Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2-4-1: An Evening W/ Audie and Paul

Pretty clever, huh? 2 heads, 4 hands and 1 piano. 2-4-1 Get it? Cool! Audie and I are really looking forward to our show at the venerable Freight and Salvage Coffee House in Berkeley, CA on Saturday, Jan. 17. Showtime is 8pm. Hope you can make it!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Now & Then Portraiture

Artist Bobby Neel Adams has taken an intriguing, albeit creepy, approach to portraiture in his series Age Maps. As shown here and on his site, he uses portraits from yesteryear and matches them with current day portraits.

In a similar technique, his series Family Tree combines portraits of family members; Father & Son, Mother & Daughter, etc.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Mothra Shoes Make Puma's Monstrous List

Mothra flies again in a new line of shoes from Puma that commemorates great Japanese movie monsters of the '50s and '60s.

The Puma Japanese Monster Pack features four other monsters as well (Godzilla, Mechagodzilla, Ghidorah and King Kong). HighSnobriety.com, which says the classy kicks will be available in March 2009, shows some detailed photos of the various styles.

[via /Film]

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Video: This Cat Loves Showers

I'm not sure how I feel about a grown man taking a big tabby into the shower and videotaping the whole thing, but this cat seems to be OK with it. Maybe things would have turned out differently if the guy cranked up the water flow past drip drip drip.

[via BuzzFeed]

Merry Christmas!

Suzanne got a pink bowling ball and shoes. I got a portable music stand and cookbooks for making pickles and cocktails. What did you get?

Merry Christmas to all our friends across the land and around the world.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Big Fun With David Lee Roth's Naked Vocals

A cool "soundboard" of snippets of David Lee Roth's vocal tracks from "Runnin' With the Devil" provides at least five minutes of verifiable fun. Just click and enjoy.

(If you want to hear Roth's whole naked vocal track in real time, watch the "video" above.)

Video: Sledgehammers With Explosives

I'm speechless.

[via BuzzFeed]

Friday, December 19, 2008

Crazy Cats Take Web by Storm

The interweb loves cats -- and so does Those Darn Accordions!

Urlesque.com awarded our feline friends a lifetime achievement award -- dedicated "to cats for their omnipresence on the internet" -- and put together this video of fantastic kitty clips.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Holiday Special Ends Today

Santa just wanted us to remind you that today is the last day to order from the TDA store and have the item in your hand and ready to wrap before Christmas. Today is also the last day you can order the Holiday Specials and or pick up the Christmas Jug Band's album "Uncorked" in the TDA store, so set down that egg nog and get the great combo deals while you can.

(Image: Flickr/StuckInCustoms)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Video: Christmas Jug Band, Circa 1990

Enjoy this early performance of everybody's favorite yuletide yip-giggle outfit, the Christmas Jug Band. Paul does a wicked piano solo in this clip.

The show was videotaped at the legendary Sweetwater club in Mill Valley, California.

If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area, you've got a few chances left to catch the CJB live while during this year's Jugonomic Stimulus Tour. The band plays an excellent mix of old-timey and supercool Christmas music, with a variety of instruments and a semi-random assortment of some of the Bay Area's finest musicians. (And a decent accordion and piano player from Washington state, too.)

[via Murphy Productions]

Sunday, December 14, 2008

In Italy, They Bail Out Cheesemakers

After the Italian government buys 100,000 beautiful wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano and donates them to charity, buffalo mozzarella producers want their own bailout, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Where will the bailouts stop? Nobody knows. But the Journal article sheds interesting light on the cheesemakers' products -- and their dilemma.

I hope the cheese biz in Wisconsin is doing OK.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Video: Broccoli Kitten Loves Broccoli

This crazy kitten loves broccoli -- that much is beyond debate.

Watch as his frantic paws scratch the air when the thought of losing his beloved cruciferous vegetable enters his pea brain. Listen to those crazy sounds he makes.

Try not to laugh. Cats hate that.

[via BuzzFeed]

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Video: How Hot Dogs Get Made

"Meat batter"? Yum.

The video's fascinating. But deep down inside, I'm glad I've got half a year to forget about this clip before next summer's hot dog season rolls around.

[via BuzzFeed]

Monday, December 8, 2008

World's Largest Potato? (Ugliest for Sure)

A Lebanese farmer found this monster tuber on his land near Tyre.

"I've been working the land since I was a boy, and it's the first time I've seen anything like it," now-famous farmer Khamil Semhat told AFP.

He looks pretty proud of his find, and swears he didn't use any crazy fertilizers to stimulate the growth of the hideous thing, which looks like an Elephant Man version of a yam.

It weighs almost 25 pounds, and might make the Guinness Book of World Records for biggest potato.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Fruitcake Follies Redux

It's that time of year and I have to say that this video remains my favorite rendition of "Santa Lost A Ho". When I sing it with the Christmas Jug Band I always get a great reaction, but I'm simply no match for Big Mama. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Suiting Up for a Midnight Snack

If this wacky ad is to be believed, women in the 1960s donned special outfits for midnight snacking. (I prefer to go commando.)

The image, uploaded to Flickr by user Fun House, is part of an advertising set with plenty of priceless images.

[via Boing Boing]

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Gift Packs are Here!

Just in time for Cyber Monday, we've created a couple limited-time specials. Don't fight the crowds. Don't waste time in traffic. Shop quickly & comfortably in our store for all the naughty & nice ones on your list.

Gift Set 1
Buy 1 Short Sleeve T-Shirt, Get 1 CD for $10

Gift Set 2
Buy any TDA CD, Get 1 CD Free

In the case that your TDA collection is well stocked, we're offering the "Uncorked" album from Paul's side-project the Christmas Jug Band.

Don't forget, everybody prefers TDA over another pair of socks!

Christmas Songs From Paul

Most of you know that I play with the Christmas Jug Band every year. I've put up 6 songs on my MySpace page for your holiday listening pleasure. A few of them are unreleased live recordings from last year. If any of you are in CA, OR or WA, please try to make a Jug Band show. They are a hoot! Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanks Giving

Thanksgiving is just a day away and in lieu of wacky turkey news, Team TDA wanted to share some thoughts of what we're each grateful for. Take a moment to ponder what you're most grateful for & enjoy the holiday!

