Monday, April 30, 2007

Bill's New (Old) Band

The Snake Oil Boys, featuring original Those Darn Accordions drummer Bill Schwartz on the skins, plays Frisco's Last Laugh Coffee Shop on Saturday, May 12.

The band features the singing and gee-tar genius of Jeff Davis, producer of The Mad Maggies' CDs. You might recognize the coffee shop's owner, too. And the guy who cleans up.

Be there or be, you know, rectangular with all your sides the same.

Squeezeboxes Rock Coachella

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is pretty hip these days, and The Press-Enterprise labels the accordion the "best offbeat instrument" at this year's indie event:
The accordion isn't just for polka bands anymore. A number of acts used the instrument to its fullest potential onstage. Every act that used it had a fun, happening set, including Julieta Venegas and Gogol Bordello on Friday. Both used the accordion to move people to dance. The Decemberists had some accordion action during their Saturday set and hosted a dance contest.
Of course, that picture of the Decemberists' Jenny Conlee with an accordion doesn't exactly scream "fun." I guess Those Darn Accordions' invitation to play the festival got lost in the mail ...

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Put Your Money Where Your Meat Is

And your queso, too. Fantasy purses made of ground beef, cheese and bacon are, indeed, Creative Yummy Bags. I'm thinking these will go over big in the Midwest.

(Via Digg)

Get That Darn Cat a Darn Accordion

I wonder if we can get Nora the Piano-Playing Cat (link opens an MSN video) to lay down some tracks for the new CD? I swear there's a little bit of Thelonious Monk in that feline.

(Thanks, Sarah at The Artful Heart)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Taste the Tiger Lillies' Creepy Cabaret

Imagine the Joker with a helium tank and an accordion singing twisted Leonard Cohen cabaret tunes, and you've got The Tiger Lillies. If that sounds like something you might find amusing on a Friday, check out ITV's stylish video clip of the band performing "Crack of Doom" (plus a Q&A with freakish falsetto fiend/squeezer Martyn Jacques). Now that's entertainment!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Hell's Standard-Issue Accordion?

Chris over at Let's Polka dug up this picture of the Disccordion on Flickr. The satanic squeezebox is used by somebody in San Francisco's Shadow Circus Creature Theatre, a bizarre group that bears some investigation.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

More on Speisekammer's 'Springfest'

I already told you about this Alameda bash, at which the Mad Maggies will perform. Here's a little more from Maggie:
"Relax on the patio beer garden, drink excellent German beer, eat grilled specialties while we crazy musicians serenade you from 2 to 4:30 or so."
It all happens this Sunday, April 29, starting at 1 p.m. at Speisekammer Restaurant, 2424 Lincoln Ave., Alameda, Calif. This promises to be a good time, so if you're in the mood for quality food and drink -- along with a healthy dose of accordion music -- come on out to the East Bay's island city.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Boogie Dawgz Hibernate

Good times, bad times, you know we've had our share. The bonus is hearing the new Black Sabbath tune "The Devil Cried" on The Bone on the way home from an Electric Boogie Dawgz victory dinner.

Long live rock (especially when Ronnie James Dio and Tony Iommi are involved) ...

Sheryl Crow: Loo-natic or Visionary?

All she wants to do is have some fun -- and tell everybody how to wipe their bums. Sheryl Crow's loo-dicrous toilet-paper-reduction plan is pretty wacky, but her liquor-by-the-day tour rider makes quite a lot of sense.

So, which is she? Genius or dimwit? You be the judge.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The World's Largest Gathering of Accordion Stars!

That's the claim made by The Las Vegas International Accordion Convention. The lineup does look good: Walter Ostanek, Art Van Damme and many more (including former Those Darn Accordions riffmeister Ron Borelli).

The big big shoooo runs June 18 to 21 at the Gold Coast Hotel in Sin City, and celebrates "the centennial of the piano accordion" (although it's not clear how they pegged that date, given the instrument's murky history).

Barbecue, Beer and Music

That's a great trio. You can enjoy all three (plus the music of The Mad Maggies) next Sunday, April 29, at Speisekammer Restaurant in Alameda, Calif.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

World's Worst Band Photos

As members of both TDA and the Mad Maggies prepare themselves mentally for the grueling task of having a band photo taken, Maggie forwards a fun-filled link to Rock and Roll Confidential's foul-mouthed-yet-cautionary web gallery.

Yes, the title and captions in this seemingly endless display of bad fashion decisions contain certain unsavory words. So if that's not your cup of tea, please just skip the link. If, however, you can handle a few four- or 10-letter dirty words, then enter the Hall of D*****bags. And prepare to laugh and laugh.

