Wednesday, April 2


On 17 January 2007, I wrote about Sweden's THE CARNY, as follows:

"LAST.FM informs us: 'The Carny is a rock band based in the city of Halmstad, on the sunny side of Sweden.' Sunny? Well, with it being 12 degrees F. here in the Mitten at the moment, that sounds pretty good to me. Book my flight. [It is now 2 April 2008. The temperature in the Mitten is 36 degrees F.] [I just assumed you would want an update....]

Now then... calling the Carny a "rock band" may be a bit of a stretch. "Indie pop" seems more their milieu. Sort of with a '60s/gypsy flair. This is one of those bands that seems to have way too many members to ever make much money. But -- like their fellow Swedes PINTO -- the Carny don't seem to care about the cash.

I guess it's true what I've heard... the Swedes are not just a pretty people; they're rich. A Saab in every driveway; an eel in every pot; a flask of Absolut in every pocket. Now, I realize that Sweden is a socialist country, so I'm guessing that its citizens are therefore required by law to split their incomes equally amongst the masses. They were probably able to coast through the '70s and early '80s on Bjorn Borg's winnings and ABBA royalties alone.

Despite the best efforts of ROXETTE, ACE OF BASE, and STEFAN EDBERG, the rest of the '80s must have been relatively lean times for the Swedish people. Ingmar Bergman got so depressed he stopped directing films. Ingrid Bergman [no relation] got so depressed she just up and died. But then: a ray of light (not SUNlight, of course; they don't have sunlight in Sweden... just... um... windmills... and wooden shoes... and... um... frozen tulips).

No, the ray of light came in the form of a new and ingenious export: hockey players! By my careful calculations, the combined 2006 salaries of two NHL players alone -- Peter Forsberg and Nicklas Lidstrom -- split evenly amongst the Swedish people, would net each man, woman, and child the tidy sum of $1.46. That translates to, approximately, 10 kronor (kronor are the currency Swedes use to purchase vodka and eels). [Peter Forsberg was hurt most of this past season, and thus will make a measly $1 M. this year. With Nick Lidstrom's 7.6 M., that translates to a mere $0.94 (5.6 kronor) for every man, woman, and child in Sweden.]

Anyway, all of this was to make the point that, because they are supported by the labors of their exported hockey players, the musicians of Sweden often find it unnecessary (even repugnant) to accept money for their musical endeavors. They practically throw the stuff away. The way that Americans throw away Canadian coins (no love for the loony). The way the English throw away the dental-hygiene care packages dropped daily by UN relief planes (fancy a floss?)." [Funny thing... Canadian coins are now worth pretty much the same as American coins. How the hell did this happen? I blame Bush.]

Okay, so that was the bulk of our previous entry on the Carny. But here's the ultimate update: The Carny have gone ahead and taken a crack at American-styled capitalism and... you know... actually released an album. Which you can buy. With money. Which the Carny will accept. Without apology.

The album is titled, delightfully: ..SO LET'S GIVE A GREAT BIG OLDFASHIONED WELCOME TO THE CARNY. It is available to be bought with money [HERE], [HERE], [HERE], and... you know... iTUNES.


MP3] "Man Under the Sun"

MP3] "Where the Daffodils Grow"

No comments: