Friday, June 3, 2011

Kraut Disco Comes To Mountaindale, Courtesy of German Band "Pollyester "

It's a pleasant, sunny day here in Mountaindale, I was doing some work in the office when Ken Schmitt comes up to me and says, "There's a band doing some video work over in the old school house. Want to go over to get a few pictures? Do a little article for the blog?"

"Sure, be happy to, be nice to get outside for a bit, breathe some fresh air."

A few hours later, I bid a fond farewell to the members of the band, smiled to myself as again I marveled at our quiet little hamlet and its ability to bring the most interesting stories and people into our community. Seriously, who would think going over to an old school house to take a few pictures would spiral into a tale worthy of Robert Jordan as I found myself exposed to, "The Church of The Little Green Men," a new kind of music niche known as "Kraut Disco," and a band, "Pollyester," who had trav-eled clear across the world from Munich, Germany to visit our small community, record some music at the local recording studio of Josh Druckman, shoot part of a music video in our long ago abandoned school.

In speaking with the members of the band (Polly, hence Pollyester, Manu and member of the band [Quentin, who was not there] and their video producer Tobias) my first question after formal introductions were made was, "What kind of music do you play?"

Manu spoke, offering up, Kraut Rock, Beni chiming in that more specifically they filled a niche known as Kraut Disco. I'm old school, preferring Vanilla Fudge, Grandfunk Railroad, The Beatles, Uriah Heep from back in the day, or more specially, back in my time, my youth when I would head over to the Woolworth Five & Dime to purchase the latest LP or Vinyls as they were known...God, has it really been that long ago, am I seriously that OLD?...Yes to both of those rhetorical questions. So, once home, had to run to Google to do a search on "Kraut Disco".

I knew "Kraut Disco" was a very specific NICHE MARKET when my Google search turned up NO WIKI PAGE (thinking "Pollyester" should start one) on this style of music. I did though find a few Facebook Pages, and a visit to the band's own web page gave me a window into their music. If you are thinking John Travolta, and "Saturday Night Fever" nothing could be further from the truth...Kraut Disco (Rock) seems far more raw, primal in it's beats and rhythms, exploring, experimental, the music drawing you in, evoking other worldly feelings, ones that make you want to move...a native dancing around a fire as errant sparks find their way into the heavens. At other times, the beat reminds one of dance clubs, or perhaps Vegas Show Girls about to perform, stylized, organized...almost like a religion.

Which perhaps is how the conversation got around to organized religion, and the current project that had brought them all this way, "Pollyester Parking Lot 2" being prepared for an installation in Munich Germany, and "The Church of the Little Green Men". Speaking with members of the band, but more specifically their soulful singer, Polly, you get the sense of spirits searching, exploring, reaching beyond society's precepts, concepts and barriers as they each, individually and collectively, look to define, understand and shape their spiritual journey on this plane, and on the ones to come as their souls reach their destiny, traveling through the heavens and the cosmos beyond. Art imitating life and vice versa, their music like their personal quest...experimental, exploring in scope as they seek out, define the who of themselves.

Polly's spirit sparkled when talking about their new album, "Earthly Powers" which suggests heavenly powers do exist. She spoke eloquently about organized religion, about the critical comments and debates on church, all it's various and unique religions that make up the whole, suggested that the most important question we must ask ourselves is, "Do we need the Church?"

That, though a societal question of sorts, is a very personal question. Polly's eyes showed both mischief and wonder as she contemplated, and then as if sharing an epiphany stumbled upon in the making of the bands latest album expounded upon personal choice and interpretation. She was talking about "Pollyester's" music, while at the same time speaking of something much more grand. We have both right and responsibility to explore, define the limitations which will define our own spiritual paths in this life. Will we allow the gravity of this world to define, limit who we are, constrain our growth in the spirit, or instead will we unshackle our souls, let the who of ourselves soar into the cosmos to commune with the stars in the heavens above? A societal question, but a very personal one as well.

Enter the "Church of the Little Green Men" the bands desire to see such a church breathed into life in their native Germany. The church is an interesting place, performance art, one man's dream, a place where kindred souls can all commune in one short, in the eyes of many, a church, a place of disorganized organized religion where one is free to define just what it all means for themselves free of the constructs found in most houses of worship. I am told such a church simply could not exist in Germany, while thinking, "The Spirit is found anywhere that two or three are gathered together in his name" musing to myself...this band, it's five members (including the one I did not meet) have already found and created their own "Church of the Little Green Men" in Munich Germany" as they commune one with the other making music...they just have not yet manifested that church into a structural building, but this writer is sure that day is coming.