Warning from the site: "Rock And Roll Confidential/Your Band Sucks is a humor/parody/satire site. It is not intended to be viewed by anyone under the age of 18."

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Now That's Some Cheesy TV could only be better if it broadcast out of Wisconsin rather than merry ol' England. Read up on the brains behind the cheese-watching webcam in The New York Times' in-depth story on (and other notorious webcams).

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Red Elvises Add an Accordion

TDA's one-time Summerfest stagemates the Red Elvises are expanding their sound -- and their lineup. "We’ve got two girls in the band now," lead singer/guitarist Igor Yuzov tells Tacoma, Washington's News Tribune. "One is playing accordion and one is playing guitar and banjo."

You gotta love it: "rokenrol" women with accordions. (No word on whether the banjo player is a hippie chick.)

Monday, April 9, 2007

Amazing Pix From the Bottom of the World

All I can say is, "Wow." This photo gallery of the Dry Valleys of Antarctica is beautiful and mind-blowing.

(Via reddit)

Spray Paint, the New Male Makeup

Your Monday is probably going better than Michael Edward Thompson's: Here's another wacky mug shot, courtesy of The Smoking Gun.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Summerfest Makes Rolling Stone's List

Summerfest -- former summer home of Those Darn Accordions -- makes Rolling Stone's list of best "Spring/Summer 2007 Music Festivals." The grading methods of the grizzled chronicle of rock 'n' roll fall under heavy suspicion, however, if only because of the magazine's description of Big Gig eats: "Lots of options: Fish and chips ($6), Gyros $5.50, salads ($5), chicken wings ($3), etc. Bottled water is $2.50. Grade: B."

That's "news you can use" from the magazine that used to publish Hunter S. Thompson.

Apparently Rolling Stone's entrepid reporters couldn't find the fantastic grub that makes Summerfest so deliciously rockin' ... special stuff like Mader's grilled brats and kraut balls, Sprecher's Black Bavarian, Culver's ButterBurgers and, yes, even the bloomin' onions from that barbecue joint with the name I can't recall. For that matter, the Cousins Subs stand is better than the overpriced garbage peddled at most festivals.

This little waddle down memory lane is making me hungry. Too bad the mid-gate Piggly-Wiggly stage -- where we played the entire Summerfest run during the good old days, when TDA was treated almost like some sort of wheezing artist in residence at the festival -- is gone, and no suitable venue has popped up to harbor our whimsical accordion music.

Maybe it's time for a write-in campaign -- seems like Those Darn Accordions should play Summerfest's 40th anniversary. (But then I'm clearly biased.) Would anybody brave the Summerfest throngs to hear a little squeezebox rock? Or am I flogging a dead horse here? Hmmm ... Black Bavarian ... brats ... kraut balls ... and more people having a better time than at any beer-fueled event I've ever seen.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Time to Set the Squeezeboxes Down

I can hardly believe it, but today I think I played the last note on accordion for the new CD. It must be time to quit, because I found myself adding a ukulele track to one tune, ("Where's Bob?"). Tomorrow I will fly to San Francisco and hand over the tracks to our trusted engineer, Marc Senasac.

He'll get everything ready to start the mixing process. I like that, because I get to sit in a comfy chair and spin around and say things like, "A little more echo on the vocal, please," or, "Crank up that solo!" That's usually when I get sent out to pick up beer and sandwiches. We still have some background vocals to do and a shot at getting a mystery celeb guest artist, but I do believe I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Sure hope it's not a train!



TDA's 'Wacky' Turn on This American Life

TDA friend and contributing artist Sean "It's Not Art" Peterson forwards a link to the "Death to Wacky" episode of This American Life, which featured the Those Darn Accordions' cover of "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" Yee-haw!

TDA Summer Tour Comes Together

I just updated the Those Darn Accordions Tour Dates page with everything we've got confirmed so far. We'll be hitting some old favorite venues and trying on some new ones. More dates coming I'm sure ...

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Google Makes a Splash With Toilet-Based Broadband

Flush with investors' cash, Google on Sunday rolled out Google TiSP, calling its new broadband service "a fully functional, end-to-end system that provides in-home wireless access by connecting your commode-based TiSP wireless router to one of thousands of TiSP Access Nodes via fiber-optic cable strung through your local municipal sewage lines."

Even though the free service promises "a Google Toolbar-based analysis of your dietary habits and genetic predispositions," it still sounds kinda crappy to me.

Happy April 1. (For more news of the day, I recommend's special report).