Sometime in August, about four months ago, Texas was really hot. I was concerned about our AC at home. It shouldn’t still be working so well. We thought we might have to replace it years ago, but it just keeps on doing its thing. Anyway, Christmas Holiday music seemed a long way off. Polka season hadn’t even happened yet. Slowly, but surely, though, time marched on. The days got shorter and by October the temperatures began dropping dramatically. Not much Autumn in Denton this year. September was stupidly warm, then, suddenly, it was cold. Then everyone was anticipating Halloween and once that happened, the flood gates opened. Halloween equals Thanksgiving equals Christmas equals New Year’s Eve. Bam, Bam, Bam, Bam! Everyone’s all revved-up now, ready to travel in bad weather and spend, spend, spend. An unseen force has taken control and is moving us along. I find this phenomenon both curiously entertaining and curiously annoying. No one can really escape being involved to some degree. Our poor little town is bursting at the seams and it appears Dentonites are hitting the stores in record numbers this year. Why not? We have Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, Best Buy, Kohl’s, Rooms-To-Go, Party City, Macy’s, Guitar Center. You name it, we’ve got it. Just like you, wherever you are. We even have our token struggling mall and two different theaters where you can eat a full meal during the movie, just like watching TV at home, without the luxury of being able to pause it. This town is full of stuff, ready for the masses to buy and take home. And the masses in Denton number about 10,000 more people than were here in 2018. Whatever, during this “most wonderful time of year,” stuff is definitely king. New things in boxes give us a thrill. We simply LOVE boxes with stuff in ‘em. The problem is that we sorta do this all year long. Most of us, if we can afford it, treat ourselves every day to special things. According to reruns of the old TV show, THE RIFLEMAN, back in the wild west days, for Christmas, you might only get an orange. I know, I know. This isn’t a new observation. People have been trying to get back to “the real meaning of Christmas” and away from over-commercialization since I was a little kid. But, apparently, a healthy economy depends on all of us spending extravagantly as much as possible. I mean, would things fall apart if we didn’t buy tons of new crap constantly and then, at the end of each year, go consumer berserk? It doesn’t matter. I’m just thinking out loud. Nothing can change, so it’s hardly worth pondering. And besides, the holiday season has been very good for Brave Combo over the years. It has added about 30 songs to our permanent repertoire. Bob Dylan even covered one of our arrangements (“Must Be Santa”) for his Christmas album a few years ago. We did a whole tour of Japan in support of our album, IT’S CHRISTMAS, MAN, a year before we even released it in the USA. Did you know Japan goes Christmas bonkers, too? Maybe even more so. But Jesus isn’t really part of the festivities. Love hotels are, though. Anyway, I’m always thinking about how to improve something or make it more efficient or, perhaps, even more meaningful. It really bugs most people around me that I’m constantly unsettled. From my point of view, there’s always something different around the corner, waiting to be discovered, created or fixed. The world is forever new. Merry Christmas!
Speaking of now, Brave Combo has some super-duper shows coming up. The Holiday Funhouse is waiting for you! On Friday, December 6, we return to Andy’s, in Denton, for our annual hometown bash. On Saturday, December 7, we’ll be at Poor David’s Pub, in Dallas, for our annual North Texas bash. On Friday, December 13, we are really excited to bring the funhouse to Knucklehead’s, in Kansas City. Our good friend, Mike Dillon, will be joining us for this show. If you live within 100 miles of KC, you must attend this event! On Saturday, December 14, it’s the ultimate Christmas happening, at mighty FitzGerald’s, in Berwyn (Chicago), Illinois. Another good friend, Danny Jerabek, will be on stage with us, playing some excellent notes! And on Sunday, December 15, it’s matinee party time at the Zoo Bar, in Lincoln, Nebraska. Get off your butt and come out and party with us. You can sing along with everything! “O, Holy Night (Cha Cha Cha)!”
Speaking of Christmas music, we have just received a shipment of IT’S CHRISTMAS, MAN CDs. This has been somewhat tricky to order in recent years, so we’re glad to have a decent stock for the holidays. BUT, do not tarry, if you want one. They tend to sell out. It’s a classic. Go to our store right now and order several today!
So, here we are, nearing the end of another year. Things seem hopeless, in many ways. The United States is divided into two tribes and, it appears, the best we can hope for is “our side” keeping a lid on “their side,” whatever that means to you. Unfortunately, winning-at-all-costs doesn’t really work anymore, especially when our enemies are the people with whom we share the country. I think people want to get along more than certain people in high places would have us believe. When I’m walking my dogs, and cars pass by, I usually wave and smile at the drivers. Almost every time, even if those people don’t look anything like me, they will do the same. Most people want you to like them and they want to please you, believe it or not. We are united in our insecurities and long for acceptance. This is a wonky world and no one knows what will happen next. It might behoove us to concentrate a little more on the ways we’re all similar. For instance, I’ve had a pretty terrible cold for over two weeks. I bet we can all be united in our desire to not catch really bad colds. See, that’s a place to start. Most of us like our favorite foods and hate road construction. We all, I assume, hope to sleep well and wake up refreshed. And I’m sure we would all like to put five dollars in a slot machine and get back five thousand. That would put almost everyone I know in a good mood, even if they had a headache. Oh yeah, no one likes headaches, probably. We can agree on that, right? Okay, you can take it from here. Have a Damn Happy Holiday Season. Make music part of your fun. Yes, fun! Have some fun!