Here we are, between the volcanic eruption, known as Christmas and the earthquake, known as New Year’s Eve! Right now we are bursting with expectations and empty resolutions. What if January 1 actually was taken seriously, every year, as a day to reset and try to correct the mistakes from the past 12 months, almost as an uncontrollable instinct, like squirrels burying nuts? Maybe the first seven days of January could be a WORLD-WIDE QUICK SOLUTION WEEK, encouraging everyone to be their best selves long enough to fix a couple of things before jumping into another year of business-as-usual. I know this is pie-in-the-sky stuff and not gonna happen because each of us will be overwhelmed with just the basics of getting by. January 1 will be no different from any other day, except for the media creating content which will be, generally, cliché boring or horrifically sensational, to mark our place in time. Gotta fill the space with something, huh? We’ll see photos of those who died, accompanied by sad background music, and that will be it for them, even if we think it won’t. And then, once again, our time will be gobbled up by non-stop activity and distractions, day after day, right? Busy as bees!
So, what do we do? How does anyone make the big picture better for everyone? As I’ve said a couple of times recently, I’ve been regularly checking out recent images from the James Webb Telescope and Hubble Telescope. Spokes were just discovered on Saturn’s rings, by the way. The more I see what I don’t understand, but am curious to understand, it makes me feel more connected to something bigger, at the same time. I guess I’ve never felt like this existence was all there is. It’s never been easy for me to buy into much of anything embraced by the mainstream. Manipulating the gullible masses, as a means to get rich, always seemed to be the point of constantly changing trends. Dullsville, man! Add to that celebrity worship and putting humans on pedestals and you might create weird-ass wanna-be dictators and turn the worshipping masses into grievance-fueled zombies. Sound familiar? I just don’t know why we humans have so much trouble thinking for ourselves and trusting our own instincts. I’m also puzzled by a lot of things which absolutely don’t matter at all.
But, let’s not dwell on the dark side. Despite all the obvious pain and suffering/doom and gloom, literally everywhere these days, I am optimistic that there is an unstoppable will within humans, collectively, to find home. Our unrest is because we’re anxiously looking without realizing it, finding short-lived moments of peace with whatever we can consume before re-entering the fray. Maybe this is what social media and its myriad tentacles is ultimately about; uniting every being into one fancy blob of awareness, so we’ll all feel secure enough to venture forward and see what’s out there.
BACK TO EARTH. Hey, Happy New Year! I hope everyone has the best year ever and that we all enjoy the spectacle of insanity and de-evolution we’re bound to witness, but trusting the inevitability of bright spots, despite society’s unraveling. So, with those bright spots in mind, here’s what’s happening in Brave Combo Land.
1. An album of new music, which has been pretty much ready-to-go since just before the pandemic happened. I’ve trickled out things, here and there, but it’s time to pull it all together and release it in some organized form. So, start getting excited now!
2. An album of songs recently recorded with Jad Fair and Lisa Cameron. Here’s a video of us playing live a few months ago.
3. Three “lost” tracks from the album, GIRL, which we recorded with Tiny Tim in the late 1990s. The first of the three, “Across the Universe,” is almost finished and features some very interesting guest performers. Big announcement about this soon. Ponder the moon. Get ready to swoon!
4. Brave Combo music to be featured during an upcoming annual wing-ding in Washington, D.C., full of the wealthiest, most influential folks in the whole darn country. Just our music. We aren’t invited. Fine with me. Crazy cool project!
5. Experimenting with live-streaming events. Still figuring out what works and what doesn’t and exactly how we want to steer this opportunity. The responses to our two recent efforts were encouraging enough to continue. We are all digging it! If you missed our November and/or December shows, check ‘em out here. Both are archived to accommodate your schedule on Facebook and YouTube.
6. Live shows! Continue to expect the unexpected! Gonna shake it up! Dates to be added soon.
Even before our good buddy, Bob Dylan, covered our version of, “Must Be Santa,” lots of people were paying attention, and videos of all sorts of performers from everywhere started showing up on YouTube, honoring our little creation, even if they didn’t know it. These days, with considerable help from Bob, distinct elements of Brave Combo’s arrangement of the holiday classic are heard and recognized more than most others, except maybe Mitch Miller’s, which was our inspiration. This is artistically fulfilling, for sure, but the bizarreness of such a thing also cracks us up and just reinforces my belief that the only path is the unconventional one.
Speaking of interesting covers of BC songs, check out David Romtvedt’s super groovy holiday version of our song “Denton, Texas.”
Okay, December 2023 says goodbye. Keep the faith, however, that manifests itself, if it’s working for you. If not, try something new for the new year. You really can think for yourself. As my friend, Big Freedia sings, “You already know!” In fact, you do! Go for it! Here’s a happy dance number to ring in the madness.