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May 18, 2008

Life at Home with Nielsen Haydens
Posted by Patrick at 11:09 AM *

T: What’s that playing on the speakers in your office? It sounds great.

P: Crooked Timber has a MySpace page, with four songs from their forthcoming next album.

T: Crooked Timber has an album coming out?

P: Crooked Timber! I meant Crooked Still.

T: You had me going there.

P: “And looking very relaxed, Michael Bérubé on vibes.”

Comments on Life at Home with Nielsen Haydens:
#1 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: May 18, 2008, 11:28 AM:

what about the roast unicorn for thanksgiving, or the shanking to disemvowel of wingnuts in the park. This other stuff is boring.
Where's the edge?!

#2 ::: iayork ::: (view all by) ::: May 18, 2008, 11:40 AM:

“And looking very relaxed, Michael Bérubé on vibes.”

The Bonzo Dog Doo-dah Blog!

#3 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: May 18, 2008, 12:29 PM:

It's now become superfluous to say a big hello to King Kong on vox humana.

#4 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 18, 2008, 01:04 PM:

And on vox angelica, abi....

#5 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: May 18, 2008, 01:04 PM:

They do sound great - and there's a 5th song if you scroll down.

#6 ::: Kieran ::: (view all by) ::: May 18, 2008, 01:08 PM:

We should totally do a concept album.

#7 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: May 18, 2008, 03:18 PM:

Do I incorrectly remember that Bérubé actually is a drummer?

#8 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: May 18, 2008, 03:23 PM:

By the way, one of the group plays a tenor guitar on some tracks. A what? A tenor guitar. Huh. I've played a six-string off and on for years, but I've never seen a four-string.

#9 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: May 18, 2008, 03:39 PM:

Crooked Still is fantastic! Their cover of Oxford Town has me singing along 100% of the time, although it is so good that my roommate still lets me play it.

#10 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: May 18, 2008, 03:48 PM:

One of the band members has a blog. The band also has a non-MySpace site: Crooked Still.

#11 ::: MR Bill ::: (view all by) ::: May 18, 2008, 03:56 PM:

I would totally buy a Crooked Timber Album.

#12 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 18, 2008, 04:49 PM:

That was funny, and that's a great group. I may buy that album.

#13 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 18, 2008, 05:25 PM:

What is the sound of one Crooked Timber album clapping?

Hm, actually, that makes a really good koan.

#14 ::: Alan Bostick ::: (view all by) ::: May 18, 2008, 05:41 PM:

I've suffered for my music, says John Holbo. Now it's your turn.

#15 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 18, 2008, 05:59 PM:

Linkmeister: You've never heard of one? The Kingston Trio caused a minor renassaince. If you google tunings you will see lots of variations.

I have a baritone Uke, and want to figure out which nylon strings will let me tune it to Mandolin. I tried getting mando strings, but the tension is too high for the machines to take up.

#16 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: May 18, 2008, 06:52 PM:

Terry @ #15, I own a few Kingston Trio albums, but I did not know Reynolds was playing that instrument. IIRC, liner notes didn't start offering that level of detail until the 70s, long after the Trio had fallen off my musical radar.

One of the joys of buying a new album for me was reading the notes while listening to the record for the first time. (Hey! That's Emmylou Harris singing backup there!)

#17 ::: Allen Baum ::: (view all by) ::: May 18, 2008, 07:18 PM:

ooh, they're coming to Berkeley next month. Yum.

#18 ::: John Chu ::: (view all by) ::: May 18, 2008, 07:19 PM:

Cool, that's two CDs I have to get now. (The other one is Chumbawamba's disc of a cappella English Rebel Songs that Debra Doyle recommended.)

Terry@15: I'd never heard of one either. But four strings, tuned in fifths? GDAE? Finally, all of that violin training pays off! (Ok, I hadn't realized until now that a mandolin is tuned like a violin too. So what do I know?)

#19 ::: Elayne Riggs ::: (view all by) ::: May 18, 2008, 10:36 PM:

Heh, we're the same way about comic book refs. Alas, we don't really share blog-reading (Rob has little patience even for my blogarounds, for instance), so we can't share those in-jokes...

#20 ::: Misha ::: (view all by) ::: May 18, 2008, 10:50 PM:

Michael Berube does play the drums. No idea if Kieran Healey plays bass, though. Maybe he should take it up.

