Friday, September 29, 2006

Here We Come, St. Helens

The Daily News (straight outta Longview, Wash.) pumps up our weekend performance at the Columbia County Oktoberfest in St. Helens, Ore.

P.S. There's an encouraging rumor going around about a lawnball reunion that might occur ...

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Rock Squeezer Rogers Returns to Oregon

Still reeling from the loss of his lawnball, Those Darn Accordions frontman, Paul Rogers, is readying himself for a return to the scene of the crime. TDA plays the Columbia County Oktoberfest next Fri and Sat (Sept 29,30) in St. Helens, OR. The show will take place less than 100 miles from Seaside, OR, where the famous lawnball disappeared. (The rare Chinese victorian gazing ball is featured on the CD cover of TDA's latest offering, "Lawnball"). No ransom note has ever surfaced, but Rogers' people have intimated that "something big" is going to go down in St. Helens. "We're pretty sure we'll be returning with the orb" said Rogers in an interview this week in San Francisco. "Whether it comes home in one piece or a hundred, I still don't know." "I can guarantee you that the Chucklef**ck who lifted it is going to have to be airlifted himself after we're through with him" "These past few months have been hell without the ball" Rogers added. "My wife grouted over my old bowling ball and stuck a bunch of pieces of broken mirror on it, but it lacks the lustre and appeal of the original."

Friday, September 22, 2006

Obit: 'Pavarotti of the Plains' Don Walser, Dead at 72

He didn't play accordion (as far as I know), but he did make fantastic music. Now the amazing yodeling cowboy from Texas, Don Walser, has joined Buck Owens for that big roundup in the sky. Don died Wednesday at age 72.

Built like a barn and nicknamed "the Pavarotti of the Plains," he sang like an angel. I had the pleasure of watching Don perform several times -- including at The Hole in the Wall in Austin, Texas, when TDA played the South By Southwest festival for the first time -- and got to talk with the great man, who was just as nice as he could be. The country music world will miss this great and humble performer.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Roamin' Gnome's Got Game

If a stolen garden gnome can write letters and even attend a Steelers game, why can't the missing lawnball be reunited with its pedestal?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

He Makes a Mean Cup of Coffee

So an Ohio man of letters (why is it always the postal workers?) gets mad at a co-worker, and brews up a pot of coffee that's definitely not good to the last drop. What's his secret? Urine for a surprise if you read the whole, sick story of Thomas Shaheen's break-room shenanigans. Ick.

Monday, September 18, 2006

You Mean They Rock With Accordions?

Eye-popping world record holder Claudio Paulo Pinto looks like maybe he just saw TDA for the first time and wasn't really expecting such "extreme squeezeboxing." What a goofball.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Rise of the Beerbots!

A robot that holds a six-pack and will pop a top on demand? The Asahi Refrigerator Robot sounds like a real dream machine. And they were giving these things away? And we missed the promo? Geez!

(Via Gear Factor)

In Heaven, There Is No Beer

But that's not stopping a U.K. religious group from using an image of Jesus' face on an empty pint glass in an ad.

The advertisement's creators said it was "aimed at provoking 'thought and debate' among young people about where and how people find God," according to the Evening Standard. And, of course, controversy bubbles up like, oh, say, bubbles in beer.

(Thanks, Bill from Milwaukee!)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Third White Buffalo Graces Wisconsin Farm

Something strange -- and maybe sacred -- is going on at Dave Heider's farm in Janesville, Wis., where a third white buffalo was born in August. Check out a picture of the cute young thing (but don't tell Ted Nugent).

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

How to Ruin a Good Festival

What casts a pall over a festival faster than a hail of dead and dying pigeons? Not much, actually.

Borat Drives Kazakhstan Crazy

Ali G creator Sacha Baron Cohen's comic portrayal of a backward Kazakh TV host named "Borat" has so infuriated Kazakhstan's leader that President Bush will be meeting with President Nursultan Nazarbayev at the White House.

