Friday, June 29, 2007

TDA Mailing List Lives!

While previous reports of the reanimation of Those Darn Accordions' e-mail list were greatly exaggerated, I'm pleased to say that the sign-up mechanism works again at last. For real this time.

Join today for a free TDA bumper sticker. Sorry, sorry, sorry ... *really sorry* ... for any and all inconvenience.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Squeezebox Night Soars at Turner Hall of Monroe

It's all about the accordion on Squeezebox Night, even thought The Times reports that "four accordionists, two guitarists, a bass player, a banjo player and an autoharpist" added to the musical action Tuesday night at Turner Hall of Monroe, Wis.

Glad to hear Turner Hall has a hit on its hands -- it's one of the nicest venues TDA has played, and we'll be back there Aug. 17.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

This Is Your Crop Circle on Drugs

A hilarious overhead photo in The Daily Mail shows what happens when a cocaine-addled driver makes a run from the cops -- through a cornfield.

Oops, They Did It Again

Contrary to an earlier report, our Bravenet e-mail list is still not accepting members. We're working to get the problem resolved. Again, sorry for any inconvenience.

Ad Boosts Accordion Hero II Awareness

Apparently the fine minds behind the faux video game Accordion Hero II went so far as to buy an advertisement in Computer Games magazine.

If you haven't heard, Schadenfreude Interactive's faux follow-up to the ausgezeichnet original Accordion Hero spoof features some mighty fine music, including "The Bowling King" by Those Darn Accordions.

TDA Mailing List Returns

It took Bravenet 11 days to get the mighty Those Darn Accordions mailing list up and running, but we're back on track now. Apologies to the many people who tried to sign up while the service was down. Join the free list now to get your free TDA bumper sticker.

Texas 'Polka King' Disappears

Bobby Jones, leader of The Bobby Jones Czech Band and host of KULP's Texas Polka & Country Music Show, went missing over the weekend -- without his beloved accordion, according to the Houston Chronicle. We're pulling for you, Bobby.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Mailing List Problem Lingers

If you're trying to sign up for the TDA e-mail list, you're running into trouble. We apologize for that -- we've got a problem with Bravenet, our list service provider. We hope to have the sign-up mechanism back online soon. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Tom Torriglia, Squeezebox Evangelist

Canadian news source Canoe profiles former TDA squeezer Tom Torriglia (and rolls out a barrel full of accordion jokes) in a piece pegged to National Accordion Awareness Month. You are celebrating, aren't you?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Accordion Fun in La-La Land

What happens when you mix Drew Carey, Those Darn Accordions and a smokin' horn section from Vegas' Lon Bronson Band? Big, big fun on a little bitty stage at the Greg Proops Chat Show.

Drew sang lead vocals and led the band as we opened the night sans horns with "Party Hard" by Andrew W.K. Then we turned the stage over to Proops, who yatted it up with songstress Aimee Mann, investigative journalist Greg Palast and shockingly funny actor John C. Reilly. Finally we closed the night with the funky horns on The Mavericks' "Shine Your Light" and The Beatles' "Hippy Hippy Shake."

I hope the packed house had as much fun as we did. Drew, who's about to become the king of game shows, sure knows how to treat a band right, and Proops has a funny thing going, even if he does hate Indiana.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

TDA Swoops Into L.A.

We're going south ... literally. Those Darn Accordions will back Drew Carey when he performs at Largo this Friday night as part of the Greg Proops Chat Show. If you're in the Southland, you know what you need to do.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Greg Proops Chat Show Heats Up

Something tells me the Greg Proops Chat Show this Friday at Largo in Los Angeles is gonna be completely off the hookamarook.

It's a great bill -- awesome actor John C. Reilly, singing sweetheart Aimee Mann, Brit muckraker extraordinaire Greg Palast and -- last but not least -- the working man's comedy king, Drew Carey. Wonder what band the Cleveland Kid might get to back him?

And then there's the promised "Liquor, Chicken and Dreams!" When it's time to party we will always party hard. But then you knew that.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Some Tattoos Are Cool

This one's kind of, um, questionable.
P.S. The Hicks With Sticks-sponsored twang show -- conveniently located at my neighborhood watering hole The Knockout -- should be a good time.

