(Image from the Marquette Tribune)
You don't really notice idiosyncrasies in the places you grow up until you leave and come back. I grew up in Milwaukee (yes it is Algonquin for "the good land.") I spent the holidays there this past week. Beer is big, sausages are big, Polka is big... kind of. We sang Polka songs at baseball games, 'long side Take me out to the Ballgame.
I went to a clubbing district in downtown to meet up with friends and all the buildings were in an old German style, including bars advertised as German Beer Halls, mixed in with trendy lounges with Italian names (not an homage to the city's Italian community a few miles away.) I went to my grandmother's house and learned the names of the towns where the ancestors on my mother's side immigrated from (in release of submission to the King of Prussia.) The German immigrants who came to Wisconsin in the late 19th and mid 20th century tried hard to erase their connections to their old world, but culture doesn't disappear. Sometimes it's just what you do that makes you who you are.
I got put on to Schlachthofbronx through the Masala crew not too long ago. This German crew is doing a great job updating their folk musical roots. It makes me hope that maybe some kid in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin will hear this and get inspired to make some crunked up Polka. The intro to this tune makes me feel like I'm at a Brewers game:
And speaking of crunked up Polka:
La Niña Fresa (Remix)
Banda-Juke-Cumbia courtesy Banda Zeta