Welcome to the second installment of Brave Combo’s virtual newsletter. We will update this every month to keep you informed about Brave Combo shows, tours, recording projects and other newsworthy items.
Besides current events, we will also have other features, such as interesting moments in Brave Combo history, suggested listening from the members of Brave Combo and chances for you to give us feedback on certain issues.
Brave Combo went to New Orleans and Florida in early February. We had a wonderful and grueling time. Good motels (well, one was a bit sleazy), not much sleep, lots of friends and fans, including Josh McKay, who sang “Flying Saucer” with us in Gainesville, cold and wet weather, a great backstage and mashed potatoes at the House of Blues in New Orleans. All of our support acts blew our minds. Go out of you way to see The Rebirth Brass Band, The Derailers, Col. Bruce Hampton and the Figi Mariners and Joe Oberaitis, Florida’s accordion king. Hanging with Col. Bruce is always a special treat. It’s fun to embarrass him with our praise. Too many on-stage sound problems bugged us a little, but that’s part of the experience. The stage can be either a pedestal or a cage. A big part of the challenge in performing is avoiding distractions and staying focused. We want to enjoy ourselves and not be too mindful of reality.
Brave Combo is close to home the rest of the month. Playing clubs, parties, a college dorm and a high school lunch assembly. Check “Hot Dates” for details on the public shows.
On the more exciting end of our work spectrum, we’ve been learning new songs and reviving some old ones. Please request these fresh selections at our next show: “Human,” “The Fancy Prom,” “Media Music,” “Esperanto En Ti,” “Linda Guerita,” “Move,” “Genie,” “Skin,” “Hey There,” “Tico, Tico,” “Washer and Dryer,” “Ay Me Duele,” “Everywhere,” “Three Weeks,” “Bialando En La Javalina,” “Starlight Polka” and, of coarse, “Love Is A many-splendored Thing.” Happy Valentine’s Day.
Come out and help us decorate Dan’s Bar in Denton on Monday night before Fat Tuesday (Check “Hot Dates”). Can you pledge some Spanish moss for this worthy cause? This is a short month.
Interesting Moments in Brave Combo History
Howdy fans. Jeffrey Barnes here with a sports update. Opinions within the band concerning sports range from fanatic approval to indifference and even dislike, but fate and commerce have sometimes brought us into contact with the games the big boys play. Here are some examples:
During the NFL strike (1986 maybe?), we were called away from our usual October gig -“Corndogging” at the State Fair – to play a Cowboys game at Texas Stadium.
We arrived with our acoustic instruments and crossed the picketlines to find that security would not let us in. Determined to fulfill our contract (and consequently get paid), we played polkas for the picketers and protesters instead. We were filmed by a news crew, who interviewed Carl later.
“What side are you on?” he was asked.
“What side of the picketline are we on?” he replied.
Upon seeing this, security ushered us inside and put us under the auspices of an obnoxious young man with a crew cut and a polyester suit carrying a walkie-talkie. He had us play a song at each of the entrances and then chased us to the next. When we had completed a tour of the stadium, he chased us out.
I have no idea what scab team the scab Cowboys were playing that day.
Sometime around 1990 we were asked to play the National Anthem at a Dallas Freeze minor league hockey game (they were playing the Memphis River Kings, I believe).
They rolled a pathway out to center ice, where we performed the selection on soprano sax, sousaphone, accordion, bass drum and washboard.
Carl decided later that we should have had Bubba sing it in Spanish. We decided on third thought that we should have sung it in English, but ended with, “land of the Freeze, and the home of Brave… Combo!”
There are several Major league teams around the country that are playing cuts from our release Group Dance Epidemic during their games. Here is a list of some of them:
Toronto Blue Jays
San Diego Padres
And the new franchise, The Tampa Devil Rays, have asked us to perform the National Anthem at one of there games.
Spring is coming, so naturally a young man’s fancy turns to…baseball (diamonds are a boy’s best friend). For those of you that didn’t know, we sponsor a little league team here in Denton.
The mighty Brave Combo Cardinals had a marvelous 1997 season: They came in second to the Mike Ramos Real Estate Blue Jays in the regular season, but defeated their worthy opponents in an exiting battle of the birds in tournament play.
Alas, time and free agency have broken up the team – most of the boys have turned thirteen. Brave Combo must decide whether to begin with a fresh batch of eleven and twelve year olds, or to continue to support the career of star pitcher Stuart “Splinter” Wood. Stay tuned for further developments.
Goofball contest for Bucketheads only
For the next couple of months we will be running a contest of sorts to increase the number of subscribers to the Webpage mailing list. The buckethead who evangelizes the best and brings in the most new members will appear on a Brave Combo album in the future. Talent is absolutely not required. Here are the details.
1. The contest is open to any current subscriber on the list.
2. Encourage as many people to subscribe to the list as you possibly can.
3. When they subscribe, they will receive a welcome letter. Have them send a copy of this letter to firstname.lastname@example.org and add, “recommended by (your name)” to the bottom of the letter.
4. The three contestants with the most subscribers will enter the final round (to be explained in next month’s issue).
Sorry for the complicated nature of this.
February 12 – Ryan High School
Location – 5101 E. McKinney, Denton, TX, Phone number – (940)566-7926
time – Noon – 2:00 PM
This is a free show outside at Ryan High School. The school will be accepting donations for the Make A Wish Foundation and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Bring a lunch and hang out with the kids.
February 13 – The Czech Club
Location – 4930 Military Pkwy Dallas, TX, Phone number – (214)381-9072
The Czech Club features one of the best dance floors in the Metroplex and a great family atmosphere. Come early and bring the kids. The Relics will be opening the show.
February 14 – The Deli
Location – 309 White St. Norman, OK, Phone number – (405)329-3534
Love will be the theme for this very special Valentine’s day show. Plan to bring the love of your life out for a night of romantic favorites, performed Brave Combo style.
February 23 – Dan’s Bar
Location – 119 S. Elm St. Denton, TX, Phone number – (940)891-1549
THIS IS NOT A PERFORMANCE! You are invited out to Dan’s though to help Brave Combo prepare for Mardi Gras. We will be decorating and preparing prizes and gifts for the next night’s performance. Dan will be providing special prices on beer to help everyone get in the spirit.
February 24 – Dan’s Bar
Location – 119 S. Elm St. Denton, TX, Phone number – (940)891-1549
It’s Mardi Gras! Come to downtown Denton and celebrate with Brave Combo. This will be a party, complete with music, trinkets and spirits. Big Chief Jeffrey Barnes will be the Mardi Gras King for this event.
February 27 – The Curtain Club
Location – 2800 Main St. Dallas, TX, Phone number – (214)742-2336
This is Dallas’ newest live music venue, opened by some of the town’s music industry heavyweights.. We have yet to see it ourselves but we are hearing great things. The ever popular Denton band, Centromatic, will open the show.
March 10 – 14 – The first Midwest tour of ’98
Tuesday, March 10 – Kansas City, MO. – Grand Emporium
Wednesday, March 11 – Lincoln, NE. – Zoo Bar
Thursday, March 12 – Columbia, MO. – Mojo’s
Friday, March 13 – St. Louis, MO. – Off Broadway
Saturday, March 14 – St. Louis, MO. – Off Broadway
Come hear all of the new music that we have added since our last trip to these parts.
“Rock & Roll” – Motorhead, GWR Profile
“The Everly Brothers on Warner Brothers 1960 – 1969” – The Everly Brothers, Warner Archives
“Pet Sounds” – The Beach Boys, Capitol Records
“The Best of Irakere” – Irakere, Columbia Records
“Anthology of American Folk Music” – Harry Smith (editor), Smithsonian Folkway
“Surfer Girl” – The Beach Boys, Capitol Records
Carl is allergic to bananas, nuts, avocados, orange juice, watermelon, ragweed, pollen, hops, dust, cat hair and dog hair (although he has 5 dogs and 2 cats). Bubba is allergic to ragweed, cedar and sulfa drugs. Alan is allergic to the combination of alcohol and shell fish. Joe is allergic to ragweed. Danny is allergic to mosquitos and sushi. Jeffrey is allergic to kryptonite.
I love the Interstate highway system. It’s a long, slimy, slithering tape worm, with no obvious beginning or end. It never sleeps and almost exists as the 51st state. In the middle of the night the road becomes just a conveyor belt for giant trucks, one after another in a perpetual convey. Rest areas are enormous wasp nests. And the truck stop promise is always kept. It’s mini town with special things you can’t find anywhere else. I can think of very few nights when I’ve looked forward to sleep. I know it’s necessary and I accept it, but I’m just as content listening to a toy gorilla sing the “Macarena” at 2:00 am while Jeffrey pays for gas and Danny, Joe, Alan or Bubba buy some strong coffee.
Also, the Interstate helps keep the traffic comfortable on state highways and smaller roads. Once again, my belief in the USA is reinforced. We have freedom of choice. Happy traveling, but don’t be stupid.
P.S. Sometimes, I really hate the Interstate.
We are always saddened when one who we admire passes away. I am saddened at this time by the passing of Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys. Of the three Wilson brothers, who founded the band along with Al Jardine and Mike Love, Carl was the youngest and the quietest.
As most know, the Beach Boys have a turbulent history that has seen it’s share of tragedy. Carl was the calming presence that often guided the band during these times. When Brian dropped out of the scene in the late 1960’s, it was Carl who quietly picked up the bulk of the song writing and producing responsibilities. When Dennis Wilson died in the 1980’s, it was Carl who kept the band focused and moving forward. All of this from a man who was only in his early teens when the band first hit the charts.
My suggested listening this month is the Beach Boys landmark album, Pet Sounds. Give it a listen. I just did again and I must say that his voice on “God Only Knows” is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever heard. Listening to the Beach Boys you hear a vocal blend that I think can only be attained by siblings that have sung together since childhood. Sit back with a glass of cabernet, listen to Pet Sounds and see if you don’t agree.
Carl Dean Wilson
Dec. 21, 1946
Feb. 6, 1998