Live Blog – Sludge Monster

Live Blog – Sludge Monster

Live blogging the new Sludge Monster album
Put your arm thing around my shoulder
[Originally posted May 5, from about 1:30PM-2:30PM]

What Good Am I so Terrified
round round
up down
“what good am I so terrified”
the narrator runs scared over the racing suspense music
we dodge and turn
through the moving pictures
the dark night

Bad Trip
“I don’t like what I see”
music still racing, worried, The Strokes a little like
We are worried we are swirling
we are not sure what is going on
the music becomes mechanical bubbles and spaces out with flutes
we are reaching with the narrator after
“visions intensified”
What does he see?
What’s the thing with the demon voice?
And what was he compelled to?
And are these flutes fluttering in at the edges and into the center for a moment here and there?
A bad trip?
Vacation turned monster movie?
Hope turned heartache?
He said he had no choice.
But that’s what people always say after its too late to choose better
Still, here we don’t know
Maybe there were real monsters, demanding real action, and even with the dust cleared, the mistakes made, and the bodies lying this way and that, we’d have to say that, to be fair, we couldn’t have handled the situation any better: a truly unusual, remarkable, difficult situation — what with the fast-approaching monsters and the quick-narrowing options and the low visibility and moral ambiguities and one tough call following another so you’ve no time to well-consider any of them

A Dark Web
Dreamy guitars, spaced drum beats
A speeding up down the channel, caught in the current
That’s no channel! It’s an irrigation ditch — you shouldn’t play there
What’s he saying?
“I am I am”
“I will I will”
“I can I can”
Groovy, but “you’re gonna catch your death” / “nowhere to hide”
fun teenage monster movie sexy fun goes gory fun
What has “gained its consciousness this dark and terrible web, and now it steals identities and makes the real ones dead; it took my best friend, a kind and trusting soul, who could read the future’s promises, and was taken by a troll … dang ”
What happened here? The web is a spider monster’s lair?
The web is itself the monster?
A monster that gobbles your body from the inside-out and inhabits your saggy flesh?
And this friend with a trust greater than his prescience, and so now just another victim in the catalog of the not-quite-main-characters
Where are we now? We are “dang”; but it’s too late to change where we’ve landed; the movie’s ended

New Year New You
Bobble your head, dare to dream of a “New year, new you”
All the possibilities!
But who wants to chase geese?
Who has that on their wish-list?
Only dogs, mostly just dogs
Is a dog grinning and swaying side to side in this alt-rumba?

Gross Job
“they got one job; it’s crazy / they come at night; while you’re lazy / they crawl … up … in … your … head”
Oh not those monsters!
The ear ones! The brain stealers and melters! Gross!
And so like getting older alone in the woods or on the park bench in your boxed apartment in your sardine can

Put Your Arm Thing Around Me
Spacey, dreamy, long chords, distorted voice alien planet landing gentle and careful touchdown with wide landing feet
Some kind of love “my old friend”
What has happened? He was anti-mattered and reassembled?
“a little different here and there” / “try not to stare” “Put your arm-thing on your shoulder / it takes a while to regain composure / you’ve got me as support”
Ethereal, longing, loving, these broken pieces put back together
Oh, the beginning, was “he’s a lot like his old molecules / just different here and there” Is it like The Fly when you come back together in a way that doesn’t go well?
No, it’s just him; but “anti-matter to matter is weird”
And the music is sparse, the voice electronic and spaced, gentle, putting on a brave face, “welcome back, my old friend, it’s so good to have you back”
Oh! Why?
Why the crumpling-up of our forms, the cruelty of change, of hurt, of broken
and yet
what a friend we have in Jesus and everyone else who just says, “it is so good to see you again”, and leaves it at that — at the only thing any good

Reverse Polarity Touch Mainframe
Are we waltzing, are we twirling around the dance floor?
A few piano key-notes to walk down the wide winding stairs in our showgirl outfits with real ostrich feathers
“water in the circuit / any way you work it / how is joy so close to terror? / are you sure, so sure this is right?”
The danger of human certainty, of rash human actions, of rushed human contact
I am wondering where we are in the slow waltz down through the hall, trapped in the info world I guess in the tunnel of ideas connected to off/on impulses

