West, Texas Needs Your Help
As most of you know, the tiny central Texas town of West recently suffered a tragic explosion at a fertilizer plant which destroyed a large portion of the town, killing fourteen people and injuring around 200. This is a vibrant Texas/Czech community which opened its arms to Brave Combo in 1979 and has embraced and supported our sound and energy ever since. Several benefit concerts and dances are in the works right now and we hope you can attend some. In the meantime, please check this website for the latest news on how you can help. How To Donate
Simpsons Season 15 DVD Set
(The one with Brave Combo!)
Back in 2004 Brave Combo was immortalized in animated form on an episode of the TV show, The Simpsons. On December 4th, the 15th Season DVD set is being released and at last you will be able to possess your very own copy of "Co-Dependent's Day." Listen and watch for the band playing at the Springfield Oktoberfest! Plus you'll finally get to hear Brave Combo's version of the Simpsons Theme over the credits rather than the promo for the evening news! http://amzn.com/B009DW5YJI
Good News, Everyone!
Brave Combo recorded three songs for an episode of the popular animated TV show, FUTURAMA. Two of the songs are original BC compositions and one is a special surprise. The episode, entitled “Fun on a Bun,” first aired Wednesday, August 1 on Comedy Central.
Sounds of the Hollow CDs are now available for order in the Brave Combo store
Sounds of the Hollow is also available for download on iTunes
First review of Sounds of the Hollow has rolled in via D Magazine
Brave Combo founder Carl Finch furnishes the back story: “SOUNDS OF THE HOLLOW is an album of passion and variety, demonstrating our passion for variety. The song list includes polkas, cumbias, rumbas, a waltz, a twist, a tango, and even more disparate styles. This is also the first official Brave Combo recording to feature our newest member, and musical powerhouse, Ginny Mac on accordion.”
SOUNDS OF THE HOLLOW commemorates Brave Combo version 2012, still partying like it’s 1999, even as the Mayan calendar ticks out the clock. The indefatigable ensemble continues to discover, explore, fuse, and confound with the new album, living up to its reputation as a self-contained musical United Nations. Here they’re inspired by influences from Italy, Russia, Mexico, Poland, Nova Scotia, Germany, Cow Town, and other American ports of call—and that’s just the short list.
Important Musical Event (Recording)
Our buddy, Guy Klucevsek, has just released a masterpiece. And it would have been such even if Brave Combo hadn't played on it. The album is called THE MULTIPLE PERSONALITY REUNION TOUR and is an accordion thrill-fest,, featuring an amazing array of unusual talent, including longtime BC extended-family member, Alex Meixner. And it would have been just as thrilling even if Brave Combo hadn't played on it. Seriously, go straight to Guy's site and buy this album. And I would have encouraged you just as strongly even if Brave Combo hadn't played on it.
Brave Combo is heart-broken. A really good one has moved on. Our dear friend and sister-in-arms, Rosie Steinman, has passed away at the age of 89 in Ft. Worth. She was always at the big polka events in Texas, ready to give us a hug, snap our photo and join us on stage as for long as we would let her. The great Texas-Czech polka, “Pretty Dancing Girl” will never be the same. Brave Combo's version will be eternally dedicated to her. Rosie, also known as Sister Mary Kodak, embodied the perfect polka spirit; an example to us all. Our thoughts and prayers will be with her family for some time.
(Rosie photo courtesy of B.J. Cleveland)
Reprinted with permission from Sam Hurt
Review of The Multiple Personality ReunionTour
Brave Combo contributed to a number of the tracks on Guy Klucevsek's latest release, The Multiple Personality Reunion Tour and a nice review of it was just found on the interwebs:
Carl and Miss Westfest 2012-2013 Brittney Kolar
"Brave Combo deserves a medal for Joe's Pub show" by Jim Bessman
Ken Emerson's Wall Street Journal review of the book "Squeeze This" by By Marion Jacobson gave a nod to the accordion stylings of Brave Combo's Carl Finch.
