Recordings Arousing Polaris Archives 74-75 CD with U.S. shipping included


Arousing Polaris Archives 74-75 CD NEW on Rockhaus. After 47 years We are Extremely Excited that ROCKHAUS has the opportunity to release an archive of AROUSING POLARIS ’74. ’75 . Get a piece of Rock History. Extremely limited run. U.S. shipping included .

Here is a review by Blaine Schultz from The shepherd express.

Here is a bit of band history written by David Luhrssen from the Shepherd Express in Milwaukee Wisconsin.
On the surface, Milwaukee in the mid-1970s was an unlikely hometown for a band like Arousing Polaris. In those days the setting for television’s “Happy Days” was still a factory town, “the City that Means Beer” as it was called in TV ads from that era. Many neighborhoods had a bar on every street corner. Eighteen year olds could drink legally and since no one checked for ID cards, a reasonably mature-looking 16-year could get hammered. The illicit pleasure of weed smuggled in from Mexico or Jamaica also helped dull the pain. Most high school kids still imagined a blue-collar future in the breweries or factories. Most local rock bands were four-man machine shops that replicated songs heard on the radio.

And yet, Milwaukee, once a far-flung outpost of German-speaking Central Europe in the American Midwest, still retained vestiges of its European cultural heritage. With its skyline broken by Gothic steeples and domed basilicas, Milwaukee from some angles resembled old Prague. Arousing Polaris connected with a European sensibility through their fascination with the art rock and space rock that came from the continent in the ‘70s.

But in the city’s rock scene, theirs was distinctly a minority view. Compared with other bands playing the bar circuit, Arousing Polaris might as well have beamed in from another world. Keyboardist-vocalist Glen Rehse and bassist-vocalist John Frankovic, the band’s songwriters, grew up together on the same street on Milwaukee’s Northwest Side, a drab expanse of mostly one-story dwellings built in the post-World War II boom. Previously Glen and John played in a group called William the Conqueror, mingling originals with keyboard-driven numbers by Uriah Heep and Procol Harum familiar from airplay on FM radio. As William the Conqueror dissipated, a new lineup began to coalesce. While studying graphic design at Milwaukee Area Technical College, Glen met a fellow enthusiast of European progressive rock, guitarist Mark Krueger. Meanwhile, a schoolmate from Custer High School, drummer Victor Demichei, invited John to an outdoor jam. The occasion was a party in the backyard of Victor’s parents’ house. Blaring their jams through a full PA, the event was raided by the Milwaukee Police Department. The officers were beset by the recriminations of Victor’s Italian grandmother, berating them for trying to thwart the creativity of youth. Since there was no ordinance against loud music in the afternoon, the officers withdrew.

When Glen and John decided to form their new band, Arousing Polaris, Victor passed the audition in the basement of John’s tolerant parents. Mark was a shoo-in, given his knowledge and enthusiasm for Euro rock. They rehearsed in that basement continually at a moment in their lives— that precious phase between adolescence and adult responsibility—when time seemed as plentiful as the air they breathed. It wasn’t just arranging the songs Glen and John brought to the practice room but an entire way of life revolving around the intoxicating buzz of discovering new music (and new intoxicants). Much time was spent inside 1812 Overture, a local record store whose import section was kept well stocked by the shop’s co-owner, Mark Dulberger, a fellow art rock connoisseur who became, for awhile, Arousing Polaris’ manager.

Those hours of rehearsal sharpened the band’s musical intuition and skills, but few Milwaukeeans had the chance to hear the results. The city’s rock clubs were not especially sympathetic, yet Arousing Polaris was able to play a few gigs amidst the glut of assembly line cover bands. It wasn’t a matter of youth versus stodgy oldsters. The imagination of most young rock fans in Milwaukee was shut tight as a clam. Thanks to the influence of Mark Dulberger, Arousing Polaris was booked into a prime 9 p.m. slot at the Rock Stage of Milwaukee’s Summerfest, one of the world’s largest music festivals. But they lost most of the audience following an outrageous skit called “the Pope Blesses” featuring Glen in quasi-papal garb. It was one of Mark’s last shows with the band.

And yet Arousing Polaris found a few fans who came to those long-ago performances from 1974 and ’75 armed with the cassette players that preserved some of the music heard on this album. The other tracks were taped in John’s basement on his brother’s reel-to-reel recorder.

Despite lack of access to a professional recording studio, the sonic fidelity here is surprisingly good, and reveals the dynamism of a young band seized with the desire to break the template of its hometown. By the standards of their time and place, Arousing Polaris was on the wrong continent. This album is a belated testament to the power of their music and their determination to be heard.

David Luhrssen
Editor, Shepherd Express newspaper, Milwaukee

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Here is a review by Blaine Schultz from The shepherd express.

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