I'm grateful to be able to ambulate into the day and to have opportunities to bring positive, helpful energy wherever I am. - Michael Messer

I'm thankful that I got to know my brother Buck again and get him involved with TDA. We're all going to miss him this Thanksgiving. - Paul Rogers

I'm grateful for friends, family and freedom -- what else do you need? (Oh yeah -- beer.) - Lewis Wallace

I'm grateful for my extended "family" of friends and relatives who love and trust me. I would do anything for them. - Suzanne Garramone

I´m thankful for snorkles and fishies and my husband´s multiple weeks of paid vacation a year that enabled us to snorkle on the island of Fernando De Noronha in Brazil this month. Life is worth living! - Susie Davis

I am grateful for being able to do what I love with people I love in such a breathtakingly amazing world. - Carri Abrahms

Photo Courtesty: riptheskull/Flickr

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Beautiful Mind

This is almost too amazing to believe. It's fascinating to watch savant Stephen Wiltshire draw the ENTIRE city of Rome from memory after only one fly over. I thought I was doing pretty good just remembering what my backyard looked like.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Santa Lost A Ho Light Show

You never know where this Christmas Jug Band tune is going to show up. I found this on the internet and I think it proves that people will pretty much watch anything that's on a screen. I do like the illuminated narrators, especially their reference to the possible energy source for all those lights. Reminds me of a certain TDA tune.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Godzilla vs. Godzilla Tree?

In Japan, a tree has taken on the profile of film legend Godzilla. As seen in the above video, viewing the tree from a specific angle, you can easily make out the profile of the radioactive lizard. I wonder if there's a bonsai somewhere that looks like Son of Godzilla?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Loch Ness Horror

After hearing about the Nessie photo anniverary, we went trolling the waters of the web and came up with this gem! The 1981 horror flick is a masterpiece of classic horror camp. If you're not faint of heart, check out the trailer.

(Via Internet Poster Awards)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

First Nessie Photo Turns 75

The first photo of the so-called Loch Ness Monster was taken 75 years ago today, and BBC News tells the story of the historic image:
"It was this picture, snapped by Hugh Grey on 12 November 1933, that is credited as being the first photographic evidence of the Loch Ness monster. It appeared on the front cover of the Scottish Daily Record on 8 December that year, under the headline 'Monster photograph of the mysterious Loch Ness object.'"

The BBC also has several other historic photos of Nessie, including the "neck" photo, which was taken by the guy described in "Deathbed Confession."

Wild Women of the Accordion

Tonight, Nov 13, at the Cafe du Nord there's a Wild Women of the Accordion show scheduled to entertain you this Mini-Friday. The show features TDA alum Big Lou and her band Polka Casserole, as well as Kugelplex, and Renee de la Prade and Friends.

Visit SFGate.com for more info, including an interview with Lou.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The End Of TV For Old Folks

This made me laugh. I sent it to my folks, who I think will be able to relate. My favorite line; "Will this bring Jack Benny back?"

How To Yodel

My friend Peter H. sends this vintage performance by Diane Jewett, a queen of the near lost art of yodeling. TDA's own Carri Abrahms does a fine job of it in the Hotsy Totsy Polka. So warm up those vocal cords and let loose!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Accordion Bus

The Camden Irish Music Festival recently did some ambient advertising on the already accordion looking articulated buses throughout London. I wonder if they need some music piped in for the commuters?

(Via I Believe In Advertising)

Monday, November 10, 2008

New ThoseDarnAccordions.com

This weekend we launched a new version of ThoseDarnAccordions.com. The focus was to simplify content and navigation. Some highlights are...
- Each product has its own page.
- Each band member has their own biography.
- More active content in the Multimedia section.

And now here's how you can make it even better! Post photos of TDA on your Flickr.com account and tag them ThoseDarnAccordions. Our Multimedia page shows the latest uploads with that tag, giving everyone a chance to share their wonderful pix with other fans! Right now, you can see photos from some Yahoo employees enjoying TDA on their Sunnyvale campus.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Gigantic Salmon Swims No More

An 85-pound chinook salmon carcass was found recently on Battle Creek near Anderson, California.

"We see lots of big ones," biologist Doug Killam (pictured holding the salmon) told the Record Searchlight, "but this one was just bigger than most big ones -- it was just spectacular."

Be sure to check the full-size image on the paper's site. The huge fish really is spectacular.

The paper says this fall's salmon run has been smaller than usual, and I think I know why: That 51-inch giant must have eaten a lot of herring, sardines and other salmon grub. Maybe it was even a cannibal.

P.S. Anderson is the home of the Mosquito Serenade, a great concert series down by the river that we've had the pleasure of playing several times. Maybe that 85-pound monster salmon swam by a TDA show!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Spoofs of Hope

A gallery of Shepard Fairey's Obama "Hope" Posters spoofs popped online recently. A personal favorite is the portrait of Bob Hope, included here. Admittedly, the quality varies drastically, but it's interesting to see how iconic one street-artist-come-designer's work has become. If you're unfamiliar with Fairey's work, hop over to Obey Giant.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

War to the White House

Tired of the talking heads on television yammering on and on about the election? With time for an October Surprise becoming short, are you set with who you're voting for and just want a laugh? The Onion Newspaper is offering up some election snickers in their War for the White House section. Equally biased against all parties, it's just what we need to get through this final week.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Make a Watermelon Brain

DIY website Instructables has cool step-by-step instructions for making a brain out of a watermelon. All you'll need is a small seedless watermelon, a vegetable peeler, a couple of knives and a desire for a freaky-looking dessert.

[via Boing Boing]

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Do you Yahoo? TDA did!

At 4 O'Clock today TDA launched Yahoo's 2008 Oktoberfest activities. As the Sunnyvale staff lined up for endless beer & brat, TDA pumped out the energy.

Wandering around the campus, TDA couldn't help but admire a company that had both a free espresso bar and 2 on-site beach volleyball courts. A few company dancing queens couldn't resist cutting a rug through most of the set. Thanks Ladies!

YooHoo Yahoo! Staff - We'd love to see your photos! Post a link in the comments!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mill Valley Friday, Winters Saturday

TDA hits the stage again this weekend with two big shows.

