Here we are in August, and here in Texas, we got a very rare cool front to start the month! It lasted about 18 hours here in Houston, but that little surprise drop in the temperature sure got us all excited! Did y'all notice the subject line? I've been thinking and thinking for a while now; what would be a fun name for all of our friends who travel with us, follow our band, and visit with us? What do you think of "Lustige Leute"? Directly translated, it means "funny people". You are our favorite Lustige Leute after all!
Things around the Lustig Haus have thankfully been uneventful for the past few weeks. Ross has been back to devoting about 8 hours a day to accordion and alphorn rehearsal, vocal warm ups, working up a few new arrangements we played in our themed online shows in July. On his day off, he made a few repairs at the rent house, maintains the yard (I help) and brings in the delicious homegrown tomatoes he planted in early April. I've been busy working on promotions, working on the songs I've been writing, and have been creating in our graphics dept again. Getting price and availability for made in USA custom masks with our band logo, and our band slogan on them has not yet happened. I sent out for 5 quotes over a week ago, and have not yet received a response from any of the companies I contacted. It seems there's a waiting list just to get a quote. I can't imagine what the wait for a finished product will be. Oh well, back to the drawing board I guess. Maybe we'll design bandanas instead, that way they can be worn as an accessory, a hair bow, used as a sweat rag, a Bier mug marker, or folded in to a mask. I've been cooking a lot too - and making Sauerkraut. Did y'all see the studies they've been doing? There's a theory that people who eat Sauerkraut have stronger immune systems! Can't hurt! In the meantime, when Ross and I finish today's rehearsals, we'll be assembling and testing the sound system with the new stuff we purchased in January, to make sure it's all ready for our first road trip since February 29.
Speaking of road trips, this week, we are bouncing off the walls excited! We'll be out in public this weekend; 5 gigs in 3 days! We can't wait!
Thursday August 6, we'll be at The Sauer Kraut Grill at 734 Crabb River Rd, in Richmond, Texas from 6 - 8pm. They have excellent food, and a great Bier (lots of Paulaner, and local craft brews!) and Wein selection! Picnic tables outside if you feel safer dining in the fresh air. We'll come out and play for you if you like!
Friday and Saturday August 7 and 8, we'll be at the Kuckuck's Nest at 3150 N Hwy 16 in Fredericksburg, Texas from 2 - 3pm both days, to play music while you shop for German imports!
Friday and Saturday August 7 and 8, we'll be at the Pecan Grove Store at 5244 N Hwy 16 in Fredericksburg, Texas from 6:30 - 9pm both days. Live, in person, public performance in a large outdoor Biergarten with plenty of space for safe distancing, AND carefree German style rambunctiousness! There will be Hamburger eating, Bier trinking, table pounding and schunkelling! Won't you join us? We're so excited to get out and play music in public! I'm so wound up, I feel like I've had a liter of coffee from my brother's coffee shop, The Nook Cafe'! It's going to be so amazing to see friends in the audience laughing, smiling, and getting to visit in person! We'll have T-shirts, Hat pins, and CD's with us for sale. Did I say this yet? We can't wait to see you!
We know there are many of you who still can not get out to do things in public, so we are continuing our online shows for now. We had lots of fun with your submissions back in June and July, so we're hoping you'll join in again for some fun this month too!
Saturday August 15 at 7:30pm; My birthday is Sunday August 16, so the theme of this show is "Whatever Valina Wants" Have you ever wondered what my favorite songs are? ...and of course, we're always taking requests.
