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Feb. 16, 2010
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Richard LaValliere has traipsed through a few musical genres since his pioneering Milwaukee punk and post-punk bands, The Haskels and Oil Tasters. The name of his latest band offers a clue as to LaValliere's unforgotten Brewtown roots. Brooklyn, N.Y.’s Polkafinger revives the idea of melding Eastern European folk dance music to punk sensibilities.

That idea has been manifesting in various guises since the early ’80s, but singer/bassist LaValliere and the two women accompanying him on keyboards and drums get especially crazed, and occasionally puerile, at fusing their constituent elements into a fresh approach. Pump organ and celesta tones wail alongside percussion possessing the ferocity of ’80s hardcore, klezmer and regional Mexican duranguense.

Songs about Internet porn and unattended luggage aren't apt to give the 'Finger a mainstream polka following, but oldies and originals concerning favorite topics like sausage and beer could make it happen.


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