Monday, November 19, 2012


Yesterday was Volkstrauertag. One of the somber, brass-choir style tunes we played at Golden Gate National Cemetery was: Ich hat einen Kameraden. Unfortunately, there are a lot of YouTube videos of this tune with outdated visuals. The preferred spirit of the event is the pre-WWII version: a day of mourning, not hero worship.

We sounded something like this, but we didn't have the gunshots (maybe it's a canon?) which make it all the more moving.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Bayern Burgen Blasmusik

TV show in German. Lots of great Bavarian groups playing music in scenic Bavaria. Enjoy!

Update: Youtube has removed the full episodes of Bayern Burgen Blasmusik, but there are still a few snippets to be found:

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday, October 1, 2012

Neppendorf aka Schnelldorf musikanten

Just in case you're having difficulty finding a 3-hour documentary on an authentic traditional German band, here's one on the Neppendorfer Blaskapelle:

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Ein halbes Jahrhundert (A Half Century)

Ursula says this is a popular tune to play in Germany. This is my favorite version so far, by Blaskapelle Oberschwaben, shown here in the spirit world. Fifty years!

Monday, August 27, 2012


Cacahuata aka 'Peanut Polka' last week led me to some Doug Sahm music, which led me to Mendocino. A minor hit for Sahm and his Sir Douglas Quintet; the German version by Michael Holm was the best selling single in Germany for 1969!
The German audience was required to clap. Some of the people after 2:00 aren't looking real happy about it.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Great Escape for biergarten music?

Somewhat suggested that our small group should try playing the theme to The Great Escape. I think it would work:

The tune works in a simplified arrangement, as this Shamisen version demonstrates:

I wrote it out in Noteflight and we tried it out. The trumpet was in the wrong register and it was a little awkward but I think it could work. Here's the notation if you're interested.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

an international Polka hit

In Spanish, La Cacahuata.  

In English: Peanuts Polka.

Youtube has many more good versions of this tune, such as Doug Sahm's, Brave Combo's, Herb Alperts, and the '65 hit by the Sunglows.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Slavko Avsenik

Even if you don't speak German, it's conceivable that you could enjoy this 23 minute special about Slovenian Polka great Slavko Avsenik:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

polka bounce

I'm loving the bounce of a real polka band, with accordion and horns all doing 16ths, what a good time!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Enjoy the gentle strains of Ernst Mosch doing Herz Shmerz, and traveling backwards on a train meant for children.

We played at the Altenheim yesterday, literally: old folks home. The music is ageless, don't you think?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Deutschmeister Regimentsmarsch again!

This is one of my favorite German tunes, and there are many great versions on YouTube.

These guys seem justifiably proud of their performance:

The Deutschmeister in this '50s film is quite a rascal for inciting the crowd to sing along! I think he's in trouble!

Finally, a kick-ass rendition by Die Sch├╝rzentr├Ąger. By the audience reaction, I'm guessing this is just a normal day for them.

A good song to play in a room full of beer-drinking students. They even sing along!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Helge Schneider

Here is a jazzy little tune that was a #1 hit in Germany in 1994. The lyrics say: cat litter makes a cat happy.