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Monday, December 18, 2017 - Dreams, Part Deux 

I had a couple weird dreams last night, and so I thought I’d write about dreams - especially since they are so prominent in Christmas themes. Last night I didn’t have sugar plums dancing in my head, but I did have a weird hospital dream where strange things were happening. I won’t go into it because my dreams often shift so quickly from one thing to another that they’re very incoherent and hard to explain. I probably dreamt of a hospital because a friend is just wrapping up a hospital stay. But dreams seem to be where we work out concerns or envision utopian landscapes. I just finished a book over the weekend called “The Four Agreements” which poses that everything that happens in life is part of either our individual or collective waking dream of reality. That’s an interesting concept - thinking that each of us has a dream of what we think life should be, and we make it happen by our vision of the dream. It goes along with my idea that we make our own reality - choosing what we want our life to be every day. I see this in Christmas too. I carry a dream of what Christmas should be, and I celebrate it according to that dream or vision I have for it. And as a society we do this too. I just watched a documentary about Santa Claus that showed how he developed in history from Saint Nicholas. I had no idea that his concept had changed so much over history and that other cultures have such a different view of him and how they celebrate this season. (Call me the dumb American.) And he’s part of this whole cultural Christmas celebration dream every year - from the gifts to the music, food, shows, and traditions we share. And it brings up one of my favorite Christmas songs that looks like might be true for southern Colorado this year - “White Christmas”. I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, and it looks like we’re going to have one! So dream big, my friends, and have a Merry Christmas and wonderful holiday season! 

What happened last week? 

Friday night at PDubs was a great crowd, and many Christmas songs were sung. Thanks to everyone who came out and made it so much fun.  

What’s up this week? 

Wednesday night is big doin's at the Pueblo Zoo. I’ve teamed with the folks at the zoo to do a live walk-around of their ElectriCritters light display and two hour's worth of music outdoors and indoors. It all starts at 5:20 before the gates open when I’ll walk through the display for 10 minutes or so singing and broadcasting on my Concert Window channel at concertwindow.com/tommunch and the zoo folks will do the same on their Facebook page at facebook.com/pueblozoo. Then we’ll open the gates and plug into the sound system and pick up the online broadcast to sing carols and sing-along at 5:45 at the zoo outdoor stage (called the “Den”) where they’ll have hot drinks in addition to their Candy Cane Cafe where they have more hot drinks and goodies. We’ll wrap up the outdoor portion of the evening at 6:45 and move indoors to their classroom decorated for Christmas where we’ll do more singing and broadcasting in a warmer and more intimate setting. The whole thing will wrap up at 8:00 which will give folks another half hour to see the lights until they close the gates at 8:30. It will be a great celebration of Christmas, and I hope it sounds like something everyone will want to be part of. It’s supposed to get cold later that night, but hopefully it will be relatively nice after a predicted high of 57° that day. This is part of the zoo's nightly ElectriCritters display Dec 15-23 and 26-30.  

Tickets are  

Advance (bought before event hours):  
Non-member adult: $6 
Non-member child: $4 
  
Member adult: $4 
Member child: $3 

Regular (Bought during event hours):  
Non-member adult: $7 
Non-member child: $5 

Member adult: $5 
Member child: $4 

Friday night 6-9 I’m back at Neon Alley Bistro for a special night of great food, friends, and Christmas music. Being so close to Christmas it will feel extra–special being together that night, and I know the spirit and love will be flowing. Please come out for a warm night of Christmas friendship. Maybe we’ll do some sing-along there as well if folks are up to it.  

That’s it for this week. I don’t know if I’ll do a mailer next week with Christmas, so I’ll wish you all the best for a wonderful Christmas Day and a Happy and safe New Year's Eve and New Year's Day (in case I miss next week too.) 