#21 ::: Dr Paisley ::: (view all by) ::: May 18, 2008, 11:04 PM:

P: “And looking very relaxed, Michael Bérubé on vibes.”

Talk about your liberal fascism.

#22 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 12:37 AM:

John Chu: There are all sorts of tunings for the tenor, up an octave, in fourths, banjo tunings, some strange mixed arrangements, uke, you name it, someone has played with it.

#23 ::: martyn44 ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 05:11 AM:

I'm waiting for Vernon Dudley Bohay-Knowell's position on this.

#24 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 06:07 AM:

I suppose this might be the place to warn everyone that the Eurovision Song Contest is due. These days, it's split into two, but the big final is on Saturday.

And it is suggested that nobody actually wants to win, because that means they have to put on the contest next year.

#25 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 06:23 AM:

Mike Godwin on tambourine.

#26 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 08:51 AM:

Tom Whitmore @3, It's now become superfluous to say a big hello to King Kong on vox humana.

However, I for one would give a very big hello to King Kong on Vox Day.

#27 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 09:23 AM:

Professor Berube stepped in as drummer at the last minute after the band's previous drummer, Daniel Davies, died of spontaneous combustion brought on by excessive exposure to UK politics.

#28 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 09:28 AM:

And, jamming on C, Duke Ellington. Swing it, Duke!

#29 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 09:53 AM:

(Jon Meltzer is brilliant.)

#30 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 10:39 AM:

Arriving at my train platform one day, teh overhead electronic sign said 'Z'. I wondered what 'Take the Z Train' would sound like ....

#31 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 11:14 AM:

P J Evans #30: I'm pretty sure you have to get Erich Zann for that.

#32 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 11:30 AM:

ethan @ 31... Take the train to Cthulhunooga? Glenn Miller vs Lovecraftian horrors sounds like a bestseller to me.

#33 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 11:51 AM:

Glenn Miller had to vanish. He knew too much.

Plus, the eldritch piping of unearthly flutes really doesn't work with the traditional big band sound.

#34 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 12:27 PM:

@32: The Cthulhunooga Tcho-Tcho?

#35 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 01:22 PM:

#34--Jon Meltzer--it's worth noting the proximity of that city (which I shall not name here) in Tennessee to a river whose name is sometimes translated as "Stagnant Water", but is known to others as "River of Death". Further north is the territory once known to the early white settlers as "Transylvania". Coincidence? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Many are the strange and eldritch sightings in the area. Perhaps the choice of Moccasin Bend as the site for a state mental hospital was coincidence. Perhaps it was for convenience, so that those who had been overwhelmed by the horrors I dare not name here could be concealed with some discretion so as to avoid the panic that would result if the awful truth were known.

Reader--heed my words! Should you visit Ruby Falls, be careful of that which reaches out in the sepulchral dark as you are distracted by the subterranean wonders around you. And should you be tempted by the signs urging you to see Rock City--resist, friends, resist before it is too late. If you go down, instead, to the city that lies below the mountain that looks out across those haunted vallies--do not ask about the odd shapes that lie waiting in the darker corners of the great aquarium. It is better that you do not know what work goes on there, disguised behind the front of a worthwhile public attraction, designed to educate while entertaining. But know this--if they fail, we all are doomed!

#36 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 01:35 PM:

Just one point, fidelio: as a rule, such posts as yours should finish with a sentence along the lines of "Even as I blog, their terrible limbs reach out for me!" followed by a couple of Cryptic Lovecraftian Exclamations such as "The knuckles! The horrible knuckles!"

#37 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 01:48 PM:

We have pretty good building security here, ajay.

Non-employees have to go to a fair bit of trouble to get in the building, and while some of my fellow-employees are rather uncanny and eldritch, anyone who's worked for the Great State of Tennessee very long has lost, as popular lore can attest, any ambition to do more than get paid regularly while doing as little as possible. So I feel fairly safe as I type these words, although that may


#38 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 02:37 PM:

Fidelio! Fidelio! Where did you go? Are you all right? Fidelio!

#39 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 02:40 PM:

Poor man. "Non-employees have to go to a fair bit of trouble to get in the building", he typed, confidently - unaware that It had been in the building since its construction, ever wakeful, ever waiting.

#40 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 03:09 PM:

ajay @ #39, "It had been in the building since its construction"

Wait. I thought Jimmy Hoffa was generally assumed to be buried under Giants Stadium in NJ. Now you're telling me he's actually interred in Tennessee?

