Hooray! We are well into 2024, and it’s so fantastic that all the traumas, troubles, and tribulations of 2023 have completely disappeared. Earth has been cleansed by the magical start of a brand new year. You sense it, too, of course! The old hate is so, well, old news now, like the style of an embarrassingly dated apartment building which was hastily constructed only about five years ago, that everyone forgot how to feel it. I was talking to a very racist man I know the other day and I exclaimed, “Wow, 2024 is crazy! Do you even remember what hate felt like?” And he said, “No, not really,” and gave me one of his AR-15s and said, “Have fun with this. I’ve totally lost interest.” That blew my mind! Then, unexpectedly North and South Korea superglued themselves back together the same day Putin apologized for being such a cliché. The evangelicals finally opened their eyes and I found a restaurant in town that still cares about tofu. Yep, it’s excellent that all worries are gone for everyone because everyone, overnight, became unselfish and giving, no longer motivated by worry and greed. What a transformation. Hamas said it was really, really sorry. Israel immediately responded, “Me, too.” I can’t go to the nearest strip mall, without everyone trying to hug and kiss me and I want to do the same to them. Birds won’t get off my shoulder. Welcome to 100% Happy Land. It’s Polka Time!
Now, simply stay in that mindset and everything will be fine. Indeed, the world is wonky, but maybe I’ve just reached an age where the modern landscape is supposed to look and feel wonky. Or, perhaps, in an environment controlled by the citizens’ obsession with their phones and social media, wonky is all you can get. Humans constantly intoxicated by the power they, literally, hold in their hands, is, indeed, a new normal, so expect the brave new world to stumble. A lot. Whatever, I’m pessimistically optimistic. Or optimistically pessimistic. Who cares? On with the show.
As Brave Combo continues to question its reason for existing, I must say, there is a lot going on. It appears Jad Fair, Lisa Cameron and I will be wrapping up a new album in the next few months. My recent Tiny Tim project will also be released and all of the mysteries surrounding it will be revealed. Several new Brave Combo recordings will surface in some form or be reintroduced. Also, gigs are starting to appear on the calendar, more live-stream shows are being planned and our first rehearsal of the year is this week! Plus, some unusual items might start showing up in the BC store.
Speaking of upcoming gigs, everyone needs to show up to our recently-added show at The Windmills, in The Colony, Texas, on Friday night, January 26th! There are two of these venues in the world. One somewhere in India and this one, in The Colony. It appears to be a somewhat swanky room, but centered around the music and a vast menu of Indian food, with a plethora of vegetarian options. I don’t know much about the place, but I understand it has great production (sound and lights), and the band, Brave Combo, will be on stage, trying to make sense of everything. Get your tickets NOW!
Time slithers on and it plucks away everyone, eventually. Rotondi was a modern polka band from Los Angeles in the 1980s. It was formed out of a musical about a chiropractor, named Dr. Pietro Rotondi. The band, Rotondi, and Brave Combo and another band from San Francisco, Polkacide, were pioneers, exploring the pop potential within polka music, at the same time. BC played rock polkas, Rotondi played more theatrical polkas and Polkacide played punk polkas. We were all very passionate and devoted to our causes and seriously believed in the power of the music. The idea of mixing polka with other genres and sensibilities was a new concept, but we could see the potential and each band hit it hard and we supported each other. One time all three bands played at a trendy venue in Los Angeles, called Club Lingerie. The show was called, POLKA WARS and got a lot of national attention, and the room was peppered with celebrities. David Byrne and his future wife, Adelle Lutz were there, along with Bruce Willis and John Goodman. These were heady times and it looked like modern polka was developing a community. Paul Lacques was a founding member and the drummer for Rotondi. He and his brilliant band got it right! Shortly after the Club Lingerie show, we hooked up with Rotondi for several amazingly fun Midwest and East Coast dates. We were living the future, with a radical agenda and getting away with it! After Rotondi finished its several-year run, Paul, along with family members, formed the alt-country rock band, I See Hawks in L.A., and he continued to find success. Bubba even subbed with them once when their bass player broke his arm. I think you know where this is going. Paul died this week. He’d been sick for several years and almost no one knew, as he performed up until the end. He was a great musician, played guitars and drums, and sang. He was also an excellent composer and cartoonist, with a sharp sense of humor with a biting wit. So there he goes. RIP my friend and like-minded musical soul, Paul Lacques. Yet another influential person in my life has transitioned. Makes you stop and think, huh? What’s important while you spend your few hours on Planet Earth? It’s certainly been on my mind. That’s why I worked so hard to keep my downtown feral cats alive, with shelter and unfrozen food and water, during the recent arctic blast. That was important and I had to succeed for them. Period.
So, in 2024, keep your eyes on the constant flow of images from outer space via the James Webb and Hubble telescopes (and others) and know that Brave Combo is still here, in a tangible form, ready to play music which will help you make sense of your time on Earth! Let’s Polka!