Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Polka News Network: It's big in Cleveland

Remember the Grammys declaring they had no room for polka? You must do, we've been going on about it all year.

The Grammys are so far out of it, it ain't true. Polka is KING, says the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

The idea was to host a Sunday polka brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hire the cutting-edge Chardon Polka Band headed up by 20-year-old Jake Kouwe. (More on him later.) Charge a reasonable $12 a person. Get the Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame to co-sponsor the event. Bring in professional dance teacher Valerie Salstrom from Get Hep Swing for the slow folks and newbies. Teach them how to polka. And do the Slovenian Slide and the Polish Hop. And, of course, throw in the requisite Bloody Marys, eggs, bacon, home fries and French toast.

See what happens.

Advance sales weren't so great. Maybe 25 tickets, tops, sold in advance. OK, not such a great idea after all. Back to the drawing board. Don't get your hopes up.

But at 11 a.m. on Jan. 17, there was a line of people all the way down the street waiting to get into the polka brunch. More than 200 people turned out. More staff was called in. Extra food had to be made. The kitchen went crazy. People of all ages ate and danced. Punks, grandparents and school kids all cut the rug. The music was great. An event was born.

The one in February sold out, too. Same thing happened in March. It seems that lately in Cleveland, Polka rocks.

Is there any other music which works better accompanied by French Toast? It seems unlikely.

[Thanks to Laura B, who suggested the story via No Rock on Facebook]