Big news flash!!! Our most recent album, Polka Party with Brave Combo: Live and Wild has been nominated for a Grammy (polka category, of course). This is our second nomination and we’re very excited. Tell your friends.
Okay, the holiday orgy of 1998 is behind us. Now, that’s something to celebrate. Maybe there should be a national holiday to recognize the end of the holidays. Yay! Everyone go back to work now. Besides, we have bigger things to worry about. Specifically, 1999. This is the last year (for a while, anyway) with the number 1 at the beginning. This Y2K thing has everyone thinking that we must do some serious house cleaning before next year. There’s a general vibe that we have to get our computers, bodies, psyches, souls, etc. prepared for the unknown of 2000. And no one knows anything for sure. That’s part of the excitement of it all. Lately, I’ve felt that my approach to being prepared is to throw myself into such day-to-day chaos, that by the time the computers are freaking out, I’ll be far ahead of them. In a way, massive reevaluation on the public’s part could be a good thing for a band like Brave Combo. The headlines will read, “All Systems Fail, Except Polka.” Many years ago, my eyes were opened to a whole new method of perceiving reality. And polka was at the core of that revelation. Breaking down the invisible walls of judgementalness and prejudice became a personal goal and polka was my guidepost and, eventually, my rocket ship. I’m still strapped into that ship and it feels better than ever.
One thing we do know about 1999 is that Brave Combo will turn 20 this year. Our first performance was in May of 1979. We played the opening of a dance studio in Denton and people were doing the polka, sort of, in the parking lot. We were truly surprised at the response. Shortly after that we released our first record. It was a double 7-inch 45 entitled Polkamania. We recorded it at Bruce Balentine’s home studio in Denton and Jane, my wife, paid for it with her early retirement money from teaching public school. Shortly after the release, it was reviewed in a local music paper. The critic said it sounded like another spacey Denton band that would be together one semester at NTSU and then break up. I guess he was wrong. Anyway, as I mentioned in an earlier issue, Brave Combo plans to do some shows this year with as many former members as possible. We should probably call those former members and ask them if they’re interested.
I’ll mention some big shows this month that you do not want to miss. On Friday, January 8, we will host Brave Combo’s Cavalcade of Talented Friends at good ol’ Rick’s Place in Denton. Other performers will include Little Jack Melody, Brian Houser, Karen Foster, Wanz Dover, Pops Carter and local high school rockers, Mudrunner. This will be spectacular at the very least. Older Denton fans should not be afraid to come to Rick’s Place. On Saturday, January 16, we will be at the fabulous Czech Club on Military Parkway in Dallas. This place has an enormous dance floor, but you probably know that already. On Saturday, January 30, we will be at another favorite venue, Caravan Of Dreams, in downtown Fort Worth. This place is beautiful, the sound is superb and the show is early. Please check our itinerary for details on these and other appearances.
More news: We are in the studio much of this month wrapping up the first stages of our new album. You can expect an early Summer release. Pop music is the concept. We recently composed and recorded music for a National Geographic television spot. It’s airing now. Also, we did some studio collaborating with friends from Ohio that have a polka band called The Beat. I guess it’s safe to say that they’re a superstar outfit and it was a real honor to be invited to participate on their new album. We expect them to return the favor some day. Speaking of polka, I’m still working, though very slowly, on the big polka compilation for Time/Life Music. My life keeps getting in the way of important stuff. You know how that is.
Okay, that’s enough for now. I wish all of you faithful supporters a healthy, exciting, challenging and confusing new year. And remember, Polka 2000 creeps closer and closer and closer and closer………