Best always, 

Tom 

Details this week: 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing and broadcasting  
Where:  Pueblo Zoo, 3455 Nuckolls Ave, Pueblo, 719-561-1452 
When:  Wednesday, 5:20, 5:45-6:45, and 7-8 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing 
Where:  Neon Alley Bistro, 304 S Victoria Ave Ste D, Pueblo, 719-299-4769 
When:  Friday, December 22, 6-9 pm

Monday, December 11, 2017 - Pacing Ourselves 

One of the more interesting things about the holiday season is how we wax and wane with our enthusiasm. I often tell my audiences at this time of the year to pace themselves with the Christmas spirit. I’m surprised that some of them really don’t want to hear Christmas music by the second week of December because they’re already burnt out on it, having heard it non-stop for weeks. That’s unfortunate, and I think we often attribute that to the over-saturation of Christmas ads and syrupy happiness we see. I see that too, but the warmth and joy of the Season is too big to just brush aside. I don’t know where the magic of the season comes from for me. Maybe it’s the memories of Christmases when I was a child or the traditions I know have been handed down for generations. Maybe it’s the giving and forgetting of our differences to try to attain peace for just a brief time. Whatever it is (and it’s all of these things) it fills me with spirit that I can’t resist. But I don’t start too early, and I don’t let myself be bombarded by ever-present advertising and pressure. I pace myself with little meaningful bits and ground myself with real stories and genuine connections. That way it stands as strong as ever, and I peak my spirit on Christmas Day.  

What have I been up to? 

Friday at Neon Alley Bistro was so much fun, and the food was so tasty. It’s always an experience and a delight to be there and drink in the atmosphere that the folks exude. If you haven’t been you’re missing out on some of the best food in Pueblo and nicest folks around. My music seems to fit right in.  

Sunday night at the Littleton Museum for their Holidays Evening was really cool (atmosphere and temperature!) they really know how to put on a Christmas party, and I was thrilled to see family and friends from the Denver area out to celebrate the season. They had bonfires and cider and great cookies as well as fun stuff like Gus, the Yule Goat! I loved it! 

What’s up this week? 

Friday night I’m back at PDub Brewing 6-9 in Pueblo West. I’m enjoying my visits there and their seasonal beers like their pumpkin beer that I wasn’t sure I’d like but really enjoyed! Come on out for a beer and a sandwich with some cool holiday music.  

What’s on the horizon? 

I set up a really neat gig with the Pueblo Zoo on Wednesday, December 20th 5:20-8 to help them celebrate their nightly 15-23 and 26-30 ElectriCritters light display. I’ll be playing outdoors and indoors as well as broadcasting live online at concertwindow.com/tommunch to ring in the Christmas season starting with a live walk-around of the light display at 5:20, then after the gates open at 5:30 I’ll do a sing-along of Christmas tunes on their outdoor stage (if the weather is nice enough) from 5:45-6:45, and finally I’ll go inside to close out the evening with a fun and sweet Christmas concert from 7-8. I’m really looking forward to this and hope it’s something everyone will want to join in on. Dress warmly and bring your Christmas spirit. Prices are:  

Advance (bought before event hours):  
Non-member adult: $6 
Non-member child: $4 
  
Member adult: $4 
Member child: $3 

Regular (Bought during event hours):  
Non-member adult: $7 
Non-member child: $5 

Member adult: $5 
Member child: $4 

You can find more details on the Zoo's Facebook page facebook.com/pueblozoo, and they’ll also broadcast the walk-around on Facebook live at 5:20 that day.  

That’s it for this week. I’m really enjoying the season, and I hope you are too. Pace yourself and it can be a season to remember.  

Best always, 

Tom 

Details this week: 

Who: Tom Munch 
What: singing and playing 
Where: PDub Brewing Company Taproom, 181 S Purcell Blvd, Pueblo West, 719-647-8864 
When: Friday, December 15, 6-9 pm

Monday, December 4, 2017 - Joy of the Season 

Having done an online Christmas concert last night, I’m now really getting into the spirit of the holidays.  I know I’ve written about this before, but I really think of what this season brings to people emotionally and spiritually.  Traditionally it has been a time of togetherness and festivity no matter whether it was for Christmas, solstice, or any other number of religious and secular celebrations.  It is a time of short nights and colder days that lead to cabin fever and seasonal affective disorder as well.  I usually lean towards the festivity and sacred togetherness - finding comfort in the traditions of food and family and wonderful holiday music.  I’ve said before that Christmas music is very unique.  It is some of the only music that we all know so well that we can sing every word and share common emotions.  But I know that everyone can reflect on losses at the holidays and harder times, so sometimes this is brought up in us as well.  That’s okay.  There is a lot of pressure to be cheery and giving of yourself, and sometimes you have to manufacture these feelings in order to participate.  Funny thing is that sometimes that “manufacturing” is all it takes to get in the spirit.  So I encourage you to let yourself soak in the spirit and enjoy the holidays.  It’s a long winter with little festivities and some long, cold nights, so let’s be merry and enjoy each other and the festive traditions of the season. 

