Thursday, February 11, 2010


It's no secret that we here at Illogical Contraption have had Renrock, Renaissance Faires, Ritchie Blackmore, and bad prog on the brain this week. I myself have something of a love/hate relationship with the Renaissance Faire, and apparently so do some of our readers. Thanks to Illogical Bro Lord Kabballash III (as well as an anonymous commentator), I now have concrete visual representation of the aforementioned love/hate relationship. Here are a couple of videos to help me explain. The sweet always comes with some lame, just as a good party always comes with a hangover.

Enough talk. Behold the SWEET:

The video you just watched featured a group of freaks known as Corvus Corax, who I have deliberately avoided researching because their reality could never possibly match the backstory I have created in my head.
From their elaborate dress and stupid haircuts (up to and including the percussionist's shaved head/mullet braid combo shown at left), it is fairly reasonable to assume that Corvux Corax are Burners. And they're dishing out some sort of techno/classical/Riverdance hybrid that I really can't get into. But I'm totally into THE CONCEPT. And here's why:

A) Corvus Corax consists of what appears to be about 400 people onstage, all at once, freaking out and banging on shit. I am OK with this.
B) Check out the choir of weird psuedo-Druid guys over there. Something tells me if you pulled one of their hoods back, you would totally be staring into the eyes of one of those creepy bald albino eunuch dudes from The DaVinci Code. Again, I am OK with this.
C) Right when things are at their strangest and most unsettling, A FUCKING CHARIOT FULL OF DUDES rolls into the concert hall. Needless to say, this doesn't happen at most concerts. +10 points.

D) The fucking Star Wars Dancers over here. I don't give a fuck who you are, if you can mash up Riverdance, German Homo-Rave, Medieval Times Restaurant, Princess Bride, AND Jabba's Palace.... Well, my hat if off to you, sir.

All in all, Corvus Corax has their shit together and knows how to put on a proper fucking show. Again, I don't really know anything about them and don't really want to, but to me they represent the kick-ass side of the Ren Faire set.
Also, they play venues that look like this:

Also of note: This video from Russian "Beer Folk Metal" band Troll Bends Fir. Awesome name, awesome song, awesome puffy shirts, awesome piccolo solos. If Renaissance Faires were more like a Troll Bends Fir concert, I would be far more inclined to attend one. Renmetal FTW.

Thanks again to Lord Kabballash III for the videos. I totally forgive you for your British ancestry.

And now, the LAME:

Q: What could possibly be any more embarassing or strenuous to your sense of common decency and shame than a Renaissance Faire?

Here is everything BAD and WRONG about Renaissance Faires and those who attend them boiled down into 2 minutes of agonizing glory.

(Thanks to the anonymous reader who sent this one in as well.)

That's right. A goddman motherfucking FAIRY FEST (in South Elgin, Illinois of all fucking places). And this isn't the only one. They're everywhere. Everywhere! EVERYWHERE! EVERYWHERE!
There's not much I need to say about this video that isn't readily apparent at the outset. That "Malice of Forethought" guy disturbs me just as much as he does you, but I guess the narrator of the video puts it best:

"Malice might be fey, but then again he might not be. He might be a CHANGELING".

And yes, I tried to find "Malice of Forethought" on Myspace or whatever. No dice.

Don't even get me started on the Pirate Pickle Man and the phallic $1.00 treats he's dishing out to the kids at the Fairy Fest. Yeesh.

So yeah, I guess what it all boils down to is PRODUCTION VALUE. If you're going to Ren out, get a corporate sponsor and some decent costumes. And steer clear of changelings and the fucking PICKLE PIRATE.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to get back to my Garfield fanfic.


TMM said...

Renaissance Fair girls are the best!!!!!

cdg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cdg said...

Hey, I was the anonymous commenter. I had the, err, privilege to go to college at a Polytechnic Institute, and I worked in the computer industry, so I've been in proximity to a lot of renfair/gamer/burner types.

I learned about fairy fairs from a former roommate, who was planning on attending the annual fairy & human congress. They got all offended when I mocked them & eventually moved out.

Another entertaining subset of LARPers are boffers, who spends their free time battling each other with armor and weapons made out of PVC pipe and foam. Here's a video. I know of people who dropped out of college because they spent all their free time making more and more elaborate PVC weapons.

Here's another great video of LARPers getting all dressed up to FUCKING REENACT A VIDEO GAME!!!!

Admittedly none of these are as plain creepy as pirate pick man and malice of forethought.

Cory said...

cdg = new hero

Shelby Cobras said...

I concur. cdg: Guest post?

I think you need to break down all this LARPer/Renny/Burner/boffer business down to its smallest components as a service to the readers of this blog. I know you're able to.

PS: Are you familiar with the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism)? They're at the other end of the spectrum from the boffers, LARP dudes that build actual steel armor and weapons and go out on a dusty plain and beat the hell out of each other in groups of 100 or more. I used to have a co-worker that was into it and showed me some videos. Ill shit.

Steven said...

The C. Corax vid is almost exactly what I imagine a Therion concert should look like.

Lord Kabballash III said...

Thanks for knocking out yet another brilliantly written and entertaining post. You should seriously think about writing a book, if you haven't already. (Indeed, you should get everyone on IC involved, as you all kick ass).

I thought it couldn't get worse than Renrock, but - what, Feyrock? - is the a worrying direction. We need more antidotes to this. If people are so into re-creating history, maybe we could set up an international Witch Trials Fair, and burn a bunch of New Age 'White Lighters' at the stake (accompanied by shouts of "we'll see how white your light is with the aid of a gallon of gasoline!", etc.) That might make them think twice about the historical Disneyland they seem bent on inflicting on the world.

I forgot to mention last time that we have another British/English equivalent: Morris Dancing.
If you're not familiar with it, this is what it tends to look like:

Generally, it used to be accountants and civil servants on their days off, waving hankies at each other a drinking real ale.

However, in the last ten years, there has been a huge growth in 'dark morris', usually known as Border Morris.

As you can see from the last one, some of these things end up in a kind Wicker Man whole-community-joining-in type thing. That black face makeup is NOT racist, and supposedly never was. Either way, it's cool as fuck, and often now involves girls and women, usually people of a more pagan persuasion. It ain't Corvus Corax, but it's better than buskers playing James Blunt.

Sorry for rambling on so long. Last thing: Corvus Corax seem to share some members (particularly the bagpiper) with Tanzwut, who (in my opinion) aren't quite as good. Think The Prodigy and Mudvayne trying to learn bagpipes in Germany with some help from Rammstein. Or something.

Shelby Cobras said...

"Dark Morris" = Former cheerleaders who started smoking pot in their mid-30's and decided to go "Wiccan". You can tell the choreographed dancing is satisfying some sort of inner need for acceptance.

Lord Kabballash III said...

You're right, the dancing is 'well gay' (as we used to say). What's good about it is seeing people in the middle of town, wearing lots of black, hitting each other with sticks, while honouring the Pagan Gods.

If only it didn't look like something you'd be made to do at school...

But "former cheerleaders"? These ARE our cheerleaders.