Welcome to the third installment of Brave Combo’s virtual newsletter. We will update this every month to keep you informed about Brave Combo shows, tours, recording projects and other newsworthy items.
Besides current events, we will also have other features, such as interesting moments in Brave Combo history, suggested listening from the members of Brave Combo and chances for you to give us feedback on certain issues.
Whine, bitch, moan. Crazy people are coming out of the woodwork. Don’t get me wrong, I generally like crazy people. But when they dominate my time such that I can’t do my work, I don’t like them. So, that brings us to our current events. What’s going on out there? People are freaking out over nothing. The goofball contest really ruffled some feathers. Man, I wonder what would happen if Brave Combo started publishing Fun With Anthrax brochures? Or what if we’d written an article about manipulating young minds?
And speaking of that, baseball season is around the corner and we’re sponsoring a little league team again. The mighty Brave Combo Cardinals will once again work their viscious voodoo on all of the other poor, unsuspecting teams. Bats, balls and uniforms with red letters.
And on a larger scale, Brave Combo is currently negotiating with National League Baseball expansion team, The Tampa Bay Devil Rays, concerning recorded music at their games. “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” was the selection most often mentioned. Central Florida is cool.
Dallas – Ft. Worth fans should set their VCRs for channel 11 from 3:00 – 5:00 PM on Thursday, March 19th. Brave Combo will be performing on KTVT’s “Positively Texas”. If they give us a chance to talk, look out!
For those of you who had subscribed to the “Buckethead Mailing List”, we apologize for any confusion. Due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control, Our Web Master felt it necessary to pull the plug. The mailing list was owned and operated by the Bucketheads, and we supported their right to do with it as they saw fit. We appreciate all of the their enthusiasm and feel certain that some time in the future someone will build a bigger and better mailing list. For more information on the contest see Special Promotions below. Special thanks to Dave Carter for all he has had to endure. We must all accept that the year 2000 is zooming toward us. Acceptance will bring peace.
Interesting Moments in Brave Combo History
I had planned to share this interesting moment with all you readers in a later issue, but it’s more appropriate this month, considering the state of things.
Very early in Brave Combo’s career (1981, I think), we released our first LP Music For Squares. It was received shockingly well and favorably reviewed in almost every national pop culture magazine, including Rolling Stone. The attention was great and provided us with the opportunity to tour all over the country. In those days, most of the clubs that would let us play were punk or new wave. That community was very supportive and there were lots of different fanzines that would mention us or do articles. Well, the inevitable happened. A bad review appeared in one of those magazines. This was a really bad review. Scathing! The writer’s pen name was Wilcolac Jan. He was a polka/punk purist and he thought we were playing the polkas all wrong, and, in fact, totally raping his culture. He believed that his particular favorite style of Chicago-based, Polish American polkas was all there was. He was not even aware of the Mexican-style polka that was our primary influence. In his misunderstanding, we were musical anarchists for all the wrong reasons. A short time later we received a letter from the same Wilcolac Jan. He was furious with us. We were in league with Satan on this. In his view, we were here to make fun of polka and then destroy it. Then we noticed his name in Spin magazine as a contributing writer. This was serious. We had to set this guy straight because he could do serious damage.
We contacted a few of the alternative music magazines he wrote for and before long we knew his real name and address. He lived in Green Bay, Wisconsin. As luck would have it, we were touring near Green Bay the next month. Brave Combo is not opposed to taking a little side trip if we have time and can see something interesting, and we all agreed it would be interesting to see where Wilcolac Jan lived. The day arrived and we pulled into Green Bay mid-afternoon and drove straight to Mr. Jan’s house. He wasn’t home, but his mother was and she invited us in. She thought we were friends of her son and told us we could call him at work, which we did. Wilcolac Jan came to the phone and we identified ourselves as Brave Combo and told him we were at his house and alone with his mother. At that point, he became very agreeable and we all planned to meet and discuss polka music. He was our guest at the show that night and, at the break, we found time to sit down and analyze this thing. Well, Wilcolac Jan became a fan of Brave Combo. We turned him onto the Tex-Mex scene and he helped us figure out how American-Polish polka music evolved. We learned about Lenny Gomulka and Scrubby and he learned about Flaco Jimenez and Steve Jordan. For a few years we traded tapes with him and he was almost always at our shows in Chicago or Milwaukee.
Life’s a carnival ride, people.
Goofball contest for Bucketheads only
Due to the termination of the mailing list, the contest for subscribers has been indefinitely postponed. We appreciate all of you who entered and will find a way to reward your efforts.