#41 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 03:25 PM:

Linkmeister @40:

I thought Jimmy Hoffa was generally assumed to be buried under Giants Stadium in NJ. Now you're telling me he's actually interred in Tennessee?

Who knows the dank and foul passageways that extend through the darkness underneath New Jersey? Over the years, how far can the eldrich horror have dragged itself inside the shambling frame of the former Teamster? If it arises now, calling itself J'may Ho-Pha, in pitiful imitation of the style of its Elder Masters, who will stand against it and tell it that its apostrophes and hypens are an abomination before Strunk and White?

And if one of our number should fall in the endeavor, who will stand and take up the battle? For we are all Fidelio now.

#42 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 03:35 PM:

Fidelio #35: Indeed, and one might consider that there is a threat that comes upon that place from one whose name can be read as The Lost One and his squamous and rugose allies.

#43 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 03:50 PM:

Lee @ 38...

Fidelio is not in here anymore.
Bwahahahah!!!

#44 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 04:15 PM:

Cthulhu on squamous, gelatinous, slobbering horror. That's nice, Cthulhu!

(doo ... doo doo doo wah ...)

#45 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 04:27 PM:

And the Making Light comments section on triangle. (Ting!) Thank you.

#46 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 04:34 PM:

Actually, given how much we mess about with the language, I think the comments section must be on the fiddle.

#47 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 05:00 PM:

abi @ 46... the comments section must be on the fiddle

Committing violins against the English language?

#48 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 05:07 PM:

Serge #47: That is a bass suggestion.

#49 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 05:09 PM:

We commit BOTH sax and violins.

#50 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 05:11 PM:

Serge @47:

*bows*

#51 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 05:14 PM:

Featuring the Making Light trolls on dsmvwlmnt.

#52 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 05:38 PM:

Xopher #49: But we don't harp on it.

#53 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 05:45 PM:

Good Lord sweet Jesus make it stop!!!1! (I'm laughing too hard.)

Poor Fidelio, we hardly knew ye.

#54 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 05:53 PM:

Michael, your protests fall flat. On that note, I shall stop (for now).

#55 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 05:55 PM:

Michael... Resistance is flutile.

#56 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 06:15 PM:

Our conducr must be above reproach as we gurdy our loins and hurdy to battle, where we can deal sharply with those who flaut the ill, rail against the good and have a clanging timbre.

No, with a dynamic vision we shall increase the tempo of our actions, we shall look to our fortes and use them until the very coda of the fight.

And, as needed, we shall reprise our part and repeat until a total victory is attained, at which point we shall retire to the bars and stand a round to all the chorus.

#57 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 06:16 PM:

Long before a Bee Movie, there was the Bee Song. And theis was the very early days of TV.

The Day War Broke Out.

#58 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 08:00 PM:

Although I appreciate you amplifying your comments--and they do strike a cord--I am ofFendered by their tenor. Going down these Rhodes is dangerous. I recommend you bring a coup stick.

#59 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 08:17 PM:

John A Arkansawyer @ 58... I am ofFendered by their tenor

Accordeon to what criteria?

#60 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 08:29 PM:

Serge: guitard o' here

#61 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 08:33 PM:

John, are you casting slurs on Terry? Who has faced death where canons roar?

#62 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2008, 09:23 PM:

John @ 58: Although it's music to my ears, I think you're preaching to the choir. Does that ring a bell? And on that note, let's see what Serge has to say as he chimes in on this.

#63 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 01:31 AM:

Serge @ 55

Show some respect, don't be a floutist! You say it's accidental, but I think you're too sharp for that.

#64 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 01:32 AM:

abi @ 41

Wait, I thought I was Spartacus.

#65 ::: martyn44 ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 03:58 AM:

All of you.

Ever seen a grown man weeping with laughter? My work colleagues have.

Memo to self. Don't read Making Light at work.

#66 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 03:11 PM:

Baron Wulfenbach and his pals, tapdancing.

#67 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 03:25 PM:

Bruce: I think it's only natural, though I quaver at the thought of even the minimal damage he could do. But in this system no one keeps score, though we try to match each other measure for measure, and it's really no holds barred; even Teresa cannot stem, or even stave off, the tied of puns. It's very madrigalling.

But oh well: so motet be.

#68 ::: Dan S. ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2008, 10:12 PM:

"And looking very relaxed, Michael Bérubé on vibes.

