Welcome to the sixth 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.
As the world gets more insane, (high school guns, third world bombs, celebrity murders, road rage, parking lot rage, sidewalk rage, eroding faith and hope, sinful sex, Russian economic woes, general Asian economic woes, dying friendships, dying marriages, abandoned animals, summer movies, fast food chains promoting summer movies), Brave Combo faces the challenge and books an insane touring schedule for June and July. But, you see, we’re part of a special community that lives this way – the touring band community. Brave Combo actually prides itself in being quite practical in its approach to touring. Some of our interstate-hugging peers out there are attempting the near impossible daily as they race from city to city to avoid a night off. We’re very lucky. We travel in relative comfort in the donut (that’s what we call our bizarre truck/bus thing). We each get our own hotel/motel room every night and try to limit the driving to four or five hours a day. However, as I write this, I am into the tenth hour of a second fourteen hour driving day and bracing myself for June, which should go like this: We’ll start the month leaving Seattle to play some very cool, but rather unusual, cities: Salt Lake City, UT, Telluride, CO, Albuquerque, NM, and Norman OK. Then we go into the studio a couple of days, play Waco, Hillsboro, Dallas and Ft. Worth. Drive back to the West Coast for a club dates in San Francisco and Los Angeles, a festival in Solvang and a party in Malibu. Then it’s a 24 hour drive straight home to immediately catch a plane to Europe, where we wrap up the month in Denmark and Sweden. Of course, check out Hot Dates for details on public performances.
The trip was a gas. Thanks to all of our friends and fans, especially those of you that packed the Tractor in Seattle. The club doesn’t usually have live music on Sundays, so your support really meant a lot.
Motel of the month award goes to the Holiday Motel (not Holiday Inn) in Ontario, Oregon. Clean, safe, comfortable, friendly, good rates, and lots of intense pink neon. You can’t ask for more. Go there now.
A bizarre occurrence. After our gig in Telluride we stayed at some condos in town. When we woke the next morning, snow was falling. In a state of disbelief, we checked out and drove through the mountains toward Albuquerque, crossing Lizard Head Pass (about 11,000 ft.) in a near blizzard. Remember, this is early June.
Concerning recording, we are at the very earliest stage of work on a new album. At this point it’s top secret, but we think you’ll love it so much you’ll forget to buy something you need at the grocery store. This will make you angry with yourself, but not dangerous. You’ll lash out at the world and humanity in general, but won’t feel compelled to shoot anyone or blow up a foreign country. And why is that? Because you know that someone’s taking care of that for you. So you search your heart for the truth about yourself. You decide one solution is religion, one is therapy, one is stronger drugs and one is music. Then you’ll listen to our CD again and resolve to make a shopping list the next time.
Hope the beginning of summer finds you optimistic, energized and civilized.
Interesting Moments in Brave Combo History
In October of 1992, Brave Combo was invited to Graz, Austria to participate in an unusual festival that celebrates fringe art, music and thought. It’s called Steirescher Herbst, and it happens every Herbst (Autumn). We stayed in a hotel in the middle of town. Also on our floor was a Cajun band from Mamou, Louisiana, and a klezmer band from Chicago. The producers figured, correctly, that polka, Cajun and klezmer music started in Europe, immigrated to America and grew up. We were now the keepers of the music and it was our role to share our possession with its original owners.
Our performance venue was an enormous German beer tent, similar to the ones they erect in Barvaria for Oktoberfest. During the festival, before our show, cars with speakers would drive around Graz playing our music and a narrator would say something about polka and Tex-Mex cowboy yodel. At our show, the opening act was a twenty-piece Czech polka orchestra. Needless to say, this was all quite thrilling.
We were there for several days and experienced myriad surreal moments. But one stands out. On a free afternoon, we were driven to an abandoned warehouse at the edge of town to watch a dress rehearsal by Survival Research Lab. This is a group of artists from San Francisco that work with giant machines that perform various tricks.
These are some of the most on-the-edge people I’ve ever met. The leader had lost some fingers preparing a show one time and a worker lost an eye in another mishap. During their breaks, several of the techs practiced fire breathing. And at one point, a bomb accidentally blew up. But the machines were the stars. Some crawled around. Some generated lightning bolts. They were robots and heavy machinery combined. A B-52 engine was hung from a big crane and violently spun around. An air cannon could produce enough force to blow someone’s head off. I’m sure these folks have a web site. Check it out sometime. At most of their shows, audience members must sign releases. Now, that’s entertainment.
Guest column. Would you like to testify about your own Polkatharsis? Has polka changed your life, or at least affected you in a noticeable way? If so, share it with us. Write up your Polka experience and e-mail it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org . Any length is OK. We’ll chose one a month to include in the news letter.
Sat June 13 – Poor David’s Pub
Location – 1924 Greenville Ave. – Dallas, TX, Phone – (214)821-9891
Thurs June 18 – The Great American Music Hall
Location – 859 O’Farrell St. – San Francisco, CA, Phone – (415)885-0750
Opener – Those Darn Accordions
Record release party.
Sat June 20 – Luna Park
Location – 665 N. Robertson Blvd. – W. Hollywood, CA, Phone – (310)652-0611
This is an early show. We hit the stage at 8:00 PM
Fri June 12 – Brazos Nights
Location – University Parks Dr. – Waco, TX
Time – 8:30 PM
Sat June 13 – Bond’s Alley Fest
Location – Downtown Hillsboro – On the square
Time – 3:40 PM
Sun June 14 – Concert in the Gardens
Location – Botanical Gardens – Ft. Worth, TX
Time – 8:00 PM
Fri June 19 – Live Oak Music Festival
Location – Live Oak Camp Hwy. – Solvang, CA
Time – 9:00 PM
Fri June 26 – Roskilde Festival
Location – Roskilde Ballroom – Roskilde Denmark
Time – 5:00
Sat June 27 – Fredmans
Location – Drottningsgatan, Uppsala – Sweden
Time – 10:30 PM
Tue June 30 – Hotell Pelle Molin
Location – Storgatan, Nasaker – Sweden
Time – 8:00 PM
Wed July 1 – Stora Torget
Location – Sundsvall, Sweden
Time – 7:00 PM
Fri July 3 – Tillsnas Udde
Location – Borlange, Sweden
Time – 10:00 PM
Sat July 4 – Storsjoyran – Tutti Frutti Satge
Location – Ostersund, Sweden
Time – 8:30 PM
Sun July 5 – Granspelet Festival
Location – Greenline Tornio, Haparanda – Sweden
Time – 4:00 PM
Is something precious only if it’s convenient? Is preciousness determined by one’s own low self-esteem or insecurities? For instance, that valuable ring you possess, to some degree, may validate your existence. Or is preciousness determined by someone’s or something’s ability to diminish fear. For instance, if things get bad, you can always sell that valuable, precious ring.
In art, we like to believe that there is something intrinsically precious about the object. Certainly, uniqueness plays a role, but maybe there’s more.
Although humans aren’t rare, and individually, not all that unique, are we, non-the-less, precious just because we exist? Does the supposed innocence of very young humans (babies & toddlers), add to their preciousness? Then, are we less precious as we get older and lose innocence? Can that rude salesperson be precious to you at all? I don’t know about that. But I do know when I look at the back of someone’s head, they are almost always more precious to me. At that point, they seem more vulnerable and in the dark about stuff, and consequently, more innocent. I have this sensation often.