The Killing Moon, the River of Death (UPDATED)

I understand some people might still not grasp the sheer, cyclopean scale of the Tsunami of Sync surrounding the drowning death of an obscure yet highly-regarded rock singer twenty-one years ago, or the mind-boggling width and depth of the high strangeness hovering over that singer's onetime lover, herself a well-regarded (and immensely influential) cult singer. 

Not to mention a strange attractor the likes of which I've never even imagined, never mind've seen.

I get it. 

People don't follow the blog as religiously as I'd like to imagine and it's hard to appreciate the absolute avalanche of syncs involved here when they're parceled out in fragments. There's still so much more weirdness surrounding this mythic psychodrama that it boggles the mind, but I don't want to try your patience any more than absolutely necessary. 

To be honest, I'd really like to wrap it all up and move on to other topics. But what happens is that every single time I resolve myself to let the story rest, it turns around and kicks me afresh in the teeth.

I mean, EVERY. 



Quite often there's another tragic and heartbreaking death involved, and this time is no exception. In this case, a 19 year-old fan of the Georgia-based jam band Widespread Panic drowned after the band's show at the Mud Island Ampitheatre in Memphis. 

The fan and his friends were leaving the venue after the gig and were stifled by the summer heat and humidity. 

The fan-- one Pace Taylor of Tallahassee, Florida-- thought it might be a good idea to cool off with a few splashes of muddy water from the junction of the Wolf River and the Mississippi, but slipped and fell down an embankment after hopping a concrete barrier. 

Being unfamiliar with the vicious undertow of the waters off Mud Island, Taylor was soon carried away by the current. He tried to escape the tides by grabbing onto a low hanging tree branch but was unable to keep his grip and drowned shortly afterwards.

A rescue mission was launched but the currents made it impossible to police divers to search much of the area. His body was found Sunday morning.* 

UPDATE: Well, the story's already changed.  According to his friend Wiley Griffin, Pace had taken two hits of acid and freaked out during the show, claiming he "had to get away from the music."

LSD and other hallucinogens open up the spiritual world to you, and unfortunately, open you up to the spiritual world. Had I been asked I would have advised young Pace to stick to beer.

"Wiley Griffin" is a fascinating name though. It essentially means "Temple Clearing of the Cherubim." 

Incidentally, the Taylors are one of the Highland Scots clans.

Hmm: griffins, pyramids, live roots music under the stars, tragedy. Why does all that sound so familiar?

As fate would have it, Taylor drowned just a few hundred feet away from the spot where Jeff Buckley drowned in the early evening of May 29, 1997.

A Rolling Stone story on Buckley's death spelled out just how dangerous the spot where the singer and now this young man were summoned to the Siren's lair.

�Almost like a backwater,� Kilpatrick points out, noting the whirlpool-like eddies where the river rushes around Mud Island, �and definitely having undertows that are way underestimated.�
Unlike Buckley, Taylor had spent a lot of time on the water but was apparently disoriented after falling down the embankment and was unable to regain his balance. In both cases it was a combination of dangerous undertows and just plain shit luck.

Or something else.

Readers remember that a new Jeff Buckley biography was released on the 21st anniversary of the singer's death, exactly a month before Taylor's own tragic death.

And although they didn't perform the song on Friday, Widespread Panic has taken to covering Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," the once-obscure song Buckley made famous and that  Chester Bennington sang at Chris Cornell's funeral, shortly before his own suicide.

And as Fortuna would have it, the concert and the tragedy took place on the third night of the Strawberry Moon, known around these parts as the Lunus Fullus Lizus Fraserus.

The Strawberry Moon was in opposition to Saturn on the first night, reminding regular readers of the crapload of Saturn symbology surrounding Heaven Upside Down or Las Vegas. The waning moon was in alignment to Mars.

Hopefully you all remember "Wax and Wane" and its synchronistic connections to the death of Deftones bassist Chi Cheng. I have some fresh information on that story that's almost staggeringly disturbing, but we'll save that for another day.

Speaking of Las Vegas, Widespread Panic played there in October, while the city was still reeling from the Harvest 91 Festival massacre. They played their cover of David Bowie's "Heroes" as well as a cover of Motorhead's "Ace of Spades." 

Interesting choices there.

Anyhow, the news reports on this fresh tragedy were filled with familiar imagery, such as this shot taken a hundred feet or so from where Jeff Buckley was pulled under by the wake of a passing tugboat.

That's the "Road, River and Rail" for you gold-star Sunners.

Which of course sits under the shadow of the giant pyramid that dominates the landscape on the Wolf River.

I have to say the poster art for Widespread Panic's Memphis shows caught my eye, however. Can you see why?

