Okay, Christmas 2022 is behind us! The ultimate, and colorful, orgy of consumer lust winds down for another year, as the year itself winds down, or rather, withers. We are a corny bunch of beings, aren’t we? Corny and frightened, with complicated defense mechanisms, racing, sorta, to the end of something. In this case, I guess the end of the year is a logical goal. I don’t like end-of-the-year wrap-ups, though. They’re lazy; a waste of energy and time. Plus, we just lived through what happened and, in a way, any event, at any time, in 2022, feels like it happened yesterday. But perhaps that’s just me. Maybe everyone else likes to curl up with a warm mug of mug liquid and recall the joys and sorrows of the previous 12 months….on their phone, of course. Lots of lists out there if that’s your thing. Start reliving. Maybe things like Christmas and all the hoopla around starting a new year are supposed to be necessary speedbumps in the normal flow of things, to slow everyone down and reminisce. But, who the hell ever slows down between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve? Plus, in a time when no one can agree on reality and so much of the info is so clearly biased, what’s the point in hearing anyone’s recap of anything? Okay, enough of that. I didn’t mean to bitch so much about something so underserving of ANY attention, but I can go on and on, as too many people are aware. My apologies to everyone! Whatever, reflecting can certainly be a good exercise, but you can do that by yourself. You don’t need instructions or reminders. In fact, you can straight-up THINK for yourself, too. And, don’t get me wrong. A yearly ritual to be kinder and more accepting and to give from your heart can’t be bad. How many Hallmark/Lifetime Christmas/Holiday movies have YOU seen this season? You do know there’s no hope, right?
Speaking of losing hope, let’s do the lighten up. Jane, the person to whom I am married, still gets her hometown newspaper from rural East Texas. They recently ran a photo of the cutest little local 10-year-old girl, smiling and obviously full of pride, holding the dead head of a dead deer, by its antlers, which she shot all by her cute self. This is common image during the holiday season; photos of kids who are extremely happy they’ve managed to take something’s life. And then, it’s celebrated by local media and everyone is delighted. Can’t teach killing too early in Texas. Now, to me, that is so absurdly misguided on so many levels, I can either be constantly fuming mad or try to be entertained by how ridiculous we are and realize I can only do so much to move the needle. Beyond that, I better find some humor in even the most screwed-up stuff. Dig?
Brave Combo is a band of people which plays notes and chords and rhythms, and also sings. It has forever been our goal to attempt capture the unique elements of certain styles, sounds and musical points-of-view, then run them through the Brave Combo filter after we think we’re getting close to the something. As intentionally self-indulgent entertainers, we want to communicate what WE are hearing and feeling. Over the decades, we have been led to believe what turns us on just might turn you on. So we are our own guides and try to be simultaneously plugged in, yet quite removed from what’s “popular.” If we ever get close to something which sounds too mainstream-familiar, it’s either part of some bigger picture, a well-performed joke or we could be moving in the wrong direction. On the other hand, a lot of very cool sounds are happening all over the world, in every nook and cranny, which are rooted in musical traditions but 100% modern and future-oriented. Mixing this with that might make something brand new; something never before considered. So, WTF? Bring it all on! Brave Combo says, “Everything is sacred and nothing is sacred!” Therefore, musically-speaking, anything goes! I enjoy taking chances and risks, as a performer and am usually always ready to go out on a questionable limb during a show, especially if I don’t really have a plan. And if something ultimately sucks beyond repair, we’ll usually just laugh at the concept of perfection and start over anyway. Gotta keep the folks guessing, you know.
Speaking of the unexpected, Brave Combo’s former drummer, Arjuna Contreras, was recently the guest drummer on LATE NIGHT with SETH MYERS!! He was right there, behind the drums, playing along with the other musicians in the fabulous 8G Band and nailing it every night for a week! He looked and sounded just like himself. Each of the seven (can you name them all?) BC drummers has/had a unique sound and feel, especially with the snare. Just take all 45 or so of our albums and listen to them, back-to-back, blocking out everything except the drums and you’ll hear what I mean. Kudos to Arjuna!
I think you’ll agree, it’s been another strange year. It’s a good thing my world is already strange, by choice. Otherwise, trying to keep five feral cats alive during last week’s arctic plunge would have been even more miserable. They all made it, which is great, but being out there at 2 am, getting hammered by a minus 2 wind chill as I’m putting out fresh food and checking my handmade shelters full of straw and foam, wondering if any of it mattered, did make me think about little kids shooting deer and how the sanctity of life must mean different things to different people. Different Strokes for Different Strokes, huh? Well, get funky then! Good luck!