The first stop in Mill Valley, Calif. tonight at the 142 Throckmorton Theatre. Opening for TDA is local Marin talent, Electric Tiger Lily.
Saturday night the gang returns to The Palms Playhouse in Winters, Calif.

See you there!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Paul's Sales Pitch

I haven't exactly been getting a swarm of Presenters around the TDA booth, so today I decided to sign up as an alternate at the Juried Showcases for a 2 minute pitch slot. It was looking like I wasn't going to get in, but then someone didn't show up and they called my name. I gotta tell ya, I was way more nervous walking up to the podium in that huge auditorium than I have ever been doing a show. I quickly realized the only way I could pull this off was to treat this like a gig and act like I was just talking between songs. So with shaking hands, and a dry mouth, I stared into the blinding spotlight and said: (It's weird that I can remember it so clearly)

"Hi folks, my name is Paul Rogers and I am with Those Darn Accordions. We are a 6 piece accordion band made up of 4 accordions, bass and drums. Beside myself, there are three woman that play the accordion and sing beautifully. We play everything from polkas to Led Zeppelin, but 90% of our music is original. These are clever, funny, thought provoking songs that reflect the human condition as I see it. (I paused here to see if I might get a chuckle. I didn't). We have performed on the Great American Music Awards with Drew Carey, Penn & Teller's "Sin City Spectacular", The Donny & Marie Show, and the Tammy Faye Baker show...I could on..(a few chuckles). You know folks, people come up to me after shows and say, "Paul, after the first song or two, we forget you are even playing accordions". (Pause) I've chosen to take that as a compliment. ( More chuckles) Ladies and gentlemen, I sense a lot of fear out there. I see it in your eyes as you enter the exhibit hall and see that word...Accordions. (a nice laugh as I gestured up behind me). I see you veering off to one side or the other. (More laughter) But folks, this conference is all about stepping outside our "comfort zone" and trying something new. (laughter continues) So I want all of you to step up to booth L20 and find out what TDA's really all about. Thank you very much. (a couple of "shouts of "Yeah", great applause)

Out in the hall I had several people come up and say "great pitch!" I was really glad it was over and it went well. Then I ran into the woman that ran the "Believe in Yourself" workshop I attended yesterday and she was very effusive and said she was very proud of me. I hope all of you are too.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Paul At The Booking Conference

Well, everybody else got to go home after Reno except me. I flew to OR to attend a booking conference and sit in a little booth with a TDA display and attempt to cajole Presenters to book TDA.
I just got back from my afternoon workshop, "Build Your Belief- The Key To Success"
Did you know that a belief is a thought that creates a feeling that causes either action or inaction which then causes an outcome? I didn't think so.
I have to put my name tag back on now and go down to the Juried showcases and see a bunch of very talented people do 12 minute sets.
I'm supposed to sign up for a "Dine Around" and go out to dinner with people I don't know and "step outside my comfort zone in order to maximize my conference experience."

At the morning exhibit hall time slot, I gave away 1 promo pkg for a possible mini tour in Alaska.  I brought 50 pkgs. I have 2 time slots left.  I have a certain negative belief developing that I have to go deal with now.


If you believe you can do it, or if you believe you can't do it, you're right.  - Henry Ford

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

TDA to Perform"Con Te Sulla Spiaggia"

We're playing the Eldorado's Great Italian Festival this weekend in Reno, NV so we thought it would make sense to add another Italian tune to the show. (Carri and Susie already do a show stopping version of "It's Now Or Never/O Solo Mio".) Our research dug up this Italian pop song from the '60s, made popular by Nico Fidenco; "Con Te Sulla Spiaggia". Our in-house translator, Carri Abrahms, has provided English lyrics for me. It's a good thing, because I really butchered the Italian ones. This should be fun.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Revving Up for Reno Italian Festival

The Eldorado Great Italian Festival is a truly fantastico party each year in Reno, Nev., with lots of music and vendors serving loads of great food. We've played the fun festival for years, and we'll be doing it again next weekend.

The big outdoor celebration of all things Italian (including accordions) takes over a main street in downtown Reno, with a couple of stages and roaming musicians everywhere. Those Darn Accordions plays both days on The Rome Stage. Our sets start at 10:45 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, and 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 12.

The Sacramento Bee has a nice story with an unruly headline -- "A Proud Family Tradition Lives on at the 27th Eldorado Italian Festival" -- if you'd like to get an idea of what goes on at the festival.

Hope to see you there.

P.S. I'm thrilled to see that original TDA member Tom Torriglia's band Bella Ciao will be returning as well.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

TDA Plays 'Baba O'Riley,' Live in Seaside, Ore.

Watch our version of "Baba O'Riley," recorded live at the Elks Lodge in Seaside, Ore., and posted to YouTube by Jim D'Ville. Love the party graphics!

We played this decidedly non-German song at Seaside's first Oktoberfest last weekend, but there were plenty of polkas on the set list as well. Hope we get a chance to take the stage again next year.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Seaside Oktoberfest Is On, Baby

Thee stage is set at the Seaside Elks Lodge, the crafters are selling their goods, the food vendors are rocking outside and we're getting ready to go on at the Seaside Oktoberfest.

We always have a great time in this groovy little Oregon town, and so far this outing is no exception. This is the inaugural edition of the Seaside Oktoberfest, and already you can tell it's a little different:When was the last time you had barbecued oysters or crab cakes at an Oktoberfest? There's plenty of beer (including Widmer Brothers hefeweizen and Okto!) and bratwurst, too.

If you're anywhere near the Oregon coast, get a move on -- we start at 6 p.m. and play till 9 p.m. Admission is just $2. What a deal!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mr. Saggy Butt Is Safe

Florida is officially a safe strolling grounds for the title character from Paul's song "Mr. Saggy Butt."

A judge has ruled unconstitutional the "saggy pants" law in Riviera Beach, Florida, and a public defender is trying to get the ban on droopy drawers tossed out for good.

"Somebody help me," Palm Beach Circuit Judge Paul Moyle said of a case in which a teenager was jailed for having his underwear showing above his low-riding pants, according to the Palm Beach Post. "We're not talking about exposure of buttocks. No! We're talking about someone who has on pants whose underwear are apparently visible to a police officer who then makes an arrest and the basis is he's then held overnight, no bond. No bond!"

