Friday, January 22, 2010

The Siren: Aliens, Abuse and Otherness (UPDATE 1/23)

Like several other films before it, Peter Jackson's new film The Lovely Bones features one of the central mysteries of the Secret Sun-o-verse, Elizabeth Fraser's heart-ripping cover of Tim Buckley's 'Song to the Siren' (recorded for the This Mortal Coil supergroup project). Jackson is obviously a Cocteau Twins fan- he hired Fraser to sing on the Lord on the Rings soundtracks.

He obviously hears the anguish in the song, seeing the film is a story about a murdered teenaged girl looking back on her life (shades of 'Poptones' by the recently-reformed Public Image Ltd.). Part of that pain comes from Fraser's own history as an abuse survivor, but part of it came from her essential otherness (which lent itself to Cocteau Twins EP title), which I don't know if Jackson is aware of.

I'd dare say Chris Carter understands (or intuits) both, since he namechecked This Mortal Coil in a pivotal episode of the X-Files mytharc (which dealt both with abuse and alien possession in the form of 'walk-ins') . He also had Mark Snow compose a 'Siren' soundalike for 'Scully's Theme,' which Carter had rewritten so the vocals were Fraseresque glossolalia.

My first post on Elizabeth Fraser was entitled "Irrefutable Proof of Extraterrestrial Life," but I figured back then people wouldn't appreciate the facetious tone of that, so I changed it to Not Quite Human. That's what people would think when they first heard her singing back in the day. Those aftershocks remain- the Guardian recently described her as "The voice from another world."

But that led me to dig further into her story (which a lot of her fans didn't necessarily appreciate), particularly the relationship she had with Tim Buckley's son Jeff. The funny thing is that I sensed there was much, much more to that relationship than anyone had known. It wasn't until much later that Fraser acknowledged the extent of their very secretive union.

By the time I was done with it all, the whole story seemed like mythology of the most archetypal- and tragic- variety. The synchronicities at play were stunning, as were the ever-present water and mermaid symbolism (not the least of which is the fact that Buckley drowned under the shadow of the Memphis pyramid). Which itself ties into all of the Sirius mysteries we've been puzzling over, lending the 'Siren' a resonance I wasn't consciously processing when I was first covering the story.

Indie director Gregg Araki is also obsessed with Liz, and has used Cocteau Twins songs in several of his films. Aliens (imaginary) and abuse (real) both figure in his 2004 film Mysterious Skin, which features Liz's sublime howling on the classic 'Crushed'. Araki even hired Liz's former Twin Robin Guthrie and sometime collabrator Harold Budd to score the film.

But the price of otherness is an inability to adapt to a world that is increasingly cold, cruel and soul-less. Fraser's done precious little since the Twins split in 1997. What little she has done hasn't had that life-changing alien energy of her classic 80s work, not the least of which was 'Song to the Siren'. I think Buckley's death damaged her more than we could ever know.

Given the otherworldly resonance surrounding Fraser, it's worth noting that 'Song to the Siren' was first heard on Tim Buckley's 1970 album, Starsailor. There's a lot more to this story- somewhere along the line something slipped in from outside in some way I can't explain or even describe. But that might be happening more than we might suspect.

UPDATE: Another publicity shot from the film.

UPDATE II: "Like the fish."

The Lovely Bones trailer (and soundtrack, apparently) uses another Cocteau Twins song, 'Alice'. Note the 1973 timeline- that was also the year of a major UFO wave in the US, and many of the visuals here are oddly reminiscent of abduction lore. Speaking of which, Samantha Mulder was abducted two weeks before this girl's murder in the X-Files mytharc. The 'Salmon' surname is fascinating in light of the Siren/mermaid lore, obviously.

And why was an old Seventeen magazine cover pasted in over a copy of Vogue for the publicity still? Very odd.

Mysteries within mysteries...

UPDATE III: Just heard this Siren song on Technicolor Web of Sound. While I was pondering the Ape of Thoth, interestingly enough. From the movie Head.

SYNC LOG UPDATE: Justin Timberlake performs Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah' for Haiti last night, which was one of Jeff Buckley's signature songs. Cheers to Faoladh.

SYNC LOG UPDATE II (2240 EST): Just got up from documenting some synchery, walked into living room just as Lovely Bones TV trailer came on.


  1. I could curl up into a ball on the floor and cry right now. Not sure why this post has left me with such a sense of loss - hungry for something that seems so close but intangible. Like a part of me is out there and I have to pull it in.

    You have been absolutely smoking in the past few months Chris; so much so that I have been tempted to post a few times telling you to stop; it's coming too fast too intense , too true.

