Neutral Milk Hotel-Sponsored Paragon Carousel Wins Popular Vote, Given $100k Grant

It's hard being a hipster these days. With your favorite scene being crushed and co-opted by capitalism, it's hard not to feel vain and vapid. It's even harder to deny that you've become increasingly shallow towards others in an attempt to maintain individuality by postmodernizing your existence to oblivion. But does that necessarily make you a bad person? No! You can still do good, especially when your favorite band of old asks for help.

Case in point: The Paragon Carousel, based in Hull in northern Massachusetts. A beautiful early 20th-century carousel, the Paragon Carousel is likely reminiscent of the old carousels you rode when you were a kid, with its screechy tunes and wooden horses. But it's gotten old, and it needed help. In the running for a $100,000 grant from Partners In Preservation that would help in restoring and preserving the antiquated amusement machine, we reported in April that Julian Koster, speaking on behalf of Jeff Mangum and Neutral Milk Hotel, had sent a public letter, beseeching fans to vote daily for the Paragon. A few days before the May 16 deadline, the Carousel was leading with 14% of the vote, 2% above the old Salem City Hall.

Now, two weeks ago -- which means it's still current news in the indie music blogosphere -- it was announced by Partners in Preservation (and reported by local newspapers) that the Paragon won the popular vote, guaranteeing a $100,000 grant from the initiative. The Carousel thanked everyone for their involvement and is celebrating with several events this summer.

Who's to say hipsters aren't kind?

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