Live Video: Hańba!

Live Video, OFF Festival
09/15/2015
Jim Beckmann
photo by Jim Bennett (view set)

Each Tuesday for the next two months, KEXP will present recordings we captured during the OFF Festival in Katowice, Poland. Our excursion there in the hot days of August - made possible by the festival and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute's Don’t Panic! We’re from Poland! initiative - introduced us to an unbelievably wide range of artists that will redefine whatever your idea of Polish music might be. Whether it be motoric post-rock, dreamy indie pop, incisive post-punk, riotous street folk or any other genre imaginable, the music we heard, and bands we met, defied all of our expectations. Now, we are excited for you to take that journey with us as we present these ten terrific bands, who are really just a sampling of what contemporary Polish music has to offer.Today's featured band, the first in our series, is both exactly what you'd expect and completely surprising. Hańba! (whose name translates to "disgrace" or "shame") are historically founded but a complete fabrication. The Kraków-based four-piece reimagine the time between the Great Wars, when Poland suffered politic upheaval yet fostered incredible artistic growth, when poets like Julian Tuwim and Władysław Broniewski publicly decried the encroaching authoritarianism and government corruption. In Hańba's world, though, punk was born there and then, as the poets become working class musicians in modest clothes, railing from the streets with loud voices and simple instruments, like banjo, accordion, tuba and drum. So, what better place to capture them than on the cobbled alleys of Nikiszowiec, a red-brick coal mining settlement in Katowice, founded in the early 1900's? Don your caps and suspenders as we go back in time with these faux interwar folk-punks, who'll remind you that yesterday's problems might still be today's if we don't remain ever vocal and vigilant.

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