Caroliner Rainbow Scrambled Egg Taken For A Wife ‘Banknotes, Dreams & Signatures’

San Francisco’s ectoplasmic troupe Caroliner changes line-up, instrumentation and even band name with each release. Here under the Caroliner Rainbow Scrambled Egg Taken For A Wife moniker, the band delivers two suites of lo-fi, sonic mayhem and indecipherable lyrics. Yet don’t expect your ordinary, marketable lo-fi: the guitars sound like plugged in a refrigerator’s compressor motor and the vocals are recorded through an electric razor instead of a microphone. Not that pressing quality will help, either – I’ve read the ‘Banknotes, Dreams & Signatures’ LP was deliberately factory-ruined to add to the murkiness and ludicrousness of the music. Whether this is true or not, this LP will sound like an accident to most ears, and is intended as such.

Since 1982, Caroliner have build a complex mythography based on 19th century Americana, hand drawn, insane LP cover art and sickening, day-glo colors outfit and stage design. Each side of ‘Banknotes, …’ is a succession of various intertwined, approximate songs with grotesque, noisy accompaniment. Though the putrid bass sound is practically annihilated from the final mix and the drums are almost defaced by awkward treble equalization, various individual instruments eventually surfaces through the disc, including beautiful violin and clarinet on side B – said side ending with a glorious locked groove, which I let run for more than one minute in the mp3. This is circus music whose artistry lies in the level of degradation it went through in the process. In this respect, this is high art.

  • Side A (23:15)
    In The Land Of Disturbance (The Indian Home)
    Wire Thin Sheep Legs
    Salt Lumps
    Horsemeat Selling Roses
    Pumpkin Headed Kids With The Horse Mane Hair
    Bullets Instead Of Teeth
    Odd Friend’s Reverie Gravesite For Thoughts
  • Side B (25:23)
    Beeline For The Wet Spot
    Worst Of Toys
    Bank Notes Dreams & Signatures
    Poat Room
    Bring Culture To The Treetops
    “Old” Eggwipe
    Can’t Smell Water No More

Total time 48:38
LP released by Nuf Sed, San Francisco, CA, 1994

Download Option 1 / Option 2


25 Responses to “Caroliner Rainbow Scrambled Egg Taken For A Wife ‘Banknotes, Dreams & Signatures’”

  1. 1 icastico February 17, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Lovely artwork. And the review makes it sound intriguing. Can’t wait.

    Although I must admit 1 minute sounds a bit timid for a glorious locked groove.


  2. 2 continuo February 17, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Theoretically, you’re right, but I thought after 20mns of Caroliner, a 1mn locked groove is just the appropriate amount. When you eventually listen to this B-side, I guess you’ll understand my point of view. Thanks for your interest.

  3. 4 Marcus Staniec February 18, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    I love Caroliner and I don’t have this release so thanks a lot continuo!

  4. 5 continuo February 18, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    You’re welcome. WTF music, indeed!

  5. 6 continuo February 18, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    Thanks, Teddy.

  6. 7 Scott February 19, 2010 at 12:29 am

    Thanks, I hadn’t heard this album till now. I bought Rainbow Hernia Milk Queen… a couple of years ago (available on Mutant Sounds), it came in a pizza box with a bunch of random articles like an old book cover, a used napkin, some other scratched up old reccord, etc. Guess that was their calling card, to give you some surprise junk with it. Their artwork is definitely cool too.

  7. 8 continuo February 19, 2010 at 7:11 am

    This one is a humble LP release, but no less awesome. My favorite Caroliner is their almost atmospheric, soundscape-like project Toodoos.

  8. 9 Captain Nioq Winky February 20, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Thank you for the link. I’ve been trying to collect all caroliner rainbow thingies legally or illegally (Considering that I live in spain, it’s a quite daunting task!) So thank you for providing me with this good ol’ piece of america funny fun. Yours trully;

    Captain Nioq Winky

  9. 10 continuo February 20, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    Hi, Captain. Glad I could add to your unusual collection of pizza boxes and food leftovers.

  10. 11 Cottypearile Weddingforke February 20, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    This is still in print. Caroliner has hundreds of the lps unsold:
    or through our distributor

    Help us out and buy them all for very cheap.

  11. 12 continuo February 20, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    Let me know if you want me to delete the download link above.

  12. 13 Cottypearile Weddingforke February 23, 2010 at 12:41 am

    The damage has been irrevocably done my friend! It’s best if you order with most haste the 203 leftover aforementioned Caroliner items for yourself and that way you might keep your long play information intact!

    All Caroliner releases are in print, the twelve inch ones in one form or another, for your convenience. Might be good to get one of each item also while you can. This will help us in our next releases, three of which are ready to go with your quick work.

    In advance, thanks for the helping!

  13. 14 Cthulberg March 5, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    If some of you guys actually go out and buy some of these vinyls instead of downloading them we might even get to hear the next few albums eventually. Besides, there is nothing like sitting around reading (?) the lyric sheet, frantically trying to decypher the elaborate squiggles before the song ends.

