And the people that wield them are working some pretty strange magic these days. In Nebraska, Shandra Korbelik plays button accordion in the Exeter-Milligan Timberwolves' pep band.
In Northern California, John Imrie plays accordion in Humboldt State University's bizarre band, the Marching Lumberjacks. "To tell people that I played accordion in a marching band, it doesn't get much cooler than that," Imrie told the Times-Standard about squeezing in the school's highly unorthodox ensemble (it calls its conductor an Ax Major).
Meanwhile, there's always squeezebox rock.
Flogging Molly's accordion player Matt Hensley says his friends thought he was crazy when he picked up the old stomach Steinway and got ready to rock. A common response to his choice of instrument: "You lost your f-ing mind, dude," he told Kansas City's The Pitch.
Hensley, who relates a frightening-yet-funny story about almost getting snuffed for playing the squeezebox, says rocking out on a guitar is easier (and probably less dangerous) than using a squeezebox. "On an accordion, if it's played wrong, you can immediately hear it, and it's enough to make people want to kill you," he said.