An open letter to Brooks, Growlers Fans, and Beach Goth ticket holders.
It’s crazy because the first time I met Brooks Neilson (Lead singer of The Growlers), it was at a small bar that happened to be like east of Palm Springs. A really small place called the 8 ball, it was not a venue. It was just a corner, inside four walls that could hook up three guitars, an organ and some drums. No decoration, no super hot girls wearing los growlers pins or badge patches, just pool tables, beer and a hungry ATM machine. My friends and I played pool, I kept winning because I actually know how to shoot. Seeing that my buddies were 19 at the time, I had to buy their beers, but they provided everything else. Shortly after our pool game, Scott, Kyle, and their old drummer came into play pool also, right next to our table. I was new to the band but I noticed they were taller than the average 19 or 20 something in the building. I introduced myself and they told me to enjoy the show or something of the sort. Cool dude shit. That was my first show, but they totally shredded that little bar, it got so hot in there and we were dancing for (what felt like) centuries. It was beautiful, I was happy. Very intoxicated, very fun and beautiful. I was happy.
I saw them (Growlers) at Pacific Fest in Orange County, we got in a car accident right in front of the main entrance. We should’ve made the papers, It was a huge accident, there should be an article in the OC weekly. Big festival, big accident, after that I also met Toro y Moi and saw Snoop Dogg perform. Great festival. We didn’t know how we were getting home. And before we go any further, backtracking to the 8 ball bar, the growlers set was over and we were stoked on them, of course they already have a local celebrity status with us but they’re still for the people. Just the way they carry themselves, their demeanor, the confident weirdness. The Growlers always hangout in the city before their shows; my friends and I noticed this, and always dreamed of cruising around with our girls and each other. Although it’s never been tangible for us. That should make someone want to listen. Right before they exited the room, I remember Brooks, and he turned to look back at the crowd and I was staring at them the whole time they were leaving like I’m witnessing a rocket take off, and I didn’t know if I made eye contact with Brooks or not, but I just through up a Hang Loose sign in his direction and he reciprocated the signal and I just thought ‘awh man, these guys are fuckin’ awesome.’ The definition of cool of today, or even the ‘60s. (I chuckle when I say this to myself.)
- An LA show, (at Henry Fonda Theatre) that was so packed, we all swayed together and only made room for a mosh-pit. That show was for a friends birthday that I have not seen in about 2 years now. I lost a Brixton hat that night.
So they played at Chop Suey, on Wednesday (10-15-14). They played tracks from their new album Chinese Fountain and before I go any further, please note – their music has always been dark toned. I can see how a new listener wouldn’t care for their dark themed lyrics. But it’s true that some people feel these ways and have these thoughts, so you can’t ignore that part. I feel a close connection to the lyrics of ‘not the man’ a coming of age story about a narcissistic dude who is realizing some real shit about him… changing over time and loneliness that is encountered. I feel like Brooks, he has friends, so it’s amazing how they (Brooke Nielson/Matt Taylor) come up with these lyrics, that I personally connect to, when they seem to have the life! It’s amazing. When I talked to him (Brooks) at Chop Suey right before they took the stage, I told him how ‘Everything you guys are doing, it’s really amazing, even Beach Goth Fest, I really want to go but sadly I’ll be here in Seattle, but I know a couple of friends are going and they’re stoked.’ Brookes replied, ‘Well yeah I’m a little worried, on how it’s going to turn out.’ After reading many interviews I know that he’s a short answer type of guy but I could see the truth in his eyes, like a true fear. ‘Well the first one was sick, I’m sure this one will be the same, your third time around.’ He replied ‘It’s just a lot of hard work. ‘ And I understood his perspective, he’s getting older now, he’s got more things to juggle and he’s being forced to work hard. So I totally understood, and worrying is not cool. It’s not fun, because when we are younger, no one worries. That may be a place where real lyrics come from. Then I went to embarrass myself, by telling him I actually knew some of the same people he knew and I’ve been to their earlier shows, basically telling him how big of a dork-fan I was for the band. But how could I not. He’s Brooks Nielsen, the fucking Jim Morrison of our day, Neal Cassidy at heart, and Kerouac with the pen, just walking around and doing him. That’s why I think it’s so important to go to your favorite artists’ (or bands) show, especially if they aren’t too ‘big’ yet. If you’re discovering them and totally diggin’ their style and what they’re about, then you should try to get to know them, beyond the lyrics but in real life. If you feel that strongly about them, why won’t you ever meet them? It’s just like a fucking fairytale.