Here, let me enlarge it for you. See it now?

Recognize it?

Call me crazy but the art also reminded me of this charming screencap from the Freems' 300th anniversary bash-slash-coming back out party last Halloween at Royal Albert Hall.

That was exactly 100 days after a certain Sibyl appeared there, and cheek by jowl with the creepy new Ziggurat installed on Serpentine Lake.

Widespread Panic didn't play "Hallelujah" on Friday night but it looks as if they didn't have to. 

They did, however, play a cover of the Talking Heads song "Heaven," from the landmark Fear of Music. WP covered the song on their very first album, released back in 1988. They've since made it their own.

As the Gods of Sync would demand it, Talking Heads singer David Byrne appeared on Late Night with Jools Holland back in 1994, along with alt.rockers Cracker and a fab little Scottish combo you may have heard a thing or two about around these parts. The episode aired on May 28th, 1994, just three years and a day before Jeff Buckley swam to the Siren.

Oddly enough, Byrne was also born in Scotland.

One of the songs Byrne performed that night was "Angels," a tuneless little trifle that nonetheless makes for a nice thematic bookend with "Heaven." He also performed a number called "God's Child," a faintly-creepy bop he wrote with Brazilian pop legend Caetano Veloso.

"Angels" features a familiar motif, unsurprisingly:

Flying over fields & factories
Momma's goin' off her head
Daddy's bringin' home the bacon
Open up the pearly gates

The Cocteau Twins, featuring a shoegazing guitar army and an out-of-her-tree Elizabeth Fraser, performed "Summerhead," a song that seems to connect to Jeff Buckley through its title (Buckley's real name was Scott Moorhead or "S.Moorhead"). I have no idea if Fraser knew Buckley's real name at that point (I tend to doubt it), but does it really matter anyway? 

It should be noted that Fraser and Buckley were pretty hot-and-heavy at the time of this appearance, however.

The Twins also performed a version of "Carolyn's Fingers," which was Fraser's showcase for this tour's notorious "dolphin-in-distress" vocal style, as fans refer to it as. It's a good term for it. 

Let's put it this way- if you took Fraser's performance from this show --especially "Fingers" --and dubbed it onto some alien squid-diva in a particularly-frantic Luc Besson movie, you'd think they were trying way too hard to make it sound extraterrestrial.  

PS: Note the giant, creepy eye hovering over the proceedings. 

Remind you of anything?

Still not quite as unsettling as what little we see 
of Fraser's own eyes in this appearance, though.

Pretty clear she had a guest, IMO.

As Fate herself would dictate, young Pace drowned 50 days before the premiere of the new Little Mermaid live-action movie, which centers around "Elizabeth, the Mermaid of the Mississippi."

I shit you not.

The Little Mermaid co-stars Shirley MacLaine, upon whom the Chris McNeil character in The Exorcist is based. MacLaine arguably kicked off the mainstreaming of the New Age in 1987 with her auto-hagiographic Out on a Limb TV movie, released just weeks before the first spotting of Supernova 1987A.

Timing is everything.

In more encouraging water-logged news, a team of Thai soccer players and their coach were found by British rescue experts in an underwater cavern, where the boys were on the verge of starving to death after being trapped in the caves for nine days. 

They're not out of the woods yet, however. Monsoon conditions are making rescue near-impossible and the military is readying food and scuba trainers and planning that the kids may be trapped there for another four months. 

Think about that the next time you feel like bitching about your life.

UPDATE: I'll just leave this here.

UPDATE: The same day Pace Taylor's body was found, this:

Multiple Indonesian media sources report that Nining Sunarsih was 52 and vacationing on the Citepus Beach in Sukabumi, West Java, on January 8, 2017, when a huge wave carried her out far beyond the point where onlookers felt safe swimming out to attempt to rescue the screaming woman. Professional search-and-rescue teams found nothing until a week later when a badly decomposed body washed ashore. Nining�s family denied it was her because it lacked a unique birthmark and the fingernails were different and a DNA test proved them correct. Nonetheless, all rescue operations were called off and the woman was pronounced dead by the authorities. 
Fast forward to late June 2018. An elder male relative (either an uncle or a grandfather � Google translations of the reports differ) had a recurring dream where the woman told him she was alive and directed him to a beach near where she disappeared. was alive. A group of relatives accompanied him to the beach where, after searching for many hours, they found her at 4 am on July 1 � 500 meters from where she disappeared, unconscious, covered in sand and wearing the same clothes she reportedly had on 18 months ago � a floral yellow dress and black pants.

*As the Gods of Sync would will it, Taylor's body was found on my birthday. Stare into the SyncAbyss and the SyncAbyss stares back at you.

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