Sixteenth Century Now! An Interview.

For a review of the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, with lots of photos, click here.

Sir Lukas and Lord Connor do battle

The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire (thereafter to be referred to as the PRF) doesn’t just happen because a few hundred people shelled out the cash for costumes. No, it takes a large number of thespians dedicated to being anachronisms. Two such people are John Lukas (Joust Director and Horsemaster as well as “Sir Lukas, the bull of England”) and Kevin Stillwell (Equine Stunt Trainer as well as “Lord Connor, Prince of Stockwell”). You can check out their brief bios here. An interview with these fine men will follow after this short digression on how one can become part of the revelry that is the PRF.

There are three levels of performers at the PRF: The Bacchanalians are professional actors; The Black Friars are volunteers, although no less professional or devoted (some have been performing there for a dozen years); and then there are the independent performers hired for only a season.

Auditions for Bacchanalians take place in January, February and March and the selected actors arrive at the grounds in July and for the next six weeks live on the grounds and rehearse six days a week, eight hours a day. By the time the Faire opens in August, they are ready. Continue reading

Saw 4: Have the games really ended?

saw IV teaser photo

If there is one thing the creators of Saw make abundantly clear in the first few minutes of their fourth movie it is that Jigsaw is unmistakably dead. He is lying on the cold metal of an examination table within the lifeless walls of an autopsy room, being dissected.

So how, pray tell, could this movie possibly work? Without revealing much more, let’s just say the story really begins when a tape is found inside Jigsaw’s stomach. Obviously, the detective in the autopsy room plays the tape, only to hear Jigsaw’s final message: the games have only begun. The backdrop is set for the gut-wrenching terror you will soon witness. Continue reading


grizelda dead
Taking a break. Just like Grizelda.

Meandering Entertainer is staffed primarily by students, who are currently overcome with midterms and such. Look for new articles starting around the 5th of November. These will include:

1. Interview with John Lukas and Kevin Stillwell of the PA Renaissance Faire who will reveal what it is like to live your life as a 16th century knight in this day and age.

2. Interview with Vains of Jenna, the Rock ‘n’ Roll pirates from Falkenberg, Sweden throwing the 80’s hair style in your face. This will more than likely be followed up by a review of their show at the Roseland Ballroom on November 2nd, where they will be performing with the legendary Cradle of Filth (yesssss, make my ears bleeeeed).

3. Review of Proust and the Squid by Maryanne Wolf. A novel primarily about dyslexia and the functioning of the reading (or non-reading) brain. Not the page turner I expected so far.

4. Review of Service Included by Phoebe Damrosch which promises to be hilarious and about cookery, but we shall see.

5. A probable rant on how our Halloween went, generally, and all the fun things we didn’t get to do because of school and/or work.

The Fare at the PA Ren Faire

Welcome to over thirty-six acres of 16th Century England! Completely reenacted, of course, and better landscaped the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire is not only one of the greatest attractions of Lancaster County (although its fame carried far enough for us to make the trip from NYC) it also boasts one of the largest joust arenas in the U.S., their own vinyard, and Theater as well as theater company. In fact, although you will probably find many other Faires that enjoy that olde “e” you won’t find another joust like this one, nor would you find such a variety of acts staffed by incredibly well trained actors, volunteers and traveling performers.

The grounds are abundant with armories, blacksmiths and clothing stores sporting the latest in medieval fashions and defense. If you feel hungry, never fear, as you can easily fatten up in one of many food stands, sporting such morsels as soup in a bread bowl, amongst other things (never fear, oh vegetarian, you will not be stuck with French fries while all your friends devour substantive meals).

One of the above mentioned blacksmiths in the process of making something sharp. Photo by Beelzy.

At every Faire he adds another piece to his armour. And he doesn’t miss too many Faires. Photo by ETL.

All sorts come to these Faires. Folks who like to dress up in costumes with various levels of attention to detail as well as those who would gawk at them. Beelzy says “Of course, if you’re a dork like me, you’ll prefer to go in costume. Having been accompanied by a buccaneer and a lovely wench, I felt a little out of place in my blue jeans, black t-shirt with witty quote, and trademark green canvas backpack, but only momentarily, as the large assortment of scantily clad pirate babes, buxom rogues, and vixens were enough to keep me distracted from my apparel.”
Continue reading

‘UnexpecT’-ed Surprises at Sonata Arctica

The night of September 30th turned out to be a night of surprises at B.B. King’s Blues Club & Grill. Sonata Arctica was in town once again, and although they were the reason I attended, they weren’t the highlight of the evening. I was flying more blind than usual where general knowledge or a deep appreciation of the bands went but that turned out to be a bit of a blessing. It was the start of a night that will not be soon forgotten.

First on stage was a little-known band called UnexpecT. Hailing from Montreal, Quebec, Canada this not so little band blew me away right from the start. They have such a unique sound that my knowledge of metal wasn’t up to par in the arena of classification. The almighty Wikipedia describes them as, ”avant-garde extreme metal…with a unique amalgamation of completely different styles of music, including black metal, death metal, metalcore, progressive metal, melodic heavy metal, European Classical music, opera, medieval music, gypsy music, electro, ambient, noise, circus music, and jazz.”

Continue reading

Decomposing Bodies and the Ego that Tends Them

book jacket According to the book jacket, Dr. Bill Bass is a “pioneer in forensic anthropology, [he] created the world’s first laboratory dedicated to the study of human decomposition—three acres of land on a hillside in Tennessee where human bodies are left to the elements.” The wide array of data collected on the Body Farm, as this hillside was dubbed, has opened up hundreds of paths in the dense forest of cause-of-death investigations. New forensic specializations formed and grew at the Body Farm, from forensic entomology, forensic art, and forensic chemistry, to molecular anthropology.

Each chapter of Beyond the Body Farm, written by Dr. Bill Bass and journalist Jon Jefferson, addresses a different case, or aspect of a case, that Bass has personally worked on and solved. They are overwhelmingly murder cases, but accidental deaths are also examined. Bass begins each chapter with a brief discussion of the difficulties such an investigation would have faced without forensic anthropology’s research forays into just such a possibility, and several times, goes off onto a rather unrelated tangential anecdote, including topics so outside the scope of the book (such as his marriage) that the reader must stop, confused, and wonder why their time is being wasted. Typically his investigations require special experimentation and innovative approaches, which are invariably the most interesting parts. In this respect the book is very enlightening. Continue reading

The Triumphant Return of Machine Head

(This article is brought to you in fragments and overlaps by both Dazvsemir and ETL. And sorry, clicking on the pics will just force you to sign into Flicker and then meet with disappointment.)

Rob Flynn (vocals) of Machine Head

Dazvsemir: Before I could even catch my breath after Finntroll I found myself rushing to see Arch Enemy and Machine Head at Nokia Theatre on September 22nd. Unfortunatly, due to a lapse of memory on my part I was delayed slightly and arrived late to the venue. Luckily, I was able to breeze through security without missing any more of the show than i already had.

ETL: Nokia is one of my favorite, but least visited venues. They should play more metal more often. It is spacious, but the floor in front of the stage is still a cozy and intimate battlefield. There are a great many seats in the back which I like to think of as the geriatric and budding metalhead section. There are also waitresses intent on serving drinks and striding through moshpits as if they were full of kittens instead of thrashing guys who look like they might have cortical damage. Continue reading