Monday, July 07, 2008
The House on the Rock: The Mikado Room 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 

Imagine you've just come home from an all-you-can eat Chinese buffet with a rowdy bunch of friends. Okay; so you overindulged a bit on the General Tso's Chicken and the Dragon and Phoenix Plate. No biggie.

Then the real fun began: not only did you have a few too many Shaoxing-and-Tsingtao boilermakers, you decided to get adventurous. You had to sample the fried pork intestines, the shark's fin soup, and the jellyfish salad, didn't you? Even the octopus balls and sea cucumber started to look appetizing. Little did you know that your friend's buddy visiting from the West coast spiked those Mai Tais with something...a little extra.

You come home with raging heartburn and an aching head. The room spins, and you plunk down on the couch in front of an old Hammer Horror flick.

This is what you dream.

Actually, it's audio and video of the two-story (or is it three?) Mikado, one of the "music machines"* at the House on the Rock in Spring Green, Wisconsin. The structure is based on a Dutch Mortier dance organ mechanism, packed with gilded gargoyles, a full battery of robotic/animatronic instruments and leering mannequins lit up by a riot of red and gold lanterns. With a flash, it looks like this:

Mikado Music Machine, House on the Rock

More House on the Rock photos at my place on Flickr.

[*Some call them "music machines." I call them "Calliopes from Hell."]

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