What have I been up to? 

Friday’s Christmas party was plenty of fun with some folks I haven’t seen in ages.  It was so good to reconnect and share some music and camaraderie. 

Saturday with the state reps from all over the West was a blast as well.  I ended up carrying a bunch of equipment all over the Broadmoor grounds and looking like a sherpa, but it was well worth it meeting new friends and sharing memories with old friends.  These western legislators have a penchant for great music like Ian Tyson and Tom Russell, so I had such a good time. 

Sunday’s online concert was super fun too.  If you missed it I did the concert from my brother and sister-in-law’s house with several friends in the living room all around me for a live audience.  It went very well and the audience of friends added an energy that was really special. 

What’s up this week? 

Friday I’m back at Neon Alley Bistro 6-9 for another evening of great food and atmosphere with good friends in the coolest alley full of neon signs that I’ve ever seen.  It is a very neat place.  The food is European with an emphasis on presentation and great taste.  They believe in making a meal a special experience, just like I like to do with my music, and so it seems too good to be true.  Come on out if you’re in the Pueblo area on Friday night. 

Sunday night 5:30-8 I’m playing at Littleton Museum Holiday’s Evening 2017.  I’m outside in a heated tent by the barn where there’ll be all kinds of warm goodies like apple cider, cinnamon, cookies, and hay rides.  It sounds like a good old-fashioned Christmas time, and I’m looking forward to it!  Details are on their Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/LittletonMuseum/.  I’d love to have you there if you’re in the Littleton area.  Ticket prices are: 
Friends of Littleton Museum Adult: $7.00  
Friends of Littleton Museum Child (2-16 yrs): $3.00 
General Public Adult: $10.00 
General Public Child (2-16 yrs): $4.00 
Call the museum if you have any questions - 303-795-3950 

That’s it for this week.  Enjoy the season, and I hope to see you soon! 

Best always, 
Tom 

Details this week: 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing 
Where:  Neon Alley Bistro, 304 S Victoria Ave Ste D, Pueblo, 719-299-4769 
When:  Friday, December 8, 6-9 pm

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing for Littleton Museum Holiday’s Evening 2017 
Where:  Littleton Museum, 6028 S Gallup St, Littleton, CO, 303-795-3950 
When:  Sunday, December 10, 5:30-8 pm

Monday, November 27, 2017 - Dreams 

I have the most interesting dreams, and quite often I think they are messages from the great beyond. I know that may sound odd, but let me tell you about them. I often dream about my dad since he passed 12 years ago. He usually just happens to be in the scene off to the side. I'll notice him in my peripheral vision, and he'll smile at me - letting me know he's always there and to keep on keepin' on. I've only dreamed about my mom once since she passed a couple years ago. She just "happened" to be in the scene too - letting me know again that everything was fine and to keep living life to the fullest. You won't believe who was in my dream last night - Dan Fogelberg. I was skiing with him, or rather watching him ski with gusto and joy. He was flying along in the powder, tumbling and laughing - reminding me that life is a joyous thing to be lived and loved. What a glorious way to be reminded! And as we rush into this holiday season I'm grateful to approach it with all the love and joy I can muster. And that's just my dreams of others. I also have flying dreams and other adventures. Do you dream like this? 

What have I been up to? 

Wednesday at the Zoo for the tree lighting ceremony was great fun! We had a big turnout and it was beautiful.  

Friday night at Neon Alley Bistro was quite nice. We had a good crowd, and it was a listening night with lots of requests and back-and-forth. I like that! 

Saturday I didn't end up playing at the Parade of Lights. The facility I was to play for had to cancel because the flu had struck many of the folks and staff. Unfortunately that happens as the seasons change each year. Hopefully everyone will have only a short bout with it.  

What am I up to this week? 

Friday night I'm playing a Christmas party at the VFW in Pueblo West. They seem like fine folks, and I'm looking forward to it.  

Saturday night I'm playing my annual show for the Council of State Governments. I enjoy meeting these public servants from all over the West and getting to share some cowboy music with them.  