March 10 – Grand Emporium
March 11 – The Zoo Bar
March 12 – Mojo’s
Location – 1013 Park Ave. – Columbia, MO, Phone number – (573)874-1944
This will be a first for Brave Combo. Come out and help us break in this new venue. Explore the unknown.
March 13 & 14 – Off Broadway
Location – 3511 Lemp St. – St. Louis, MO, Phone number – (314)773-3363
Two nights in St. Louis! This doesn’t happen often, folks. Come out both nights and dance to the sounds of Brave Combo in one of St. Louis’ best rooms. This is always a good time.
March 19 – The D/FW Metroplex TV viewing area
Location – Positively Texas on KTVT Channel 11
Time – 3:00 – 5:00 PM
See Brave Combo on TV. We look good on TV.
March 20 – Poor David’s Pub
Location – 1924 Greenville Ave. – Dallas, TX, Phone number – (214)328-6334
Brave Combo helps Poor David celebrate his 21st anniversary of bringing great music to Dallas. Join the celebration.
March 21 – SXSW (South by Southwest Music Conference) – Waterloo Brewing Co.
Location – 401 Guadalupe – Austin, TX, Phone number – (512)477-1836
We will hit the stage at 1:00 AM. Oh my, could this be the big break we’ve been waiting for?
March 27 – The Fabulous Satellite Lounge
Location – 3616 Washington Ave. – Houston, TX, Phone number – (713)869-2665
A great room and a great time. This show will feature a surprise guest opening the show. Don’t miss it. Seriously, don’t miss it. The chance of a spectacle is very high.
“Live at the Apollo” – James Brown, Polydor Records
“The New Tango” – Astor Piazzolla & Gary Burton, Atlantic Jazz
“Feel Like Doin’ Something Wrong” – Cedell Davis, Fat Possum Records
“Sketches of Spain” – Miles Davis, Columbia Records
“Louis Armstrong plays W.C. Handy” – Louis Armstong, Columbia Records
“Live Saturday Night in Washington DC” – Trouble Funk, CD Now
Joe’s first car was a 1979 Ford F150 Pick-up Truck, two-tone green
Carl’s first car was a 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback, dark blue
Bubba’s first car was a 1979 Volare Station Wagon, light blue
Jeffrey’s first car was a 1989 Volvo Station Wagon, blue
Alan’s first car was a 1968 Oldsmobile Delta 98 w/rocket 455, green
Danny’s first car was a 1974 VW Convertible Super Beetle, light blue
It’s been said that fame won’t change you, but it will change everyone else that you know.
We Combo guys get a certain amount of this, for better or worse: A certain restaurant in Denton will never charge me for a cup of coffee and a pastry, like I was a cop or something. On the other hand, our modest degree of fame can make me a target for enmity of envious fellow musicians and fans who somehow feel they’ve been slighted.
Often the reason is financial: The struggling musician feels he deserves my success (maybe he does!), or the “life-long fan” hates us eternally because there was no monetary incentive to play her wedding. That latter example is particularly unfortunate, but I want to assure you all that running Brave Combo in a business-like manner and playing the music well have been the only things keeping the band from oblivion for nineteen years. We are not entertaining supermodels on our caribbean yachts in our off hours.
Sometimes the problem is not financial. I don’t know what it is. There is a thin line between love and hate, and it takes very little to push some of you over. A few of you, for instance, have been badgering, insulting, and even threatening some of our members over the Internet. Don’t bother answering me if you feel this matches your psychological profile. I’m cybernetically-challenged and will never read your response. Just check your motivations in the light of conscience, if possible (by the way, there is more than one of you).
Probably I’m talking too much, but I’ve got a little more to say.
Recently a Czech polka DJ accused us of killing the polka scene by playing too fast (there-by driving the old folks out of the clubs) and charging too much money at the door. I’d like to remind him that we are filling the fraternal halls with people from eight to eighty years old at $10 a head. If the polka scene is dying, that suprises us, because it’s not even sick when we’re around. Bands like Brave Combo are the ones keeping the culture going by infusing it with new blood. If you want your culture to survive, and not to be absorbed by homogeneous American pop, PAY THE PIPER WHEN YOU DANCE!
Okay, that’s enough. Thank you for making it possible for us to live. We will try to give you a decent return for your money and your support.
We are also aware that something comes to Brave Combo from it’s audience that is beyond money, and we gratefully return that to you as well.