Here’s the deal. Our buddies, The Wee-Beasties, asked us if we would be interested in making a vinyl record with them; one side with two songs by BC, one side with two songs by WB. We accepted the happy challenge, recorded “What Do You Want?” and “Zombiefied,” and now the 7” four-song vinyl 33 1/3 EP exists and is available to you. Even if you don’t own a turntable, you must own at least one of these. And if you are lucky enough to actually have a working record player (Victrola, Gramophone, etc.), you will fall over backwards in delight upon hearing this little gem. Go directly to the Brave Combo store and check it out. It’s only $7. That’s a dollar an inch.
Brave Combo music pops up in myriad unusual places, but for us, nothing is unusual, so we've adopted the attitude of “expect anything and nothing.” That makes “anything or nothing” possible. Check out this video. All we know is that it's a dance company somewhere in the world, we think maybe Argentina or Chile, performing to our recording of “Hava Na Gila,” from our EP ORGANIZED DANCING. It looks like they're doing a good job to us. We love a mystery.
Polka America Corporation (PAC), based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has announced the winners of the 2011 PACE Awards for recording excellence in the polka field. Brave Combo’s 2010 release, KIKIRIKI won the award for “Best Variety Album,” which means no specific ethnicity in style. Voters included fans, peers in the polka industry and members of PAC. We are extremely honored by this acknowledgement. It is especially gratifying to be recognized by fellow polka supporters, promoters and musicians. Fellow winners include RESURGENCE! By Bud Hundenski and The Corsairs, THE TWO OF US by Walter Ostanek and Frankie Yankovic, BRUEGGEN DOWN THE HOUSE by Gary’s Ridgeland Dutchmen, GET UP AND DANCE by Wally Dombrowski and The Polka Country Musicians and RAISE YOUR GLASS by Ed Guca and The Polish Canadians. Cheers to us all!
Brave Combo recently licensed a song from our 1996 album, KISS OF FIRE (featuring Lauren Agnelli on vocals) to a Russian film company, called PROFIT, for inclusion in their new movie, NUMBER 13. They are using the title cut from the album and it's already been placed and we've been paid in full. That's about all we know. More on this as a release date is set. Whatever, 2011 is rocking, so far.
Brave Combo recently scored and recorded music for the pilot of a new children's television show, THE ADVENTURES OF TAXI DOG. The program is based on a 25-year-old book by the same name. Much more to follow on this.
The readers of the Denton Record Chronicle once again voted Brave Combo best local band. The competition in a town like this is always stiff, but now that about a million bands reside here, the award means even more. Thank you, Denton, Texas, for listening to us, supporting us, voting for us and letting us live here. We’ll try to continue to live up to this honor. Let’s Polka!
Figli de Madre Ignota dedicated this song to Brave Combo, explaining that the major-to-minor intro motif is a take-off on BC's arrangement of the polka classic, "Who Stole The Kishka." The actual title of Figli de Madre Ignota's song is "Polka Della Polizia (Long Live Brave Combo.)"
Brave Combo lost a great friend and supporter this year. BC's first Grammy was for a release on Steve's Cleveland International label. He was also the one that put Meatloaf and the album Bat Out of Hell on the musical map. Read more about Steve at http://www.cleveland.com
Polka! Polka! Polka!
Read about it. Talk about it. Get involved. Visit http://www.polkasunited.com and voice your opinion on all things Polka!
Brave Combo's latest release, "Kikiriki," is now available! "Kikiriki" (pronounced kee-kee-reé-kee) is a collection of songs both old and new, deliciously prepared and delivered in the unique style you've come to expect from Brave Combo. The title track is a traditional polka that's been altered so drastically that you may not even recognize it... at first. This is the perfect CD for long-time fans, or the first time listener.
Tracks include: “Kikiriki,” “The Beethoven Song,” “Kiev Waltz,” “Holiday,” “Just Because,” “Big Head Polka,” “Polish National Anthem,” “Prairie Dogs Polka,” “Simply,” “Road to Praha,” “Apple Blossom Time,” and “The Satellite Polka”!!!
So visit the Brave Combo store today and get your copy!
Track by Track
Paul Slavens explores the latest Brave Combo CD, "Kikiriki," with Jeffrey Barnes as his guide. Now available for your enjoyment at Art and Seek.
Matt Groening gives a shout out!!!
In a recent interview with Richard Clayton for UK's TimesOnline concerning his involvement with All Tomorrow's Parties, Matt Groening talks about some of the bands that have been on The Simpsons, including Brave Combo.
MTV's Splash Page -
Comic Creator's sound off!
