Playing music allows you to make these incredible connections, and when you’re part of a lesser-known scene the connections can happen so fast. Getting to know Alex Meixner and Carl Finch (Brave Combo), for example, has been virtually automatic just because we “get” each other and because this dumb band released like three polkas when no-one else was doing it. Singing shanties with Brice-Glace and The Silver Darlings last summer. Blasting out an epic show with Days n Daze a few weeks ago in Vancouver. It just happens.
So when we made that Substack post about OG Polka-Punks Polkacide a month ago, we tagged them in it, hoped one of them might see it and get a chuckle, and moved on. After all, while Polkacide were amazing, they don’t have a huge presence online or anything. So far as I know, there is no Polkacide album anywhere on Tidal, Pandora, Youtube Music, Apple Music, Spotify, etc. They didn’t seem like the types to necessarily be reading what we wrote.
Then, astonishingly, the band’s manager “Polkamomma” contacted me out of the blue, asked for an address, sent me a fucking amazing out of print t-shirt and a CD… and then did something really amazing. Something that makes me feel like doing this Substack/outreach thing is totally worth it:
She gave us permission to digitally release their second recorded album, “Hardcore 2/4”, using our own The Dreadnoughts record label. WAAAAAAAAAAA
And we’ve just finished negotiations on splits for digital revenue, and I’m happy to report that we’ve settled on an agreed monetary division for the band and for our label: whatever/whogivesafuck. My idea is to take whatever revenues there are every year and buy some wannabe-player somewhere in the world a new accordion plus 4 lessons.
Should be available for listening in 6-8 weeks, we’ll let ya know.
And look, I get it: Spotify and Apple aren’t cool, they’re just part of the vast array of multinational tech conglomerates conspiring together to ruin the world (really; I mean that non-sarcastically). So obviously it would be super cool and punk if Polkacide were just a unique 80s San Francisco scene band who left a few thousand LPs and CDs strewn around in aging collections, recordings destined for trash heaps in 25-50 years when fans finally start kicking the bucket. That happens to a lot of bands, and it’s kind of part of their story.
But it won’t happen to Polkacide, not if the Dreadnoughts have anything to damn well do with it. Because here’s the thing, in whatever bizarre fucked up world teenage kids grow up in 50 years from now, I want one of them to be hunting around for inspiring music from the past, to stumble on this weird thing called polka-punk, and to be able to hear “Hardcore 2/4” in its astonishing, magnificent glory. Going digital is the only chance for that to happen.
“Polka Never Dies” isn’t something that’s automatically true. We all have to make it true, one day at a time. LET’S GO.
Dude, those last two sentences got me pumped the fuck up! I can’t wait to hear their second record; i snagged the first one on vinyl after you y post about them and I’m blown away how great it is. How awesome that you guys get to be the ones to set it free into the world!
Brilliant can’t imagine a better partner. Love your idea of paying it forward