I thought Bérubé played the diacritics . . .

#69 ::: Michael Turyn ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 08:58 AM:

'P: "And looking very relaxed, Michael Bérubé on vibes.”'
#25: Jon Meltzer:'Mike Godwin on tambourine.'

These both can't be true; Mike Godwin won't play in any band that has vibes.

(For an obvious reason, I now hear Mike Godwin in Billy West's imitation of Phil Hartman's voice saying, 'I don't pretend to understand Godwin's Law, I merely enforce it.')

#70 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 12:17 PM:

I am taking up space to set a bookmark on my new Asus Surf.

#71 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 01:29 PM:

Xopher: I will not rest until you all beam and nothing bars the glee that goes round. Brace yourselves and beware lest you find yourselves on the clef stick of the crochet of time, flags flying and heads rolling. Look for the sign of da capo, or the Godfather will get you. Flat natural, no accident, its a swell life.

#72 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2008, 02:15 PM:

Bruce: Don't be so concerned about the motet in my eye, when there's a beam in your own.

#73 ::: Edward Oleander ::: (view all by) ::: May 22, 2008, 07:32 PM:

Aaawk! {{{thud}}}

#74 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 02:57 PM:

73: Warnng, geek joke.

I prefer to use sed.

#75 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 03:12 PM:

Bruce Cohen (STM) @74:

Warning, Latin joke.

But why?

#76 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 03:28 PM:

#73-75
owww .....

#77 ::: Alex Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 03:45 PM:

#34: The Cthulhunooga Tcho-Tcho?

Someone's done it:

The Lair of Great Cthulhu.

#78 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 03:58 PM:

Alex Cohen @ 77... I'm looking forward to the film version of the musical Lair, as long as Treat Williams isn't in the cast.

"Let the Moooon shine in."

#79 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2008, 08:37 PM:

Serge @78: So long as it isn't The Lair of the White Worm (you know, the story by Bram Stoker that isn't Dracula).

#80 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 12:57 AM:

Rob Rusick @ #79:

Maybe I've had atypical influences, but for me "the story by Bram Stoker that isn't Dracula" is The Jewel of Seven Stars.

#81 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 07:04 AM:

Paul A.@80: Any good? I liked Dracula; I couldn't believe the same writer wrote The Lair of the White Worm (which IMO drag-g-g-ged in a way Dracula hadn't). I never saw the movie, but it appears to have fans.

#82 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 07:13 AM:

And a great favorite of all of us here, the creationists on red herring. Fishy!

#83 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 07:36 AM:

Jon Meltzer @82:
the creationists on red herring. Fishy!

Just a rare crossbreed. Which died in a tree, and didn't fall out of it till its bones would fossilize in the right layer to DECEIVE US ALL!

#84 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 11:43 AM:

abi: Thanks, I needed that.

#85 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 04:56 PM:

Didn't Ken Russell film Lair of the White Worm, based on his own script? Never seen it, but I understand that it was terrible. As for the other not-Dracula story, The Jewel of the Seven Stars was made into the movie The Awakening. Oh-hum is what I remember thinking of it.

#86 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 06:51 PM:

Serge, I have seen Lair of the White Worm.
As you know, there are a lot of different kinds of cheese in the world, from so-called "cheese foods" that have casein-based substances within them, in amongst the various chemicals, all the way to whatever the Sovereign of Cheeses is--Parmeggiano-Reggiano, Stilton, or whatever. This movie is one of those odd cheese rarities with such a highly distinctive flavor and aroma that you've got to be serious gourmet of cheese to appreciate it, perferably with alcohol.

I'd never say that Russell shouldn't have made this movie, but Hugh Grant may disagree.

#87 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 06:59 PM:

I bought Russell's Lair of the White Worm a couple years ago when Tower was folding. I concur - an exotic cheese, well aged.

#88 ::: EClaire ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 07:01 PM:

Another website I visit did a Sweet 16 of cheeses where the top match-up was Mozzarella vs. British Cheddar and the winner was British Cheddar. Mozzarella gets more of a supporting actor nod than top billing, as far as I'm concerned.
Cheese Champion

#89 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 07:07 PM:

British cheddar, oh man.... we've been getting some British "Coastal Cheddar" from Costco this spring, and it might well be the best cheese I've ever had. It is so dense it crumbles instead of slicing, it melts in your mouth with just a pleasantly and gritty touch to the mouthfeel, and it tastes almost unbelievably rich and complex. It almost feels like a sin to have it any way more complicated than plain on crackers, but I use it for sandwiches anyway.

