Brokaw also recalls having a conversation with David Grubbs after Grubbs and Jim O'Rourke just finished a Gastr del Sol tour in Europe with only acoustic guitars, no amplifiers, and no hassles. For a musician tired of the headaches of playing in a rock band, Brokaw began to see that being footloose might be the key to longevity. "I almost fell over when [Grubbs] said that," Brokaw says. "I felt it was, like, the coolest thing in my life. I thought, 'That's something I want to do.' I wanted to play with other instruments. I really wanted to be a percussionist in a symphony orchestra. Something to open the whole thing up."

Traveling, moving, changing horses midstream. It's enough to make some people crazy, but for others it's the prescription for personal success. "Anytime I hear somebody say, 'Oh, there's nothing good to listen to,' I tell them that there's so much good music and art and literature and film out there right now," says Brokaw. "Go out and stumble around, and luck out."

And if you're not moving, you can't stumble.

THE CHRIS BROKAW BAND + THALIA ZEDEK + TIM FOLJAHN | Plough & Stars, 912 Mass Ave, Cambridge | December 30 @ 10:30 pm | 21+

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