Friday Night Order of Brave Combo
Brave Combo at Jovita's November 14th, 2008 (see below 'the Simpsons' replica)
Last night, our neighbours took us to see 'Brave Combo'. This band who hails from Denton TX near Dallas, comes into town at least twice a year and my neighbour is a 'religious groupie' who's known these guys for at least 15 years or longer. They even played at her wedding. As it happens with many 'bands' who do not make it apparently big (i.e. achieve super status and play in stadiums), they have been playing at least for over 20 years all over the place. They'll have gigs as faraway in Holland (yes, we got to talk 'shop' a bit) and Japan, amongst other places. For their Japanese fan they even made a special Christmas cd and knowing these guys, you got to wonder how they fenagles to 'spruce up' any holiday music.
Myself and my neighbours Grace-Marie and Randy
You see, they're not 'just a polka band', they use music and turn it around into samba, changing style midstream only to change it back to a samba. Or they do cajun, zydeco, cha cha, latin jazz..you name it. There is a lot of latin styles in their 'interpretation' and what it amounts to is a VERY loyal fan base who come out to have fun and DANCE!! I did not feel like dancing last night but since this was at Jovitas in South Austin, there was plenty of people watching going on..I loved it and we had a great time. These guys are consumate musicians and they're the best. They are approachable and low key. This is who they are.
Brave Combo doing Louie Louie -dance away!
No ego nonsense but just plain musicians who love to play. It doesn't get any better than that. And another tidbit about these guys; Matt Groenig from the Simpsons loves this band as well and he wanted to find a way to get these guys on his show. Well, they ended up in the episode "Co-dependents' Day" in 2004.
Brave Combo on the Simpsons
Talking to Carl Finch, one of the co-founders. He's a producer and this includes some of his other work; He co-produced the albums Equal Scary People for singer-songwriter Sara Hickman and El Gato Negro for conjunto musician Santiago Jimenez, Jr. He composed music for and appears as an extra in David Byrne's 1986 movie True Stories. His instrumental "Mall Music" appears on the associated album Sounds from True Stories. He co-wrote the music for the play Evelyn and the Polka King. He produced the opening for YuYu Hakusho and Dragon Ball. He appeared in animated form, along with the rest of Brave Combo, on an episode of The Simpsons in 2004. He produced and, along with Brave Combo, performed all of the music for the 2008 animated PBS television series Click and Clack's As the Wrench Turns. Check it out.
Brave Combo - their version of the William Tell Overture.. keep dancin'!
James and I, him with earplugs, I must be getting deaf as I did not need them. (need them in movie theaters though!)
Some other brushes with national exposures include;
The band made a short appearance, as animated figures, on the March 21, 2004 episode of The Simpsons (Co-Dependent's Day).
In that same episode of The Simpsons, the band played a new original song called "Fill The Stein" and their version of the theme song played over the closing credits.
Finch and other band members made cameo appearances in Talking Heads leader David Byrne's 1986 movie True Stories, set in fictional Virgil, Texas. Finch can be spotted in the fashion show sporting a brick-patterned suit and in the parade leading the all-accordion marching band. (Trivia note: Brave Combo was David Byrne's wedding band.)
They appear in the 1986 Hank Wangford Channel 4 television series The A to Z of C & W singing the Hank Williams song "Cold, Cold Heart".
Their song "Busy Office Rhumba" was used as the theme for the 1993 FOX television series Bakersfield P.D.
They appear as a wedding band in the 1995 feature film Late Bloomers.
In 2000, they appeared on the national telecast of the MDA Labor Day Telethon with Jerry Lewis dancing along to the music.
They wrote and performed the theme song for the 2005 series "ESPN Bowling Night".
The opening theme and other music for the 2008 PBS animated series Click and Clack's As the Wrench Turns were produced by Carl Finch and composed, arranged, and performed by Finch and Brave Combo.