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  • Charles J. March III

Charles J. March III: Happy Hour Jukebox

Source: Unsplash, downloaded (17.01.2020.)

Happy Hour Jukebox

Album—Ghosts VI: Locusts

Artist—Nine Inch Nails

Released—March 26, 2020

Label—The Null Corporation


Since I like to keep my head somewhat in the clouds (or perhaps buried in the sand) in regards to news of all kinds, I feel somewhat ashamed that I learned about the unexpected free download drop of ‘Locusts’ via a Facebook post, but felt better about it because it was from a really cool kid I took through the 12 steps a while back who is still sober.

As a longtime NIN fan, I know just as well as anybody that their bleak soundscapes can offer a paradoxical sense of comfort—especially during dark times. So seeing the solemn landscape that we currently find ourselves in, it makes sense that the prodigious industrial rock producers, Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, saw fit to release a couple yin-yang-like complimentary albums, “Ghosts V: Together” and “Ghosts VI: Locusts”, as an offer of solidarity during COVID-19.

Knowing that Locusts was obviously the more sinister of the two, I opted to listen to that first, kind of like eating a dissected Oreo backwards. I set the mood by turning off all the lights in my bedroom, and sat down in my black cushioned office chair before I pushed play.

As the gothic ambience of the buzzing synths started to reverberate all about me, I found myself in an old man rocking chair-like catatonic trance while gazing out my window into the dusk of the setting sun. My ego started to drift away, and I instantly felt at one with the dichotomy of the universe. Visions of hope, disease, death, recovery, etc., started to permeate my thoughts, and I drifted into a somnolent state, coming in and out of positive vibes and negativity, respectively.

When I consciously closed my eyes to ease into the sandman, I saw a biblical swarm of conspiracy theory inspired murder hornets sweeping the globe, making space for a new world order.

Drink accompaniment: A laudanum-laced sugar cube stirred into a flaming glass half-full of absinthe.

P.S. See Johnny Depp’s bathtub scene in From Hell.

About the Author: Charles J. March III’s work’s in/forthcoming from Evergreen Review, Atlas Obscura, Litro, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, Lalitamba, Ligeia, indicia, Datura, 3:AM, Ink Sweat & Tears, Fleas on the Dog, Cajun Mutt, Problématique, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, The Recusant, Sensitive Skin, Sulfur, The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review, RIC Journal, Fugitives & Futurists, tragickal, trashheap, Taco Bell Quarterly, Nauseated Drive, Eskimo Pie, Storm Cellar, Terror House, outer, Harbinger Asylum, Mycelia, Young Mag, Madness Muse, Mantis, Maudlin House, Joyless House, Misery Tourism, BlazeVOX, The Blotter, Blood Tree (prize), The Babel Tower Notice Board, The New Post-literate, Neko Girl, Bareknuckle Poet, Heroin Love Songs, Anti-Heroin Chic, Selcouth Station, Neutral Spaces, Cephalopress, Synchronized Chaos, Arteidolia, The Beatnik Cowboy, Points in Case, Black Scat, Expat, Invert/Extant, Inverted Syntax, Poetry WTF?!, Stinkwaves, Young Ravens, Squawk Back, The Writing Disorder, Defenestration, F(r)iction, Versification, Seiren, Literary Orphans, Centre for Experimental Ontology, Otoliths, Oddball, et al. More at LinkedIn & SoundCloud.

Poetic statement: This mini album review is meant to take on more of a personal, existential aspect, as it delves into the listening experience in respect to the current situations, and is also meant to comment in a fun way on the absurdity of it all with a bit of black humor by suggesting a “happy hour” drink accompaniment to go along with the depressing music in the form of a classically gothic, romanticized drink.



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The image of Quasimodo is by French artist Louis Steinheil, which appeared in  the 1844 edition of Victor Hugo's "Notre-Dame de Paris" published by Perrotin of Paris.


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