What's the penalty for wearing saggy pants? According to the paper:

A first offense carries a $150 fine or a requirement of community service; only habitual offenders face the possibility of jail time.

Justice prevails again.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Oktoberfest '08 Photos

If you weren't able to make it out or simply want to relive a bit of the fun from this past weekend, here's a few snapshots of Those Darn Accordions at Widmer Brothers Brewery.

After a full day of booze, bratwurst, & bands the audience awaits TDA to take the stage.

Lewis takes a look at the set list at his feet & starts prepping himself to play the latest cover tune, Dancing Queen.

Paul surveys the crowd, asks the time, the ladies of TDA declare it "Polka Time!" and the show is appropriately opened with Glass Of Beer Polka.

A bit later Suzanne gets sultry under the cool glow of the hot lights. Later in the set, she wins a battle against the devil when The Devil Went Down To Georgia.

Carri looks offstage to see other Oktoberfest bands watching the show from the wings.

A staple of a TDA show, Susie tears it up as she belts out Back In Black.

Michael laid down the beats and hid from the camera behind his drum kit, as the audience grooved to TDA's return to Portland.

The next morning Suzanne & Lewis ventured to downtown Portland's Voodoo Doughnuts. Picking from the oddball menu, Suzanne enjoys the No Name Doughnut topped with chocolate, Rice Krispies, & creamy peanut butter while Lewis tries out the Bubble Gum Doughnut.
The verdict? Surprisingly Delicious!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Wowed 'em at Widmer

Wow is right! We had a blast at Widmer Bros Oktoberfest tonight. What a great crowd! Tonight was one of those nights where we get reminded why we do this. The fans! And the ones in Portland are the best. Thanks to Widmer Bros and everyone who came out. We sure hope to see you again next year! Hey wait, here comes the rest of the band. They want to chime in too!
Hi All, Susie Here. We'll have orthodics waiting for the dudes who were slam dancing barefoot on the cement for the whole set. Loved seeing all the smiling faces of our Portland people. I want to thank everyone of them for being so open to all of the "Polkas". We know this isn't exactly Wisconsin.... So, this is were all the old hippies went! Let's make "Them Hippies was Right" the new Oregon State song!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Widmer's Oktoberfest this Saturday

TDA returns to the Widmer Brothers Brewery in Portland, Ore. this Saturday.

The free, 21+ Oktoberfest event starts at 3pm and is expected to draw over 3,000 people. Food will be traditional German grub and live music throughout the day will include TDA, Debra Arlyn, Tea for Julie, Keegan Smith and The Fam, and Colin Lake and Wellbottom.

Come out, enjoy the predicted 80
° day, and throw back a pint or two with TDA.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Comic Guitar-Slinger Jerry Reed Dies

Jerry Reed, the guitar-toting singer and actor who worked with Burt Reynolds in the Smokey and the Bandit movies, died Monday of emphysema. He was 71.

Reed was a great guitar player and singer who specialized in funny story songs (like "Amos Moses") and truck-driving tunes ("East Bound and Down," "Caffeine, Nicotine, Benzedrine"). TDA covered his "When You're Hot You're Hot" back in the good old days.

You can see Reed in action at a country awards show in the embedded clip. The great ones just keep moving on.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Freaky, Geeky Tattoos

My college buddy (and now Wired.com photo editor) Jim Merithew went to Comic-Con International earlier this year. At the show, we were able to finish a little assignment we'd been kicking around for months: a photo gallery of comics-related tattoos.

See for yourself in our gallery: Geek Ink: Comics Fans Show Off Tattoos.

No accordions, but still pretty wild, IMHO.

9 Things (You Think) Your Beer Says About You

Just in time for the Labor Day weekend, a wacky list of "9 Things (You Think) Your Beer Says About You" bubbles up on Cracked.com.

Pretty funny, but be warned -- there's some salty language!

P.S. Please note that Widmer Brothers' tasty beer -- which we will undoubtedly be sampling in Portland, Ore., when we play the brewery's fourth-annual Oktoberfest on Sept. 6 -- is not on the list. What does drinking a Widmer say about you? It just says you're cool (and possibly that you're listening to accordion music).

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Everything's Deep Fried In Texas

The State Fair of Texas (Sept 26-Oct 19) announced this year's deep fried delicacies. The oddball treats have gained popularity in recent years, most notably in 2006 with the invention of Deep Fried Coke (pictured).

The high calorie treats are all entries in the fair's Big Tex Choice Awards. Last year's competition winner was Deep Fried Cookie Dough. In the running for this year's award are Jelly Belly Beans battered and fried in Funnel Cake, Chicken Fried Bacon, and Deep Fried S'mores. Check out the full menu here.

Photo: Stephen Witherden/Flickr

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Accordions On The Rise

Cynthia Dizikes has a nice story on accordions in the LA Times. She cites the resurgence in popularity of the instrument and some of the folks that have helped make it "cool" again. If only we had known, we could have lent a hand as well!

Paul Moonlights with 1 Piano, 2 Piano men

Circle August 28 on your calendar for 1 Piano, 2 Piano men: Paul Rogers & Austin de Lone. Paul has performed with Austin for years in The Christmas Jug Band & next Thursday night they will share a single grand piano as they share their tunes. The Marin Independent Journal is already calling the gig a "Best Bet." Pick up your tickets and find more details at the Sweetwater Station in Larkspur, Calif.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Snake!-TDA's Rogers to the Rescue

It was a hot summer afternoon in the Great Northwest and we had all the windows and doors open. Suddenly LuAnn burst into my studio screaming that a deadly Northwest Timber Viper was under the dining room table. By the time I geared up, it had taken refuge under the sideboard.
I don't like to toot my own horn, but I gotta tell ya, this was one of my more amazing acts of courage.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Top 5 Rock Accordion Songs

The American Accordionists Association has come up with a list of the Top 5 Rock Accordion Tunes. Not surprised to see The Who's "Squeeze Box" as the #1 pick, but we know where the REAL rock accordion tunes can be found, don't we? One that comes to mind is TDA's own "The Janitor Knows".

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Monsters of Accordions Attack the Bay

Jason Webley
starts another Monsters of Accordions tour tonight in Santa Rosa, Calif. The tour zips along the west coast with the other stops in the Bay Area this weekend.