When asked about what they were looking forward to in the new year on MTV's Splash Page, Brave Combo makes one creator's short list. And they're in some pretty good company. Read all about it!
Polka - Chicago Style
Brave Combo's Carl Finch chimes in on Chicago style polka in the online Chicago Sun-Times article, "Polka with a Chicago flavor" by Mary Wisniewski.
Best of 2009
Nippertown's Greg Haymes lists his Top 10 (or 12) favorite shows of 2009. And Brave Combo's Lake George performance is amoung them.
Video of the radio stars
Brave Combo performed an in-studio set at Dallas' newest all-music station, KXT, on Wednesday, December 9. Check out "The Vampire Twist" and "Jolly Ol' St. Nick" from that appearance.
Video from Poor David's Performance
Members of the Mesquite Symphony Orchestra joined Brave Combo at Poor David's Pub in Dallas, Texas on Saturday, November 14 to celebrate their collaborative CD release, Symphonic Polkas.
Check out the fan videos on YouTube!
Including and Inspired By Brave Combo
Just released on October 13th....Bowling For Soup's new CD Sorry for Partyin' which includes a polka version of BFS's song "Belgium" featuring Brave Combo. Also, Bob Dylan's Christmas In The Heart has a cover of "Must Be Santa" that was inspired by BC's arrangement of the song on their CD It's Christmas, Man!
Bob Dylan's Must Be Santa Video
A video for Bob Dylan's "Must Be Santa" from Christmas in the Heart is now up for viewing. Be sure to check it out, it's a cover of Brave Combo's arrangement, right down to the listing of the presidents' names along with Santa's reindeer.
Bob Dylan mentions how he learned about the Brave Combo version of "Must Be Santa" in an exclusive interview with the North American Street Newspaper Association.
Jim Bessman posted an interview with Brave Combo's Carl Finch about the Dylan cover version at Examiner.com
Mission Impossible Video
The mystery continues. For valuable clues, watch Brave Combo's new controversial video, "Mission Impossible (Cumbia)." Hint: water/desert/jellyfish/praying mantis.
Enjoy your journey! It's even better if you hit the HQ button!
Just Plain Folks Awards Runner Up!
Two songs from Brave Combo's release, Polka's Revenge, "The Innocent Gadfly" and "Trippy Town (Denton Life)" came in 4th & 5th place in the Polka Song category at the 2009 Just Plain Folks Music Awards.
Brave Combo's hometown of Denton, Texas has been declared the "Best Music Scene" for 2008. In the article Brave Combo is dubbed "The Grand Pooh-bah" of the bands coming out of "little d." www.pastemagazine.com
Wall Street Journal - Christmas In July
Brave Combo's song "Christmas In July" from It's Christmas, Man! is featured in a Wall Street Journal article about retailers attempting to boost sales by hauling out the holly five months in advance. www.wsj.com
The Anagram Times Interview
Brave Combo's Jeffrey Barnes was recently interviewed by The Anagram Times blog about one of his favorite pastimes.http://anagramtimes.blogs.wordsmith.org
Track by Track with Paul Slavens
Carl Finch discussed Brave Combo's latest CD, The Exotic Rocking Life on Paul Slaven's June 4th KERA podcast, Track By Track. The podcast is available for listening or download at
Bohemia Rising is a collection of short films directed by Christopher Largen documenting the events surrounding the redevelopment of Denton's famed Fry Street as well as some of the area's eclectic people and history. The DVDincludes the music video for Brave Combo's "The Denton Polka" performed live at Dan's Sliverleaf in Denton, TX. http://www.bohemiarising.com
Nominated for an "Annie"
Brave Combo's soundtrack for the Car Talk animated program As The Wrench Turns was nominated for an "Annie" from the International Animated Film Society. You can now watch the reel that was submitted for nomination consideration on Brave Combo's YouTube page.
The web site Breakthru Radio has a regular feature called "Spotlight On The City" and thismonth they are focusing onBrave Combo's hometown of Denton, Texas and have included BC's music amongst the mix of artists from the city.
