Polka Madre
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Polka Madre

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Discography

Infausta Noticia, 2006
Casa Donde, 2007 ('Circo del Siglo' on Mexican radio)
TBA, 2009

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Bio

The story begins when Eric Bergman (vocals, guitar, mandolin), a Finn raised in America and schooled
in England, met Marina de Ita (keyboards, accordion) while traveling through Mexico D.F. in early 2004. The two began performing minimal and melancholy music at the weekly Jueves de Kramer, an underground arts night in a warehouse space on the city’s underdeveloped south side. A rotating cast of barflies and bohemians would join them on stage, and their music coalesced around something sinister, drunken, and Eastern European, elegantly stumbling between
klezmer, polka, and circus music.

After a few months the police shut down the Jueves de Kramer, but Eric and Marina had built up a solid repertoire and recruited Enrique Perez (clarinet), a classically-trained virtuoso who was eager to push the boundaries of his training by delving into the occult underbellies of jazz and the avant-garde. Over the next year, Eric, Marina, and Enrique herded a rotating cast of musicians of varying levels of talent and sobriety across Mexico and Europe. After a year and a half of hard touring, Polka Madre became a steady quintet, with punk rock train-hopper Andrew Cameron (U.S.A., bass), and highly-trained percussionist Raymundo Vera filling out the rhythm section. The band members turned over their lives to music, quitting their day jobs and living on tortillas and onion soup from gig to gig.

Live shows grew increasingly theatrical, incorporating false moustaches, equal parts shirtlessness and dandy-hood, and liberal dabs of alcohol-scented sweat. Their audience grew alongside their ambitions, and they regularly drew 500-strong crowds around Mexico. In spring 2006, Polka Madre recorded their debut full-length, Infausta Noticia, and took off on a 40-stop U.S. tour to promote the album, followed by multi-month jaunts around Mexico and Europe that kept the band busy well into 2007.

When Polka Madre weren’t touring, they were busy assimilating the wide array of influences that they had encountered during their travels. The band had spent three months mingling with members of New York’s gypsy-punk scene and toured Mexico with backbeat-heavy hillbilly revivalists the Can Kickers. Their rhythm section stepped up its tempos to take on a punk-rock furor, while Marina and Enrique crafted multi-faceted melodies that touched down all over Europe and Latin America, and Eric tied it all together with simple song structures and cryptic imagery. Their next album, Casa Donde, is as timeless and out-of-time as the
crowd of shantytown-dwelling nacos, glue-huffing punkeros, and fresa art-scenesters that walk the chilango streets.

After touring the USA twice in 2008 the band settled in New York City and currently are recording at the famed Vibromonk Studios (Balkan Beat Box, Gogol Bordello, etc.) They landed on their feet with producer Dan Shaltzky and are crafting what they promise to be 'movingly melancholy dance music--immaculately strange and new'.

The album will be mixed by Tamir from Balkan Beat Box in Israel. The band has organized distribution in Mexico, the UK and Finland. They are searching for a label in the USA.

Next will be a full summer tour of Europe in 2009 and a return to New York City.

Time Out NYC said, "The Mexican polka-punk outfit focuses on only the rowdiest, most party-friendly aspects of each genre and in the process, practically commands the audience to its feet.