Thanks for the Airplay, Risky Biscuit Hayseed Hoot

That's the coolest-sounding radio show I've heard in a month of Sundays. The Risky Biscuit Hayseed Hoot played TDA's version of "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" amidst music by greats like John Prine, C.J. Chenier, Queen Ida, Neil Young and Steve Earle. We're honored for the exposure on "free-range radio." Thanks, Hooters!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Mac's Turns 21, Gets a New Birthday Suit

I'm usually conservative about beer packaging -- love the vintage look of the old-time breweries' packaging, which never fails to make me think things were better way back when. But MacTarnahan's Brewing Company has done a pretty good job updating its labeling, just in time for the brewery's 21st birthday. The old stuff was cool, but the new stuff ain't bad, either. And that's coming from a guy who once dressed up as a bottle of Mac's Amber Ale for a Halloween gig in Portland.

Maybe the brewery will bring back Uncle Otto's Rocktoberfest, one of the coolest music-and-beer fests TDA has ever played. Happy birthday, Mac's!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Texas Names Its Big Squeeze

Juan Longoria Jr. of Brownsville, Texas, took first place in The Big Squeeze, a squeezebox competition held in conjunction with the 18th Annual Accordion Kings and Queens Concert in Houston.

The "aw shucks" quote, as recorded by The Brownsville Herald:

"The main part is not the cash money," Longoria said. "It’s just a little bit of pride and a little bit of recognition, getting first place and bringing it back to the Valley and South Texas. Nobody can take that away from me."

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Thanks for the Airplay, Greasy Kid Stuff!

It's an honor to see Those Darn Accordions listed among the "kid-friendly" greats played by DJs Belinda Miller and Hova Najarian during their weekly show on 94/7 Alternative Portland. Want to find out more about "radio that stays crunchy ... even in milk"? Here are the deets.

P.S. Thanks to Aabra Jaggard over at for the tip.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Fire Up the Potato Cannon

Life's just more fun when you're launching vegetable projectiles with a potato cannon. (Although maybe it wouldn't be so great to live within firing range of these creative jackasses, as can be seen when the irate neighbor busts up the party at the end of the clip.)

Growing up in Ohio, we did the same type of thing using old Mountain Dew cans and tennis balls. And of course duct tape, lighter fluid and Blue Tips.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Weird Al's Secret Formula

That prized info and much more -- including "Weird Al" Yankovic's run-in with Coolio, the surprising downside of YouTube and a look back at how the parody master got his start annoying people with his squeezebox at his college coffee shop's folk night -- is delivered in a cool interview in the Express-News, San Antonio's accordion paper of record.

It's Accordion Lovers Day

Help spread the word about a little-known holiday, Accordion Lovers Day. (The Empire State Building will light up bright white tonight.)

This is part of what makes June the happiest month of the year.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Happy Accordion Awareness Month

June is the month to let everybody know: We squeeze, we wheeze, get used to it.

National Accordion Awareness Month, started almost two decades ago by accordion activist and TDA OG Tom Torriglia, is the time to bust out the mother of pearl and break out of the squeezebox stereotypes.

Let's hope the The Express-Times' feature story, "Accordion Is Too Cool," is just the first of many articles this month chronicling our beloved box's triumph over a dorky past.

P.S. Paul and I spent the first day of this precious month in the studio, continuing work on the next Those Darn Accordions opus, which will be released this summer. I gotta say, it's sounding pretty good!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Long Live the Pink Flamingo

America's iconic lawn bird is not extinct after all. And they say there's no such thing as good news.

P.S. Get 'em while they're hot from for just $8.98!

Beer and Squeeze in Cincinnati

Mecklenburg Gardens, a German joint in my old college stomping grounds, sounds like a blast from the past. The biergarten's menu has been upgraded, and "Cincinnati accordion legend Jack Frost" plays on Wednesday nights, according to The Enquirer. I'll have to get my people in Cincy to confirm this encouraging news.

Nessie Surfaces on Tape (Maybe)

Amateur scientist Gordon Holmes videotaped something in Loch Ness. Could it be the famous monster? See the video and judge for yourself. Kinda looks like a log to me.

If you'd like to know more about the guy who faked a famous photo and then confessed to the stunt on his deathbed, read Great Moments in Science's entry on the Loch Ness Monster. It provides interesting background on Christian Spurling, who helped convince the world of Nessie's existence with just a toy submarine, some wood putty and a respectable witness.