Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Polka Monsters

By popular demand (well, somebody asked for it, I think it was Fred), here is a video clip of my family polka band performing at my son’s wedding recently. That’s my dad and my brother, “the enforcer”, playing saxophone, my nephews Billy and Mike playing percussion with Billy on the drums, and yours truly on the accordion. The DJ dubbed us The Polka Monsters and the name stuck.

Please be kind if you want to critique. It’s been a while since the family band has performed in public and we really didn’t have a chance to practice altogether as a group. We played four polkas and a couple slow numbers with my father singing Sentimental Journey and Jak Szybko Mijaja Chwile (How Quickly Time Passes) in Polish. Between numbers, dad also sang an impromptu version of The Polish National Anthem in Polish. That was a bit of a surprise.

Greg’s new brother-in-law Tony told me afterwards that one of his relatives wanted to request the Beer Barrel Polka when we started our set. Tony replied that we hadn’t practiced that much and didn’t have a big repertoire. His relative replied, “If they’re a polka band, they know Roll Out the Barrel.”

He was right. Our big finale polka was Roll Out The Barrel with special guest drummer my nephew Vic, the Enforcer’s son. (But then we had to play an encore, which is the video here). Afterwards, Tony’s kin came up to him and said, “See. I told ya they'd know it.”


Blogger Big Dave T said...

Hmmmmm, just testing as my comment tag seems to appear and disappear here for some reason. That's what I get for trying something new and posting a video here, I guess.

6:24 AM  
Blogger jan said...

what a fun family you are in. Anyone can hire a DJ, but to have live music is special.

7:04 AM  
Anonymous cassie-b said...

t sounds like the wedding was a wonderful success.

7:50 AM  
Blogger Lynilu said...

By gum, you *can* play that thing!! Dang!!

11:00 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

JAN--It used to be that wedding bands were all that you heard. Now wedding bands are the rare bird.

CASSIE--Well, let's just hope the marriage is as successful as the wedding. You never know these days.

LYNILU--I thought I heard a few sour notes, but I think that was the Enforcer on the sax.

6:43 PM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Well,,,,, that was interesting... I wish you had shown us some of your dad singing... Really, it is nice that your family can play music together....

7:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great video, actually probably one of the greatest video productions of all time. I noticed that stellar camera work and great commentary on the action. Kudos to you. Also, what's with this Fantasy Football smack talk on the youtube video, I believe it's only May?

8:34 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

I loved it! They were great. The "Polka Monsters" are a force to be reckoned with.

Can you send one of the 8x10 glossies this way?

1:49 PM  
Blogger Carine said...

all right Dave-what a lot of fun every one had and for such a good event!!!

3:03 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

LUCY--Unfortunately, this was the only video that I know was taken. And it was the only song where none of us sang.

ANONYMOUS--The video was taken by a member of the groom's party. I had bought a special chip for my camera so I could take video of my own, but it totally slipped my mind. So I'm grateful for this one.

FRED--You really think we're that good? Hamtramck, here we come!!

CARINE--It's always fun to get up there and play like that with the family. You wouldn't know it by the looks on our faces. We look so serious. I really do need to work on smiling more.

5:54 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

That was great Dave... The guy on the squeeze box drowned the others out a bit... someones gotta take over the show though don't they.
Hope your birthday was a good one.

7:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tiger Woods here, the band sounds great. Are you for hire?

3:02 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

PETER--I just remember the last time the family band performed at a wedding, I was the one who got drowned out. Wasn't going to happen at my son's affair.

ANONYMOUS--Sure. Contact 'The Enforcer' for open dates on our schedule.

9:32 AM  
Blogger Betty said...

Wow- I never knew it was possible to drown out a saxophone- much less TWO saxophones- by any means whatsoever.

Then again, I haven't had much accordian exposure either, until now.

I was impressed that you played from memory. How did you learn to play this instrument and these tunes?

The saxophones, when they did manage to cut through, sounded like kazoos!

It's going to take me a while to completely absorb this...


12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


1:14 AM  

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