#90 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 07:51 PM:

Trader Joe's sometimes has 'mature Welsh Cheddar'. Eat it like good chocolate: carefully, so you can enjoy every bit. It's about that rich.

What cracker? I was eating the slice straight up.

#91 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 08:51 PM:

Whole Paycheck (also known as Whole Foods) has a wide selection of cheeses, many of which I've never heard of before and some I've heard of but never had the chance to see. Because of them, I've been able to indulge my inner Wallace and have partaken of Wensleydale.

Not bad.

#92 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2008, 10:48 PM:

Rob Rusick @ #81:

Well, I haven't actually read it. I'm just more aware of its existence.


Serge @ #85:

The Hammer Horror film Blood from the Mummy's Tomb, starring Andrew Keir, is also based on The Jewel of Seven Stars. I don't know if it's any good, but I regard its existence as a vote in the novel's favour. (I note that Hammer never filmed The Lair of the White Worm.)

#93 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 07:47 AM:

fidelio and Clifton Royston...

You're trying to make me put Lair of the White Worm on our NetFlix queue, aren't you? Where you get the idea that I like cheesy movies, I know not.

"(Serge, what about all those MST3K movies you taped")

Shush.

#94 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 07:52 AM:

Paul A @ 92... The Hammer Horror film Blood from the Mummy's Tomb, starring Andrew Keir

So many temptations. Meanwhile, last night, the Skiffy Channel showed a Russell Mulcahy movie called Tale of the Mummy. I didn't see most of it, literally, partly because we'd gone to see Indiana Jones, but mostly because the mummy, a well preserved female one, went around naked the whole time, which means that they blurred her naughty bits.

#95 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2008, 10:36 AM:

Further to me @ #92:

I've been poking the internet to see if it's got any inexpensive etexts of The Jewel of Seven Stars I could read.

It turns out that there are two versions of the novel: the publishers made Stoker change the ending for the second edition, apparently because they thought their readers were delicate flowers who would be upset if a horror novel didn't have a happy ending. People who've read both versions seem to agree that the second is inferior.

Guess which edition all the inexpensive etexts are based on?

#96 ::: Doctor Psycho ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 02:25 AM:

I still can't get over the idea that a berube is a type of woodwind, though. One of those big ones that put out lots of deep subsonic vibes.

I may never be able to eat cheese again with the wholly undivided relish that I could manage before Making Light commentors planted the seed of doubt in my mind about its possible Cthuloid origins.

#97 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 10:35 AM:

Serge, I'd never try and make you do that; I'm just saying it was a rare and unusual sort of cheese, best appreciated by those who are gourmets of cheese.

#98 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 12:18 PM:

fidelio @ 97... a rare and unusual sort of cheese, best appreciated by those who are gourmets of cheese

C'est moi! C'est moi!
I'm forced to admit
'Tis I, I humbly reply

#99 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 12:22 PM:

Paul A @ 95... Except in comedies, are there stories where the Mummy isn't evil, or a mindless tool of destruction?

#100 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 04:23 PM:

Serge@99

The mummies in the RPG "Mummy, the Resurrection" (by White Wolf) were mostly good.

#101 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2008, 05:36 PM:

Michael I @ 100... Thanks. The only good mummy I could think of was in the comic-book B.P.R.D.: one of the organization's residents is a very old Egyptian Princess, so old that she can't move around anymore so she spends her days and nights lying in bed, but she gets frequent visits from the group's firestarter, Liz Sherman, who hit upon the idea of alleviating the Princess's loneliness by bringing her a bunch of kittens.

#102 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2008, 11:32 AM:

Serge @ #99:

Mummies are at a bit of a disadvantage, in that the standard reason for them coming to life is to wreak terrible revenge on somebody, which doesn't tend to work as a sympathetic motivation. And they don't have the charisma of, say, your fashionable upper-class vampire, so people aren't inclined to find ways of casting them in a good light.

Most of the friendly mummies that come easily to mind are from children's television, and are all played for comedy, with the possible exception of Mummies Alive! (which, despite everything, was apparently intended to be taken seriously).

Wikipedia suggests N'Kantu the Living Mummy, another comic-book character. (Fun bonus game: Can you guess which publisher produced him just from the name?)