    Thank you.


  2. Star Sailor? Siren?

    Hmm....reminds me of Sailor Moon.
    - A child of the '90's, I was one of the many girls captivated by said Japanimation import.

    The main character, was named Serena; i.e. mermaid in Spanish. [By accident? L/R confusion, I believe]

    Here's the plot:

    A thousand years ago, Earth [& the rest of our solar system] was guarded by an alien kingdom based on the moon.

    The Moon Kingdom discouraged Selenites from visiting Earth; associating with humans was forbidden.

    While the Moon Kingdom kept it's distance from Earth, the Kingdoms of Earth formed an alliance with “The Negaverse” - Reptilian-like aliens from another dimension [The Negaverse was located behind the sun???]

    Joining forces, the Negaverse and the Kingdoms of Earth staged a surprise attack on the Moon Kingdom – the Moon Kingdom was destroyed.

    However, in a latch ditch effort, the Queen of the Moon used the Moon Kingdom's computers to capture the souls of her citizens and have them reincarnate as humans.

    To spite the Negaverse, the Queen also used the computer to seal off the most powerful Negaverse warriors/generals. [This is actually shown in the title credits. Observe the shadowy-monster things transform into sparkles and hurdle towards the Earth]

    In the comic, the computer was damaged and the souls reincarnated 1,000 years later, without their memories. [in the cartoon, the Queen was dying and didn't have enough strength. In the Live-Action show, the Queen was having a nervous breakdown and ran the computer program incompletely]

    Apparently, time is no object to these “Negaverse” beings – they left Earth for 1,000 years, returning to retrieve their reincarnated warriors and finish off the last of the Moon Kingdom.

    .....So, basically, if Sitchin/Icke was marketed to girls under the age of ten. In Japan.

    According to, first broadcast in America on 9/11, 1995.

    I remember, Cartoon Network always played it following a Superfriends rerun.

    [btw; first time poster, long time lurker *giggles*]

  3. The Cocteau verson of Song to the Siren appears at a very significant juncture of David Lynch's Lost Highway.

  4. "somewhere along the line something slipped in from outside in some way I can't explain or even describe"

    That seems an apt description of the entire exercise of trying to understand the numinous.

    I've always felt that, specifically, Liz Fraser's version of "Song to the Siren", but also every other version of it, has something that goes much deeper than most music. I've never understood it, though in a posting somewhere on the internet I once posited that the particular images had specific psychological effects, and the minor key tonality of the piece was a perfect complement to those. However, that doesn't explain at all why the This Mortal Coil version is so far superior to even the Tim Buckley original. I think that "it's fairy music" is as likely a reasoning as any.

  5. [sorry to double post]

    So, I pulled up a few episodes of Sailor Moon on Youtube...

    They live in a DOMED city on the moon, and Sailor Moon's fiance gets crucified!??

    I think this series deserves a thorough investigation! *pulls out magnifying glass*

    PS: The show ended with the Selenites reclaiming Earth as a part of their Kingdom.

  6. It also occurs to me to note the duet that Liz and Jeff did: "All Flowers In Time Turn Towards The Sun". Of course.

    Moving on. In Egypt during the Roman Empire (and before, if I recall correctly), anyone who drowned in the sacred Nile River was said to undergo an immediate apotheosis, as for instance happened to Emperor Hadrian's lover Antinous. Is the Wolf River (or the Mississippi, as the terrible tragedy occurred fairly close to where the two rivers join) a new Nile for us? Has Jeff Buckley joined with the river spirit and become a god?

  7. Stew - I can't help it- there's just so much of it out there. I'm just surfing the waves. And don't feel bad- that's the power of the Siren working on you, my brother. They wrote great sagas about her, or so I'm told.

    引っ掛けるie - Sailor Moon- of course. Haven't thought about that in quite some time. Thanks for the breakdown- very useful data for the files. Japanimation is so damn Gnostic it blows my mind. The Dome meme there is particularly juicy.

    Tristo- Right- and there's some Heath Ledger film I need to track down as well.

    Faoladhy- Well, if indeed there is something to this Sirius business, it could be that the song is plugged into some very deep archetypal streams. I did a post on 'All Flowers' during the original Siren series. And yes, the Antinous comparisons are very compelling.

  8. And north of Memphis is Cairo, located in southern Illinois at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers.

    A Cairo north of a Memphis... kind of like Egypt.


