Don’t anybody freak out. The Earth made it through another rotation, which means the sun came up right on schedule. Let’s celebrate the air and water and convenience bestowed upon us by forward thinking convenience store entrepreneurs. Despite the fact that we have more nit-picky little annoying things to deal with than any humans before us, it’s still fun to be alive. And although life sometimes seems like nothing more than just a stressful grind, full of fear and hopelessness, it’s not so bad. I mean, of course, the news is top-heavy with frightening, unbelievable horrors, full of so much sadness that we all just want to go to sleep, but there’s funny news, too. Actually, most things that happen aren’t horrible and many of them really are funny. When your dog comes in the house, does it make you mad because his fur is dropping leaf bits everywhere. No, you think he looks funny because he has leaf bits hanging all over him and he doesn’t even know it. Dogs are funny because they’re oblivious to some things and hyper-aware of others. But they’re not funny when they bark all day. That’s when I get upset that they’re not providing me with enough quality entertainment. What’s this bark, bark, bark, stuff? Any stupid, run-the-mill dog can do that. But that’s not the point. The truth is, there will always be unthinkable disasters. However, at the same time, millions of people are driving fast on crowded highways all over the world every minute and only a fraction of them run into each other. This is amazing! Dogs couldn’t do it. Viva humanity!
Think about this. Brave Combo backing a 30-voice choir (if everyone shows up). And it won’t be Christmas music. But we will be performing the Tiny Tim/Brave Combo arrangement of “Hey Jude Cha Cha Cha,” plus “The Mickey Mouse Polka,” “Do Something Different” “Ceilito Lindo” and many more hits. The Denton Community Chorus is having their Spring Concert Friday night, February 28 and they invited us to do our thing with ‘em. This will be wonderful and bizarre and unique, as well as musical. And a good time to reaffirm your faith in something. All ages required.
Speaking of Tiny Tim. When he first met Brave Combo he wanted to record a tribute CD to either The Beatles or Michael Jackson. Neither of those sounded like a good idea at the time. So we compromised by recording about six Beatles songs and two of them made it to the CD, GIRL. Still in the can are unfinished versions of “Across The Universe,” “Obladee” and a few others. At this time, there are no plans to finish them. Eventually the tape emulsion will deteriorate beyond repair. It doesn’t really matter.
Oh, there’s a lot of debate going on these days about lots of things, especially the American dream. But, you know what? In some ways our system works pretty well. We are a leisure-driven bunch and capitalism justifies our basic greedy nature. Societies before us have tried to stifle greediness, but Americans finally gave up and said, “You know what? I want it and I deserve to have it. So there.” We don’t like, nor are we interested in, the big picture. We have self-centeredness down to a fine art. And all of the countries that hate us, secretly admire us for “going for it.” They act like they have good reasons for hating us, but they know they would corrupt just as fast as we do, if they lived here. It’s a beautiful cesspool. And if I say it’s great. Then it really is. Things that bug me about the four scariest people on Earth: President Bush’s smirk, Saddam Hussein’s figure (in that green uniform), Osama Bin Laden’s peaceful, easy look, and that North Korean guy’s hair and figure (in his uniform). I would like to imagine all four of these guys in a band. Let’s see, we’ll put George W. on drums, Saddam on bass, Bin Laden on peaceful, easy reggae-style guitar and that North Korean guy on vocals. And let’s say they had a lot of corporate backing and had a hit record. And everyone was talking about them for a few months. And then, as it is with one hit wonders, they faded away as quickly as they appeared. That’s the way love is.
I hope to be back on the air (www.247polkaheaven.com) by mid-March. I found out again that there are only 24 hours in a day. If I didn’t have to sleep at least a little I could do a couple of radio shows a week, but I get tired and close my eyes and the next thing I know it’s morning. Anyway, it is my intention to get back on the polka show horse and ride like a mad man through the electric night, if you know what I mean. I’m trying to talk Bubba and Jeffrey into doing the show with me. In the meantime, listen anyway. You’ll love it.
Speaking of polkas, I was recently invited to attend a meeting of prominent polka people to help organize a national polka organization that will include all styles of polka and represents them equally. We all gathered on the tail end of the Folk Alliance Music Conference in Nashville, Tennessee on February 9th. There were about 20 of us sitting in a circle in a brightly lit (fluorescent) conference room at a Best Western discussing problems and goals. People from Rounder and NARAS (Grammy organization) were there to help us out. Eventually we all ended up in a bar that was hosting an open mike night. We meet again in a few months and focus our thoughts. Nashville is sort of exciting and very corny. You get the feeling that something’s going on, but that it’s all gonna eventually end up at some theme park. And, the phone in my hotel room didn’t work very well.
Well, BAG OF GHOSTS (our soon-to-be-released classical CD) is plodding along. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Rounder will have it out by late March or early April, since we have record release events already planned for that time. But this is the way it always goes. I’ll give you another progress report next month.
Speaking of progress, after two months of low impact “vacation time” we’re about to ease back into full-on Combo. By the time May hits we will be too busy to eat. Keep your eye on our itinerary. It looks like 2003 could be our best year ever. So, ride this wave with us and maybe we’ll discover something together. And don’t be shocked if you see some unexpected changes, all for the best, of course. No matter what, I have total faith that the Earth will make it through another rotation just fine. Rest easy, loved ones.