Boise, Idaho; and Kirchengärtnerbergenische, a small village in Switzerland.) To date, a total of 12 copies of Begin the Beggin’ Beguine? Begone and Begorrah! have been sold. It is not known whether those sales were mostly generated by the offer of free clothes pegs. The band is now working on providing the musical accompaniment to a multimedia performance art piece entitled Where Art Thou, Art? or Aristotle Had Onions – Where Are Yours? Part II, to be premièred sometime in 2025.

Now to the song Jamie wanted me (and you) to hear. I like it.

The Carousels – “Call Along The Coast (2011)