Which side was the mummy on in The Robot vs. The Aztec Mummy?

#103 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2008, 11:39 AM:

Paul A @ 102... the standard reason for them coming to life is to wreak terrible revenge on somebody

"Knowing my brother-in-law, he probably deserves whatever you're about to do to him. But this is my house. I have certain rules about snakes and dismemberment."

#104 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2008, 11:40 AM:

Mummies are at a bit of a disadvantage, in that the standard reason for them coming to life is to wreak terrible revenge on somebody, which doesn't tend to work as a sympathetic motivation

I don't know... works all right in a lot of Westerns.

#105 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2008, 12:03 PM:

ajay #104: Please let there be a filmmaker hanging around here, and please let them get an idea from that.

#106 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2008, 12:07 PM:

Paul A. @102-- And they don't have the charisma of, say, your fashionable upper-class vampire, so people aren't inclined to find ways of casting them in a good light.

The mummy in "Night at the Museum" was pretty suave. I know that was a comedy, but I could imagine a character like that having possibilities.

I suspect, though, that there are so few attractive mummies for the same reason that leading characters seldom wear helmets or visors where it would be appropriate IRL -- the actors want their faces to be seen as much as possible.

#107 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2008, 12:19 PM:

ethan @ 105... The Wild Wild West had no mummies?

#108 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2008, 12:36 PM:

I think the problem is that mummies just look comic - the bandages, you know.

105: "High Plains Drifter", IIRC, suggested pretty strongly that the main character (played by Clint Eastwood) had returned from the grave to seek revenge. For that matter, mythology's full of Ancient Heroes who will awake when the land is threatened - King Arthur and Sir Francis Drake come to mind. And not all mummies were Egyptian - there were plenty of Anasazi corpses mummified in New Mexico. (Where the first atom bomb tests were conducted. Ah, it's all taking shape now.)


#109 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2008, 12:59 PM:

Speaking of Hammer films, a friend phoned during the weekend to say that she had been able to download a copy of Moon Zero Two, a film which has never been available on tape or DVD.

It was once given the MST3K treatment (somewhat unfairly), but my friend has found a puppet-free version.

"Do you know the asteroids, Mr.Kemp?... Hundreds of thousands of them. All wandering around the Sun in strange orbits. Some never named, never charted. The orphans of the Solar System, Mr. Kemp."

"And you want to become a father."

#110 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2008, 01:09 PM:

Bill Higgins @ 109...

Oh goodness. I remember Moon Zero Two.
("Of course you would, Serge.")

#111 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2008, 03:19 PM:

ajay #108: "High Plains Drifter", IIRC, suggested pretty strongly that the main character (played by Clint Eastwood) had returned from the grave to seek revenge.

That's what I mean, kind of...take that kind of thing and make it VERY literal, and very explicit.

Serge #107: I really, really, really wouldn't know. Will Smith makes me yak.

#112 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2008, 03:34 PM:

ethan @ 111... Oh, that movie... What a waste that was. Anyway, it's the TV show about which I was wondering if mummies had been seen. It did have Boris Karloff in one episode.

#113 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2008, 03:45 PM:

I always get High Plains Drifter mixed up with Pale Rider. I mean, just from the titles, which would YOU guess is the supernatural revenge tale?

#114 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2008, 04:22 PM:

Xopher @ 113: Now that you mention it, I think of both of them as "supernatural revenge tales". When I saw High Plains Drifter, I didn't necessarily think he was dead. To me, it was more clear that Preacher in Pale Rider was supernatural, as they first showed him riding to the voiceover of the girl reading that verse.

#115 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2008, 05:07 PM:

Serge #112: Oh, whoops, I forgot there was a TV show first. Well, I still have no idea. Is the show worth watching?

#116 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2008, 05:16 PM:

ethan @ 115... It's been a decade since I saw Wild Wild West, but it definitely had more than its share of odd moments, especially whenever evil Dr.Lovelès showed up with his giant (and mute) henchman Voltaire. Sometimes the stories went, not west, but south, like the time James West went undercover as one André Crouton in French Guyana, a story that also involved cross-dressing.

#117 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2008, 05:19 PM:

I don't remember mummies in 'Wild Wild West' (on TV) but it seemed to have just about everything else, short of spaceships and aliens. I wouldn't be surprised to find out there had been mummies somewhere in one of its shows.

