Arm Thing – Listen Again

Arm Thing – Listen Again

Put your arm thing around my shoulder
by Sludge Monster

What Good am I so Terrified
We enter the album
We enter the fear
We enter the fun controlled armchair spinetingle panic
We feel the swirling guitar drum pirouette
A few up-down swing chords are the suspense of looking back into the pitch black terror
Our narrator is ashamed of his fear; he told the crowd he killed the beast.
He lied.
The album begins with fear and trembling and bad faith
All in good fun
The forgivable failings of the silver screen
Anyway, who is up for a real monster?
They test us before we’re ready
If we were ready, they wouldn’t be monsters
[Contrast Kierkegaard’s fear and trembling in good faith — a leap of faith into God with the wariness befitting a finite creature seeking connection with the infinite; and fear and trembling in bad faith — a leap of faith into some (oh so finite) narrative about how you’re an OK dude]

Bad Trip
The fear continues
The music of being chased in a movie
The little bursts of sharp notes; the worried singing forward to the instruments (white foam on forward-falling waves); the blazing chords and again little bursts, the charging whispery percussions —
and for this we hear, I don’t like what I see … your son’s a freak … I had no choice
We feel like we’re running from a werewolf, but the narrator is ruing a past evil
“I ate his bones for the memories; I thought he’d be more care free”
The bad is trip is not the fear of the monster, nor the regret of being a monster eating another perhaps monster; no, the regret is that the bones of “your son” gave me a bad trip — by eating them I got his bad memories
What kind of a story is this?
It’s too lonely
when it unravels itself
like so many slopped-out intestines
onto this sawdusty packing house

A Dark Web
“They had a job for us; it meant a lot; I said yes; we’re on our way up”
The spare guitars and drums lead us down the dark winding staircase
Oh but no, I guess we’re outside, because we’re going to catch our death and should go back inside
Why do I in moments feel like that’s Casey on the drums and I’ve wandered back into At latl in the boxing ring?
A soft song, a soft python wrapping its gently expanding pressure all around your cute little self, so snug in the whole-embrace
Sometimes you are murdered by “a dark and terrible web” that “gained its consciousness” and “now steals identities and makes the real ones dead” — but is that so bad? Such a bad way to disappear, to be stolen and erased even as your swallowed and co-opted and misappropriated for dastardly deeds?
Maybe it is bad!
But I’m so tired, so tired by the easy going hopelessness of it all
A mouse struggles in the snake’s embrace until there’s only the peace of falling fast asleep in the forgetting land
“I am am I will I will …”
But then you just aren’t, cause you’ve caught your death and now its stealing gently gliding
The abuser and his victim

What about
An abuser who wins a nation by finding a gap in the defenses of those who’d rather not worship their own abuser
Off topic

To return

New Year New You
We’ve been proven cowards, and we’ve regretted sampling the dreams of our victims, and we’ve watched as a dark forced murders us as it appropriates our identities to use to further its evil rampage.
It’s only fair that we should get a little intermission music; and some peanuts.
We are overdue!
We need to be affirmed like this!
And this is reassuring, this is schmalzily reassuring music! Here’s a place where we can be hugged by the noise and accept these encouraging words!
Here we get our due!

Gross Job
Ah, but it couldn’t last
drum sticks bang together getting ready for the tumble
Choo Choo train rumble-forward-down-the-track drum and guitar
Almost like surf music, but the waves fall forward too fast — too fast to escape!
“they got one job / they come at night while you’re lazy / they crawl up in your head”
Oh, yes, those terrible monsters, those terrible little pincher-bugs, that terrible Khan, of course, the music must shove us into the hopeless confused whirl that ends in
but not for us
cause now
we’ve forgotten
forgotten the very horror that rules our hearts, minds, bodies — forgotten what it was we lost when we became a desperate cockroach scurrying to simple pings of stimuli
a cockroach isn’t gross to a cockroach

Put your arm thing around my shoulder
birth of sludge monster?
I guess not; I guess just a resurrection gone wrong
like the hero of The Fly being zapped gone and then back but now not the same?
Or like a science-based resurrection — a recreation of the molecular order that had been our old friend?
Doesn’t matter the exact details
The song is so loving so poignant that it leaves the genres behind and becomes
a sad slow-melting spell
about loss
and the well-meaning attempts
to recover
and love
we can’t
fix it all
and sometimes
we’re left with a broken body
but still
our old friend
“welcome back my old friend / it is so good to see you again / put your arm thing around my shoulder / it takes a while to regain composure / you’ve got me for support / you’ve got me for transport / turn your head up to the sun / being alive is so much fun / feel the wind on your back / ”
And the music and electro-distorted voice so soft like gently falling rain or like a mother tugging her child into bed,
so sad
such a sad song
Does he want to be back like this?
“just different here and there / try not to stare”
Did Lazarus want to be raised from the dead?
Is it wrong to call the dead out of the land of shadows and silence?
“still a little groggy / been a while since he’s had a body”
What is the important part of your life?
If you come back as a sludge monster with sad eyes rising over a gentle green mountain stream, is it better to not come back at all?
And if Dean’s back all mangled-forms and sleepy-eyed sorrows, what are his friends to say?
But the right thing to say is always
welcome back my old friend / it is so good to see you again / put your arm thing around my shoulder
A sad song, a difficult song, for the riddle it poses forces us to admit we’re not strong enough to carry this life, and yet if we don’t say “put your arm thing around my shoulder” to everyone always, we’re just being absurdly mean and boring, so boring

