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Posts Tagged ‘The Brits’

Dear Readers,

As summer gets closer, and we are all still on our forced Coronacation, those summer plans are on shaky ground. One casualty is the annual Download Festival in Leicestershire, England. Americans: Think metal Coachella or Lollapalooza (which are surprisingly still on as of today).

Here’s a post from Tara to help you recreate the experience while in isolation. (It reminds me a little of my low-rent spa suggestion.)

See you soon! (Maybe. With any luck.)
Beth

Oh those innocent days when we could wear other people like clothing and gaze lovingly into the eyes of our metal idols.

How to have a Download Festival experience during the Coronacalypse
By Tara W.

For those of you gutted (Note from Beth for Americans: That means devastated) by the cancellation of Download Festival this year let me try to help you recreate it from the comfort of your home.

  1. Drive to the furthest part of your village/town/city, and park your car.
  2. Walk back to your house.
  3. Put your tent up in your garden/lounge (Note from Beth for Americans: Living room). It’s best to use a pop-up tent if you are putting it in your lounge.
  4. If you have an additional tent, put it up right in front of the doorway of the tent you intend to sleep in.
  5. Scatter the area around your tent with empty cigarette packets/bottles/crisp packets (Note from Beth for Americans: Crisps are potato chips).
  6. Crap and piss in a bucket to give to you the correct aroma. Do NOT clean the bucket.
  7. Play some great and some not-so-great rock/metal tunes.
  8. Make burgers or grass wraps (for the vegetarians), and charge yourself at least £8 (Note from Beth to Americans: That’s $9.88 in today’s money).
  9. Pour yourself a pint/short of your favourite beverage, making sure you charge yourself at least £5 (Note from Beth to Americans: A short is liquor — like a shot — and that’s $6.17). Put said beverage in the microwave for eight seconds to get it to the right temperature, and put a bit of grass in it.
  10. When you have finished your weekend, go and collect your car.

I hope this helps! 😉🤘

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Dear Fred,

Thanks for tagging me in the “10 albums” challenge on Facebook. I don’t trust myself to remember to go on Facebook every day to post an album, so I’m going to just do it all at once here. And I’m going to break the rules again by adding commentary. I’m also adding parameters.

The following are the important albums of my “formative years.”

1. Shaun Cassidy, “Shaun Cassidy.” Shaun was my first celebrity crush. The garbage man was my first crush, according to my bemused mother. My mother made the mistake of telling me that Shaun was performing in Atlanta but that I was too young to go. I wept so hard my album (yes, I still have it) has watermarks from my extensive tears. Side story: I was singing “Da Doo Ron Ron” when I flipped over the handlebars of my bike and knocked out my front tooth.

2. Donny Osmond, “Donny Osmond Superstar.” My mother, God rest her soul, did not learn her lesson with Shaun. Once again, she told me he was performing in Atlanta, and, once again, I was deemed too young to go. Again, I wept. The cardboard album cover bears witness.

3. The Monkees, “The Monkees.” I watched the TV show in repeats on one of the three channels we got. Micky was my favorite, and we were supposed to get married. Perhaps he is the reason I have such a penchant for the rhythm section.

 

4. Duran Duran, “Girls on Film.” Getting cable — specifically MTV — changed my life. This began my habit of jonesing for Brits.

5. Adam Ant, “Friend or Foe.” Adam broke from his Ants to make the album that made him a household name. Though we recently broke up, I wish him well.

6. The Romantics, “In Heat.” I was in heaven when The Romantics toured with Adam as the opening act. This album also brought about one of my most painful memories. All my guy friends were into Rush and AC/DC. I suggested they listen to this, and gave one of them a cassette. A few days later, I got the cassette back — the innards in a pile on my desk. My “friends” were looking at me slyly to see my reaction. I felt my face begin to burn, and I left the classroom so they wouldn’t get the satisfaction of seeing me cry. These fellows have grown into lovely people, but I can’t erase this memory.

