I drank many beers with Sean Brown before I realized he was hell with a pen. It is a pretty common tale. I don’t want to say it is short-changing your friends, because it is more innocent than that. It’s just being in your own world and not coming up for air. If I had to explain it best, it’s that the simple pleasure of drinking and rambling with a friend of a friend that got in the way of what became really obvious: The guy can write. He’s hell with a pen.
I should have been way more attuned to this. My bandmates in Fight From Above have some freakishly talented friends. It’s probably wrong that I have taken advantage of their support without giving it back in a public forum. They are there for me, but am I there for them? Am I a fan of my friends who are a fan of me? I am. Resoundingly so. Sean is taking us to school.
There is, of course, the great Will Weston who came from Hawaii to San Francisco and has made the Bay Area his canvas. Here is a man who we have begged to play in the band and he continues to vanish for months only to surface at a show with a smile and a spare Telecaster to noodle with. He’ll go back north and then we’ll see this on the internet:
I couldn’t even tell you where Sean came from. He claims Michigan, but reading his writing you might think he flew in from space taking a large chunk out of Mars with an errant limb on the way in. Whether wearing a Nixon mask at the Republican National Convention or pouring drinks behind a bar in Portland, I think for too long I didn’t understand that Sean was doing something so similar to what I had been hoping to do. He was collecting enough minutia to color his words.
Recently I caught up on his blog, or project, or living book of essays, hard to say. There was just a lot there. I had good music in my headphones and just ripped through it. Here’s a taste I especially dug:
And while our styles might grow weary of being pondered, and our ears may grow tired of straining for the sound of a phone that never rings, we will fight on. I will fight on. And if you’re lucky, as I know I am, it will be possible the sit on a rooftop somewhere in Los Angeles, with a Bloody Mary in hand, and to find that fire inside that keeps us moving forward.
He’s talking about the pulse. The pulse is something Will Weston brought to my attention and it moved me forward as a cynic and a writer and a blowhard egomaniac, all important pieces of writing every day. To see Sean at the bar with bleary eyes over a beer, you might think he is just watching, but he is observing. I am glad he is full steam on his blog THE ANARCHIST PROJECT because it seems like his observations are finally pouring out.
So thanks, Sean. Keep fighting the good fight. Keep that Northwest strange and point us in the right direction. Cuba Libres and baseball this summer, because I know and like the way you think. Bring on the maritime air.