Allow me to introduce myself. Gus Polinski. How are you? Polka King of the Midwest? The Kenosha Kickers? No? That’s okay, I thought you might have recognized…anyways. I had a few hits a few years ago, that’s why I, you know…”Polka, Polka, Polka”? Polka, polka, polka! No? “Twin Lakes Polka”? “Domavougi Polka (A.K.A. Kiss Me Polka)”? “Polka Twist”?
These are songs? Yah, and the Milwaukee Polka Riot is an “alternative polka festival” coming to Sabbatic Saturday, September 8. The second annual fest—once again organized by Summerfest’s Rebel Music Stage and Cream City Media—will feature hip-hop polka bands, Brazilian-inspired polka bands, hardcore polka bands, and more. There will be stages both inside and outside Sabbatic, drink and food specials (including complimentary designated-driver root beer sodas from Sprecher Brewery), a raffle, and between-band tunes from DJ Brümeister. The fun starts at 4 p.m. The theme is “Under the Polish Moon.” It’s free.
Who’s playing? So far, the lineup includes Apolkalypse WOW! (Kansas City), Forró Fo Sho (Madison), November Criminals (Milwaukee), and Preomnor (Milwaukee). More bands will be announced in the upcoming weeks.
So yeah: buckle up, Milwaukee, for the second coming of “America’s first, and only, alternative polka festival.” (Not to be confused with Weird Al’s “Alternative Polka” medley, from his seminal 1996 album Bad Hair Day.)