Saturday, September 14, 2013

A Polka in the Eye With a Sharp Stick

OK, let's just start with the name: Stanley Polaski and His Orchestra. Polaski? For a polka record? Really? Surely that's a nome de recording for some faceless studio musicians. (OTOH, there is a record of a Stanley Polaski of about the right age who lived in Pittsburgh, and given the title of the first song, I suppose anything is possible). Stanley doesn't even get credit on the front or back covers, just on the disc label, so I doubt that he was a well (or even semi)-known bandleader of the era.

Regardless, this is fine music for your next beer tasting - just don't serve any of that American mass-produced horse urine.

Stanley Polaski and His Orchestra - Beer and Pretzel Polkas

A1 Pennsylvania Polka 2:10
A2 Gretchen Polka 2:15
A3 May Wine Polka 2:00
A4 Black Forest Polka 2:30
A5 Rhinelander Polka 2:45
A6 Zwei Hertzen Polka 3:25
B1 Margaret Polka 2:05
B2 Pretty Anna Polka 2:40
B3 Fritzel's Polka 2:40
B4 Beer & Pretzel Polka 2:35
B5 Happy Life Polka 2:45
B6 Essen Polka 2:10

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Don't String Me Along

With about 200 albums to their name, 101 Strings are one of the most prolific album recording acts in history. They even had a #1 album in the UK. Most of their albums are sheer schmaltz/dross, but some are fairly cool exotica-influenced recordings. This one falls somewhere in the middle, as it's making a stab at hipness, but is afraid to take the full plunge. It's over-riding theme seems to be "We'll make the kids like classical music by putting a drum set underneath it." (Hmm, that reminds me...) I can't imagine that anyone in the target audience actually bought this disc, though.

If you're gonna have "back beat" in the name, you need to have the drums up in the mix.

I can't listen to the whole thing at one sitting - those glistening strings set off my tinnitus.

101 Strings - Back Beat Symphony

A1 Swingin' At Igors
A2 Backbeat Symphony
A3 Choppin' Chopin
A4 New World Rock
A5 Rigoletto Rock
B1 Romeo And Juliet
B2 Swingin' Little Martha
B3 Sherabop
B4 Twangy Serenade
B5 Strings At The Hop