#118 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2008, 05:33 PM:

Favorite WWW moment: when Elisha Calamander, a very stuffy bad guy who always refers to himself as "one" is warned by James West that the thing he's just taken from West is dangerously unstable:

JW: What if one were told that [this is going to turn into poison gas and kill you]?

EC: One would be irresistably inclined to doubt you.

#119 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2008, 06:25 PM:

I don't remember mummies in 'Wild Wild West' (on TV) but it seemed to have just about everything else, short of spaceships and aliens.

Season two. "Night of the Flying Pie Plate."

West and Gordon witness a fireball plunging to earth over a Western town. At the impact site, they find a perfectly Victorian-looking flying saucer, inhabited by green Hollywood starlets who claim to be from Venus. Wish I could find a still online to show you.

A local station is running early episodes, so recently I have been watching a few. It's wonderful cheese.

#120 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2008, 06:40 PM:

It's been so long, I don't remember if I saw that one. I'm not surprised, though.

#121 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2008, 06:42 PM:

Ethan, the recent movie was just terrible. The 1960s TV series, a blend of 50% secret agents, 40% Westerns, and 10% science fiction, was implausible fun. Handsome, well-dressed men and women contending over mad schemes and bizarre inventions.

This was years before steampunk.

If it sounds to you like the sort of thing you'd like, I recommend tasting some.

#122 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2008, 06:54 PM:

It does indeed sound fantastic. I've added the first season to my Netflix, although, as usual, there's no saying how long it'll sit in the queueueue before I actually watch it.

#123 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2008, 07:22 PM:

"The Night of the Flying Pie Plate" on YouTube...
(OK, someone changed the soundtrack, but this should give ethan an idea of what he's in for.)

#124 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2008, 07:29 PM:

ethan: You have a wonderful treat in store. It holds up pretty well.

#125 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2008, 08:33 PM:

SNL did a 'Wild Wild West' skit when Robert Conrad was hosting; I tried to find it on YouTube, but no luck.

As I recall, it involved a villian (Dr. Loveless?) building an atomic bomb, and hiding it somewhere in Washington DC. A time machine was in the mix too; when his superior asks West what he did with the bomb, he replies that he sent it a hundred years into the future ("Ah, very good...").

In the last scene, Lincoln walks off talking with West, while Artemus Gordon, disguised as Lincoln, takes Lincoln's place attending a play at Ford's Theater.

#126 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2008, 08:47 PM:

I just replaced a DVD player and tested my connections and its competence by putting in "The Last Waltz." I hadn't opened that DVD before; the first screen after you hit Play reads "Caution. This film should be played LOUD!"

#127 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 01:06 AM:

Serge @ 116

Seems logical to me that you'd want a good dressing for Crouton.

#128 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 01:11 AM:

Bill Higgins @ 119

I think I remember that one. Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't all the Venusian (Venerian?) women taller than West?

#129 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 02:30 AM:

Paul A.@102:

N'Kantu the Living Mummy, another comic-book character. (Fun bonus game: Can you guess which publisher produced him just from the name?)
I'll take a stab at it: Timely Comics.

#130 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 04:38 AM:

113, 114: IIRC the drifter's motive is revenge for the marshal's death, and there's a scene where you can see the scars of several (apparently fatal) wounds on his back... I always assumed he was a revenant, but it's never made absolutely clear.

You can have non-bandaged mummies - bodies left in the desert, for example. (If someone were left in the desert to die, that'd be a motive for revenge...)

#131 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 07:24 AM:

Bruce Cohen @ 128... weren't all the Venusian (Venerian?) women taller than West?

At 5'8", Conrad isn't really short, but he may have been shorter than many people in Hollywood. Look at his matador-like outfit - it seems to have been designed to make him appear taller.

As for croutons and cross-dressing... That was usually Artemus's thing. I shudder at the thought of James West in drag.

I want to see a story of James West in Asia, starring Robert Conrad, William Conrad, and Pete Conrad, based on a story by Joseph Conrad...

Coming soon, Lord Jim vs the Mummy...

#132 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 10:26 AM:

ajay@ 130: Yes, High Plains Drifter sort of leaves it to your imagination, although that scene of his back should lead us to think he is a revenant -- I remember thinking that he must have been left for dead, with those wounds. Other than that scene, and the general dread of the townspeople who recognize him, there's no reason (in my mind) to call him a revenant. In contrast, Pale Rider made it clear from the beginning (at least to me) that the Preacher was a revenant.

