Brave New Combo

D'oh! The Simpsons animate Dallas' favorite polka band

There was a day when fame meant hoofing it in some big-budget musical or, maybe, a spot on Solid Gold. In these complicated times of bloggers and Real World celebrities, however, success is a far trickier beast. How do you know when you're famous? Is it when your sex tape circulates on the Internet, or when Iraq invites you for a visit? Here's one surefire watermark: You've made it when The Simpsons--the best television show, period--animates you.

On Sunday, March 21, Brave Combo make their Simpsons debut. In an episode called "Co-dependent's Day," the iconic Denton polka band are featured playing at--what else?--Oktoberfest, attended by--who else?--Homer Simpson. Turns out Brave Combo has a longtime fan in Simpsons creator Matt Groenig, who sparked to the goofball Grammy winners while DJ'ing for a college radio station in the early '80s. "He bought our first album. He's proud of his collection," says founding member Carl Finch, who adds with a laugh, "He thinks he has everything, but he doesn't." Over the years, Brave Combo developed a friendship with Groenig. "He flew us out to play his best friend's wedding party. We were talking at the end of the party, and he said we need to figure out a way to get you on the show."

Finch thought what any other sweet and scrappy Texas band leader might: Yeah, right. But Groenig kept his word. "Within two weeks, Fox called and said Matt had been chatting us up," Finch says. The band sent videotape of themselves to the animators to inspire their Springfield-yellow likenesses, and Brave Combo even contributed a polka arrangement of the theme song, which may or may not be used over the show's credits. Homer will be draining his delicious, foamy beverage of choice to the tune of the band's "Fill the Stein" or "Wilkommen Oktoberfest," which may or may not lead to public humiliation (or public urination). But one thing is certain about Brave Combo's prime time arrival. "It's very brief," Finch says. "If you've got TiVo, it's the perfect time to use it."

Brave Combo perform at Poor David's Pub on Friday, March 12, 9:30 p.m.


Speaking of public intoxication: Next Wednesday is St. Patrick's Day. Being part-Irish--the drunk part, of course--we'll be falling off barstools and telling inappropriate jokes at this Saturday's St. Patrick's Day parade down Greenville Avenue. Your children are safe, however; we're mostly interested in the concert afterward, which kicks off at 12:30 p.m. with Spector 45 and culminates with a performance by the Violent Femmes at 4 p.m. (Queen for a Day plays at 2 p.m. and Sorta at 3 p.m.) The concert takes place in the old UA Theater parking lot behind Jack's Pub on Yale Boulevard. Like this great country of ours, the event is free.


Speaking of live shows this week: It's an embarrassment of riches when it comes to local and touring shows. Over the next few pages, we've spilled plenty of ink (and blood!) previewing our favorite acts--Alaska!, Modest Mouse, Grandaddy--but we missed a lot. You know it's a tough week when Beyoncé, Missy Elliott and Alicia Keys' appearance Monday at American Airlines Center merits only a passing mention. They're not alone. We failed to wax enthusiastic about delicate duo eastmountainsouth at the All Good Café on Thursday or those wacky and wonderful Happy Bullets, who have a CD release at the Liquid Lounge on Saturday. And what of The Starlight Mints, the nutty art-rockers from Norman, Oklahoma? They play with Dressy Bessy and locals The Theater Fire at the Gypsy on Thursday and, by the way, tour through April with The Deathray Davies.

Speaking of TDD: John Dufilho reports the band has filmed a video for their upcoming album, due out this summer. Shot in the Lakewood area, the video stars Kumar Pallana, aka Pagoda of The Royal Tenenbaums. Dufilho's band I Love Math plays a set at Barley House this Sunday with Salim Nourallah, who will be previewing material from his upcoming solo album, Polaroid. The Deathray Davies are only one of many local bands nominated for the Dallas Observer Music Awards, the ballot for which debuts in this issue. Come on: Rock the vote.


Speaking of, well, nothing relevant: NextStage in Grand Prairie is now called Nokia Live. Why? Search us. Probably those Finns in Grand Prairie getting uppity again. While we agree it's a silly name--like people need more reasons to use their stupid cell phones in public--we're going to support the change. Why? Because we're part-Finnish--the drunk part, of course.
 
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