Night Sweats on the Chaise Longue

Night Sweats on the Chaise Longue

A thought or two on some recent music. One relatively new song, “Chaise Longue,” from June of this year, and another, “S.O.B,” from 2015. Wildly divergent genres, eliciting wildly divergent reactions. Couldn’t be more different, I suppose.

Wet Leg is a band from the Isle of Wight, headed by Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers, names seemingly taken from a Nathaniel Hawthorne novel. The music they make? Not so much. More like something out of Boris Vian, by way of Sally Rooney. Their first single is delightfully weird, and oh so “cheeky,” as the Brits might say. It’s also joyfully infectious.

The video adds another dimension, and another reference or seven for me. It’s something A24 Films might make, but in a much lighter vein than their norm. It’s certainly not “The Witch,” and it’s not “Midsommar.” Far too playful for either film. But there’s still something not quite right about the activities on display. Ominous portents must be off-screen somewhere, and you can never be entirely safe around straw hats.

The Sally Rooney connection hit me because I just started reading her new novel, Beautiful World, Where are You?, and the song’s lyrics make me think of the characters in her first two novels. They’re mostly young, bored, and this aimless thing happens a lot too. Get a degree and now what? Generally (outwardly) cool, at times surprisingly defiant, they’re almost always a complete wreck inside. Lost, wounded, just beginning to find out. Until . . . etc.

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats — is another matter entirely. Not so young (42), not a millennial, and not so cool, bored, or indifferent when it counts. The character in the song is on his last legs, at wits’ end, and he’s likely been told no more booze from one too many bartenders. S.O.B.! The video sets this story in a jail, adding to the sense of a tent-peg revival meeting, but far more claustrophobic and “orderly.”

Of course, none of this is familiar to me, at all, so I can’t really relate. And how would I know if anyone ever refused to serve me a last drink, or another last drink? Wouldn’t it be the case (obviously) that I had drunk my sorrows away to the point where I couldn’t remember such a thing? I mean, come on, people. Get real!


Summer blurs into fall, and I’m still painting productively. It helps that I don’t need to do much setting up beforehand or cleaning up afterwards, and there’s no need to let the paint dry. Though, Microsoft claims that their program, Fresh Paint, does simulate that to a degree, which makes sense. I’ve gone back to work on paintings after a day or two and can’t always use the eraser and backfill brushes. Takes some re-saving of the files, and some other adjustments before it works again. The digital world can be every bit as flaky as the analogue.

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