#133 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 10:47 AM:

What's the earliest known crossover between F/SF and westerns? I've heard of a movie where Jesse James duked it out with Frankenstein's Daughter, and of Billy the Kid vs Dracula. There is also the Twilight Zone's 1961 episode The Grave, with Lee Marvin who's been hired to catch a bad guy, but who never does until his prey winds up in a grave.

#134 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 10:51 AM:

Serge @ 131

"Mr. West, he dead."

#135 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 11:01 AM:

Serge @ 133

I vaguely remember reading some stories written by the anthropologist Oliver La Farge, dating from the late 40's and early 50's, I think. He studied American Indians, and was one of the first public voices to point out they weren't the savages of "manifest destiny" myth. The stories, IIRC, were mostly about Indian magic and myth in the last days of the Old West.

Tony Boucher at F&SF had a policy of finding stories like that from outside the conventional genre scene and republishing them. Reading his magazine was how I found out about authors like Cornell Woolrich and Idris Seabright.

#136 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 11:23 AM:

That's funny, I felt exactly the opposite, Ginger. I felt that the last scene of High Plains Drifter made it clear that he was a vengeful ghost (and he doesn't look like he did before death, or the townspeople would have reacted differently). He tells the dwarf character that he does know his name; the dwarf character is "almost finished" with the marker the marshall never got; as he rides off, he fades away—just as the marker is finished.

Ghosts don't rest without a "decent burial" and some recognition (a marker) in the few Westerns that feature ghosts.

In Pale Rider, by contrast, there's never any explicit indication that he's a revenant. The only person who ever recognizes him at all is the leader of the mining company's gang of hired thugs. There's clearly a "shot him five times and left him for dead" backstory there, but it's never told in the film. In supernatural revenge stories, that backstory is always told eventually.

My speculation would be that the preacher is a former gunslinger who, after the above near-death experience, tried to give up that life and become a minister. In the middle of the movie he leaves and comes back with guns, having realized that "willingness to defend civil society with force" is still required. The fact that part of the opposition is his old enemy makes it sweeter, but I think he'd have done it anyway.

In other words, all his behavior, and all of others' behavior, makes sense without any ghost stuff. In High Plains Drifter almost none of it does. Just as one example, he has them paint the entire town red. "Not the church!" "Oh, especially the church!"

So that's why I think High Plains Drifter is a ghost story and Pale Rider is not.

#137 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 11:41 AM:

Wild Wild West had practically every B and C list actor as characters (usually the villain and their minions)during its run. IIRC, Robert Conrad started out as a stuntman -- there's a lovely Johnny Carson show where Conrad dives off the stage into the audience to be caught by his stunt buddies.

(Note: In most of the confrontations in WWW Conrad was working with these fellows.)

I'll have to see if WWW is available on DVD...

#138 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 12:10 PM:

Xopher @ 136: I love seeing how other people percieve the same movies.

One of the most fun examples of that was the time I went to see Jurassic Park with 6 other graduate students -- each of us from a different discipline. Afterwards, we dissected that movie and had a blast.

We all reacted the same way when the velociraptor jumped for the ceiling, though. ;-)

#139 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 12:27 PM:

Ginger @ 138... I love seeing how other people perceive the same movies

Which reminds me that Return of the Jedi was on TV this last weekend. I wish I could say that my wife and I survived the parts we saw with MST3K-like comments. Alas, most of our comments were groans, and references to the solid byproducts of digestion. We eventually stopped watching - when the ewoks showed up.

#140 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2008, 02:20 PM:

Ginger: My reaction to "Castaway" was, "He obviously read the wrong books as a child".

None of my companions got the joke (this happens to me a lot).

#141 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2008, 02:02 AM:

David Goldfarb @ #129:

I reckon that's close enough to earn the point, and not just because nobody else has had a go.

The Living Mummy first appeared in 1973 in Supernatural Thrillers #5, a publication of the Marvel Comics Group (née Timely Comics).

#142 ::: Rob Maloni ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2008, 11:49 PM:

I just wanted to say that Crooked Timber IS a band, and thank you to all who are enjoying our music. We just so happen to be in studio right now working on our second CD, which should be available by the end of the year. If you are interested in buying our first CD, "I Don't Mind If It Rains A Little", or just want to check out some of the tunes, go to www.myspace.com/crookedtimberonline, or shoot me an email at robmaloni@crookedtimber.net.

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