What’s on Carl’s mind, you ask?
1. STRAY CATS (not the band, real cats). We recently saw a small black cat jumping out of a dumpster and hanging around the parking lot of a fast food restaurant on a busy road in Denton, about a mile from our house. That chance encounter led to us feeding her and her big-headed creamy-orange boyfriend every night, which led to us discovering where they, and their (WTF?) four kittens, live. A sudden explosion of cats! At least their environment was pretty secure but the little black mama cat was not doing well. She definitely needed medical attention, including a good spaying, sooner than later. But now she is all fixed up and is the newest member of our challenging family. We’re trying to integrate her into our menagerie of poorly-integrated ornery misfits, which is not easy, but she is super happy, getting healthy and seems to be 100% cool with becoming an inside dweller. However, we are now experiencing a crushing amount of failure and frustration, in our embarrassing attempts to catch the kittens. There are many stumbling blocks; too many and too boring to list (don’t suggest any traps or YouTube tutorials). But, I think we may finally be onto something which just might work. I call it Carl’s Kitten Catching Invention. I watch BATTLEBOTS, you know. Sadly, two of the kittens have disappeared. We think one was probably nabbed and carried away by a good person doing a good thing, but we fear the other may have been nabbed and carried away by a hawk. The remaining pair are constantly cheerful and doing well. We check on them two-to-three times every day and will, hopefully, have them in custody by the time you read this or shortly thereafter. The big-headed orange boyfriend is totally sweet, quite verbal, laid-back, gentle and easy to pick up. He also likes to squirt and spray on everything in sight. He will have to be a neuter and release, most likely. This has consumed us. Regular life has become second priority. As anyone involved in any kind of animal rescue knows, it takes a lot of time, money and often non-stop strategic thinking. It’s fatiguing. And the chance of heartbreak is somewhere between high and guaranteed. But, me being me, once I saw the starving little mama kitty with a severely bloated stomach, I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep if I didn’t make a drastic difference in her life. Now I have a new best friend. We named her Twitchie and she’s crazy about us…and food.
2. OUR DECLINING SOCIETY. The tribes are all pumped-up and ready to do something stupid on a massive scale because the supreme leader is in an ego trap, with no way out. Sure, it’s frightening and stress-enhancing, but it’s also a great opportunity to work on removing oneself from a crippling attachment to earthly concerns. There’s never been a better time to learn a new coping skill. Besides, screw this insanity. I can’t believe I have to put up with it until the reckoning (mid-term elections). You have to vote, you know?
Speaking of voting, have you heard about the big ol’ United States Senate race in Texas? Republican, Ted Cruz vs. Democrat, Beto O’Rourke. We’re pretty stoked about this down here in our hell-fire-red state. Beto’s messages are pretty simple and directed at the common folk; the good ol’ boys and girls, of which Texas has an abundance. Plus, Beto was in a punk band in El Paso when he was a lad. Anyway, I feel a “Beto Polka” coming on. I better move on it quick. In the meantime, check out this groovy little song.
3. MUSIC AND ART. Believe it or not, music is still very much on my mind. My new side project, The Carl Finch Sound, has revealed an exciting new path to explore. I don’t know how much of it has mass appeal but it’s fun being so self-indulgent. In the first half of 2018 I added about 75 new songs and song ideas to my arsenal of whatever. And I’ve been rehearsing every spare minute; having a blast, coming up with weird sounds, late at night, in the still of downtown Denton. And it’s one of those nice distractions from the horrors of times. I feel like I’m at a point in my career where I can do almost everything on my terms, which means I want to work harder to create things which don’t exist yet. Maybe artistic and functional, maybe not. I still want to figure out what the hell is going on, in the big picture. Something has always whispered in my ear that my current life is just a sideshow. It’s important, of course, but only one piece of the puzzle. Brave Combo, as a concept, is, in a way, a parallel universe; a place to hang out. Nothing is sacred, but everything is sacred. Music and art confirm those things you know but can’t explain and neither requires more than an audience of one. Upheaval and uncertainty often inspire great bursts of artistic expression, which could, oddly enough, lift humanity to the next level.
Okay, those are three things on my mind, constantly. Now I have to play a bunch of gigs. Are you aware that two beloved former BC members are playing all of our shows the next couple of months? That’s right! Mr. Barnes and Mr. Hernandez are still hanging with the combo and we’re working on stuff and rehearsing and making things sound as good as we can and singing our little hearts out and, you know, doing band stuff. Everyone is having a great time. We’re partying on stage like its 1999, 1998, 1987 and 2004! Pick a decade! Our dance moves are better than they were ten years ago. We all wander, zombie-like, through truck stop snack aisles again. Pretty damn weird, actually, but what isn’t?
Check our busy schedule. Come out and yell song requests at us. Gotta go tend to cats now.