According to the Daily Mail:

President Nazarbayev will visit the White House and the Bush family compound in Maine when he flies in for talks that will include the fictional character Borat. President Nazarbayev has confirmed his government will buy "educational" TV spots and print advertisements about the "real Kazakhstan" in a bid to save the country's reputation before the film is released in the U.S. in November.

That's just in time to promote Cohen's new movie, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, which cracked up less-sensitive folks at the Toronto Film Festival.

If you've ever seen Da Ali G Show, you know what a hoot the Borat
segments can be. Can't wait for the big-screen edition.

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Friday, September 8, 2006

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Thank You, Milwaukee -- Good Night!

Just had a great time playing in Brew City USA, where TDA fans always crawl out of the woodwork and make us feel fantastic. Great sound and hospitality at Shank Hall, as per usual.

It was awesome seeing all our Milwaukee friends (and special thanks to our favorite brewmaster, Al Bunde, who's landed at Riverside Brewery & Restaurant in West Bend, Wis.). Thanks for the growlers, Al -- the 10-malt porter is phenomenal!

Tune In to Fox 6 Milwaukee for a Quick TDA Hit

We're scheduled to be on the morning news show at about 8:40 this morning. See you there!

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

It Don't Get Much Better'n This

Sitting in the beer garden at Mike and Molly's, eating an Italian sub from Jimmy John's (best chain subs I've found), having a free Old Style, watching the sound guy set up, and taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi. Almost sound check time. Sweet ...

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Seen TDA on This Tour?

Tell us what you think about the new songs, the outfits, Suzanne's mastery of crutches, etc., in this open thread. (Or you can brave our ratty, ad-clogged Bravenet message boards, like Glenn did -- thanks for the kind words!)

Ladies and Gentlemen, We Have Wi-Fi

When you're on the road and trying to check e-mail or maybe even post something to your rapidly withering blog, probably the only thing worse than a hotel without free Wi-Fi is a hotel that teases you by saying it has free Wi-Fi, but then failing to deliver. (You know who you are, Johnstown Super 8).

What a treat to be at a hotel with working Wi-Fi (thank you Holiday Inn)!

TDA Defies Description

Little things like this crack me up: The front page of The Tribune-Democrat listed Sunday's Johnstown FolkFest lineup. After each performer's name there was a description (for instance, "Sleepy LaBeef, rockabilly," "Terrance Simien, zydeco," "Bonerama, trombones" and "Maia Sharp, singer-songwriter").

After each performer's name save one, that is: Those Darn Accordions.

Apparently no genretyping is needed (or maybe possible), so the name stood alone.

Which is cool. We had a great time playing Saturday and Sunday, and we heard some great music and ate some great food -- who knew mashed new potatoes covered in steak, grilled onions, mushrooms, broccoli and cheese could be so good?. FolkFest is a fun festival all around, and despite the threat (and occasional reality) of rain, people came out in droves and had a good time. That's just what we like to see. And what we hope to see again in 2007.

P.S. Just saw this FolkFest preview piece in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. It's writer talks a lot about how cool and eclectic the free festival is, and -- like the Tribune-Democrat scribe -- doesn't seem to know what label to pin on TDA:

This year "folk" proves to be an especially elastic concept. There's the soulful "sacred steel" guitars of the Lee Boys, which could fall loosely under the "gospel" rubric. There's the hippie jam-band circuit stalwarts The Recipe. There's the electric-funk brass band Bonerama, which features multiple trombones. There's the Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience, playing their endangered brand of New Orleans dance music, and Maia Sharp, who's written songs for Bonnie Raitt, Trisha Yearwood and the Dixie Chicks. There's also self-explanatory groups like the Irish Descendents and Jazz in Your Face -- and groups with names like Doll Hospital and Those Darn Accordions that give no clues as to their sounds. You'll just have to find out for yourself.