  9. Thank you, Professor Knowles, for these deep elucidations, meandering & branching like so much English ivy overtaking a forgotten garden. You've helped me, albeit just a touch, to ease the alienation & loneliness of my own Otherness. Had you known that there is/was a posthumous Jeff Buckley tribute project? It was called, fittingly enough, what with all your salient observations here, Possessed By Elves. There are some truly heartbreaking renditions of Jeff's songs thereof, particularly Stefan Powell's soul-searing rendition of Mojo Pin, a tragic ballad about a lost love.

    From a newly ice-encrusted Apple Mountain,
    Anadæ Effro (•8-D

  10. Are you familiar with Goro Adachi's Time Rivers?


  11. Mysterious Skin is one of the most.....death/rebirth-like experiences from watching a film. I was SO absorbed I completely lost myself, and then at the end I let out an orgasmic sound from somewhere DEEP

  12. "They make me vomit on sight," [Morrissey] declares, sobering up instantly. "I think there's a right way and a wrong way, and I think the Cocteau Twins have always applauded themselves for doing it the wrong way. They're outstandingly unappealing on every human level; they look awful, their interviews are awful, and the their records are just utter stupidity."

  13. Jason- Those old Freemasons knew what they were doing, didn't they?

    Andae- You're welcome, sir. There's a synonym for Otherness, y'know- individuality. Thanks for the Buckley link- very interesting material there. Strange they don't mention Liz- that's how secret they kept their relationship. I would've doubted my intuition had Liz not broken the silence on that BBC doc.

    Anony222- I never saw that page before- excellent link.

    Muzu- There's a recommendation for everyone! Who could resist that? Cheers.

    Livie- Ha! Morrissey said that about every band back in the day. All of those Brits- they really loved to cut each other down. I always found it extremely childish, even then. Cultural thing, I suppose. Joe Strummer was the same way, until he mellowed and admitted he loved half the bands he used to trash.

  14. Came to the Secret Sun via the Watchers of the Watchers web site and said you had posted this recent essay 17 hours ago. Wherever water flows,spirit energy flows. Just watched the movie Holy Mountain, trippy to the extreme. Chris your synch/symbol/Gnostic world is just getting started, as we know, the more we talk about syncro's the more syncronicities will manifest. Hopefully one's ego and sensibilities can withstand the tidal wave created. Shineforth brave souls! Dennis

  15. A male statue of liberty to "wed" NY's.
    "A computer rendering showed a statue of Liberty-like proportions, complete with a sunburst crown. It would face the mouth of Charleston Harbor and Fort Sumter."

    Hey Chris, just got back from Japan and catching up on SecretSun. You've kept up the amazing work and there's so much I want to relay. But here's the underwater race known as kappa, something I saw a lot of references to when I was over there. Note the star shaped crown:

  16. she looks like Harry Potter

    quick the Imaginarium bootleg is online

  17. Chris,
    in the early "Book store scene" With Susie Salmon and Grandma the Seventeen mag features prominently... to add oomph to the meme... Ray, Susie's older love interest is "17" and if you look close, on the music store, there's a "Q" (q=17) that also appears, all in that same scene.


  18. you know what's funny? i saw Muse in concert while I was in Nagoya just a week or so ago. During the show, (I don't recall which song) they projected a video of a drowning man that was basically a loop of the porpoise song video (sans mermaids).

    They also had another projection during the song "resistance" of three spinning objects: a man, dna, a woman. At the end, the three combine into a hermaphroditic amalgam with computer code running over their body. i had a hard time making out words but i saw the word "god" once or twice. the prevailing word set was "star" and "virus" however. ending the montage with an intense zoom in to the word "star"

  19. Slightly off topic Chris, What is the gnosis of the ds888/Jedi the 1.I have perused the synchrosphere and find them(actually one person?) attacking sheeple and equating everything to the Luciferian Egregore. The Germatria they use sounds set in stone. I find it odd and somewhat dogmatic the direction of their syncro's. Kind of like the Mind Parasites(Colin Wilson). The tag team is actually one person? Dennis

  20. Check out their blog, Dennis. They seem like nice enough chaps, if not a bit intense. There's room for a range of POVs here, brother.

  21. OKay, Has anyone else noticed That Haiti looks like the "devil Horns" geographically? I Think It is resonant / relevant.

  22. Interesting that Anonymous would bring up Haïti in this context. Just a little while ago, while I was catching up on the comments of this very post, the television was on in the other room, showing the telethon benefiting Haïti. At the very moment I was reading the comments here, Justin Timberlake (I think) and someone else I didn't recognize came on singing "Hallelujah", a song Jeff Buckley was notable for rendering.

