NOSTALGIA FREAKS, ACHTUNG! In 1999 Brave Combo released an album called POLKASONIC and it won a Grammy. In 2004 Brave Combo released an album called LET’S KISS and it also won a Grammy. The five crazy human beings who recorded those two albums and did much, much more, are reuniting for some special dates in April. You heard me correctly. Alan, Danny and Carl will be joined by former BC cosmic forces, Bubba Hernandez and Jeffrey Barnes, playing some zesty numbers we retrieved from the way back machine. So, if you’re into those smooth grooves and mellow moods from yesteryear, you’re thinking of another band. But if you want a kick in the gut instead, come to The Beachland Ballroom, in Cleveland, Ohio on Sunday, April 1 (yep, Easter Sunday) and at the Dyngus Day Festival in Buffalo, NY on Monday, April 2, headlining the main stage at Pussy Willow Park. The two shows are, actually, pretty near each other, in case you’re looking for a reason to make a sensible road trip.
But, if you live closer to the home of Brave Combo, mark these two big events on your calendar right now. Sunday, April 22, Ft. Worth Main Street Arts Fest. Sunday, April 29, Denton’s massive homecoming, The Arts and Jazz Fest. Imagine the fun, the excitement, the spry tempos, the engaging volume, the occasional confusion about what key we’re in, the angelic harmonies and devilish drums! Well, if, indeed, you imagined and you meant what you imagined, you owe it to yourself to attend one of these rare shows in-person, rather than having to imagine that, as well.
Brave Combo is in the studio again. We’re not sure why, exactly. It’s a fun place to hang out and spend a lot of money, I guess. Hopefully, the new tracks will be presented to you in some format which makes sense, in the near future. Everything sounds great, so far, but there’s still plenty of time and ways to mess it all up. That’s the danger; going too far with something and losing the essence. Objective distance is a tricky little critter.
Woman (approaching a little girl’s lemonade stand): Well, what have we here?
Little Girl: I’m selling homemade lemonade. With sugar or sugar-free.
Woman: Hmm, so the sugar-free is just water and lemon juice?
Little girl: Yes.
Woman: Sounds rather bland.
Little girl: It is.
POLITICS? Believe it or not, I pay almost no attention to any public comments about Brave Combo or myself which might appear on any social media platform. If something controversial is happening or being said in that corner of Brave Combo’s world, it usually has to be brought to my attention. Every now and then I might write words in a certain order which irritate somebody and that person will ask me to leave the politics out and just entertain. If I WERE to respond to someone expressing his or her opinion about what I do, I would have to decide which path to take. Would I go the “offended” route and object to being told to just “shut up and play” and rant about how arrogant and condescending the person is? Or would it be better to take a moment and just point out a few things? Such as:
1. I’m sorta known for speaking my mind and saying outrageous things. Jeez, I’m in a band who started out forcing polkas onto unsuspecting people at rock clubs.
2. Being outspoken doesn’t mean being political. I’ve said more about not killing and eating animals and taking good care of pets than any other hot-button issues, like taxes or guns or immigration or Satan duping evangelicals or porn stars or military spending or pro-choice versus pro-life. And, FYI, since I created THE MACHINE’S PUMP decades ago as a way to comment or express MY not-so-unique points-of-view, any topic, for me, is fair game. I just call it as I see it. Simple. For instance, I am for preserving elephants; protecting them from hunters and poachers. And I support, of course, the ban on imported ivory. This means I am going to oppose anyone who is involved in anything which harms them. And I might mention it and, perhaps, point out how the hunter has a weak, insecure spirit, driven by ego and greed; low on the totem pole of enlightenment. So what?
3. If I lived my life to think and be like you I would never have formed Brave Combo, cause you, most likely, wouldn’t have thought of doing such a thing. Am I right? So, just think what you want and let me do the same. Brave Combo doesn’t belong to you. Besides, whether you agree with my opinions or not, will have no bearing on the music I make or what I think or say.
4. Musicians and artists have a long history of writing songs and making art which expresses opinions, in order to affect change. Someone who thinks a composer is not allowed to combine his or her art with social issues hasn’t paid attention to the history of music and art.
Enough on that subject. Feel free to tell me to stop expressing myself. It’s your right to waste your time. I can assure you it won’t matter and I probably won’t even see the words you long to share. I’m just too damn busy, cause “I write the songs that make the whole world sing. I write the songs of love and special things! I write the songs that make the young girls cry. I write the songs, I write the songs. I am music, and I write the damn songs!!!!” Response, anyone?
Okay, please check our itinerary. Things are revving up for Brave Combo and there are a couple of THE CARL FINCH SOUND shows (my loungey, EDM, foggy side project) happening, as well. Thank you for supporting our music. It means a lot to us that you still find us interesting. We are working hard at trying to be interesting. Sometimes it’s hard, but sometimes even lunch is hard.