|The Polish Muslims|
|Years active||1981 - Present|
Russell “Mambo” Loiacono-Sax
The Polish Muslims, is an eight-piece band whose vibrant renderings of classic pop and punk songs satirize their own Polish heritage. They got their start back in 1981. The band began as a one-time group to play a benefit show for the Reruns, a band with some of the same members as the Polish Muslims. The Reruns had equipment stolen from a rehearsal hall, so the Polish Muslims formed to help out with the benefit. "We were cutting edge,” vocalist and guitarist Ken Kondrat said. “We were punk New Wavers forming a no-rehearsing polka rock band with music to which you can sing and dance.” Things went well. So, they decided they needed a band name. “A bunch of us started kicking around silly names and were coming up with different oxymora,” Uchalik said. “At that time, thinking of a Muslim being Polish seemed outrageous. We said the name and started cracking up, and we settled on that.”
They kept going, And going, And going. They’ll pass the 35-year mark in December 2016.
Close your eyes for a minute. Wait. You peeked. O.K.; that’s better. Now imagine you’re hearing a band that plays a combination of all your favorite styles of music; alternative, garage rock, polka, 60s pop, all with a tongue in cheek sense of humor, you’ve just imagined what some call the original Weird Al Yankovics, THE POLISH MUSLIMS. THE MUSLIMS have blazed a trail of sold out concerts and outdoor shows, as well as live television and radio broadcasts on stations as diverse as WXYZ and WTVS-TV, 89X, WMGC, and WCSX, all while not taking themselves too seriously. Blender Magazine named Hamtramck, Michigan the #2 rock and roll city in the country, and THE MUSLIMS “the most representative Hamtramck band.” Their original release “That’s Why God Invented the Polka” (recorded in the same Ferndale studios where Eminem cut his proverbial rappin’ teeth), on the Restless Records compilation “Polka comes to Your Haus” launched the band into national cult stardom, receiving heavy radio airplay on the college radio circuit, and in the Netherlands. The rest of their discography consists of “The Polish Muslims”, “Make Number 2”, “Strike Tree ” (sic), and Detroit Music Awards’ Outstanding Pop/Rock recording nominated “Polka Fun at Christmas”.
- Make #2 (2001)
- Love Polka #9/Bowlin' U.S.A. (7", Single) (1984)
- Yuletide Rock Opera Act I & Act II (7")
Alan R. Madeleine, "For parody polka rockers the Polish Muslims, it’s a homecoming", Hamtramck Review, 10/06/16.
Anne Erickson, The Polish Muslims, a different kind of Oktoberfest band, Lansing State Journal, 9/29/16.
Anne Erickson, Muslims will help polish off Lili's, Metro Times, 9/25/02.