Other squeezebox monsters joining Webley's gypsy-punk-floor-stomping-storyteller stylings on the tour will be Mark Growden, Amy Denio, Duckmandu, as well as special guests at each location.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Accordionize Your Home - Part II

Are you still looking for more ways to make your dwelling reflect your admiration for the mighty accordion?

Upscale toddler boutique PoshTots offers an Accordion Desk in their store. The maple wood and veneer desk is a hefty piece of furniture and a hefty piece of change, ringing up at $5,600.

Also available, is the Brian Dresser. The 5-drawer vertical piece stands just over 3 feet tall and may make a great addition to your home office, as you accordionize your home.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Win a Roland V-Accordion & a trip to Rome!

Saturday September 20, 2008 in Los Angeles at Roland's U.S. Headquarters accordionists will be competing to win a trip to Rome, Italy to perform in the International Accordion Festival held by Roland on November 7 & 8, 2008. The grand prize winner will walk away with Roland's FR-7 or FR-7b V-Accordion. The FR-7 was previously mentioned here, as the new instrument "Weird Al" recently fell in love with.

The competition is open in the United States to Senior Soloists performing non-vocal pieces under 5 minutes. For more details and photos from last year's competition, click over to the official event site.

To see what your new toy can do when you win, here's a Roland staffer demonstrating the instrument's potential at a recent NAMM convention.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

So Long to "Chef" Isaac Hayes

I'm sad to hear about the death of Isaac Hayes. I have a wonderful memory of TDA opening for the soul crooner at Harbor Fest in Norfolk, VA. He did a spirited version of 'Shaft" as well as "Chocolate,Salty Balls" He was truly inspiring!

New Review of TDA CDs

Baron Dave Romm offers up a review of 4 TDA CDs. Baron Dave is a conceptual artist and a noble of Ladonia who produces Shockwave Radio Theater, writes in a Live Journal demi-blog, plays with a very weird CD collection and an ever growing list of political links. He reviews things at random for obscure web sites. You can read all his music recommendations from Bartcop-E. Podcasts of Shockwave Radio Theater, Permanent archive. More radio programs, interviews and science fiction humor plays can be accessed on the Shockwave Radio audio page.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

TDA Dissed in SF

Geez, We're used to the occasional dumb comments from the press in other places, but it's a drag to get it from our hometown. Especially if it's not very clever. At least when our dear friend Herb Caen used to give us a plug and a rib, he did it with style and wit. He was a true SF treasure. We miss you Herb!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Prisoners Prefer Cassettes

Need to share Those Darn Accordions with your inmate friends? Pick up No Strings Attached on cassette for $5, while supplies last. The last remaining TDA album on cassettte in the TDA store will make a valuable gift in the slammer as CD's are prohibited for their easy conversion into weapons. As Reuters reports, prison inmates are one of the largest remaining purchasers of albums on cassettes. One mail order retailer is reporting 60% of his sales going to US inmates.

For the more tech saavy inmate in your life, you may want to give them MP3s on a Mixa USB Cassette. The European manufacturer lets you design your own label and plastic case on a realistic looking flashback to the 80's.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Air Guitar Championships 2008

You have only a few days left to submit your entry to Finland's 13th Annual Air Guitar World Championship. The MTV sponsored event takes place August 20-22 in Oulu, Finland, about an 8 hour drive north of Helsinki. The rules for competition dictate that you can use either electric or acoustic air guitars, you may use props such as a pick, but no real instruments, and you may hire an air roadie, but no air back-up band.

Started in 1996, the event also offers a training camp if you're worried your playing is a little rusty.

Full details at AirGuitarWorldChapionships.com.

Photo: glynnish/Flickr

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The new 3G iPhone is very Boom!

The internet movers-n-shakers have started a new meme, the Supercut. Edits of video or audio down to the smallest instance of a word or phrase. The video above calls to attention how often Mac CEO Steve Jobs expresses Apple's speed with one select word, "Boom!"

Other Supercut superhits are Mr. Job's old buddy Bill Gates' use of "Uh…" in one interview, Chicago artist Chuck Jones' edit of NPR's "All Things Considered" down to only breathing (mp3 link), and for the more calloused ears, NWA's Straight Outta Compton album cut down to only the explicit content. Surprisingly catchy.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Accordionize Your Home

Is your home lacking an air of appreciation for the accordion? The first step may be to purchase this cardboard couch from Molo Design Studio. Squeezing to seat one, bellowing out to accommodate your entire family; we await somebody to mod it into a musical instrument.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Life For Sale

Another kooky eBay auction ended today - Australian Ian Usher auctioned off his life in Perth. For $399,300 AUD (~$326,135 USD) the winning bidder is receiving a house, a boat, a jet ski, motorbike, and a job as a rug store assistant. The seller is offering up his friends' friendship as well to help show the winner around as he situates himself in his new life.

ALife4Sale.com offers up in great detail everything that was on the auction block and answers frequently asked questions, including whether or not the ex-wife is part of the deal. How much is your life worth?

Cotati Accordion Fest Lineup Is Live

Here's the full lineup for the 2008 Cotati Accordion Festival.

Those Darn Accordions is not on the list, but some great and quirky squeezeboxers will perform: Dick Contino, TDA alumna Big Lou, Polka Freakout, The Great Morgani and many more.

Don't stay away on our account.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Bay Bellows This Weekend

If you're near the San Francisco Bay Area this weekend, Petaluma, Calif. wraps up National Accordion Month this weekend with a free festival. The 6th Annual Accordion Festival celebrates the accordion and its many personalities with experts to amateurs, latin jazz to polkas. Although the event isn't on TDA's tour schedule, it should draw some talented squeezers to help you celebrate our favorite reed instrument.

Full details at ArgusCourier.com

Bigger-Than-Life Bowling

Pottery Barn Kids' jumbo inflatable bowling ball and pins game probably isn't better than the real thing. But it is bigger.

From the catalog description: "Indoors or out, our inflatable games are perfect for parties or afternoon play. The bowling game includes three 42-inch-tall pins and a ball (25-inch diameter). Made of extra-durable, water-resistant PVC."

Now, if they'd just add a 60-inch-tall pitcher of cold draft beer ... (not so good for kids, I guess).

