Well, this big ol’ ship is heading right for an iceberg and no one has the power to stop it or change course. I guess this is what the super fearful, anti-Jesus evangelicals want, cause their man is the captain of the vessel. This is the way dictators and wannabe dictators behave. Their egos create bigger and bigger problems from which they can’t allow themselves to back down. And, ultimately, this is always how they fall. Once things are out of control, the voices of reason have been either eliminated or drowned out. And when things eventually do tumble, they tumble hard. I saw a picture of Mussolini this week after he’d been hanging upside-down and beaten in the Milan square for a few days, after dying via firing squad. The citizens of Italy had been pummeling Mussolini’s lifeless corpse with bats and sticks before he was cut down. All one could recognize about his face was one dangling eyeball. I’m not trying to gross out anyone here or add more miserable thoughts to all of your already miserable thoughts, but this topic is somewhat timely, considering how the authoritarian handbook is surprisingly the same everywhere and in every generation. And when our country’s “leader” openly praises and offers support to violent white power movements, we have already arrived at a very dangerous location. But I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. Brace yourself!
Here’s another interesting thing to ponder. The live music industry is about to totally collapse (imagine sad music playing). The scene was barely treading water before COVID-19. Now, it looks like 90% of music venues may close for good, especially considering how long it will be before people are comfortable gathering in groups again. Live music needs live audiences to survive. Venues can have slow nights every week, as long as the place is packed every weekend. It could take years to just get back to crappy normal. So, what do musicians do? And what is the role of those who want to support musicians? That’s currently being examined and discussed non-stop, in the music world. Most performers are beyond freaked-out. They’re numb. The musician’s rapid descent from a once rock-solid pedestal has been shocking to lots of folks who thought they would be sitting up there forever. Whatever, this is where we are. And there are lots of questions with few answers. How important is music, in the big picture, anyway, in 2020? There’s a bunch of it out there, if you’re looking for it. Spotify adds about 40,000 new songs a day to their massive pile of creativity. How does anyone stand out and get attention? What’s driving the public’s taste, especially during a pandemic? As some aspects of our economy struggle with “coming back,” the live music world hasn’t even been given a number yet. In light of all this confusion and downer stuff, I have decided to become even more of what I naturally am, whatever that is. It’s not normal, but it’s real, and what better time for true weirdos to wallow in their weirdness? I don’t try to be different, but I know I am, in certain ways. I am very entertained by things which most people wouldn’t see; insignificant stuff. One of my dogs is slightly pigeon-toed. She gets around just fine. It’s subtle, but it cracks me up. I’m making up songs all day, in my head, and out loud. Songs about wearing socks around the house or how good Brussels sprouts taste. They come and go. Many happen only once. I’m not loud, in fact, I’m often sorta whisper-singing, especially if it’s a love song to Twitchie (cat). So what amounts to me not giving a shit anymore (ignoring things which used to rob me of sleep) I am trying to channel into making music and videos which reflect my current, hopefully unique, point-of-view. If this piques your interest, check on me and Brave Combo often.
Speaking of making music, it’s Oktoberfest time! Brave Combo has been playing some well-controlled live shows and more are happening between now and mid-November. We are being extremely careful and want to be sure where we perform public is a safe environment for the audience. Outdoors, with lots of social distance and masks is the only way to pull this off. I’m still pushing for someone to invent a bubblehead, similar to the space helmet I’ve been wearing recently. Actually, there are some inventors working on such things. I’ve seen some very cool prototypes with built-in fans and filters and microphones and speakers. I mentioned this a few times before and it’s still a valid idea; definitely not too late. Someone get busy doing something, damn it! Anyway, keep an eye on our itinerary. A Brave Combo show, live or virtual, could be one of the highlights of your week. I’ve been dancing a lot with that helmet on my head, if that makes a difference.
Speaking of Oktoberfest, below are two brand new videos of me singing two Oktoberfest favorites. “Tulips From Amsterdam” was written by several German composers in the early 1950s. A singer named Max Bygraves made it an international hit in 1958, after it was translated into English. I learned it from my friend, accordionist/singer Helga Beckman about 40 years ago. The other is “The Lorelei,” a German folk song about rocks on the Rhine river which turn into a mermaid, luring sailors to their death by her beautiful singing. Both of these songs have great melodies and feel good to sing. I ran my voice through a vocal processor and employed some funky elements here and there. But, best of all, I’ve included lyrics, so you can learn the songs and sing along. These are not your usual “have a beer” Oktoberfest polkas, but quite appropriate for a 2020 version of the celebration.
Okay, thankfully, I have no more to say. Keep doing what you know is right and, as much as possible, stay floating about 10 feet above everything. There’s power in perspective!
One more thing. Register and Vote!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!