    There is no such thing as a bad Caroliner album. They are all good. Buy them. Now. Let’s keep the ball rolling so we can marvel at another American Heritage LP =)


  14. 15 continuo March 5, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Cthulberg, fooling us around like this will not help, I’m afraid. Making us believe that mp3 downloads prevent Caroliner from releasing a future LP is plain bullshit. Indeed, who can believe Caroliner LP sales can yield enough money to cover the next LP’s manufacturing costs, when the number of circulating copies is so desperately low? If the band want to release yet another LP, they shall get themselves a proper job and go to the pressing plant when they gather the extra money.

    Just so you know: people who read this blog actually buy a lot of records, principally LPs. You should not scorn them, but respect them.

  15. 16 Cthulberg March 9, 2010 at 10:56 am

    What’s up with all the folks (not only on this blog!)saying it is difficult to find Caroliner records?

    Brutalsoundeffects and Weirdo Records carry a lot of their records, some of them are even re-presses on compact disc for those who are averse to vinyl. The number of available copies of Caroliner records are quite high actually, except for some key vinyls like “Rise of the Common Woodpile”, “Wine Can’t Do It, Wife Won’t Do” and “Legs Go, Lungs Go, Mind Goes”. The first two are available as compact discs from bsfx…

    About filesharing, well that discussion does not belong here and is a pointless anyway. Suffice to say that you managed to ignore both of Cottypearile’s posts saying that hundreds of records are available from the band, including the one you posted. Gosh. “Desperately” low my foot…

    I could understand your point of view much better if “Banknotes…” had been out of print for a long while, but it isn’t. Redeeming point; spreading information about the band, which can also be accomplished by not sharing an entire album in the process.

    There is more, obviously, but I cba to spend more time.


  16. 17 Cottypearile Weddingforke March 10, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    How odd your talk of hard to find recordings! We try to get them everywhere! Our process was to record, put out the recording then when the profit was made: fund the next recording. Our costs go into the show aspect which is elaborate if you haven’t opened your eyes in the past 25 years or so, in regards to us.

    Come to the show this friday in Berkeley. Buy everything, we are broke. It’s been years since we have been able to move the recordings that are now in big boxes at our distributor Subterranean. Which, by the way, is fine, we can do live shows in the mein. We can release things that don’t sit around waiting for the gardener to bequeth the dripping dark nutrient into our recording processes. A smaller disc anyone?

    The next releases will not be vinyl, we speculate, for the fact that rarely do our records sell like they did since Transcontinental Pinecone Collector (still in print folks!). We will probably do a print on demand sort of thing that will have smaller packaging. Basically, the audience who used to fund ‘the next long play recording’ have shrunk or gone to this blog!

    The fact anyone is still interested in Caroliner provides endless amusement to all of us, by the way. Thank you!

  17. 18 continuo March 10, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    As for me, I’m not amused anymore.

  18. 19 Chicago fan March 22, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    I just bought a few records from Subterranean and they were fast and easy to work with. If you’re not able to find these records – you suck at looking. They are worth your effort. If you listen to the records without the lyric sheet you are missing a big part of the experience. The art and lyrics are “intrinsic to the music” for sure. This is probably the best American band in the last 40 years along side Sun City Girls and this along side Cooking Stove Beast and Rise of the Common Woodpile are their peaks IMO.

  19. 20 nehoccramcire January 25, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Me, I’m downloading this because I’ve had it on vinyl for a decade or so, but every time I try to fold it so it fits into my computer the sound quality diminishes.

  20. 21 nehoccramcire January 25, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Sorry, I meant almost two decades. Crikey, did this really come out in 1993? It sounds so ‘fresh’.

  21. 22 continuo January 25, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    When a tomato is totally rotten to the core, it’s sometimes hard to tell how old it actually is. Enjoy!

  22. 23 Dylan Thomas Hayden March 9, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    I met one of these guys on Haight Street once about 25 years ago, when I was just a kid, and it’s kind of amazing and touching that they’re still at it, whatever it is. I like it!

  23. 24 Snot Sleave Sally June 2, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    The Caroliner Rainbow brigade includes many, so credits are best simplified under Grux – though to keep the scrambled eggs interesting with added ingredients, I’d like to point out that the Toulouse Lautrec like hand might not be the daddy or mommy at hand.
    Grux has an amazing penmanship but there’s a style that I’d like to point out that’s not from the same logorrheic hand ie The woman skipping over a menacing puddle(if you blink your eyes in time as it turns it becomes a zoetrope) and the the two men heads, one with coin slot ears and bank note eyes on the bottom half of Scrambled Eggs Taken for Wife album.

    Just say’n is all.

    From a speaking Spade that has spoke, thanks for the posts.

  24. 25 joao gomes July 5, 2012 at 4:09 am

    In a world of total complacent bands,these guys were truly original ,they were passed over,as usually great art is in the U.S.Hopefully they can sell more records, and do some tours,if they are still playing.I am going to look for more of their stuff.Keep going Caroliner.

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