Saturday, January 19, 2013

WNYC's John Schaefer Features "Polka From The Fringe" on New Sounds

WNYC's John Schaefer recently featured Guy Klucevsek's "Polka From The Fringe" re-release from Starkland on his popular New Sounds show, revealing interesting background and insights from Guy about this unusual project and airing numerous pieces. John recalls "I loved these albums the first time around," noting that "Polka From The Fringe topped my Top Ten for the year." He adds, "It's great to have those albums, which have long been out of print, back as a single 2-CD set." John introduces this show:
"Accordionist and composer Guy Klucevsek stops by for a visit, on the occasion of the reissue of 'Polka From the Fringe,' 29 previously out-of-print tracks for accordion by Klucevsek and 27 other composers.  With titles like Lois V Vierk's 'Attack Cat Polka,' or Elliott Sharp's jolt of punk in 'Happy Chappie Polka,' there's a bit of playful wackiness to the collection, yet also some loveliness -  like William Duckworth's 'Polking Around' and Peter Garland's 'Club Nada Polka.'

"For this New Sounds, hear music for the project by Carl Finch (of Brave Combo - the 'nuclear polka band' out of Denton, TX), the hilarious contribution from Fred Frith - 'The Disinformation Polka,' as well as music by Klucevsek himself, 'The Grass, it is Blue.' "
Other composers heard include Guy de Bievre, Bobby Previte, Mary Jane Leach, Tom Cora, Robin Holcomb, and Bill Obrecht. Here's the full show:

John has hosted New Sounds ("The No. 1 radio show for the Global Village" - Billboard) since 1982, and WNYC has the largest public radio audience in the United States. His diverse guests have included David Byrne, Meredith Monk, and Ravi Shankar.

The shows echoes some other enthusiastic responses to the release. At Sequenza 21, Jay Batzner wrote:
"This double-disc set is a heck of a lot of fun... What I really love about the disc is, well, everything I suppose. You can tell that the composers had a good time writing these pieces... full of joy, pleasure, and talent."
Frank Oteri at New Music Box remarks:
"The music turns on a dime from track to track [from] sheer loveliness [to] relentless experimentalism [to] out and out zaniness... the next time someone comes up to you claiming to be able to define new music, tell him or her to listen to these recordings."

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Two other Guy Klucevsek releases can be found in Starkland's catalog: "Transylvanian Softwear" (awarded a "Recording of Special Merit" at Stereo Review) and "Free Range Accordion" (with music from Burt Bacharach, Lars Hollmer, Aaron Jay Kernis, Jerome Kitzke, Klucevsek, Stephen Montague, Somei Satoh, and Lois V Vierk).