Now don’t freak out, but it’s gonna be a short newsletter this month. I just don’t have enough time to think about it more than a couple of hours, right now. Sorry. I know all of you live for my words of wisdom and uplifting points-of-view, but you’ll have to fall back on your inner strength for the next 30 days. My “to do” list is way beyond manageable. How can this be? Nothing has happened, gig-wise, for months. I’ve been home every day since, I don’t know, some date in the distant past and, for the most part, it’s been surprisingly okay. But I thought I would have the whole house painted by now. I haven’t even painted the old bench we inherited from our elderly neighbors when they passed away a few years ago. I also thought I could do a simple plumbing job in the main bathroom on one of my “free” days. I envisioned myself setting the day aside, running out to Lowe’s, putting on a mask, buying the exact right piece of pipe, coming back to the house, and installing it well, functionally, and aesthetically. Nothing’s happened. That day seems more unlikely now than it did four months ago. And I would be happy to have a plumber come to the house and fix us up, but the COVID-19 numbers in North Texas will not level off. Until they do, we can live with the ornery sink. I hope you are faring well, wherever you’re spending your days-in-and-days-out.
BIG SHOWS. Partly due to this special situation in which live music finds itself (an almost complete void, world-wide) and partly due to our general growing interest in such things, Brave Combo has some online concerts coming up you don’t want to miss. Check our itinerary often. As we get better at this we might just start live-streaming ourselves going through old BC memorabilia and talking about all the crazy and stupid stuff we’ve experienced over the decades. Or maybe we could show ourselves learning new dances, with masks, 6-feet apart. Or maybe I’ll decide one night to share my favorite quarantine recipe and compose a new song, using the recipe as the lyrics. You like spinach? Brussels Sprouts? Potato chips? Vegan mayonnaise? Turnip pickles (pink ones)? Garlic-free hummus? Bread? Great! Don’t mix these all together. These are just some things I eat. I eat a lot of other food, too. Like veggie corndogs and chik (fake chicken) patties and apples and lettuce and tomatoes and fake bacon and crackers and cookies. A cookie is a good snack or dessert item. I like cookies, if they’re good cookies and if I like them. I won’t eat a bad cookie. I eat different kinds of noodles, often with tofu, which I enjoy either fried or not and, of course, rice and beans and tortillas and salsa. The menu is endless, actually, even if you don’t eat meat. Or maybe I’ll live-stream a walk around Denton’s downtown square at midnight while listening to KUZU-FM (local terrestrial radio station) on a boom box. Would anyone tune in for shenanigans like that? Goofy cooking shows are probably rampantly cliche on the internet, so I probably will not go that direction after all. But I like the idea of walking around the square at the witching hour. You know our Confederate statue, Old Chalky, just packed up and left in the middle of the night recently, leaving behind a massive breath of fresh air where he stood for about 100 years.
Speaking of shows coming up, tune in on Friday, July 31 at 7 pm (CT) / 8 pm (ET) for THE BRAVE COMBO SHOW. It’s being presented by some producers out of Baltimore called Folkal Point through their association and collaboration with the venue An die Musik Live and Instant Seats (instantseats.com). But don’t worry about all that. Just click here and get your ticket. The performance is exclusive to this event. What a strange time we live in.
Our good friend, Tsunekichi (Tsune) Suzuki from the Japanese roots/rock/pop band, Sement Mixers, passed away on July 6. It’s impossible to describe how important this person and his band were to us at one time. I was lucky enough to produce one of their albums and they recorded my song, “A Night On Earth.” Tsune sang the lead vocal. Here are two videos of him performing his song, “Omoide.” One studio and one live. RIP Tsune. Time moves on, it appears.
HEY POLKA FANS! I was recently a guest on Jake Kouwe’s polka radio show, talking about polka (the music and the power). Jake leads the fabulous and fabulously hip Chardon Polka Band from Chardon, Ohio. They play Slovenian (Frank Yankovic, etc.) style and make it all sound fresh and cool, cause they’re all fresh and cool. Anyway, check out all the important things we had to say here.
Okay, as promised, a short newsletter, which, as it turns out, isn’t that short. That wandering food list took up a lot of room, but with very little substance. Anyway, I am going to bail out of this space now and launch myself into another; one full of mystery and sameness. Don’t forget to believe in science and smart people. I wish I had a Ferris Wheel in the back yard. Hooray for online tutorials!