Heck, it's Tex-Czech!
December 31, 2013 7:33 AM   Subscribe

If you're going to listen to a brass band play a waltz, it might as well be a joyously exuberant one, with a unabashed sense of humor and a firm conviction that notes were made to be bent. Right? Oh, and it might as well be played, by, say, a Texas Czech (yes, a Texas Czech) band. Right? OK then, here's Circling Pigeons Waltz by the Joe Patek Band of Shiner, Texas.

The Patek Band's Circling Pigeons Waltz is but one of the many little Tex-Czech musical jewels recorded from 1929 to 1959 and compiled on the Arhoolie Records release Texas-Czech: Bohemian - Moravian Bands - Various Artists

Hey! Here's another tune from the Joe Patek band, a rousing, bouncy and ebullient polka.

Want to read about Czech music in Texas? Here's something for you at Google Books

You might want to pay a visit to Texas Czechs.com ("the place where Texas Czechs hang out!") where you can compare song verses from the old country with their counterparts in the New World. (Sadly, the audio links there seem to be kaput...)

See also: Jimmy Brosch Remembers Twenty Legendary Texas Czech Polka Bands
posted by flapjax at midnite (20 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
This explains the Czech Stop, but only partially.
posted by The White Hat at 7:43 AM on December 31, 2013


When I got to Texas, I was surprised to discover how many immigrants from Germany and Czechoslovakia had ended up there. Their most visible (tasteable?) contribution was in their effects on grilling, barbecue, and the whole world of cooked meats, but I am glad to see other legacies as well....
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:45 AM on December 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


so if a dj added some mexican music, he'd wreck tex chech mex on the decks
posted by pyramid termite at 7:45 AM on December 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


It sounds like a cross between Texas swing and oom-pah! Great find.
posted by immlass at 7:47 AM on December 31, 2013


Two Central Texas posts in a row! Hope this trend continues.
posted by grouse at 7:50 AM on December 31, 2013


Arhoolie, fuck yeah!
posted by unknowncommand at 7:57 AM on December 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Their most visible (tasteable?) contribution was in their effects on grilling, barbecue, and the whole world of cooked meats, but I am glad to see other legacies as well....

Taking a look at the Shiner, Texas link in this FPP, you'll note that the Patek family's endeavors have included the "world of cooked meats" as well as music! Apparently Joe himself sold meats, and his descendants are doing so today.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:59 AM on December 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


Considering Shiner, I failed to note the Central/Eastern European impact on beer culture in Texas also. Heck, Austin is the only place in the US outside of Milwaukee that I've seen an actual beer garden....
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:06 AM on December 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nordheim, Texas, a bleak outpost of a town where the film "Paris, Texas" was filmed, was very proud of its oompah band, which disbanded in the 70s.
posted by kinnakeet at 8:34 AM on December 31, 2013


so if a dj added some mexican music

They already did that. It's called Tejano.
posted by Atom Eyes at 8:58 AM on December 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


Seems important to mention Brave Combo here, as they are the only Texas oompah most people have ever heard outside of Texas.

They play the WestFest Czech festival most years, and hail from Denton.
posted by emjaybee at 9:25 AM on December 31, 2013


Banda music is popular in northern Mexico and southern US, expanding in areas with hispanic populations (you can hear it on the radio here in Silicon Valley). Wikipedia says it is derived from the German immigrants to Mexico in the 1890s, but, as this post shows, Czechs immigrants were also involved.
posted by eye of newt at 9:50 AM on December 31, 2013


this shit is a monster
posted by PinkMoose at 10:46 AM on December 31, 2013


He tried to hide in my basement, but I don't cache Czechs. I liked the band, though.
posted by mule98J at 11:11 AM on December 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


When I got to Texas, I was surprised to discover how many immigrants from Germany and Czechoslovakia had ended up there.

It makes for a good game on I-10: "Will the next exit have been named by Germans or Czechs?" It's entertaining for some of us anyway.

(Also, there's a Weimar, Texas on I-10 between San Antonio and Houston. I'm a little sad we didn't bother stopping, given that I've been to Weimar, California and could have collected the pair or something. Not that I actually bothered going to Weimar, Germany (actually, there are two Weimars in Germany, too).)
posted by hoyland at 2:11 PM on December 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


lets not forget our wonderful Kolaches!!!!
posted by shockingbluamp at 2:42 PM on December 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


flapjax, you continue to delight. Thanks so much for this post!
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:21 PM on December 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


I-10 and offshoots. I spent all week driving through Texas one day. This was in the summer. I mean, after southern New Mexico, I expected...you know. But it wasn't. I'm glad I had a co-driver, so I could grab some Zs. In a million million years I never thought I'd ever be happy to see Oklahoma City again.
posted by mule98J at 12:10 PM on January 1


The trombone player is certainly assertive. Not entirely sure how they got the sax to produce that clarinet-on-acid vibe, but wow. The funny thing is that I almost immediately felt drunk listening to it.

Thanks for sharing.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 2:50 PM on January 1


It's funny how much this music is like brass band music in the Balkans. I grew up hearing a lot of this sort of music. Time spent both in Mexico and Texas will do that. Thanks for a cool post!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 3:31 AM on January 2


« Older "Kreuz Market is the most famous name in the most ...  |  Toast Of London stars Matt Ber... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments