Oh, just another day in a screwed-up town, in a crumbling country on a dying planet. How are you doing? Since my last newsletter, seventeen people were murdered at a school in Florida. What else is new? I live in gun-totin’ Texas, which means I am constantly around weird, immature potential killers. It’s beyond bizarre how many pro-life right-wingers are steadfastly against making even minor changes to current gun laws. In my view, that totally obliterates their arguments about the sanctity of life. But, here we are, in a land which was once admired for its leadership, scientific innovations and defense of democracy. Now the good ol’ USA is known for encouraging violent crime, supporting hate groups and any number of things which even Ronald Reagan would have abhorred. This situation leaves me fatigued, but, you know what? As one gets older and older, one sees the world, possibly, moving in directions one either doesn’t like or, most often, just simply can’t relate to. So, part of me is always trying to be like a visitor to this foreign place. There’s so much I don’t recognize anymore. I grew up in a Baptist church and it’s pretty obvious most of that scene has, literally, gone straight to hell. The resolve of many Christians just wasn’t enough to keep their Satan at bay. In fact, most right-wingers I have known can be easily manipulated by shallow talking point. I could pretend to be a Christian and walk into any church and say a few key phrases and be totally trusted in minutes. Generally, they are not a suspicious bunch as long as you say the right words. And your actions don’t even matter. You can be babbling on about “family values” while you’re chaining up a blindfolded naked woman in order take pictures of her to blackmail her. You know what I mean? As long as that person says stuff like “I’m against abortion” or “I don’t believe in gay marriage” or “Send the Mexicans back to Mexico and build the damn wall” or “I want to have sex with the 2nd Amendment,” the sheep will follow. But, under no circumstances will they consider banning assault weapons of war, even after those weapons are used to massacre school students and teachers. This is insanity and those people are insane. Indeed, their devil, or whatever, has taken over their bodies and minds. We are, indeed, living among zombie-like humans. You know, if we allow citizens to buy AR 15s, why not sell them cannons and hand grenades and surface-to-air bazookas? I’m serious. Why can’t people keep a good supply of anthrax in their houses, just in case? Why are bombs illegal? They are, right? I continue to be disgusted, pissed-off and not optimistic. Guess it’s time to make a leisurely, la-de-da trip to my local sporting goods store and join the pack, huh? Of course, that ain’t gonna happen, but would owning a gun make me understand; to hold in my hand the power to end lots of lives? Would the rush of caressing the metal bring it all into focus or would it take actually seeing bodies fall? Is that what everyone with guns truly longs for? That ultimate display of strength toward another human or an animal? Maybe I could think differently if I wasn’t convinced guns are just external examples of fear. But I’m pretty sure gun owners are more scared and way more insecure than non-gun owners. And you so-called Christian gun owners might already be screwed. The gates of your precious Hades could be wide open, waiting for you folks. If your soul matters, better start praying, either for forgiveness or for reassurance that your Hell doesn’t really exist. Blah!!!!!!! I am sick of thinking about this totally stupid shit!!! Sorry to waste everyone’s time with absolutely nothing new to add, other than I am 100% with the activist high-school kids on this one. You should be, as well. Okay, reboot!
Lighter fare. I have a new sound. It’s similar to Brave Combo in subject matter and song styles, but the actual sonic nature of the music is unlike anything BC ever was. For now, I’m calling it The Carl Finch Sound, which is pretty straight-forward. It involves cool beats, synthesized keyboards, and processed vocals. I will be performing my first club show as this entity on Tuesday, March 13 at Andy’s Bar, right on the square, in historic downtown Denton. Joining me will be Danny O’Brien on manipulated brass instruments and Alan Emert on modified drums and weird-ass percussion noises. But that’s not all, not by a longshot. Also on the bill will be Belle and The Bohemian, two of Brave Combo’s best friends. They are also known as Danny and Michelle Jerabek, from Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Michelle is a singer/songwriter and an accomplished saxophonist, well-versed in myriad R&B styles. And Danny will be familiar to many Dentonites. He’s a brilliant button-box accordionist and has graced the Combo stage countless times over the years. In fact, he and I have a side project called The Nice Musics. We released an album a few years ago and will be playing a couple of selections from that, too. If you reside anywhere in North Texas, you should show up. Oh yeah, it’s free!
Okay, get ready! On April 1, in Cleveland, Ohio, at The Beachland Ballroom (yeah, that’s Easter), Brave Combo will be rocking the house with one of our classic line-ups. In addition to myself, Danny O’Brien and Alan Emert, BC exes and musicians extraordinaire, Jeffery Barnes and Bubba Hernandez will be there, singing and playing their hearts out. And this same group of misfits will be headlining the downtown Dyngus Day concert in Buffalo, New York, the very next night. Spread the word! This will be a rare event! We will be blasting out tons of polka hits and obscurities. Take lots of pictures! Post those videos! Zosia!!
TV strikes again! We have a song in an upcoming episode of the show, HAP AND LEONARD. The wise people in charge have licensed our track, “O, Holy Night Cha Cha Cha!” That’s all I know, for now. That’s a gutsy choice. Hats off to ‘em!
Life is starting to get crazy again in Comboland. More rehearsals, more studio time, new photos, increasing promotion duties and needs, pulling together new souvenir items to sell at shows and on-line, hanging out at the office more (contracts and email) and, generally, thinking about how to keep our music relevant and interesting. The live music world is disintegrating as fast as the ozone layer and maneuvering through it all has become, let’s say, tricky for everyone who’s still hanging on. But, simply living is a challenge, so one either keeps going or gives up, right? And since I still have about 1000 songs, at least, I’m fired-up about arranging and performing, I’m just too busy right now, to stop. And even if I stop, I know I won’t stop. This is both exciting and depressing.
Let’s stop here. I could talk about the adventures of our dogs and cats, but since that’s what’s mainly going on day-to-day, it would take beyond forever and I’m tired of writing. Good luck to you all!