  23. Loving these music related posts....The Twins are a part of the 80's i hadnt had too much time to dwell into, due to my age, but thanks to you i'm getting there.....Can't wait to see what you're writing in your new book on music :)

    Regarding Myths and mythologies, Chris, have you ever watched a 6 hours interviews with Joseph Campbell called "The Power of Myth", i highly recommend it to any reader of the sun.....


  24. I watched the Hope for Haiti telethon last night (actually fast-forwarded through most of it). When Bono, Jay Z an Rihanna came on i instantly thought of the Secret Sun and started laughing. I also watched an Angel rerun. The episode opens with Angel and Spike arguing about who would win in a fight, a caveman or an astronaut?

  25. It was extremely interesting for me to read the article. Thanks the author for it. I like such topics and everything that is connected to them. I would like to read more soon.

  26. I knew nothing of this Elizabeth Fraser until reading this. So I did some cursory research. From her Wikipedia entry:

    "Fraser was the vocalist and lyricist in Cocteau Twins, a group founded in 1981 by Robin Guthrie and Will Heggie. At the time, she was only 17 years old"...

    On her website,, there is a mini-poem dedicated to a deceased person, which begins:

    "all-bouyant in yonder World"

  27. Well look like MSNBC is doing its best to keep the norway spiral/alien meme rockin':

  28. Dennis- I think you're right about the syncs. It seems to me part of something greater that we've only caught glimpses of.

    JR- Excellent- thanks.

    Strangey- Yeah. I think I have to see that movie now.

    Alan- Very interesting sync there. Muse seem a bit on the dabbler side of things but those visuals are very, very interesting.

    Anony1209- Devil horns? Not even close, in my view.

    Faoie- Excellent- there's quite the synchery. Seems to happening a lot around these parts lately. I'm glad you guys are here to witness it in motion.

    NIck- I did a bit on the Twins in the book. I was just looking over the manuscript. I can't wait to get out there with it.

    Yacarete- My money's on the caveman. I didnt watch the telethon, anything else of interest?

    Anony- Oh, you'll get more soon!

    Pablo- Click the tab for the backstory- it's pretty out there.

    Anony558- Yeah- I twittered that link. Is that proof it was actually HAARP or something if they're trying to make it a UFO?

  29. I've been thinking that clusters of synchronicity, forteana, or the Daimonic is what gods/Kami/Lwa/Nommo/Kachinas/Annunaki/whatever you want to call them look like when they pass through our area of the universe. Isn't that what the Mothman contact looked like, after all?

  30. I understand that "Hallelujah" is used quite often on TV shows. I've only heard it a few times, the most memorable being in the X-Files episode when Scully has to give up William. One of the episodes that really opened the tear ducts for me. The same for "Closure," which of course ties in with the general theme of The Lovely Bones (and which had Moby's equally ethereal "My Weakness" as a central theme).

    There are too many potentially disturbing parallels and personal resonances in the naming of the missing girls from both stories (my wife's name prior to her adoption, and my mother's name, respectively). I also noticed that "Salome" is embedded in the name of the girl in Lovely Bones. "Susin Salome?" "Nisus Salome?" Some other esoteric anagram? The Oannes theme thickens.

    As for Salome herself, she was barely older than the missing girls (Samantha, Amber Lynn, Susie). Also, in more recent productions of Strauss' opera, the theme of abuse by her stepfather (played out metaphorically in the "Dance of the Seven Veils") has become more prominent. One of the first was a production by Atom Egoyan. Another production, now on video, also addresses the theme (with a weird AAT bit during the Dance).


  31. I wanted to say how facinating your past blog on Jeff Buckley and Liz Frazer was last week, but alas i did'nt get round to mentioning it.

    The Water theme is just EVERYWHERE.

    Don't forget the Waterboys and 'The Stolen Child by WBYeats.

    the waterboys stolen child

  32. "My money's on the caveman"

    Then why did he start building a bunch of obelisks and domes begging for the astronaut to come back?

    Btw I've had a lot of synchs related to 'Hallelujah' since I heard it last year on 'Dancing with the Stars'. This post being one of them.

  33. Hi Chris, Sorry to digress here on your blog.

    WOW Dennis Igou. Looks like I struck an odd cord in your world. I not going to get involved in debated this with you on Chris's blog, out of respect for Chris & his readers. I'm not offended by what you say, no ego involed here. But why don't you explain it for the world real is. Come to MY BLOG and rip me a new one there if you so desire. I'm always open to new insights.

    Let me ask you a question Dennis...Are you a "person" or a "Human Being"? Do you even know what I mean by that question?

    Thank you Chris for your posts & comments as usually. Look forward to the next one.

    DS888 the partner in the blogging world with JediTheOne & Master Crumbles. Oh, and in real life I am a nice chap. :)

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