Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Start spreadin' the news

Are we coming to your town to make annoying sounds? Hook up with the TDA Street Team and let your neighbors know! Download posters and plaster your part of the world.

Gettin' stoked for our Polkaholics gig

The first TDA show of the summer touring season promises to be a rollicking good time. We'll be splitting the bill with The Polkaholics, a legendary Chicago band that we've been wanting to meet for, like, forever.

Mutual friends in the Bay Area "polka scene" tell us that the Polkaholics -- a three-piece with the classic power-trio instrumentation of guitar, bass and drums -- pack a punch like a good batch of well-fermented kraut. And who can resist the irony of an accordion-free polka band sharing the stage with a squeezebox-fueled rock band? I sure can't.

The show is set for Wednesday, July 5, at the Abbey Pub, 3420 West Grace St., Chicago.

P.S. Dig the Polkaholics motto: "Hot as a grilled kielbasa. Crunchy as a potato pancake."

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Anti-nuke activists clown around

The world is getting weirder. And, once again, the headline says it all: "Clowns Sabotage Nuke Missile."

YouTube users dish out musical advice

Hitting a hard spot in a concerto? Need a quick critique of your bellows-shaking technique? Many musicians are now going to video-sharing site YouTube to solicit advice from amateurs and pros, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Bring on the Japanese fast food

Aside from the fine idea of cheap Japanese comfort food in every strip mall, I just like this headline: McOctopus McDumplings May Be Coming To U.S..

Friday, June 23, 2006

The girls of summer rock

Or swing. Or whatever you want them to do. An octave of burning beauties at OOOOOOUCH.COM lets you write whatever tune you like, record it and share it with the world.

The visuals are a crack-up. And be sure to change the sounds and check out the "jukebox" of other people's tunes.

I'm sorry, but this just makes me laugh.

(Via Listening Post)

Supercool electric car

When it comes to Space Age looks, this puppy puts your garden-variety Prius to shame. The eight-wheeled Eliica also hauls butt: It's hit 230 mph in tests.

This Auto Express story and photo gallery (free registration required) about the experimental car is a couple years old -- I hope the Japanese researchers working on the prototype are a little closer to getting these freaky things on the open road. (Anybody read Japanese?)

Gator goes for delivery guy

When I was a kid with a Midwest newspaper route, I had to worry about huskies and German shepherds. Bobby Kish, who delivers The Mercury in Pottstown, Penn., faced off with an aggressive alligator Monday.

"He kind of lunged at me and hissed," Kish, 46, told The Philadelphia Inquirer. "His mouth was open; I was about five feet away. It was enough to get my attention."

No kidding.

P.S. The story has a happy ending. Cops caught the gator (duct tape to the rescue!) and the roamin' reptile will be taken to a reserve in Florida.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

No bluffing in Fluffernutter scuffle

The war on fun continues: A Massachusetts state senator wants to limit schools' ability to serve Fluffernutter sandwiches to the state's crumb crunchers. State Sen. Jarrett Barrios' nanny-state nutrition legislation would limit schools to serving the local delicacy -- made of "a combination of Marshmallow Fluff and peanut butter, preferably on white bread with a glass of milk handy," according to the Associated Press -- more than once per week.

The proposal isn't sitting well with State Rep. Kathi-Anne Reinstein, who wants to make the Fluffernutter Massachusetts' official sandwich. "I'm going to fight to the death for Fluff," Reinstein said.

Meanwhile, Barrios told The Boston Globe he's "not sure we should be even calling (Marshmallow Fluff) a food." But his joy-crushing stance isn't winning him many friends -- and some of his supporters are even clashing with him on his anti-Fluffernutter jihad.

"Regulators are trying hard to take the fun out of school," said Glenn Koocher, a Barrios campaign contributor and executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees. "If the food police think that the ban is good for society, ban it. But kids need to have fun."

What's next? Banning bratwurst and cheese in Wisconsin?

Monday, June 19, 2006

Cat: It's what's for dinner

A squad of 40 feline-loving activists shut down the Fangji Cat Meatball restaurant in south China's Guangdong Province for reasons you can probably figure out. The worst part of the China Daily report is the bit about the prevalence of cat as a delicacy in the country:

In many parts of China especially the southern regions, people take cat meat as their favorate diet. Previous reports said that in Guangzhou alone the citizens ate 10,000 cats every day in the winter season.
Man, that's a lot of cats getting shoved down human gullets.

Road rage is a disease?

I love Dr. William Campbell Douglass' daily dose of medical reality. He's an old-school sawbones with a healthy skepticism about the tendency to paint every human shortcoming as a disorder that can best be managed using some pricey pharmaceutical.

Today, Douglass tees off on recent reports giving road rage a new name: Intermittent Explosive Disorder, or IED. (Isn't that a cute little acronym?) In other words, these medical mush minds think that if you get peeved by jerks who tailgate, cut you off, or drive 10 miles under the speed limit in the fast lane, you're ready for a prescription for Prozac, Dilantin or Zoloft.

Any road dog knows that idiot drivers run rampant on our nation's highways. And sometimes, they pull moves that will leave any normal human being -- at least one possessed of adequate powers of observation -- fuming. Here's to the good doctor (who's a great writer, by the way) for debunking this new medical myth and warning about the folly of prescribing "happy pills" for every little thing. Hotheads unite!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

See Dick shake

CBS TV in Chicago did a lovely little spot recently on Dick Contino -- "the handsomest man to ever play the accordion." There's a little bit of interview, a little bit of historic imagery and a whole lotta bellows-shakin' in the piece. He makes it look so easy ...

