Remember in the ‘90s when a bunch of punky ska bands like Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Reel Big Fish were briefly popular with the mainstream?
These may have been the most 90’s bands to ever 90’s.
And then there were all these retro swing acts like Royal Crown Revue that also were briefly popular with the mainstream? Who would have thought, right? Trombone players never had it so good.
And then, remember when that huge wave of polka and polka variants came through and wiped out all memory of what had come before?
First came polka-core with its dirge-like guitar riffs and angst-filled lyrics. Next was polka-hop with dope beats and MCs spitting rhymes about crime, sex, money and the lack of beer in heaven. Polka house brought the music to the club kids while simultaneously taking it back to its dance roots.
I’ll take “Things that never happened” for 500, Alex.
OK, so you might remember the swing bands and the ska bands, although I’m still not convinced I didn’t hallucinate Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.
But polka has yet to shine in its moment in the sun. Its reach for the brass ring continues to exceed its grasp. We thanked Polka for its submission but it did not meet our needs at that time.
So we’re guessing the mainstream is only vaguely, if at all, aware that January is National Polka Music month.
We may have gone a little overboard coming up with memes for this post.
We’re also guessing polka is just fine with that.
Only Texas’ long-lived Brave Combo and pop parodist “Weird Al” Yankovic seem interested in exposing polka to audiences beyond the beer gardens and VFW facilities.
And now, a complete playlist of every polka song Weird Al made. Now you know what you’ll be listening to on the drive home.
Good for Al and the Combo for caring enough about the music to play it and share it with others. But good for polka as well for NOT caring about its place in the contemporary world of pop.
Polka doesn’t want to be remixed, remastered or re-recorded. It’s not putting out a special edition for Record Store Day. It won’t do a split single with your band. It won’t put you on the guest list.
Polka graciously accepts being given its own month but deep down knows it doesn’t matter.
Polka will continue to be played by polka-loving musicians for polka-loving audiences in polka-friendly venues.
You want polka? Fine. Good for you. But remember this: Polka doesn’t come to you. You go to polka. And before you go, fix yourself up a little. Comb your hair. Wear something nice.
You know polka would do the same for you.
And as we all know, this is the proper attire to wear when it’s time for polka.