The Hounds of Tindalos

The Transition of Titus CrowI’ve long been a devotee of the Cthulhu Mythos; in fact a number of unfinished posts for this blog have been Mythos themed.

This January just gone I have had something of a Mythos renaissance.  I finally regained use of a multi-region DVD player and had some success in tracking down a number of US release only Mythos DVDs.

Even better, I’ve read through Brian Lumley‘s Primal Lands and Mythos sequences, back to back.

I love Lumley’s take on the Mythos.  General Mythos stories tend to have the protagonist left gibbering, driven to insanity by the unspeakable horrors they have witnessed.

Whilst this does still happen in Lumley’s tales, there are heroes to stand up to the oneiric machinations of Cthulhu and his kin.

Hound of TindalosIt was during this last series that I was reminded of the Hounds of Tindalos,  temporal vampires that leech into our world through acute angles.

In Lumley’s Mythos sequence, these fluttering hunters of the fourth dimension plague Lumley’s heroes, literally hounding them through time.

I remember the feeling of sheer desperation the first time I read The Transition of Titus Crow, as the hounds push Titus Crow from one well thought out trap to another.

Later in the series, Crow’s friend, Henri-Laurent de Marigny, is likewise hounded but deals with them in true Lumley hero style.

The Hounds of TindalosThe Hounds of Tindalos were first introduced to the Mythos by Frank Belknap Long in his short story of the same name.

The tale is a favourite of mine; ahead of its time with regards the combination of occult thought and methodologies to scientific theory and practice.

The musings of Long’s ill fated Chalmers at the story’s opening, echo my own opinion on scientific thought.  In fact the Chalmers character reminds me somewhat of 1930s Peter J Carroll.  Of course Carroll would likely deal with the Tind’losi Hounds in a manner that any Lumley hero would be proud.

Whilst musing over the Hounds of Tindalos, and the feeling that their initial pursuit of Titus Crow left me with I was reminded of a similar feeling of relentless pursuit that I encountered in my youth.

Hounds of LoveYears before first reading anything remotely Lovecraftian, I remember feeling that same sense of desperation from Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love.

Released in 1985, (I think), I would have probably encountered the song a couple of years later, on a VHS version of The Whole Story.

The pursuit of Kate and her lover, in the video, fits well with the theme of the song.

Although, I’m fairly sure that Kate’s intention was more to show the inevitability of the eventual submission to love’s pursuit in the heart of a romantic (or at least that’s what the song means to me, when I’m not likening it to the futile evasion of some dark eldritch horror).

It’s in the trees… It’s coming!

I think the opening line is taken from Night of the Demon, in turn based on MR James’ Casting the Runes.

Synchronous that the two sources of such a powerful sensation of unending pursuit share such a similar name.  So much so that I had to google to check if there had been some kind of Kate Bush Hounds of Tindalos/Hounds of Love parody; sadly nothing more than this hounds of history link.

And so in lieu of a version that is to hand and with deference to the wonderful Kate Bush and the works of Lumley and Long; I have attempted to create my own Tind’losi version of the song.

The Hounds of Tindalos (To Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love)

“They’re In My Dreams!
They’re Coming!”

When I Was Asleep:
Dreaming Strange Dreams,
Afraid Of What Might Be

Dreaming In The Dark,
Hiding In The Dream,
And Of What Was Following Me…

The Hounds Of Tindalos See Me.
Have I Always Been A Coward,
And I Don’t Know Where to Go From Here.

Here I Go!
They’re Coming For Me Through My Dreams.
Help Me, Someone!
Help Me, Please!

Take The Corners,
And Mould Them Into Curves,
And I’ll Be,
Safe For The Moment.

They’re Forming Cracks,
Led By Dholes.
I Try To Smooth Them With My Hands.

My Fragile Heart,
It Beats So Fast,
And I’m Ashamed Of Running Away.

From Nothing Real?
I Just Can’t Deal With This,
But I’m Still Afraid To Be There,

Among The Hounds Of Tindalos,
And Feel Their Presence Reach For Me.
Have I Always Been A Coward,
And Now I Know It’s Too Late For Me.

Oh, Here I Go!
Don’t Let Me Go!
Hold Me Down!
They’re Coming For Me Through My Dreams.
Help Me, Darling,
Help Me, Please!

Take The Corners,
And Mould Them Into Curves,
And I’ll Be,
Safe For The Moment.

I Know It’s Too Late For Me.
I Know It’s Too Late For Me.
I Hear The Hounds Of Tindalos, Yeah!
Tind’losi Hounds!

Take The Corners,
And Mould Them Into Curves!

Do You Know What I Really Hear?
Do You Know What I Really Hear?
I Hear The Hounds Of Tindalos, Yeah!

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Top 7 Telephony Themed Tracks

Phone at workAs I’ve mentioned before, I work for a Telecommunications Service Provider and have done since 2006.

Whilst traveling to work the other morning, I was listening to one of the tracks on this list and it got me thinking about the telephone and its impact on society.

The majority of my waking life appears to be underwritten by music and so I’ve decided to compile my a list of telephone related tracks from my extended playlist.

