So, 2019 arrived as a newbie just minutes ago, it seems, and now its old news already. The government shutdown kinda killed everyone’s groove and reminded us we’re still in an identity crisis funk. I hadn’t planned to spend two years, being forced to witness a non-stop examination of the limits (or non-limits) of the human ego, but here I am. You know, people are just bumbling masses of fat and muscle and bone; almost shapeless. Most of us have two little beady things on our head so we can see stuff and two holes on the sides of our heads, so we can hear stuff and a couple of nostrils and a mouth for a few extra functions. And that’s about it. Our brain imagines things and solves things, like how to get to the gas station, and tells our body what to do, like “go find your keys.” It sits in our skull and runs the show, constantly scheming; reminding us about our comfort zone and desires. If left unrestrained by something like a conscience or empathy or intelligence or chains and a gag, a person just might become 100% self-centered, convinced of his or her “superiority” for no reason other than he or she likes the feeling and can, somehow, get away with it. Can you fathom such a thing; a big blob of human matter, with no sense of direction, thinking it’s in charge? I can. It’s what each of us could become if we abandoned principles, compassion and rational thought. Whatever, the “crazy clown” show goes on. But, I guess everything does boil down to “me, me, me.” Our oldest cat, JJ, is having to share “her” space with a couple of recent rescues, a mama cat and her kitten. It’s a big room and the newcomers are usually confined to a large mesh playpen. But JJ is not happy. Tonight, she was growling while she was eating. Mama and kitty were obviously not a threat. They were lounging inside their little apartment watching cat-sitter videos on Jane’s laptop. But there was no reasoning with JJ. There never is. She always thinks she’s right. Her point of view, despite logic, is the only correct one. Good thing she’s not a human being, with the ability to actually hurt people, huh?
Hmmm. BREAKING NEWS! I just noticed the room didn’t smell so good and saw the new kitten stepping out of her litter box. I think I know what happened.
Speaking of time zooming by, 1999 was twenty years ago, which means that whole “END OF TIME” Y2K freak-out is way in the past now. Damn, that’s amazing and creepy. NYE 1999 we were playing a ritzy party at a ritzy house/mansion, expecting everything to go dark at midnight. Nothing happened. In fact, all of the partygoers stepped outside at 11:50 to watch the fancy private fireworks show on the estate grounds, leaving us alone in the ballroom to play our fancy samba version of “Auld Lang Syne” for no one. It’s good to be humbled on occasion.
And speaking of time REALLY zooming by, Brave Combo turns 40 this year. We are, of course, planning to do something special; something out of the norm, like a tour of laundromats or tedious time-lapse video of us setting up sound gear or some fresh hot recordings with no commercial potential. Lots of ideas are swirling around, including this. We would like to post photos of Brave Combo fans, wearing their favorite Brave Combo T-shirts. I run into people at every gig, beautifully adorned by the shirts they’ve lovingly taken care of for years, or decades, even. So, please put on your shirt and pose as you wish, in the location of your choice, with or without your pet(s). Take a picture and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If a bunch of you guys do this, we will make a big deal out of it and post all of the photos in some grand manner. If only three or four show up, you’ll never hear about it again.
Check this out! Fry Street Fair was a Denton free-expression hippie-fied festival for many years until it outgrew its ability to contain itself. Filmmakers, Des Smith, and Melanie Little Gomez Smith, under the name Artlab 3000, have created an amazing clay-mation music video about the legendary street fest. Brave Combo makes a prominent appearance, as does Pops Carter. If you have a Facebook account, here’s the link.
On February 23, Brave Combo will be performing with the Odysseus Chamber Orchestra in McKinney, Texas. We’ve had many of our songs scored for symphony orchestra, but this is a rare event. It’s a lot of work. Dozens of people involved. Music stands. And, we will be debuting brand new collaboration.
Okay, let the fun begin! Please keep your eye on our itinerary. Dates are being added weekly and the studio recordings are in full swing. Now go to sleep or wake up. Be thoughtful and compassionate toward other people and if you see an animal in distress, help it out. Sweet dreams.