Oompoporama Unites Polka and Pop for Oktoberfest


The German-American Social Club of Nevada—of course there’s such a thing!—stages its Oktoberfest at Centennial Plaza on October 4. There to lock down tuba duty will be Oompoporama, the polka-meets-pop side project from Beth Mullaney of local band Killian’s Angels.

What makes for a good pop-polka song?

Nearly every song can work. Vita [Corimbi, or “McCleavage,” under the keyboardist’s nom de dirndl] has written a great medley of songs with “I Will Survive.” Also, for example, the old song “Feelings”; if you put a polka beat to it, all of a sudden a song you’re sick of, it’s a little silly. But “I Will Survive” can be kept in its natural little way just by adding a fun beat to it. For me, it’s about finding a song with enough words that it can be fun to sing.

Were “Weird Al” Yankovic’s polka medleys an influence?

It’s a challenge to take great music and pull off something that is really fun without it sounding too silly. Weird Al did a great job because he has great musicians on his polkas. He’s sillier probably, because he’s “Weird Al.” His polka medleys are certainly an inspiration. If you look at the songs he chooses, they’re popular. And it just works with that beat—that fast, 4/4-type beat.

Who has better drinking music—the Germans or the Irish?

Wow. Well, the nature of Oktoberfest is almost entirely beer-drinking. Irish music is about death and life and marriage and love—it has all different types of [themes]. I’ll give Germans the love on this.

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