Sunday I'll be online from our living room for my first-Sunday monthly concert. Well, hopefully it will be from our living room. We're having our flooring redone this week, and hopefully we'll have our living room put back together by Sunday. Either way it will be a fine night of Christmas music to kick off the season. Please tune in if you can - concertwindow.com/tommunch.  

That's it for this week. Don't forget if you're in the Denver area that I'm playing at the Littleton Museum for their Christmas celebration December 10 from 5:30-8. Details are on their Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/LittletonMuseum/.  

Best always, 

Tom 

Details of public gigs this week: 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing 
Where:  online at https://www.concertwindow.com/ 
When:  Sunday, December 3, 7-8ish pm MST

Monday, November 20, 2017 - How Much is Just Right? 

I’m trying to balance my gigs so that folks don’t get too much of me and my music, and it has me thinking of how we figure how much we decide to do every little thing in our lives. For my gigs it’s figuring how much to play in a certain town or venue before I reach saturation, but in life it's figuring how much we do almost any hobby or habit. How’s that? When I was younger I used to pick up a hobby or favorite place that I would overdo - wanting to go hiking or kite-flying or you-name-it all the time. I’d also do it with food - for me it was chips and salsa or popcorn (I still love these!) Luckily I never got addicted to anything like alcohol or drugs or tobacco. (That a whole other ball of wax.) But “everything in moderation” is good advice for anything in our lives, and obsession can lead to ruin even when it’s not addiction to a substance. As I’ve grown older I find that I tire of things more quickly, and so moderation is easier to attain. But I still get on a “kick” every now and then that fills a lot of my time. And my idea has now seemed to stray in this paragraph from how many gigs to do in a certain town or venue. Welcome to my thought process!  But I think you get the gist of where I’m going. A path taken too often will eventually become a rut. It’s an obvious piece of wisdom.  

What have I been up to? 

Last Friday at PDubs was a lot of fun. I had some good neighbors and friends come out, and we even dedicated the better part of a set to Chuck Pyle songs.  

What’s up this week? 

For Thanksgiving week I have several fun gigs.  

Wednesday evening 5:30-6:30 I’ll be playing for the very first Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Pueblo Zoo. There’ll be hot cocoa, adult beverages, and more. They’re also having a Gingerbread House Contest, and the houses will be on display before and after the ceremony. Tickets are $10 which also gets you 2 tickets to see the ElectriCritters lighting display. It should be a great evening. There’s more info here - http://www.pueblozoo.org/gingerbread 

Friday night I’m back at Neon Alley Bistro 6-9. We had such a great time 2 weeks ago when I played there, and I’m hoping we'll build on that as we go. The food and wine were superb, and the friendship was flowing. Come on out! It’s best to make a reservation since seating is limited 719-299-4769 

Saturday night I’ll be playing on a float for Brookdale El Camino Assisted Living at the Pueblo Parade of Lights. I’ve never done this before, and I expect it’ll be a blast leading the singing for everyone riding on the float. If you’re there give a cheer as we glide by! 

That’s it for this week. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

Best always, 

Tom 

Details this week: 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing for the Tree Lighting Ceremony 
Where:  Pueblo Zoo 
When:  Wednesday, November 22, 5:30-6:30 pm 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing 
Where:  Neon Alley Bistro, 304 S Victoria Ave Ste D, Pueblo, 719-299-4769 
When:  Friday, November 24, 6-9 pm

Monday, November 13, 2017 - Adapting 

We’ve been ripping up our house to put in new flooring - a consequence of our little kitty and her problems related to her illnesses. That means we have a lot of bare floors and everyday things that are put away as we pack them into rooms to clear the floors of the rooms we’re reflooring in phase one. The funny thing is how quickly we adapt to the changes. I’ve found this repeatedly in my life, and I’ve grown to like change although it comes harder with age. I used to purposely change things regularly just to experience something different. I did this with guitar techniques, software programs, and how I arranged my stuff. Of course, you don’t do this when you’re under the gun to finish a project and need everything in its place, but the brain’s ability to adapt to changes amazes me and delights me. And I think it keeps us young to some extent - encouraging our brain to use its plasticity to create new pathways and connections. They say our brain can continue to grow and expand into our old age if we stimulate it. I think this is true - even with new ideas and philosophies to ponder. I find that my life is a continuous balance of habit and discovery, and I love it! 

What have I been up to? 