7. Van Halen, “1984.” Van Halen is only Van Halen if David Lee Roth is singing. Fight me. (I’ll DM you a Zoom link.)

8. Living Colour, “Vivid.” This was the first CD I bought. I played it and XTC’s “Oranges & Lemons” over and over on my five-disc CD player.

9. The Replacements, “Pleased to Meet Me.” The Placemats joined Sonic Youth, Soul Asylum, Hüsker Dü, Butthole Surfers, Love Tractor, Dead Kennedys, Big Audio Dynamite, Black Flag and the Pixies on heavy rotation during this period. That reminds me …

10. The Pixies, “Doolittle.” I recently saw them in concert. Still amazing. I do miss Kim Deal, though.

There you have it, Fred: My walk down memory lane.

Thanks for the prompt!
Beth

 

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Dear Readers:

Many of you know someone who has or had the ‘Rona. I do too: Simon, lead singer and guitarist for Jesse’s Divide (a band I’ve mentioned too many times to count). He is finally on the mend, and he agreed to write about his experience (you know I love a good guest post). He thinks he got it during a visit to the grocery store. Here’s his story.

Stay healthy and active,
Beth

Simon (top right) chats with Rob (top left) and Nick (bottom) — the other members of Jesse’s Divide — while all are in captivity, and Simon is on the mend.

Hi Beth!

You asked me to describe to you my recent setback, as though you take a great interest in my pain. (Note from Beth to Simon: I wouldn’t say I’m interested in your pain. I’m interested in your story. I’m a journalist!)

I woke on Monday (April 6) feeling okay, but as the day went on, I started to develop hangover-type symptoms: light headache and a pain behind the eyes. Thought nothing more of it, and carried on as normal. That evening was when things took a turn. I started with a high temperature. My head was hot, my body was cold, and I was sweating and shaking constantly. I had no idea what was going on because I thought – “I don’t get ill; I’m too healthy.” (Note from Beth: Simon is vegan but could live on Oreos, apparently.)

Tuesday morning, I woke up looking as though I’d just stepped out of a swimming pool. Again, hot head, cold body, dripping in sweat. Decide to have a shower. As I clean the assets, I go lightheaded, lose my breath and collapse. I have to bang on the bath for someone; I can’t shout because I can’t catch my breath. My chest is tight and I’m like Miles Dyson during his death scene in “Terminator 2,” only holding a showerhead, not a detonator. Fortunately, my wife Aimee hears me and helps me out.

The day continues with an unbelievable headache (the worst I have ever had; it was like someone had inflated my head to bursting point, and people were screaming behind my eyes), shortness of breath, intermittent cough, and hot and cold sweats.

These symptoms didn’t ease off until Sunday, when I started to breathe normally again. Around Thursday I was forced to take some paracetamol. My wife, my mother and a doctor friend all insisted I had to. I’m stubborn when it comes to medication, but this really helped me to get back on my feet, and I should have listened to them sooner. (Note from Beth to Simon: YES. Remember this later.)

Now, the added bonuses: My dreams were messed up. I was in the “Tiger King” documentary at least twice, and a reccurring dream was of me situated in a familiar black void next to a house-sized steel-pressing machine. The machine would press and laser-cut bits of steel and throw them out to me. All these pieces would mould (Note from Beth: “Mold” for the Americans.) into each other through a portal containing a world of jigsaw-style steel parts. This happened every night.

Another joy of this was that I couldn’t keep down large quantities of water. If I had more than half a small glass, I’d have the runs! (Note from Beth: Delightful!)

ANNNNNNND, aside from my head, do you know what was the most painful part of my body through all this? My hips. MY HIPS! I mean – how?!?! I had to rub tiger balm on them every night. (Note from Beth: Tiger balm = Tiger King dreams.)

With a family around me and two young kids, I had to isolate from everyone and Aimee was following me around with disinfectant spray! (Note from Beth: I totally get it.) I couldn’t hold or go near my wife and kids for 12 days. That was unbelievably difficult.