Saturday August 22 at 7:30pm; End of Summer Talent Show! Here's your chance to star in one of our online shows! Will you record yourselves demonstrating your talent? Whatever it is (family friendly of course) We're taking all sorts of submissions: Tap dancing, Wood carving, One handed push ups, Furniture rearranging, Lip sync, Cup stacking, Playing frisbee with your dog, Standing on your head, Chugging a Bier, Removing a table cloth from a set table... There is no limit to the sort of talents we'd like to share as part of that show! The wackier and more unexpected, the better! What a fun online party it will be with you as part of our show, and joining in the comments section! If you'd like to submit a video, please record it with your phone or camera in landscape (horizontal) so the video will work in our broadcast software. Keep the length of your video to 2 minutes or less. Please send your videos no later than Monday August 17, so we'll have time to process through them and get them in the broadcast software. ...that also allows time for us to let you know if there is an issue with the video. Let us know if you need help getting the video to us.
Saturday August 29; We're not sure yet if we will be doing an online show on August 29th, as we have a private party pending for that date. If that party does not happen, we'll be online playing your requests, and ramping up for the backyard Oktoberfest parties which start in September!
In September, we will be moving to Wednesdays at 7:00pm for the live online shows. We'll give more information on that next month. All of the live online shows are broadcast from my facebook page http://www.facebook.com/valinapolka We'll continue our shows at the Sauer Kraut Grill on Thursdays unless there is an Oktoberfest party to travel to, or work for.
Oktoberfest season; We are able to offer something this year that we have not been available for in a long time. With the big festivals cancelling, it has freed us up to play for Oktoberfest parties at private homes! Would you like to have a party in your backyard? In your 2 car garage with the doors open to the driveway? On your large covered porch? At your airport hangar? I've attached a flyer to this e-mail. We have several dates still available to offer. Below are the dates and locations that are already booked:
September 19; private party near Oklahoma City. Sunday Sept 20 in north Texas or Oklahoma area is available.
September 26; private party near Oklahoma City. Friday Sept 25 and Sunday Sept 27 in north Texas or Oklahoma area is available.
Oct 2 - 4; Saint Arnold's Oktoberfest in Houston, Texas - This is an outdoor covered Biergarten restaurant just north of downtown Houston. We were there Sunday night for pizza, and it poured down rain. There was still plenty of room for people to be spaced away from each other, even when the ones sitting out under the open air had to come under the roof. The food and Bier was delicious, and the service friendly!
Oct 10; private party in Houston Friday and Sunday Oct 9 and 11 around the Houston area is available.
Oct 16 - 17; Deutsches Haus Oktoberfest in New Orleans, Louisiana.
All other weekdays / weekends in September, October and November are currently available. We'd love to bring the Biergarten to you! There are even possibilities for specials through Paulaner USA - We'll hook you up! Of course, with our current circumstances, things can change rapidly, so always check our website, facebook, or the website of the public event to make sure it's going as planned before you leave your home.
Hosting our trips to Europe will resume as soon as international travel is wide open again. The trip we were going to host this year going to Germany and the Czech Republic has been postponed and reserved for next June, 2021. Target dates are Tuesday June 8 - Tuesday June 22, but may be shifted by a few days depending on when the non-stop flight to Munich is possible. Right now, that is only once a week on Wednesdays. The itinerary will follow the same plan (as much as possible) we had in place for this year's trip. If changes to the dates or itinerary take place, it will be because of airline schedules and other factors beyond our control. If you'd like to join us for travel to Europe in the future, let us know! Our small groups have a ton of fun together!
Website; You can always find out what's happening with us at http://www.prostyall.com. We update our calendar as information becomes available. The store page has shirts and hat pins to get you ready for the Oktoberfest season. Also, make sure to subscribe to our youtube channel, as we are loading the live shows from facebook up to youtube each week for those who prefer to stay away from facebook. And you never know in this crazy world, there may come a time when we are broadcasting live on youtube.
The virus is slowly becoming a little less scary - we see on the worldometer site that there are fewer deaths per infections, and see on the county hospital websites that less people are being hospitalized, and for shorter amounts of time for it. Since our last e-mail to you, that trend has continued. Oh, we can't wait for the world to heal!
We look forward to receiving your videos for the talent show! We look forward to seeing you sometime soon! Stay healthy, stay safe, and stay cool! Prost Y'all!