Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Freddie & The Hitchhikers - "Sinners"

Black Mass of the Week - Roman Polanski's Macbeth



FIRST WITCH:
Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd.

FIRST WITCH:
The cat with the streaked fur has meowed three times.

SECOND WITCH:
Thrice and once the hedge-pig whined.

SECOND WITCH:
Three times, and the hedgehog whined once.

THIRD WITCH:
Harpier cries, “’Tis time, ’tis time.”

THIRD WITCH:
The god Harpier cries. It is time, it is time.

FIRST WITCH:
Round about the cauldron go:
In the poison'd entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights has thirty-one
Swelter'd venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot.

FIRST WITCH:
Round about the caldron go;
In the poisoned entrails throw.
Toad, that has spent
Thirty one days and nights under cold stone,
From whose sweat a sleeping venom was gotten,
Boil you first in the charmed pot!

ALL:
Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

ALL:
Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire, burn; and caldron, bubble.

SECOND WITCH:
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg and howlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

SECOND WITCH:
Fillet of a snake that lived in a bog,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
A black snake’s forked tongue, and its cousin’s sting,
Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth, boil and bubble.

ALL:
Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

ALL:
Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire, burn; and caldron, bubble.

THIRD WITCH:
Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witch's mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digg'd i’ the dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat and slips of yew
Sliver'd in the moon's eclipse,
Nose of Turk and Tartar's lips,
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver'd by a drab,
Make the gruel thick and slab.
Add thereto a tiger's chaudron,
For the ingredients of our cauldron.

THIRD WITCH:
Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witch's mummy, a gulf-like stomach,
Of the rough sea salt glisten,
Root of poison hemlock dug up in the dark,
Liver of Christians not baptized,
Gall bladder of goat, and slips of pine trees
Cut off the tree when the moon eclipsed,
Nose of Turk, and Tartar's lips,
Finger of a baby born dead
Delivered in a ditch by a prostitute,
Make the gruel thick and gooey.
Also add a tiger's guts,
For the ingredients of our caldron.

ALL:
Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

ALL:
Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire, burn; and caldron, bubble.

SECOND WITCH:
Cool it with a baboon's blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

All Great Buildings Resemble Crimes


Obviously, so many movies have been set in The Bramford. Most directors & film companies are seduced by the heaviness of the complex, the weight of four German town halls set atop one another, the labyrinth of corridors within. The building has the ballast of something Dutch, but inside it's particularly French. When these opposing architectural fronts collide the internal matter becomes confusing, both economically & aesthetically.

When, in the 1880s, our building sat like an architectural dirge in the bizarre emptiness of the Upper West Side, all of its tenants felt as if they lived in a drafty tomb. Stories tell how brilliant men of means would walk the halls, mumbling to themselves, wishing the city would fold around them gracefully, without growing pains, without the requisite suicides & small-pistol murders. But The Bramford, like so much of America, longed for great men. Fourteen foot ceilings, narrow but expansive floor plans, a courtyard brimming with ivy & roses during variable springs...even we were impressed. Minnie & I came from Europe, from vaudeville & magic & mild mysteries, but we were never inordinately talented. It's difficult to imagine this building as the freak it once was, like a sad elephant baying & yearning for a city. It's difficult to imagine this city built as it was -- Manhattan.

At one point, this place had elevators for horse-drawn carriages, it had secret entrances for the governor's mistresses...German & imposing from the outside, French, light & airy on the inside. Minnie & I moved in during the summer of 1965, and we threw open the windows, opened some wine & beer & actually walked down the halls to find new friends. Already we saw filmmakers, magicians, authors, academics, couples split between migration to Levittown & staying on this remarkable island.


Minnie & I are not history buffs but we love our building. We love The Bramford & its confusing, elaborate size. Old world charm, new world proximity. Minnie hears the whinny of horses from so long ago.I follow the wives of new tenants as they become lost looking for the laundry rooms. They shake their bobbed hair out of their eyes & they stand at the end of a hallway with their laundry baskets, looking at me. These young housewives. I give them a moment to realize they are nowhere, that there's nowhere they could go, no one they could call, not a soul who'd hear them. "Where the fuck am I?" They ask. "Dear, I'm sorry. This can be confusing. Let me get you to the laundry room."

Those were the early days. Now they seem funny. Those housewives at the end of hallways, with their laundry baskets, their French haircuts...how flustered they were.