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Another Reason to Hit Polish Fest on Saturday

Aside from the food, vodka tasting and final TDA show in Wisconsin this year, Saturday night at Milwaukee's Polish Fest brings another noteworthy event: a set by Jimmy Sturr and his orchestra.

The 17-time polka Grammy winner starts at 7:30 p.m. Saturday on the Miller stage (right before us).

Two Shows Down and One to Go

Our Wisconsin whirlwind mini-tour is two-thirds of the way done, and the first two gigs couldn't have been more different.

The first, at the wonderful Swiss Turner Hall of Monroe, was quite quiet -- the venue calls for a low-key sound. The accordion players didn't even use amps (a return to TDA's roots, in a way). Michael played drums, of course, and I had a bass amp, but we kept the volume tamped waaaaaaaaaaaaaay down.

It made for a sort of storyteller's show -- special thanks to the guy who told the true tale about nailing a 7-10 split in Turner Hall's bowling alley. His demo, with two pins and a bowling ball, was pretty amazing. And the post-show limburger and beer in the Ratskeller was remarkable as always. Special thanks to all our friends at Turner Hall who always make us feel so welcome.

Food note: If you ever find yourself near Monroe, you really owe it to yourself to enjoy a meal in Turner Hall's Ratskeller -- the food is genuinely amazing. (Check out the menus for a taste of what you can expect in the way of Swiss delicacies -- do not miss the rösti.)

Day two of the TDA Wisconsin mini-tour found us on the giant Miller stage at Polish Fest in Milwaukee. The event is on the Summerfest grounds (although it's not nearly as maddeningly crowded as at the Big Gig). The stage is still huge, though, and the sound is truly awesome. The high volume makes for a totally different kind of show: The accordion players ran through amps (Paul reveled in his Marshall half-stack), and Michael banged his drums to his heart's content. My bass rig was taller than me.

In short, it was much more of a rock show. We'll be doing the same thing again tonight -- loud and proud at our first Milwaukee shows since 2005. Can you believe it's been that long?

If you can make it out, we'd love to see you. We start at 9 p.m. tonight and go to midnight (with a break in the middle for fireworks). Come on down and enjoy some great Polish food and piwo -- you'll get to hear a couple new and revived TDA tunes, lots of stuff from our latest CD, Squeeze Machine, plus plenty of back-catalog classics.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Garfield - Remixed

Jim Davis' cat Garfield has seen a bit of a banal existence since his creation in 1978, but recently started picking up a unique following on the internet. Instead of reposting the strips as-is, people have started giving them a surreal spin. Production house Fatal Farms re-enacts select strips in homemade costumes at LasagnaCat.com.

Garfield Minus Garfield is an incredibly dedicated site that even Jim Davis admits to enjoying. Each day Garfield is removed from the daily strip and posted at GarfieldMinusGarfield.net, resulting in what they describe as "an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and the empty desperation of modern life."

If you want to get started on your own oddball strip, the official Garfield Strip Creator is the way to go. No drawing ability required.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Social Networking for All

CNET UK offers up a hefty listing of the more unique social networking sites around.

Highlights start with Hamsterster where your hamster can befriend other hamsters. Both MyCatSpace and MyDogSpace are set up similarly, but also include "The Battle For Cuteness" where puppy-dog-eyes are in full force.

MatchADream gives you the opprotunity to finally join a "Dream Circle" with others that have had similar dreams. Set aside a couple hours for a ride through the human psyche by searching keywords or using the Random Dream Search.

After reading all the bizarre dreams, you should be ready for a pint. Find a drinking location nearby or share a story about your favorite brew with website Coastr.

While TDA hasn't signed up for these yet, you can always befriend us on our MySpace.

Photo: cicciopizzettaro/Flickr

Accordions Anonymous Gets 'Behind the Bellows'

Nobody will ever call Those Darn Accordions the world's most-covered band, so when we see or hear somebody doing a version of one of our tunes, we're thrilled.

Witness Accordions Anonymous' cover of "Behind the Bellows." From the the YouTube description: "Accordions Anonymous, here joined by one of our founding mothers, Lorelei A. (aka Queen Accordionna), performs the Those Darns Accordions song 'Behind the Bellows' at the S.L.U.G. Queens' Ball, June 6, 2008, at Cozmic Pizza in Eugene." (I'm guessing that must Oregon.)

And here's a secret little coincidence: We recently added "Behind the Bellows" to the TDA set list. Come see us in Wisconsin this weekend (we play Monroe and Milwaukee) and you might hear it.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Cool Accordion Cake

Cake-Decorating-Corner.com has a sweet, squeezebox-y baked delight on display: a Chocolate Accordion Cake.

Debbie Budd, the cake's helpful maker, gives instructions on how she made it.

Nice job, Debbie!

Friday, June 13, 2008

TDA hits the Midwest

We are off to water-logged Wisconsin next week to play three shows. We're hoping we can help raise the spirits of our friends in the Badger state as they begin to dry out.
We start Thursday, June 19, in Monroe, WI with a return to Turner Hall for an early evening show. Then June 20 &21 it's on to our old stomping grounds in Milwaukee to play 2 nights at Polish Fest. We're on the Miller stage both nights and I can tell you that we intend PARTY DOWN! This will be our ONLY trip to the midwest this year, so if you are in need of a hit of TDA, it's time to get in gear and high tail it Monroe or Milwaukee next week. We're hoping some of you hard core TDA fans can make all three shows! See you soon!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Varmint Vittles

TDA is preparing to hit the road soon and thoughts of festivals and food fill the mind. Road food is always an enjoyable adventure, but throughout the US there's a growth of festivals focusing on off-kilter cuisine.

From Spam to roadkill, ForbesTraveler.com has found the most interesting events and highlights them with a slideshow.

Photo: mureena/Flickr

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Found Fan Art

As previously mentioned on TDA's Wall of Wheeze, today is the First Annual Drawing Day. In honor of the event, the team here wandered around the largest art community online, DeviantArt and found two great pieces of TDA fan art. Both focus on our old pal Hamsterman from the No Strings Attached album.

The first is an inspired cartoon drawing by artist A J.

The second is a moodier interpretation by Graham S. McGuire.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

How to Promote Your Band on MySpace (With Accordions)

Wired.com's How-To Wiki has a cool post on How to Promote Your Band on MySpace, and I must say they've chosen an excellent band photo to illustrate "Step 1: Gather Your Promotional Materials."

