January 9, 2009

VA: Polka Comes to Your Haus!

Polka Comes to Your Haus!: this one's a mixed bag but I'm posting it on the strength of the 3 Polkacide tracks.

Polkacide, founded in 1985 by Ward Abronski, was originally organized to play a one-night stand for the 50th anniversary of the Deaf Club in San Francisco. The Deaf Club (which actually is a club for deaf people) had been hiring rock and punk bands to perform for them because they were so loud that club members could dance to them. It was suggested that some of the more elderly members did not want a punk band for the anniversary show. This inspired Abronski to form a "really loud polka band" for the occasion. None of the original members (12 in all) were polka musicians at the time, but they had varied backgrounds in music, including classical, rock, punk and jazz. Clarinetist Neil Kaitner, a.k.a Neil Basa, came up with the name for the band and also designed the band logo, which features a skull and crossed sausages.

Band members were recruited, costumes made (black leather lederhosen with spikes, etc.,) and a repertoire of classic polkas learned in a three-month period leading up to the Deaf Club's 50th anniversary party. One week before the performance was to take place, it was canceled due to noise abatement orders from local authorities. Rather than let their efforts go to waste, the band determined to play at least one performance and managed to be included in a punk show at the Mabuhay Gardens in San Francisco, a major punk venue at the time. Polkacide played loud, fast polkas at a thrashing punk tempo while mowhawk-headed punks stage dived and moshed in the pit along with the punk-dirndl clad Polka Sluts who turned out in support of the band.

Members of other bands that performed that night at the Mabuhay were still talking and laughing about it when they went to play other venues later that week, and word spread to booking agents and club owners about the "Punk Polka Band" Polkacide. The band has been playing ever since.

1. Blue Polka - Rotondi
2. Do Something Different - Brave Combo
3. Ecstasy of the Martyr- The Romaniacs
4. Big City Polka - The Wallets
5. The Last Words of Sigmund Freud- Brave Combo
6. Polka Polka- Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper
7. Nichts Nein Frankenstein- Das Furliners
8. Simple Music for Simple Minds- Mark Shurilla and the Black Holes
9. Blitzkrieg over Kenosha- Mark Shurilla and the Black Holes
10. That's Why God Invented the Polka- Polish Muslims
11. Martha Polka- Polkacide
12. Favorite Polka- Polkacide
13. Butterfly Polka- Polkacide

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