Last Friday was an absolute blast at Neon Alley Bistro. We had a packed house for my first time there, and I really enjoyed the people, the food, and the vibe of the place. We’re talking about doing a couple times a month there, so stay tuned! 

Last Saturday was a really cool show at the Veterans home in Walsenburg. The TV themes and commercials were so much fun to reminisce on, and the audience contributed mightily to the trivia and memories.  

What’s up this week? 

Friday 6-9 I’m back at PDub Brewing Company in Pueblo West. I’m really enjoying my nights at PDubs, and I’m loving the beer and sandwiches. Hopefully I’ll have Brad sit in this week. Please come out and join in the fun if you can! 

That’s it for this week. I hope you have wonderful plans for Thanksgiving. I’m playing for the tree lighting at the Pueblo Zoo the night before Thanksgiving, and then I’m on a float at the Parade of Lights that Saturday, so I’m going to make the most of Thanksgiving myself.  

Best always, 

Tom 

Details this week: 

Who: Tom Munch 

What: singing and playing 

Where: PDub Brewing Company Taproom, 181 S Purcell Blvd, Pueblo West, 719-647-8864 

When: Friday, November 17, 6-9 pm

Monday, November 6, 2017 - Experimentation 

I wanted to write a little bit about experimentation this week.  I’ve found in my life that I’ve always loved experimenting with just about every aspect of my existence - from how I walk to what computer programs and mobile apps I use.  I think I’m kind of an amateur scientist in this respect.  I like looking at the nth degree and tiniest detail of how something is done and then tweaking it slightly to see how it changes.  It’s part of the amazement and wonder I see in this world - how there is beauty and meticulous interaction in every little part of our world.  And beyond the fascination there is often a benefit to slightly adjusting things because it makes our life better.  I see this experimentation in everything I do, but I particularly see it in my guitar playing.  There are an infinite number of ways you can make sound with a string from different attack, different material to pluck with, and playing with the rhythm in minute ways.  It’s mind boggling and so much fun!  How about you?  Do you like to experiment? 

What have I been up to?  

Last night’s first-Sunday online concert was just a blast!  I had so many of you fine folks tuning in and sending me messages.  I hope you liked the songs I played.  Can’t wait for next month’s show.  I said I might do random shows some months, and I might just do that sometime soon.  I have a hankering to do some themed shows like cowboy and standards. 

What’s up this week? 

Saturday 2-3 I’m playing a show at the Spanish Peaks Veterans Community Living Center in Walsenburg with my friends, Ken Saydak, Sherri Kraxberger, Joe Camacho, and Sherry Pacheco.  I love playing these shows for the vets, and we’ve come up with a really fun one this year - we’re doing old television show themes and commercials and a few old songs including a tribute to Fats Domino.  It has been a gas putting together this show, and I hope the vets get as much fun out of the performance as we have had putting it together.  Thank you for your service, veterans! 

What’s beyond? 

I’m talking to a few new places to play, and I’m excited about the prospects.  I’ll let you know when I have concrete dates.   

I have more details about my Denver gig December 10.  I’m playing at the Littleton Museum 5:30-8 for their “A Holiday Evening at the Littleton Museum” event. I’ll be performing at the 1890's farm at the entrance to the barn.  I’ll be in a tent with heaters, and there’ll be hot cider and goodies, so if you’re in Denver come on out for a fun evening of Christmas celebration.  There should be more info at their website soon.  https://www.littletongov.org/city-services/city-departments/museum 

That’s it for this week.  Time to go out and experiment! 

Best always, 

Tom 

Update - Gig this Friday 6-9 at Neon Alley Bistro 

I just booked a gig Friday that I’m excited about and want to share with you all. I’m playing at a new venue called Neon Alley Bistro in Pueblo 6-9. Neon Alley is a wonderful room with great acoustics, a nice stage, wonderful folks, and very interesting and tasty food. Pellumb and Joette, the folks who are running it, love making good food and providing an inviting atmosphere. The location is where La Luna and the Songbird were previously. Check out their Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/NeonAlleyBistro/ This could be the start of a beautiful friendship! 

Details: 

Who:  Tom Munch 

What:  playing and singing 

Where:  Neon Alley Bistro, 304 S Victoria Ave Ste D, Pueblo, 719-299-4769 

When:  Friday, November 10, 6-9 pm

More entries at my Blogger page - http://tommunch.blogspot.com/