A Brit a Day [#398]

My teenage daughter plays a game with her friends that goes roughly like this–they each have their laptops and start on a webpage with headlines like Yahoo! News. The game is to see who can get from that page to a reference to Hitler in the least clicks. They can’t use a search engine, just mouse clicks. It’s a tasteless premise, but kind of amazing because it never takes very long.

I bring this up because, as one of my friends says, I need you to walk with me here. The lyrics of a passage from ‘3rd Planet’ on Modest Mouse’s the moon and antarctica are the only words that will speak for me today, but Modest Mouse is a thoroughly American indie band. ‘3rd Planet’ was written by Isaac Brock, portions of whose life sound like a Thomas Hardy novel…..
When his mother’s house flooded she was forced to move in to her new husband’s trailer where there was no room for Brock, so he stayed behind. He lived on the second floor of the flooded home until he was evicted by the police. After a period of living in a friend’s basement, he moved into a shed he built on the land next to his mother and stepfather’s trailer. [wikipedia]
…..but otherwise, there’s no British connection.
That’s Isaac Brock the living. Major General Isaac Brock, who died from a bullet to the heart in upper Canada in the War of 1812, was born in Guernsey and died a hero of the British Army. You can read more about him here:
THAT Isaac Brock is our Brit of the Day. The rest is just a device for me to be able to make you read this bit of [American indie] poetry by the other Isaac Brock–
Your heart felt good.
It was drippin’ pitch and made of wood.
And your hands and knees,
Felt cold and wet on the grass beneath,
While outside naked, shiverin’, looking blue,
From the cold sunlight that’s reflected off the moon
And baby cum angels fly around you,
Reminding you that we used to be three and not two,
And that’s how the world began.
And that’s how the world will end.
Why is this verse speaking my heart’s song today? You won’t learn that just by walking with me, for I can’t quite explain it. I can tell you this–The daughter I mentioned above is leaving home on Thursday for her first major adventure away from us. She’s going to Europe for 9 days. I’m excited for her, I’m scared for her, I’m in denial that I’m scared or that she might be scared. I just want everything to be great. I want her to be there and be totally in the moment, and at the same time, I want her to be back home, safe, with the trip as just a fantastic memory. I want to stop worrying about Libya and remembering Pan Am Flight 103. ‘3rd Planet’ is one of those songs that just hurts so good, and it’s good to hurt a little, just for today.

A Brit a Day [#1245]

Rather than being decisive about the end or move of ABAD, I’m going to just say that ABAD is on a hiatus of undetermined length. I have enjoyed doing it, and I’m proud of my own commitment to posting almost every day for almost three and a half years, but my passion for it is touching the low water mark at the moment.  There’s no excuse for doing a bad job of it, so I’m going to let it go for now.

So…this isn’t good-bye, just an exceptionally mushy post.

If I have to leave a parting thought here for a while, though, it would be this:

A few years back, I developed a crush on the charming and charismatic frontman of a British band called Art Brut.  His lyrics blew me away. They were funny and ironic and seemed to expose every fear a 20-something young man could have–which are not that different from the fears a 40-something old woman has. I reached out to him as a friend on Myspace, that antique social medium that revolutionized my six-degrees-of-separation world.  Now there could be one degree.  To make a long story short, over the years I have met Eddie, hung out with Eddie, drunk vodka-and-apple-juice cocktails and bad wine with him.  I have met [through email] Eddie’s mom in England [she’s exactly 2 months older than I am].  Two of Eddie’s paintings hang in my house. He says that the story I’ve told him of how my preschooler misconstrued the words to one of his songs has become a part of his patter onstage.

Friday was Eddie’s birthday.  I emailed him my good wishes.  He emailed me back his thanks.  My point is–never doubt your heart.  You can feel a connection through pictures, music, video….to someone you would never have met in your ‘normal’ life or perhaps will never meet outside of the internet.  But the connection is no less real.

So…if you’re reading this–I’m connecting with you.  And isn’t that cool?

A Brit a Day [#1051]

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo:  most integral soundtrack ever, imo.  Been listening to a lot of Trent Reznor and How to Destroy Angels in the car.  Trent Reznor isn’t technically a Brit, although he was resuscitated from an overdose in London once.  So today’s Brit is, by association, Daniel Craig.

Does anyone know when the American sequel to TGWTDT is coming out?

A Brit a Day [#1044]

When I was out walking today, I had a Proustian moment of the highest order.  My friend handed me a Freesia bloom, I sniffed it, and I was transported.  “This is the smell of shopping with Mom,” I said. She looked at me like I was weird. “This is the smell of Mom taking me to the toiletries counter and letting me pick out whichever bath salts I wanted.”  On one of those shopping trips I went to the record store for the very first time [as opposed to the music department at JC Penneys] and came home with the eponymous Crosby, Stills, and Nash album, the one where ‘Wooden Ships’ is the first cut on the first side, and from a clothing store called ‘The County Seat’, a short denim jacket.  My life would never be the same.

Today’s Brit has to be Graham Nash.  He was the first.  Today, with a head full of Freesia, there couldn’t be anyone else.

A Brit a Day [#761]


This look foreshadowed Eddie Argos’ return-to-glam era and the formation of the band Glamchops.  He was ripe for it:  he had been wrapping his shoes in silver duct tape for a while by then.

A Brit a Day [#691]

From the filming of the ‘Modern Art’ video, about 2006.  Art Brut, with Eddie Argos [center] as frontman.  This setting has always reminded me of the scene early in ‘Wings of Desire’ where the 2 angels are sitting in a convertible in the showroom of a BMW dealer.  I couldn’t find a still looking from behind them toward the street, but that’s the view I’m thinking of.