So that’s my fight with the virus. By far the most debilitating thing I’ve been through. I’m on something like Day 13 now, and I’m still dizzy with a tight chest. The headache has gone, and I can walk about again!

I consider myself healthy, and I very rarely get ill, so I thought, I’m very unlikely to be affected by this.

Boy, was I wrong! It’s not something I’d wish on someone, but I’m grateful now that perhaps I’m somewhat immune. I have felt how it impacts the body, and for those in a more vulnerable physical position than me, it’s clear to see how it can take lives.

Please stay safe. Don’t be dicks.
Simon

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Y’all:

I’m losing it.

I’m losing my mind.

I don’t know what day it is. Most of the time I can’t remember what month it is.

I used the wrong version of your/you’re in a text. I corrected myself before sending, but still.

It’s that bad.

I’ve finished Netflix. All of it.

I don’t want to watch TV anymore.

I don’t want to read.

I don’t want to cook; I’ve made enough food to feed everyone within a five-mile radius.

Now I’m setting goals that seem unusual even for me.

Look:

  • Finish my Greatest Boy Band Songs Ever playlist.
  • Make sure it features no more than two songs per band and is in chronological order by band.
  • Learn the choreography to “Bye Bye Bye.”
  • Wonder what happened to Color Me Badd.
  • Do some actual research and discover some shocking behavior on the part of the worse-for-wear Bryan K. Abrams.
  • Google the zodiac sign for Micky Dolenz. (He’s a Pisces. Of course.)
  • Make an exception to Point 2 for One Direction because Harry Styles.
  • Write a fan letter to Harry Styles.
  • Cut off some of my hair to send to Harry Styles.
  • Consider therapy to identify why I would do either of the two things above.
  • Consider therapy to identify why I would do any of the things on this list, really.
MmmHMMM. Call me, Harry.

Dear GOD. Who am I?

Send help.

Sincerely,
Beth, owner of a jello mind

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Dear Viktor Wynd,

You and I clearly are kindred spirits. My friend Nick mentioned your Museum of Curiosities as a place to check out the next time I was in London. In fact, he specifically said this:

It looks like how I imagine the inside of your head looks.

Well, he’s not wrong.

My head is filled with flotsam and jetsam, much like your museum.

In fact, your website celebrates the lack of categorization as part of the mission.

This museum will merely display everything that has glittered & caught the eye of it’s founder.

I just want to take a moment to recognize your genius. Where else can a jar of Amy Winehouse’s poop live alongside some terrible taxidermy?

As I was able to visit recently, here are some visual aids for readers who think I’m kidding:

This is pretty bad, even as bad taxidermy goes.

And part of Amy outside her music lives on.

BFs 4EVA!

It must be weird to be a celebrity whose detritus is museum worthy.

There is plenty going on in this case. Almost too much for intake.

Id like to copy edit the museum mission statement, but I won’t. Here it is with all its charm intact:

The Museum has no overreaching aim beyond the theft of it’s visitors time and the hope that it will provide amusement by return & hopes to fill the vacuum between what the establishment elite believes is worthy of worship & what exists in the world.

Good news: It did ABSOLUTELY provide amusement. This is exactly the sort of place that provides a perfect afternoon for me.

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Dear Simon, Rob and Nick, aka Jesse’s Divide,

It was exactly a year ago that you played Smith’s Olde Bar in Atlanta as part of the U.S. leg of your Space Wolf tour — a leg I planned with no prior tour-planning experience.

(Good GOD. WHAT were we thinking? A leap of faith all around.)

One year ago, I badgered all my friends to come hear you play.

One year ago, these friends seemed surprised I had good taste.

One year ago, these friends bought you all tequila shots.

Photographic evidence

And one year ago, Rob drank so much tequila, he still had the liquor sweats 24 hours later.

More evidence

Now the four of us are talking about U.S. Tour 2: Electric Boogaloo for October, and I couldn’t be more excited.

This tour will be fortified with more Jesus, more vegan food, more gigs, more fans and likely more tequila.

Crucially, this tour also will feature less driving, less crappy equipment and (I hope) less barfing on the side of the road.