All Things Considered
Brave Combo's version of "Hail to the Chief" from Holidays! was in the January 21st broadcast of the NPR program, All Things Considered. Listen Here
Brave Combo on Radio M
Hear an archive recording of Brave Combo's 2007 Holiday performance at FitzGerald's that was recently broadcast on WBEZ 91.5FM in Chicago. www.wbez.org
Carl & Guy Klucevsek
Carl Finch joined accordionist Guy Klucevsek at his recent performance at the Modern ArtMuseum of Fort Worth. They played Carl's composition, "Prairie Dogs" which was released Guy's CD, Polka Dots & Laser Beams. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjOgh-xUw4U
Local artist Warren Lunt recently gave the door of Brave Combo's office a wonderful new look! Check out this link to an article about it in the North Texas Daily.
The Shiniest Jewel
The Shiniest Jewel, a new book by longtime Brave Combo friend and fan, Marian Henley is in stores now. It's an illustrated memoir of her decision to adopt a child that includes Brave Combo in a few of the panels!
The recording studio that has moved into the building that also houses Brave Combo's office has been experiencing a ghostly visitor.
A Fair To Remember Wins Texas Emmy
The Texas State Fair documentary A Fair to Remember has been honored with a Lonestar Emmy from the Texas chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The film's score was composed and performed by Carl Finch and Brave Combo.
Long time fan Harvey Pekar makes mention ofBrave Combo (twice!) in the #4 issue of American Splendor Season Two that is now available from DC's Vertigo line of comics and graphic novels.
As The Wrench Turns
The Denton Record Chronicle featured an article about Brave Combo's contribution to As The Wrench Turns, PBS's first-ever prime time animated program. The band's Chicago push-polka version of "The William Tell Overture" was used as the theme for the series based on the long-running NPR program Car Talk. In addition to the theme, Carl Finch created a Brave Combo score for the entire run.
Brave Combo ATWT Press Release pdf
Young @ Heart Documentary
Be sure to check out documentary about the Young @ Heart Chorus that's being released on DVD on September 16th. This group made up of senior citizens (the youngest is 72) covers modern-day pop, rock and rap songs whose lyrics take on whole new meanings when sung by these lively octogenarians. While it didn't make it into the movie, Y@H does do a version of Brave Combo's "Do Something Different" in a medley with OutKast's "Hey Yeah". Check it out below!
Another Thing To Fall
Turns out that Laura Lippman the author a popular mystery series is a long-time Brave Combo fan. On page 16 of her recent novel, Another Thing To Fall, the main character Tess Monaghan is listening to a radio show on her walkman because it is going to be playing some Brave Combo songs. According to recent interviews, Ms. Lippman says that she used to see BC at WestFest and the band played a friend's wedding.
ARTICLES & REVIEWS
Mother Earth News - Oct/Nov 2012
D Magazine - May 2012
Pegasus News - May 2012
International Musician - June 2011
Washington Post - August 2010
Baltimore City Paper - August 2010
Santa Cruz Sentinel - August 2009
NBC Dallas - August 2009
Baltimore City Paper - August 2009
Times Union - August 2009
Nippertown.com - August 2009
Wall Street Journal - July 2009
San Antonio Express News - July 2009
Oklahoma Gazette - July 2009
Dallas Observer - June 2009
Houston Press - May 2009
Denton Record Chronicle- April 2009
Dallas Observer - February 2009
The Oklahoman - February 2009
Times-Record - January 2009
The City Wire - January 2009
Star-Telegram - December 2008
Paste Magazine - December 2008
St Louis Post Dispatch - October 2008
Tulsa World - August 2008
Texas Monthly - August 2008
The Other Paper - July 2008
Denton Record Chronicle - July 2008
Star-Telegram - June 2008
Dallas Observer - May 2008
Dallas Morning News - May 2008
Saint Petersburg Times - May 2008
WFFA.COM - January 2008
Univ. of Dallas News - October 2007
Austin Daze - October 2007
Pegasus News - September 2007
Lexington-Herald Leader - March 2007
North Texas Daily - February 2007
Albuquerque Journal - September 2006
North County Times - August 2006
Guide Live - April 2006
AR-Democrat Gazette - March 2006
New Mexican - June 2006
Dallas Morning News - March 2006
Pegasus News - February 2006
Denton Record Chronicle - Jan. 2006
Denton Record Chronicle - Dec. 2005
Austin306.com - Sept. 2005
Texas Rising Star - April 2005
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