23 Years of Hernia Milk and Ergot Dreams: A Retrospective of Caroliner and its Homage to a 19th Century Singing Bull

Echo de Pensees Sound Series in conjunction with The Museum of Viral Memory presents, 23 Years of Hernia Milk and Ergot Dreams, the first ever opportunity to see the internationally recognized band Caroliner’s extensive ephemera (propitious props, salutary sets, corrupting costumes, random releases, maligned missives, reviled relics and loquacious lyric books) collected in one place!

Caroliner was formed in San Francisco in 1983 when a ragtag band of temporally misplaced troubadors ran afoul of an astrally displaced gang of misbehaved minstrels. Initial violence blossomed into corporate confusion when deep inside a mold induced hallucination they co-copyrighted the original songs of a singing bull, Caroliner, who was tragically killed and eaten by its starved owner in the mythic age of 1833.

Taking ergot-poisoned pills through a Wisconsin death trip, the group began recreating their hallucinatory dream state through hypnotic sound, flamboyant costumes, and glowing props.
Two decades later they are still digging through Caroliner’s prodigious aural droppings with day-glo miner’s helmets and home made shovels of calcium welded bone. The sounds a heady mix of toxic shock and shocking talk, folk confusion and percussing dissolution.

For Hernia Milk and Ergot Dreams Marcella Faustini and Sarrita Hunn have dug through the group’s checkered past and black-light warehouse to choose the cream of the crop of 23 years of Caroliner props, costumes, instruments, records, books, flyers and assorted other detritus.
The show closed on January 13th with Caroliner’s first performance in years.

23 Years of Hernia Milk and Ergot Dreams exposes Caroliner’s tragic trail of tears through the American dream and across the world.


“This is some lost American Baroque, retrieved at
rummage sales…Caroliner holds on to an old-fashioned
esthetic of sensory assault, raised to an unusually high
pitch of musical sophistication”
-Alex Ross, New York Times, April 15, 1993