I am forever grateful to Clair for inviting me to go with her to see you that February night in 2018.

Love you guys! You’re simply the best.

Happy Valentine’s Day and Touriversary!
Your No. 1 American Fan

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Dear Readers:

My playful ribbing of my friends has paid off. Nick has come through with a guest post about dealing with teenagers — a frequent topic of mine. His oldest is older than mine, so he’s been through it.

And for the rest of you (Julia, Royce, Kerstin, TJ), don’t worry about it being perfect. That’s what editors are for. Send it!

Love,
Beth

Advice for harassed parents (or how I learned to stop worrying and love my kid)
Guest post by Nick (aka He Who Has Been There)

My eldest son just turned 18. Here in the U.K., that’s it: All milestones hit. He’s now a grown man, even though if he buys beer he’ll still get challenged for appearing to be under 21, despite the drinking age being 18. Go figure. He can have a house, car, family — all that. First, he needs to get a job. But we’ll leave that particular bone of contention for another time.

Getting this far wasn’t easy. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve said something along the lines of “YOU’LL PICK UP THAT SOCK/PLATE/INDETERMINATE MATTER IF YOU WANT TO SEE YOUR NEXT BIRTHDAY,” which was normally met with an exasperated sigh or the dreaded eye-roll. See, the thing is, and this is important for anyone with a kid who’s in the middle of those teenage years to know:

You’ll always LOVE your kid. It’s okay to not LIKE them sometimes.

It’s easy when they’re small. For example, it’s cute when they get so excited at Christmas that they literally piss themselves. Or, when potty training is happening, they get their junk caught in a CD case and run into the kitchen shouting “ME NO LIKE!” (Both real, both SURE to mortify the boy if he ever reads this.)

Here’s Nick. Innocent. He has no idea what this creature will become in just 10 or so years.

But as they grow in size, they also get this disastrous condition called “their own personality.” Shocking, I know. And when they get to about 12, 13? That personality generally stinks. As do they, because puberty takes no prisoners where body odour is concerned (Note from Beth: “Odor” as we Americans shun unnecessary letters).

The smallest things become battlegrounds.

Concerned Parent: “Have you done your homework?”
Insolent Child: *AUDIBLE EYE ROLL*
CP: “May as well get it done now, kid Then it’s finished so you’ve got the weekend to yourself.”
IC: “GOD.” (Stomps away)

A hill that we both picked to die on was a matter of hygiene. As in, brush your goddamn teeth. He’d wake up, have breakfast, and sit in the living room in his trademark sullen silence. When I would ask if he’d brushed his teeth, the look of horror and disgust was as if I’d offered him a lightly grilled stoat (Note from Beth: This is British-speak for weasel) as an aperitif. He’d eventually stomp away to the bathroom, but only after I’d shown him the Big Book of British Smiles. (Our teeth aren’t really that bad, but it made a point, and “The Simpsons” is gold.)

Then.

One magical day a few months before his 18th birthday, he all of a sudden stopped being this terrible-smelling, silent protagonist in his own Greek tragedy, and became a larger version of the kid I used to know. Hairier, with a deeper voice (no seriously: He’s like a skinny white version of Barry White, fer chrissake), but actually nice to be around. I look forward to our movie nights. Sharing a beer with the kid. Actually having a human conversation.

Here’s Nick with his son, who has regained human form. Neither has the capacity to smile for a selfie, apparently.

So, parents of teenagers: Hang in there. It gets worse before it gets better. But when it gets better, it’s great!

If only he’d get off his arse, and get a job …

 

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Dear Members of The Prodigy,

I’m so sorry I didn’t really know you until recently. If it weren’t for my friend Glen responding to my post requesting music suggestions, I never would have listened intentionally. Who knew I had so much in common, taste-wise, with Glen plus Merrill and Trevor? (Thanks also to Kristina, April, George, Tara and William for some good tunes.)

I usually listen to the most raucous music in my library when I’m getting ready in the morning.

