Saturday, January 12, 2008


No, I'm not being facetious. Well, maybe a little.

The X-Files was originally meant to last five seasons. In the episode titled 'The End,' Chris Carter introduced us to a character named Gibson Praise, who had psychic powers and alien DNA. As Secret Sun readers should expect by now, Carter used a Jack Kirby derived image to visually signal Gibson's alien origin. The name 'Gibson' ultimately comes from the Germanic name Giselbert (mean "bright hostage," which of course Gibson Praise became).

The X-Files'
living proof of alien intervention in human life, Giselbert Praise, reminds me a lot of my own candidate for evidence of possible alien/interdimensional intervention, Elizabeth Fraser (say both names together). It's hard to remember what an pulverising effect her music with the Cocteau Twins had among the cognoscenti in the early 80s. Suffice it to say that Fraser's incandescent singing cast a spell on no less a mystic master than David Lynch, who wanted to use her version of Tim Buckley's 'Song to the Siren' in Blue Velvet, which she had sung on the first album by This Mortal Coil. Funny how Weird travels in packs.

Look at this performance of Fraser's musical love letter to Tim Buckley's son Jeff. Look at her eyes and listen to what she's singing and tell me what you see there. Very strange, even in the context of avant-pop. God knows what the hell she is singing in between the little snippets of English she is kind enough to include in her lyrics, but she certainly is extremely passionate about it.

Bonus factoid: Carter further paid tribute to Fraser when he insisted that X-Files composer Mark Snow replace the English lyrics in 'Scully's Theme' with Fraserian glossolalia.


  1. Glossolalia was the word that sprang to my mind as well, Chris.

    Those alien 'trills' remind me of similar sounds occasionally emitted from the larynx of my personal hero, or one of them, Morrissey. Someone else not exactly fully-earthed.


  2. Well, I do remember the Cocteaux and the Smiths hit at the same time. I got This Charming Man and Sunburst and Snowblind on the same day.

    And then they recombined in the Etheric realm and became the Sundays.

  3. I know this comment is late, but I have been re-reading all your Fraser-posts and stumbled across your interpretation of the german name "Giselbert". It consists of two old-german words "gisil" (descendent of noble heritage. (not hostage) and "bert" (well known/famous). The french and spanish versions of the name are Gilbert/Gilberto.
    The german word for hostage is "Geisel" which is phonetcally different (pronounced "guysel").