Comments Section
Movie intermission
Easy going Notes zig zag up and down slow and spaced wide the cha cha beats travel up and down but we’re just waiting to hear from you
A voice finally walks in, with a motion in between speech and song “sitting back / making sense of the struggle / don’t know the facts / a little late to the ? / so what the / so darn sure / close to giving up / close to shutting the door”
And back to banging and sawing now with the guitar suggesting upward and downward What did we learn? Must we comment?
But we want to participate in the culture!
We want to push back on the stimuli! We want purchase on this shared dreamscape! We want to be heard
We want to sound like somebody
no, we just want, to not be so alone, so much like fodder for losing, maybe better to shut the door, maybe better to make like a snail and slime back inside

Dude, Look
“Du du dude, you are an idiot / du du du why don’t you see that?”
“They’ve got toxic sludge and radioactivity / there’s an ?ugly-A? creature chasing you and me”
“du du dude, you drive me wild / du du du you are a child”
What is going on here?
The music is stalking the listener
What is the “dark ritual” they’re putting on?
“I don’t care if we die / I just want you to recognize / there’s an ?evil-eyed? creature chasing you and me”
Well, for those of us who wake up at four am worried about the United States sleepwalking into a Trump-centered, but willing-wonks-organized dictatorship; this song feels like our last many years, like, “COME ON! WILL YOU OPEN YOUR EYES!”,
but I mean, it’s also a common lament of monster movie watchers — the fools not realizing that the monster is stalking them, that the creatures are coming for them, so obvious to us with our popcorn and soda with our arm around our girl or just on the empty ragged sofa where nothing ever happens

Well, America, some people fight in the mud for democracy and freedom and not having to be afraid of government reprisals if you speak out against your government; all you’re being asked to do is pay attention, be honest, avoid obvious errors, push away from thugocracy and related incompetencies (you’re good at what you prioritize: thugocracies prioritize holding power, and shoving everybody who disagrees down into the dirt deeper and deeper past the point of pain deep into dying alone and broken) and chose the imperfect-but-workable over grand schemes of infinite perfections and grand pouts of “it’s all the same / nobody loves ME good enough anyway”; that’s all you’re being asked to do — please do it

Concerns About Raising the Dead
A high lamenting voice falling down onto the steady rocks of base and drum
“You should try me again sometime / I might just come around / I’m not so far gone, no not yet / I might just come around / I can change my mind”
This is the rat-maze-looping thought of a mad scientist This is the dark jagged walls hanging at odd angles to frame his desperate seeking after that great victory science for infinity’s sake
Who raises the dead? only “the almighty”?
Or can a human with a clear hand restart a life lost? Is death but an interruption that doesn’t ever end? And might we crunch courageously to a reopening of the eyes and mind?

Angry Ghost
“I’ve seen hurt like this before / can’t get this mirror clean / there is an angry ghost making your ears bleed many times”
How is this ghost “in the shower”, “on the pillow”, “traveling on his commute” “between breathing and the floating air and the souls of insects” ?
“I am one of those sensitive dance kids helping a mom and dad remembering what they had”
“I’m ready to be buried deep in the garden”
The words drop like slow molasses
The music goes round and round like a witch’s cauldron is stirred “confused by it / abused by it”
What is going on? How can a banshee move so gently and softly like this song flows, as it circles in eddies, and then breaks free to go easily carefully forward “hurt feet / sunburned head / look of despair / look of despite / and the ways they lie / the ways they lie / my knees feel weak / my heart feels funny / when you give love / when you …”
He “can’t get this mirror clean”
He’s not “seen dirt like this before”
The ghost and his musical home feel more sad than angry
But sorrow has a way of lashing out, especially if one’s audience can only see you as ugly, as drifting, as tatters, as cruel rags

Anger Goes Away
Merry go round? Quiet siren? Sad siren?
“Dusting off my carbon shifter, I pick up my guitar / and I’m connecting the lightning; I feel the charge shock my lips / I engage the power cells / watch the surge go down your spine / and the anger goes away / and the anger goes away”
Does it, though?
If it drifts away and dissipates like this wide-spreading music, does that mean that the anger is gone? Or has it just grown tired and quiet, temporarily forgetful of itself but not gone away?
What healing magic can we expect from the electrical reanimation of a stitched together mess of corpses?
I don’t know, but we don’t disbelieve the narrator, we don’t dispute his claim that the anger goes away, that the mad scientist and his mad creature have resurrected one another into the gentle joyful fold of sentient sympathy of aware eye-in-eye insight into the Love within each one
We think, OK, sure, sounds good, the anger, okay, sure, it can go away, the monster and his creator don’t have to be sharp edges dangerous jags crooked lines, they could be happy, calm, gentle, abiding in the Love that makes life Real

Live Bloggers: Bartleby Willard & Amble Whistletown
Copyright: Andy Watson

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