25 June, 2009

Staring at a flying monkey in my local library

I should be hard at work, seeing as I have set aside this time to finish some compulsory summer projects, but instead I find myself staring out the windows willing the giant rain clouds to hold their rains back just until I take my fifteen minute walk to work (my raincoat is good, but it cannot withstand deluge after deluge, especially during the summer months). There also happens to be this odd flying monkey installment art placed ever so precariously on the ledge next to me, and I keep waiting for it to jump off and fly away.

If you are in a similar position, where procrastination has gotten out of hand, I would recommend taking this potentially "wasted" time, and applying it another activity. Maybe even listening to a new polka album? Maybe?

If you choose to take my advice, I have just the polka album for you: Apolkalypse Now by Polkastra. Looking at the iTunes reviews I learned two things about this music: 1) it is incredibly fun to listen to, and very family friendly; and 2) most people think they hate polka music! This is such a sad realization for me. Granted, I have never been a huge fan, but I love klezmer music and gypsy jazz, and polka has always kind of pulled in a close third on that list of the eccentric and otherworldly.

For the polka beginner, Apolkalypse Now is a wonderful, lighthearted introduction to an extremely playful genre of music. Take for example "Clarinet Polka" which falls as song number five on the album, and which you or your children may recognize as the backing music for the "Candy Mountain Cave" song from that YouTube classic Charlie [the Unicorn] goes to Candy Mountain. But seriously, this stuff is good! "Light As A Feather Polka" reminds me most strongly of the circus music that plays during the clown acts, and sometimes when the parade is going on near the end of the show (I have been to my fair share of circuses). "Anta, Romnyev, Mure Roulya" is a slinky, sexy, polka march that sounds like a kind of desert soundtrack. "Flying Gypsy Polka" is a gorgeous accordion and string-heavy whirl that will certainly have you foot-tapping (even when you are in that "quiet study" section of the library, and the woman studying for the bar exam next to you is shooting dirty looks in your direction. Hey, maybe she could use a little injection of Polkastra to jump start her studying!)

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