Dancetime with the Jim Bochnicek Orchestra

Papio Records

Where I dug it up: Amoeba dollar bin


Track list, faves in bold

A1. Don’t Kid Me
A2. Beautiful Song
A3. Hard to Get
A4. Grandmother’s Joy
A5. For Me
A6. Red Red Robin
B1. Circling Pigeons
B2. Outside
B3. Boo Hoo
B4. Rose Blossom
B5. Povidam
B6. Elephant
C1. Gray Mountains
C2. Sonny’s
C3. Clock on the Steeple
C4. Girl Medley
C5. Enchanted Woods
C6. Medley Number One
D1. From Cottage to Castle
D2. Oldtime Waltz Medley
D3. Spring Awakening
D4. When I Was Single
D5. Never Say Never Again
D6. Pan Handle

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this polka record is the strangest thing on vinyl that I own. Certainly is more unexpected
than any other genre- at the very least I can explain my love for the experimental deep house records and the weird alternative rock 45s I’ve picked up (using the most literal definition of alternative here). Polka is just hard to not laugh at, but I think I’ve learned how to laugh with it instead.

I won’t pretend to have an undying love for this record. It’s old polka music, with tubas and jazz drums and more horns and more percussion, and isn’t something I’m necessarily used to. But it’s difficult to ignore the influence that this genre has had on another of my unlikely favorites: fifties-era easy listening, such as Moonglow. Brass sections were far more popular back in the day, and the upbeat nature of Dancetime is matched by the softer and slower nuance of Moonglow. To compare it to television, if the Dan Luboff Choir gives us Days of Our Lives, then the Jim Bochnicek Orchestra is our Mary Hartman Mary Hartman- funny, but not widely known anymore due to its peculiarity.

Strange or not, this is some well-written polka music. And with two full LPs there is no shortage of material. I should throw a dance party, where everyone learns to dance the waltz. Who wants to RSVP?

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