The telephone is ringing, is that my Mother on the phone?

The telephone is screaming, won’t she leave me alone?

Synchronicity Album CoverTrack 4 on the 5th and final studio album from the Police, SynchronicitySynchronicity is probably my favourite Police album, if not one of my favourite albums overall.

Mother is a brief burst of anger on what is otherwise quite a serene album.  Written by Andy Summers, the track by no means represent my own opinions with regards my maternal parentage; the track has made it onto previous mobile phones as the ring tone for my Mother however.

BlondieBlondie was one of the guilty pleasures of my youth, I’m not sure where I first came across Debbie Harry – probably one of my parents had an album.

As innocent a youth as I was then, I did not pin the undertone to the song that I do now. For some reason, knowing more about Debbie’s colourful past has coloured her songs when I listen to them.

Blondie also released Hanging On The Telephone but I prefer Call Me, mainly due its cover by Skye Edwards.  Skye has one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard.

Put your tongue into the mouthpiece…

…and whisper in my ear.

The The - DuskI discovered The The in my mid to late teens, looking back I can see how the lyrics and music would appeal to an angsty rebellious youth.

I still love to listen to The The though, there’s a kind of discordant melody fused out of Matt Johnson‘s voice and the underlying symphonies of some of his tracks.  Or maybe that’s just the angsty-teen reviving within me… or maybe I’m a closet Emo.

Seriously, if Emo types were to listen to The The instead of The Used, the world would be a brighter place.

Water is our business…

Electricity is our business…

Gas is our business…

Lines are our business; Business is our business!

Extremities, Dirt and Other Repressed EmotionsI know it may seem a stretch to link this track to Telephony and I know most lyric sites would tell you differently but the quote above has seared this track into my mind as one associated with Telephony (amongst other things).

In fact, as Jaz bellows the penultimate line “Lines are our business” there is an actual dialing/ringing tone playing in the background.  So I feel somewhat vindicated in my opinion on this one.

This is one of the only musical tracks that actually make me feel like I’ve sold out, the other being Money Is Not Our God. Here I am, working for the very kind of company that the song rails against!

Call all you want but there’s no-one home and you’re not gonna reach my telephone.

GaGaWhen I first heard Lady GaGa, I detested her but she must use the right kind of subliminals in her backing tracks because over the last 12 months she’s grown on me (like athlete’s foot).

More than her music, I like her overt use of occult symbolism.  Forget your kabbalah cults and new age gurus; GaGa takes it back to grass roots Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn level pomp and ritual.

This track pretty much sums up my opinion of telephone use.  I am a lot better now than I was a decade ago but I still don’t like taking calls.  If I’m not expecting a call, especially on the land line, I sometimes get a little rush of anxiety when the phone rings.

I once mentioned it to my nurse (all Diabetics get one, you should try it) in passing, more as a humorous aside than anything else.  She offered me counseling!

Of course, I turned her down; I’m perfectly capable of taking calls, I just find them rude and invasive – unless from friends and family.

Lyrics, symbolism and neurosis aside; the video is pretty good too… In a Kill Bill meets Strangers On a Train kind of way.

Feelings unknown and you’re all alone,

Flesh and bone on the telephone.

Pick up the receiver, I’ll make you a believer.

ViolatorApparently their 23rd UK single (take note fellow Erisians); this is one of my favourite DM tracks (along with Blasphemous Rumours and Enjoy The Silence).

The song has a variety of different meanings depending on who you ask.  Personally I prefer the theory that the song relates to telephone sex lines.

The track just has an element of seediness to it; the sense of a cloying desperate need for emotional and physical contact with another… or maybe that’s my inner Emo again.

And it’s all your fault,

I screen my phone calls,

No matter who calls,

I gotta screen my phone calls.

No Doubt - Tragic KingdomFinally, my favourite telephone based track of all time.  I love it when this comes up on Rock Band!

This song was the first to ever encapsulate my utter contempt for telephony. Back in those dark brooding days (yet again with the inner Emo) when every waking moment would be plagued by a call, out of the blue.

Where are you man?

What are you doing?

What? Where? When? How? Why? … and who with? All these questions and more; and it only got worse when I eventually succumbed to the pressure of mobile telephony.

9 to 5Before I had a mobile, people would actually call the people that they thought I was with, purely because they couldn’t get hold of me any other way. Once I had a mobile, I had to screen the calls just to get a moment to myself.

I’ve heard people speak of the advent of mobile telephony as being one of the greatest turning points for modern civilisation. What mobile telephony did for me was rip aside the final shred of privacy that I clung to.

It wasn’t all bad though. Most calls could be screened, as in Lady Sovereign‘s 9 to 5:

Private callers get no love from me,
Just let me be…

Necroscope 4I’m a lot calmer person when it comes to telephones now, I have to be. Ironically, I have probably got the world’s finest telephone manner. I’m often complemented on my voice and mannerisms but then maybe that’s how I learned to deal with my telephone issues.

Like the great Lumley wrote:

When he yawns his great jaws at you, go in through them, for he’s softer on the inside!

From Brian Lumley’s Necroscope 4: Deadspeak