Here's a hint from the instructional article: "Look and learn: Women with accordions in front, dorky dudes in the back."

A little background: The photo is a collage put together by our pal Sean "It's Not Art" Pete, who's recently started blogging on The Wall of Wheeze. The individual pix, which were shot by Wired.com photo editor (and my old college buddy) Jim Merithew, were taken for our latest record, Squeeze Machine.

Sean also created the steampunk accordion that graces the cover of Squeeze Machine (steampunk accordion T-shirts are still available).

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Saturday's One Million Drawings

The latest community popping up is a group trying to unite artists and aficionados for one day "to create enough drawings to make some noise worldwide for the sake of art." Their goal is for 1 million pieces to be created and uploaded on the web this coming Saturday, June 7th. This First-Annual event gives participants a chance to relax and recapture childhood freedom.

If you decide to draw anything related to the TDA universe, be sure to share it here in the comments!

To promise to draw, find resources on where to host your masterpiece, and more details visit DrawingDay.org.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Japan's Down-N-Out Closet Clean-Out

If you haven't tackled your spring cleaning this year, you may want to stop the procrastination. Like a man in Japan this past week, you may sweep out more than dust bunnies.

Police arrested a 58-year-old homeless woman that had been living in a Tokyo resident's closet for an entire year, somehow unnoticed. The resident grew suspicious after finally noticing food missing from his kitchen after some months. He followed his suspicions and installed security cameras that would transmit directly to his mobile phone, eventually sending images of a figure moving about the premises. The man had police sent immediately to his dwelling where they eventually found the woman curled up within the closet and atop a mattress she had moved into the space.

-More details at CNN.com.

June Is National Accordion Awareness Month

Time to party, squeezebox style. Get a quick hit of accordion facts from TDA founder Tom Torriglia on his National Accordion Awareness Month 2008 page.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

A Short History of Hangovers

Pour a tall one and enjoy a classic article on the international phenomenon known as the hangover. "A Few Too Many" is a great piece of writing from The New Yorker, complete with colorful anecdotes, science and a some suspect hangover remedies.

Submit your own morning-after miracles over at Wired magazine's culture blog, the Underwire: "What's Your Magic Hangover Cure?"

(And might I be so bold as to recommend that you listen to "Hungover in Clover" as you contemplate this subject?)

Photo: aerodesign.pl/Flickr

Friday, May 30, 2008

Los Angeles Accordion Festival Comes to Life

The first Los Angeles Accordion Festival is happening this Friday through Sunday at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Hall, Aerie 2188 in Eagle Rock, according to Pasadena Weekly.

"If you think it's going to be all polkas, think again," the paper says. "The event showcases the diverse styles performed on the instrument, including Cajun, Irish, rockabilly, Tex-Mex, zydeco, alternative and experimental."


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Behind Every Dumbass Is A Hero

Image courtesy of Flickr.com user mharrsch.

Today is the anniversary of one man inspiring thousands who think they have something to prove. On May 29, 1953, New Zealand mountaineer Edmund Hillary, along with his Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, was the first to reach Mount Everest's summit. Since that accomplishment, Sherpas have carried packs and oxygen for nearly 2,500 ascents. Today Nepal's goverment will issue you a climbing permit for a mere $25,000 per person. Unlike Hillary, it's pretty unlikely you'll be remembered, but good luck!

If you haven't already, check out Those Darn Accordions tribute to this curiosity of human nature with There's Another Dumbass on the Mountain.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

'Weird Al' Goes Digital With Roland FR-7 V-Accordion

The man who made the accordion cool (or at least funny) has gone digital. Our parody-song guru and all-around pal "Weird Al" Yankovic is
enjoying his Roland FR-7 V-Accordion
, which offers a variety of MIDI sounds, according to Wired.com's Listening Post.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Next Stop: Karfluki Fest Today

We're on our way to Auburn, California, for Karfluki Fest. It's a two-day festival, running May 3 and 4, but we only play Saturday (our set starts at 5:30 p.m.).

Karfluki Fest has a pretty big lineup:
If you are anywhere near the California Gold country, come on out and join the fun.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Anniversary of Mothra's First Fight With Godzilla

On this date in 1964, Mothra clashed with Godzilla for the first time.

The classic movie went by various names, according to Wired.com. It's a sci-fi anniversary I suggest you celebrate by listening to the TDA classic, "Mothra." Just a thought.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Kimmo Pohjonen Pairs Accordion With Tractors

Avant-garde accordionist Kimmo Pohjonen is recording the sounds of revving tractors for his upcoming Earth Machine Music tour, according to Times Online. Pohjonen calls the music he's making "industrial agricultural music" -- don't expect any polkas.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Vince Neil Does the Chicken Dance

Everybody does the chicken dance, even Motley Crue singer Vince Neil. It truly is the international dance of love.

[Thanks, Bill!]

Friday, April 11, 2008

Charlie Daniels Dumps On The Devil

Charlie Daniels is fighting mad about Guitar Hero's version of his tune, "The Devil Went Down To Georgia". He's not too happy that the Devil is allowed to win. Uh oh, TDA has been known to do the same thing in our live versions of the tune. I guess we better change our ways or we might have Charlie come looking for US. Of course, in our recorded version of the tune on our CD, "Squeeze This", the Devil takes the fall everytime. May it always be so!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Last Chicken Dance

Anyone who has been around an accordion knows that sooner or later you are going to get up and do "The Chicken Dance". We recorded it as the "Duck Dance" on our 1st cassette release and performed it in Lithuania. People all the world seem to know the song and the dance that goes with it. We'd like to take a moment and honor the man who wrote the tune. Here's to you Bob. We know they are all doing the "Chicken Dance" behind the pearly gates tonight.

WEDNESDAY, April 9, 2008, 5:36 p.m.

Bob Kames, of chicken dance fame, dies

Bob Kames, Milwaukee's own music man, died of prostate cancer today, according to his family.

Kames popularized an old-world tune called "Dance Little Bird" - better known as "The Chicken Dance." He long operated the Bob Kames Wonderful World of Music stores here in Milwaukee. He recorded more than 70 albums in his long career. Other professional work included a stint with the Lawrence Welk Orchestra.