A few days ago, I was putting on mascara when Eddie walked into the bathroom.

Him: What’s that?
Me, without batting a mascaraed eye: Smack My Bitch Up.

I make no apologies.

And because of that exchange, you earned a few cents. (I have an Apple Music account, so you don’t make much from me.)

 

I’m glad you are now part of my listening life, along with Godsmack, Prophets of Rage, Dirty Honey and The Struts.

My mornings are certainly a little louder.

Love,
Beth

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Dear Body Fat:

I’m definitely in a period of change, ditching all that isn’t working for me. (Poor Adam.)

You were the first to go exactly a year ago. I don’t miss you at all. Sorry, not sorry.

You and I had an off-again, on-again relationship for years before I had the strength to shed you for good.

Without you, I’m a new person. I’m brave enough to share a bikini photo with the world (even though selecting “publish” on that post nearly made me barf).

I say “the world” because it’s a public post on the Internet. The true number is actually 720.

(Oof. That’s so many people online to have seen me in my bathing suit. Pardon me while I get sick in this trash can over here.)

People have noticed we’re not together anymore.

Just over a week ago, I had a chat with Disgruntled Danny, he of the pothole guest post, at a Jesse’s Divide event. (Yes, yet another mention of this band. Again, sorry, not sorry. They’re that good.)

This exchange happened early on in the convo:

Him, ever so British: May I ask you a personal question?

Me, completely American: Sure! Ask away!

Him: Where is the rest of you?

Along with breaking up with you, I’ve also broken up with all your best friends: self consciousness, anxiety, high cholesterol, all my large clothes and snoring.

I’m totally OK with that. You and your awful buddies drove me crazy.

Yes, I know you saw the things I ate while in England, including this:

Fish, chips and mushy peas? Sign me up!

But an occasional meal like that does not mean I’m welcoming you back into my life.

In fact, just the opposite. I’m now seeing plenty of the Gym. We’re very happy together. The Gym has friends like abs (haven’t seen them in SO LONG — see poster above), developed triceps, endorphins and workout soreness. They are all much cooler than your friends.

So stop trying to worm your way back into my life.

It’s over.

For real.

Regards,
Beth

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Dear Adam,

You know I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for you, but our love affair is over.

It’s not me. It’s you. Definitely you.

I gave you a pass when I saw you in 2013. And another in 2017.

But this time, it’s really over.

It’s too bad.

Pam and I were so excited to see you Friday. You were our first.

Our first concert, that is. The original “Friend or Foe” tour.

We even got there early to see your opener, the Glam Skanks.

They were great. Even though people sat through their set, the Skanks didn’t phone it in.

Unlike others (cough cough).

Listen, I know you are geriatric now. Maybe your hips hurt. I don’t know.

I do know that fans like Pam and me expect to see you do more on stage than just hop weakly a few times.

Was your hussar jacket too tight? Had you sweat too much already in your leather pants à la Ross? Were you afraid of your ridiculous straw hat falling off?

Whatever the case, your moves are gone. It appears your voice is too.

I’m sorry to be so hard on you, but I paid for a service — and I don’t feel serviced.

As Pam said, “We’re living on a memory.”

Part of it is not your fault. Perhaps the acoustics in Atlanta Symphony Hall are great for the Atlanta Symphony, but they were not great for you.

It wasn’t until I drug Pam up to the front that things got interesting. You had shed your jacket at that point (but not the hat, of course).

You went deep into “and the Ants” history and brought out “Physical (You’re So).” I thought maybe we could stay together.

But then I got a good look at your new facial hair pattern.

You know me: all or nothing.

I don’t know what’s going on with you.

All I know is that I’m moving on.

Adam, meet Chris and Randy.

I’m sorry you had to find out this way.

But, I went out last night to see Fozzy.

They BROUGHT IT in a way you haven’t for me for 20 years.

Don’t be too sad. We had a good run.

But I just can’t with you anymore.

You’ll be fine.

Go spend your time grooming and buying hats.

Sincerely,
Beth

 

 

 

 

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