It’s like I’m going through the same thing that Los Growlers sing about. When Matt Taylor started to play ‘people don’t change’, it took me back to a good time when I would hear those lyrics but I wouldn’t even care to think about them because I had everyone I needed around me, and I didn’t want them to change, we just wanted to dance.
And now I want people to change. I think I want to change. Shit, people are singing this song to me. But I love Seattle though. It’s a good environment to write, it’s dark, just like a bar. A bar is a great place to write, not the fucking library.
If I was even partially sober, I would’ve been smoother when meeting Brooks, not just trying to show him how cool I was with the same people he’s cool with. If I wanted to do that, I would’ve mentioned how I partied with Wesley Smith, a good friend of Matt Taylor (I chuckle at this thought). But who even cares, that’s crazy. If I was really trying to show him how cool I was, I should’ve told him what I was conjuring up in my head and asked him for an interview but not for a paper, an interview for a documentary. A documentary on the Mystic Braves –which is an affiliated psychedelic surf band, some interview sessions. I’m thinking about this project with Shane Stots (Mystic Braves band member) who Brookes has said is a ‘cool kid’ and Brian Elliot (videographer/photographer). It would’ve been perfect, right after the hard work speech. I got a new idea.
I’ve always loved that scene; the beat scene, the hippie scene, my first interest came from learning about The Beatles in 5th grade. If I was trying to make him laugh I would’ve said, ‘Hey Brooks, you said you think a girl should be strong with thick legs and big arms.’ However, my girl friend believes that your girlfriend is a skinny model type OC girl. I think the same but I don’t hold it against him. If you’re interested in The Growlers, check out the third annual Beach Goth, Saturday October 25, at the Observatory grounds. My name is Tony, I’m black and sometimes I wear Supreme beanies to a Growlers show, and sometimes I wear a wool Brixton pioneer hat.
Anthony Lewis <email@example.com>
Preamble to How I am feeling
When I hear about the current events evolving and involving the world as a whole, from the Ebola hoax of a crisis, I mean since the war on drugs, then terrorism, now Ebola, (No one cared about Ebola when it was only affecting the African natives.) It makes me think how the world is now being forced to bond, country by country and soon the globalization theories will start to shed light. Be that as it may, from my perspective of life, for 25 years, I’m doing pretty well in life right now. This is from a blurred perspective overlooking an extended list of accomplishments and milestones. But I make a decent two Gs a month with some change in all my car’s compartments. So financially strong, rent is paid on time.
I haven’t worked on my notes in a very long time. I don’t feel like a wondering, random, Californian black dude, anymore. Which is good. Now my word has value, so I turned off the tube and put on the Marvin Gaye record (I want you); now I’m thinking: future, I’m thinking romance, I’m thinking profit, I’m thinking change!
But most importantly, I’m thinking.
So as I stated earlier, financially strong, my rent gets paid on time – I have a few other payments to make but for a twenty-five year old man, I’m doing all right in Amerykah. Now the fact that I haven’t touched my homework since the first week it was assigned to me, frankly, I am kind of scared. I look at the homeless brothers posted in the streets- on the corner of 12th and Pike or the Capital hill park and see myself clenching a Natural Ice one day. So indeed I just buy expensive clothes and tell myself, ‘No fuckin’ way’ because I’m on the rooftop of my building overlooking the city of Seattle and it’s a great view, makes me understand why people get the ‘206’ tatted on them.
I’m outside, on top of my apartment building.
Firstly, I think to myself ‘Wow it worked, I got published.’ I’m a little shocked, that I wrote something. Now I’m really wondering: ‘Can a black man make it in this world, by just writing?’ Like is that possible? I was in the shower thinking this, because now days the only logical aspirations for my color is to become a rapper. But I am no rapper, nor am I 6’ 7” so, what the fuck am I to do?
Well now, I have a new idea, on top of the one I talked about in the last article. This new idea is just me – turning into that, writing my ideas, stories, and interviewing people I hand selected. I would’ve never gotten to talk to Brooks Nielsen, for as long as I did if I weren’t in Seattle, or at least that deep of a conversation. I’m going to show my inspirations, which are plain in simple, Jack Kerouac to Gary Snyder. Snyder, who was born in Oregon, but moved to Seattle, Google him. I love Seattle; it’s the most inspiring city. Have you ever had that thought, ‘I’ll make it in this world?’ That epiphany, or confirmation is what some people search for, for years, decades. No matter what comes through my writing, it’s just crazy that it all started through Section 8 magazine. It’s just crazy that they fuck with me. If my friends were here, we would most definitely kill a bottle of Canadian Mist whiskey just like we did many summer nights in the past. < I would drive my dads white ‘99 Chevy Suburban truck, we called it the ‘trap truck’ but at that time I mainly kept Kid Cudi’s: Man on the Moon on repeat, well… some MGMT – Congratulations, MF Doom – Operation Doomsday, The Shins – Wincing the Night Away, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Before Today, Earl Sweatshirt – Earl, Radiohead – In Rainbows, Tame Impala – Innerspeaker, Toro y Moi – Causers of This, Beach Fossils – Beach Fossils, and of course The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds and Smiley Smile in case one of us was on a bad acid trip. > But since I don’t have any friends here, I will just smoke then go up on the rooftop of my apartment complex over looking the city with a Supreme Parka on my back at four o’clock in the AM. Shout out to Brian Elliot in Hawaii right now. Terrence, Evan, Ben, Tomas, Alex, Gino, Corey, Andrew, G., Swift Beats, Mystic Braves and wish I could honestly say the Growlers (but it wouldn’t be true) that’s my circle now, but I want the earth in it.
I plan to work on my ‘esoteric tales’ with all the free time of winter break; my grades are so heavy that – it’s only up from here. These esoteric tales are titled as such because they are just that, they only mean something to a small circle of people; however, with the stories I hope to reach organisms beyond the mesosphere to the mesopause, then crash land back into earth’s atmosphere. I want a lot of people to attempt to relate to them. It doesn’t matter whom, they can be Juggalos aka ICP: InsaneClownposse, Bronies, Transexuals, black twitter: the bee hive, ballers, shotcallers, OGs, Triple OGs, Barbershop owners, LARPS, hip kids, beatniks, hypebeast, fucktards, bastards, or just a middle school art student that lives in between. I really wouldn’t even mind to have Beliebers into my work for the reason that my sister has actually hung out with Bieber and said his personality actually reminds her of mine. Granted they were in the Palms’ Suite in Vegas with the likes of J. Cole, DJ Franny and Drake; my sister and her luxury brand: ‘AML label’ are like the modern day ‘it girl’ with the fashion scene. Regardless, luxury life or not – it is weird to hear that of course, I didn’t know how to take it because it seems that everyone loathes him and wants him exiled for some form of reverse tyranny. Nevertheless that is the news, and to keep it 100, if my life was being watched from the time I was fifteen or sixteen years old up until now, the 25 year old me, everyone would have me gutted then guillotined before I could say ‘I can’t breathe!’ Either way look out for the Esoteric Tales in 2015.