November, 2023. As I write this there are just a few days left in the month. Many awful things are happening around the world, as you know. Is it good that we know so much about so much all the time? Not sure, but here we are anyway. You gotta work pretty hard to avoid information overload. Plus, current events just convince me, over and over, that nothing is certain, so we better learn to be flexible. And, of course, to constantly expect the unexpected, which should be obvious to everyone. For a long time, I’ve been saying we live in a cartoon world drawn by the lowest common denominator. And, apparently, there never was a standard for anything. Each generation just did what it felt was necessary to maintain some status quo, based on vague ideas about what the advancement of civilization was supposed to look like. It’s generally okay with me, if where humans are headed isn’t determined ahead of time. How can we know what tomorrow’s needs will be, anyway? Who could have predicted a human-like creature as weird as Elon Musk at any point in time, other than the fact that achieving unbridled wealth is baked into our way of life. And wealth equals power, right? Always does. Man, that lust for power must be a pretty annoying obsession. I understand being a control freak, when it comes to my own activities. Beyond that, making others do one’s bidding, especially against their will, has to be a giant hassle. Each day would bring huge headaches. And some headaches, like migraines, can often lead to nausea. And it’s very difficult to think about anything else when you feel like you might throw up. I imagine the words, “vomiting” and “fun” are not often found in the same sentence. But, I’ll expect the unexpected and not be shocked when a segment of our society decides being nauseated is cool. Jeez, how naïve of me. That must have already been a thing, right?’’ I mean, alcohol alone can lead to all kinds of unintentional fun/nausea. And lots of folks drink alcohol, knowing where it could lead. Party on!
Now that I’ve commented on the wretched state we’re in, let’s move far away from that and focus on holiday music. A couple of weeks ago we live-streamed a 2-hour Brave Combo rehearsal from our studio and you can still watch it on YouTube. Overall, I was very pleased. Technically speaking, our friend, Jack, hit the bullseye. Viewer numbers were also encouraging enough to convince us to do it again right away, since Christmas is breathing down our necks. Need to work on the visual balance a bit and avoid too much negative space in the future, but that’s no big deal and we all had a fab time, so, it’s happening again. On Thursday evening, December 14th (my brother, Jim’s, birthday), around 7:00pm! It’s an intimate Brave Combo Holiday Party, Baby! And you are invited. We’re gonna play mainly seasonal stuff and will be more attentive to requests this time. Danny O’Brien will be joining us for this DO-NOT-MISS event. Details emerging soon. “Who’s got a beard that’s long and white…..”
Speaking of Brave Combo holiday music, we are doing a couple of live shows, as well, before Santa shows up with the three Wisemen to feed some eggnog to the little baby elf-on-the-shelf. As tradition now dictates, we will be turning Andy’s, in downtown Denton, into a village of Christmas cheer on Saturday, December 2! At 9:00pm! We are planning some surprises, and this will not be live-streamed. You’ll have to show up in person, in a damn festive outfit, and an equally festive attitude. And on Friday, December 15th, we return to the super groovy Bedford, Texas Pickle Christmas Festival. Check our itinerary for details on both of these shows.
If you are interested in what I’m up to, when I’m not desperately trying to find homes for stray/feral cats we just rescued or tending to newly discovered cats, I am more than knee-deep into three radically different recording projects. One is an album with Jad Fair and Brave Combo’s original drummer, Lisa Cameron. The theme is movie monsters, of course. We’re all pretty stoked about it and hope to release it early next year.
Another current aural endeavor is a recording of the late Tiny Tim, singing a beautiful version of John Lennon’s “Across the Universe,” featuring lots of accordions, played by several of the most influential practitioners of the instrument in the country AND fantastic backup vocals by my friend, Corn Mo. A perfect combination of disparate elements. I am way beyond excited about how this whole thing is shaping up and hope to release something from it by Christmas. Whatever form it takes will be dedicated to the memory of James “Big Bucks” Burnett, who recently lost his life. He brought Brave Combo and Tiny Tim together over 25 years ago and I really wish he were still on Earth to hear what we’re making out of music he helped us capture. Maybe I’ll play a snippet on December 14th, during our holiday live stream.
The third thing I’m attempting to pull off is a recording of a couple of songs for the once-a-year party put on by an organization called The Alfalfa Club, in Washington D.C.. Google it. The producer of the music for the event wanted the sound of Brave Combo to redefine the two main songs traditionally performed. The man who will be singing to our unique karaoke recordings has been the party’s musical entertainment for 50 years! Totally crazy stuff, incongruous to everything and right down my alley.
Almost midnight. Time for dinner, so I guess that’s it for now. Don’t forget to think for yourself! I now return control of your device back to you!