Donald Kravitz, Getty Images If you are frustrated by talk of a Metallica album…
- Posted on Jan 29th 2008 2:00PM by James Sullivan
Such animosity stems from the fact that the category in which Ostanek opposes his archrival, young buck John Gora, who's 49, may soon be abolished. Brace yourselves, people: the Grammys may be on the verge of eliminating the annual award for best polka album.
If this is the bandleaders' last shot at Grammy glory – Ostanek has been nominated a whopping 20 times and won three; it's Gora's fourth nomination, so far with a goose egg in the win column – they're not going out without putting the squeeze on. Ostanek, who plays the so-called Cleveland style of traditional polka, titled his latest album 'Dueling Polkas.' Not to be outdone by the crusty old-timer, Gora, who grew up on rock 'n roll and is partial to the horn-inflected Chicago style, called his '07 release 'Bulletproof Polkas.'
Who knew the music of Lawrence Welk could be so violent? Ambrose Bierce once defined the much-maligned accordion as "an instrument in harmony with the sentiments of an assassin." But despite all the battle-hardened imagery, polka is an industry in retreat, Ostanek admits. "It's for weekend warriors now," he tells the Toronto Star. If the Grammys fold the style into the broader roots or world music categories, he frets, "you'll never hear of guys like us again." Say one thing for him -- the guy really knows how to push those buttons.