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Nacho Libre controversy heats up

Bay Area rock hero/wrestling god/motivational speaker Count Dante has upgraded his crusade to nail Jack Black for persona theft in Nacho Libre. The original Trilogy of Terror challenge has been upgraded to a grudge match in the Pagoda of Punishment.

I spoke at length with the Count at the fateful Electric Boogie Dawgz gig that served as a pre-cremation party for Bender's Bar & Grill. And let me tell you this: Jack Black had better watch his back. The Count is hotter than a habanero!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Electric Boogie Dawgz too hot to handle?

Holy crap -- the Electric Boogie Dawgz were the last rock 'n' roll band to play the fantastic Bender's Bar & Grill before a two-alarm fire gutted the place early Saturday. I know the set was hot, but come on ...

Co-owner Johnny is a great guy who really knows how to treat a band right, and he's vowing to reopen the club "one way or another." Good luck, Johnny -- the EBDz would love to play the grand opening. And I'll bet you could get an accordion band on the bill, too (although TDA has a checkered past with burning bars as well).

Saturday, June 10, 2006

It ain't accordion, but it's cool

Obviously, TDA isn't all about country music. We dig it, and there's a little bit of C/W influence here and there, but we're more of a pop band (at least as long as "pop" doesn't mean strictly "popular"). I mean, Waylon would never have cut "Hamsterman," although that would have been cool.

But that doesn't mean we don't get a kick out of the country classics, especially when they veer completely into the weird zone as in this clip of George Jones (with bass man and backup singer Johnny Paycheck). When I watched this on YouTube, the audio was totally out of whack with the video. But that probably made it even more amusing. Enjoy.

Does anybody know where I can get some Adipex?

Because I just don't get any e-mails *ever* about where I might get some Adipex. Ever.

Thursday, June 8, 2006

Hypo-allergenic cats ready to purr

A California company claims it has produced kitties that won't make you sneeze. The Allerca GD cat, which will set you back almost $4,000, is "the first of a planned series of lifestyle pets," the company told The Washington Times.

Man, it's just all good news today.

See pix from the Frisco accordion fest

Check out melastmohican's Flickr photo album to see a little bit of what went down Sunday at the 16th annual San Francisco Accordion Festival. Funny how many pictures there are of the lovely Ladies of TDA. It's almost like the photographer wasn't that interested in taking shots of the rhythm section. Hmmm ...

(Via Let's Polka)

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Suzanne takes the pink

Just in case you missed it, here's the photo of Suzanne that ran huge on the cover of the San Francisco Chronicle's pink Datebook section Sunday. The picture, taken by photog extraordinaire Jim Merithew, looks great and really captures that crazy Suzannia we all know and love. The accompanying story about the San Francisco Accordion Festival was pretty good, too. Thanks, Jim!

Sunday, June 4, 2006

Accordion Awareness Month's unfortunate colleague

It's hard to believe, but our beloved June is also Potty Training Awareness Month, according to infoZine. (Frankly, I don't feel so bad about this being International Clothesline Week.)

Saturday, June 3, 2006

Pink section does accordions

Nice cover story in the San Francisco Chronicle about the accordion and the Frisco acc fest. (Never mind the factual errors -- it's hard to keep all that crap straight, isn't it?)

Anyway, it's cool that the pinkos published the story and printed some cool pix (including one of Clyde!). Unfortunately, the Pink section cover photo isn't in the gallery. It looked pretty cool on the Datebook cover. Kudos to Jim Merithew!

Getting pumped for the San Francisco Accordion Festival

Hope to see all you Bay Area folks Sunday at the San Francisco Accordion Festival. Lots of bands, the Main Squeeze Pageant, etc., all at a free even put together by TDA alum Tom Torriglia.

The fest runs from noon to 6 p.m. (we play at 5 p.m.) in the Del Monte Square at the Cannery at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. And it's even a good cause: The show benefits Music in Schools Today.

P.S. Be sure to pick up a copy of the San Francisco Chronicle whether you make it to the festival or not. Take a gander at the pink section for a big squeezebox surprise.

Stowaway snake startles pilot

What is it with snakes lately? First it's Paul gettin' freaky in Florida with an Everglades racer. Then it's a reptile-ready rental car. Now comes word of a pilot who faced a real-life version of Snakes on a Plane.

You'll notice that the flier, who managed to land the plane even after finding a 4-and-a-half-foot black snake in the cockpit, was flying to southern Ohio, land of many legless wonders (not to mention the great Serpent Mound).

Friday, June 2, 2006

Hey, Jack Black -- that's Nacho look!

Count Dante -- bass-thumping leader of Redwood City's greatest rock band, the Black Dragon Fighting Society -- has challenged Jack Black to a "Trilogy of Terror" Match over the actor's portrayal of a suspiciously familiar pro wrestler in the film Nacho Libre.

The Count's hilarious press release, which outlines the bold rules of the horrific contest, is one of the funniest things I've read in weeks. Hot dogs, essays and bass solos -- it doesn't get any more grueling than that. Good luck, Count Dante (and let me know if you need a second)!