It’s vacation time for Brave Combo, which means we are open for business, just not playing gigs right now. After our recent jaunty jaunt to the NE, we said adios to each other for a month-long break. Time to hit the sandy beaches of Denton, meet my homeboys at the Howdy Doody and take a break from rolling on asphalt or flying the scary skies! As you can imagine, touring is hard. Very hard. Long hours getting from point A to point B. Not much time to eat. Setting up and tearing down musical equipment. Occasional harsh playing conditions. One upside for me, however, is that it’s a great time to get in shape. I almost stop eating and do more physical work than when I’m not out playing gigs. So, less food and more exercise equals losing weight. And we try really hard to schedule plenty of downtime in our motel or hotel rooms. Ten hours alone, away from each other, is crucial to making this work, long-term. And one thing I know about is “long-term.” The entity, Brave Combo, has been around so long, relevance is no longer relevant. We just are, like crickets or the moon. We’re, in some people’s view, just another thing which has simply been around forever. This isn’t good or bad. It just is. On one hand, it’s understandable if a person in my position might wonder if there is more to life than Brave Combo. On the other hand, the band has evolved into a concept more than an ensemble of musicians. We can be whatever we want and, more than ever, play whatever we want. And it seems the more outside the music gets, the more our audience likes it. It’s fun to abandon the set list and just do whatever occurs to us at the moment. It’s good for me to remind myself that life’s a funny joke. Anyone want to hear the main theme from the movie, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, played as a cha cha cha? My side project, The Carl Finch Sound, has been particularly rewarding in that respect. It’s like Brave Combo unleashed, in my head, at least. And I use fog and dreamy lights, too.
Speaking of being on the road again, New York City was a blast, Lancaster, Pennsylvania was a blast, Sewickley, Pennsylvania (near Pittsburgh) was a blast and St. Louis was a blast. And it was good to play a string of shows with Bubba and Jeffrey again. Damn, we know a bunch of songs. It’s ridiculous. Any requests? Seriously. Anything you want to hear?
GO, GO, GO BETO! BETO, BETO O’ROURKE!
My friend, accordion visionary, Guy Klucevsek, recently gave me a copy of his new album, CAROUSEL OF DREAMS. I assumed he wanted me to listen to it. So, I did. Well, it blew my mind. There is still great new music out there! It’s a mesmerizing piece of work from beginning to end. Guy’s ability, as a modern accordionist, is envied by everyone, in case you didn’t know. Find it. Buy it. Listen to it. It will actually give you hope.
I often get tofu at Mr. Chopsticks (popular Denton restaurant) cooked in black bean sauce. Traditionally, the dish contains an abundance of snow peas, but I got burned out on snow peas and asked them to substitute with cabbage. Much better.
Austin band, ST-37, featuring Brave combo’s original drummer, Lisa Cameron, played a show in Denton recently. They were fantastically spacey and Lisa and I had our picture taken by the outdoor bathrooms at the club.
I don’t come off like a “My Pillow” commercial, do I? I mean, I don’t even sell pillows. We do offer Brave Combo stress balls, but I don’t have an infomercial showing the warehouse where we make them. I want to be more like the trumpet player in Bobby Fleet’s Band with a Beat.
POLKA SEASON ON THE WAY. Before you know it, you’ll be heading to West, Texas for Westfest, our official kickoff-to-the-polka-season weekend, otherwise known as Labor Day Weekend. It signals the start of two months of swirling Brave Combo melodies and infectious rhythms. Please check our itinerary and make your plans to attend as many of these wild events as possible. Otherwise, you’re just gonna sit around and worry.
Let’s close with that big smash hit, “El Sonidito!” One note wonder!