Reverse Polarity Touch Mainframe
The gentle trickling stream music and the careful, persistent vocalizations, some kind of eulogy
for human fallibility?
for those moments when it seems like you must act but aren’t sure how to?
And did you have to act after all?
A slow waltz around a veteran recount his battle
“water on the circuit / any way you work it?”
“are you sure, so sure / this is right?”
Really stretching out the “sure” into a so Sho-ore
A little one-man play about the time the space commander shorted the mainframe?
Or maybe the moment when you have to connect wire A or B to terminal C or D, and the one connection saves everyone and the other destroys everyone?

Comments Section
The music continues the sad, dripping, sliding, lamenting style of the previous two songs
And the narrator speaks of not knowing the facts “so worked up / so darn sure / close to giving up / close to shutting the door”
Another lament about certainty misplaced?
Another lament about being creatures with limited insight but who honestly feel like they should make decisions, make choices?
What is a “Comments Section”?
Like a movie comment thread?
People getting worked up in the echo chambers of fan threads?
Details aside, a song about the slow sorrow of some basic human failing showing itself, some basic sore spot worn raw and obvious once again?

Dude, Look
Steady drum
Ethereal chords misting-up and falling down around the drum
A soft, haunted, worried narration
“they’ve got magic and technology”
The dude’s an idiot because he doesn’t see that “they put on a dark ritual / it is misguided and it is spiritual”
“I don’t even care if we die / I just need to know that you rec-og-nize / there’s an ugly-eyed creature chasing you and me / this is anything but a hyperbole”
Feels political evil, feels like stating the obvious about a the authoritarian play running through the US American right
But sad more than angry; that confused exasperation of those of us who think Trump II is a crazy risk to subject our shared system to: such great risk, and for what???
Feels like political evil; could be here and now, could be on Mars with the crazed Martians preparing to feed our heroes to a giant monster in a pit for a ritual killing to make things right with a God they’re fundamentally misunderstanding

Concerns about raising the dead
A soliloquy, acted with a gentle persistent pathos, framed with spare guitars that build around gurgling base
You feel the Frankenstein’s monster tromping in the dark stone-walled and -floored castle keep
“You should try me again sometime / I’m not so far gone — no not yet”
“I can change my mind …. I must just come around”
“Folks get prickly / they don’t really like this change”
The footfalls are the mad scientists?
Guitars gushing up around the steady drum beat
what is this ending bit with the repeated guitar “waah” over the steady drums?
And then the narrator’s voice takes off with the sound, with no language
Is this really a man who can change his mind?, really a man who’s not so far gone yet?
We have our doubts
What is all the point of his great ambition?
What is the point of mad scientists and fervid politicians and everybody so sure of their calling that they allow themselves to reason away what is deeper and wiser than reason — the common faith of a gentle Love that’s infinitely greater than all our great ideas?

Angry Ghost
Catchy, makes you sway
Easy grooving
But the story of this angry ghost is a little worrisome
“and the souls of insects” has something to do with ghosts?
The ghost doesn’t seem angry; seems like one of those sad ghosts that comes back to try to connect and help their loved ones
“try not to think of their powers / can’t make sense of what they have won / try not to make sense of the towers / there is nothing that can be done”
what is weaving in and out of this narrative?
A song about letting go?
What is the mirror that can’t be cleaned?
What is dirt like you’ve never seen dirt before?
What is the stain, the sin, the sad hurt that keeps the dead tethered to this world?
The dead should move on to the infinite Love that explodes all mundanities to smithereens
Go on, sad ghost, go on, go on home — we’ll be alright here for as long as we must remain cardboard cutouts slowly turning to mulch in these rising waters

Anger Goes Away
Spacey drifting synths, like landing on Mars in a black-and-white rickety cardboard and spray paint landing craft
The narrator says “with my unpracticed powers, I will restore you”
I guess he’s going to use a carbon shifter, a guitar, lightning, and power cells
“I engage the power cells / watch the surge go down your spine / and the anger goes away”
It seems like Frankenstein jolting his monster into life, but instead of “it’s alive!” we get “and the anger goes away”
Music is laser arches and lightning bugs
I guess all is well that ends well

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