His legal name remained Robert Kujawa, but he was known as Bob Kames, his professional name.

Another one of Kames' songs also made the big-time, said his son, Bob Kames, Jr. In 1949, Kames composed a pop tune in honor of his future wife, calling it, "You Are My One True Love." The tune was based on a Polish folk song. After being turned down by major labels, he recorded it himself, paying for the first 5,000 records himself.

It was picked up by London Records in England, becoming a huge hit.

"He wrote that for her," Bob Jr. said of his late mother, Edith Kames. "It was a million-seller. Lawrence Welk recorded it and Frankie Yankovic, and John and Sandra Steel, and others."

Funeral services are pending.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Squeezebox Is a 'Secret Handshake'

"The accordion is a secret handshake," says Don Turner, 43, a board member for the Milwaukee Accordion Club. "If you play accordion, and someone else plays, well, you'll help one another."

That's just one of the squeezebox secrets laid out in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel profile of the club, which is keeping the accordion spirit alive in the city Those Darn Accordions is proud to call its second home.

The article tells the by-now-ragged tale of the squeezebox's fall from grace after its polka-powered heyday in the '50s.

"The misconception is that it's only good for the polka," says club president Shirl Barry. "You can play wonderful French waltzes, Argentine tangos and classical pieces."

Oh yeah, and rock and funk and swing and goofball country and heavy metal, too. Keep on squeezin' ...

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Alien Eggs Discovered in Northwest Pond

Jonny and I were checking to see if the goldfish made it through the winter in the little pond outside his clubhouse. We noticed a bunch of smaller, darker fish that have somehow made it into Lake Jonny. I saw a large stick in the middle of the pond and decided to fish it out with a net. When I pulled it out there were these giant marble like globules attached to it. Inside each little gushy marble is an egg or seed or something. Like a little eye looking up at you.

Jonny and I were stunned and a little creeped out. In fact, I honestly looked up over my head to see if maybe we were being monitored. We took this photo and then filled a bucket with pond water and placed the life forms in there. I don't think they are frog eggs. We have frog eggs in there every spring and they are much smaller and float along the surface. Could they be goldfish eggs? Does anyone out there know? We will watch closely over the next few days. I will also check the sky for any abrupt cloud formations and blinding light.
Stay tuned.

Those Darn Accordions Top Tunes iMix

And the winner is ... "Them Hippies Was Right"!

The results are in and taking into consideration a few ties, here are the Top 22 TDA tunes. Thanks to everyone for sending in your favorite TDA songs. You can pick up all these TDA gems in one fell swoop in an iMix on iTunes. The songs are sequenced by order of popularity.

This was a lot of fun finding out what our fans like best about the band. We'll try it again in another 10 years!

Note: "Back in Black" made the list at No. 14, but AC/DC's publishing company has not authorized the song for download. For that reason, it is not included in the iMix.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

TDA Goes Dark for Earth Hour

Last night, Paul Rogers of Those Darn Accordions pushed the Earth Hour concept to the max.

"I just really felt I could do better than only one hour of darkness," said Rogers. "I thought about it all day and around 10:30pm last night, it came to me. It was almost like I was being guided by some kind of outside force. I was sitting in a chair watching Beowolf and as soon as it ended, BAM! I jumped up and started going around the house turning off all the lights. I even took it a step further and backed the heat down to 45 degrees!

"My wife and kids saw what I was up to and they all started doing the same thing! It was amazing! Like some kind of silent communication that can only come from living together with people for many years. The next thing I knew, I was lying in bed in the dark with my eyes closed. That's about all I remember. When I opened my eyes, there was light streaming through the windows. I looked at the clock and it said 7:30AM! I couldn't believe it. We had stretched our 1 Earth Hour out to 9!

"It was such an easy and natural thing to do. I think tonight we might shoot for 10!"

Pierdiego & His Deficient Crew

This might be my new favorite band. The front man is our old pal, Hamsterman. I can't stop listening to it. And I thought TDA was wacky.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Accordion: Perfect Instrument for Earth Hour

Want a little music when you shut out the lights for Earth Hour tonight? A Canadian writer has the perfect instrument for the environmental event: the accordion.

Corey Larocque, writing in The Niagara Falls Review, lays out the plan: "Personally, busting out and dusting off the accordion are in store."

Come to think of it, the accordion is a pretty "green" instrument (although maybe not the way it's wielded by Those Darn Accordions, what with the Marshall stacks and wah-wah pedals and all).

Played acoustically, the squeezebox is loud enough to be heard above a dancehall crowd, even without amplification. Of course, who knows where that mother of pearl comes from ...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Time to Celebrate National Corndog Day

Today is National Corndog Day. Who knew?

The holiday is tied to the start of March Madness, according to the official National Corndog Day website. More importantly, it's the only holiday celebrated with corndogs, tater tots and Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Thanks to Flickr user Iason, who took this awesome picture of a surprisingly delicious-looking corndog pizza.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Bingo + Chicken + Honky-Tonk = Texas Tradition

Anybody's who's hung out with Those Darn Accordions over the past couple decades knows we love a little local color. In Milwaukee, we love to hit Koz's Mini Bowl and Art's Concertina Bar. In Monroe, Wisc., we love the Turner Hall and the Baumgartner Cheese Store & Tavern.

Well, next time you're in Austin, Texas, on a Sunday afternoon, head over to Ginny's Little Longhorn Saloon for a dose of real honky-tonk flavor.

At Ginny's they play a game of what might politely be called "chicken bingo." (The official name's got a third word in the middle, a four-letter number that rhymes with "wit," but the Wall of Wheeze frowns on blue language.) Get an eyeful of this crazy Texas institution in Wired.com's photo gallery.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Top 20 TDA iMix -Update

Thanks to all the folks that have emailed their top 20 TDA picks. Here's an update on the top 20 picks so far. (We'll post the full finished list on our site in April). If you haven't emailed your picks, not to worry. We're going to keep the voting booths open for another week so please let us know your TDA favs ASAP!

1. Them Hippies Was Right 50%
2. Mothra 41%
3. Deathbed Confession 41%
4. Frankenstein 36%
5. We're An Accordion Band 36%
6. Behind the Bellows 36%
7. First Bratwurst of Summer 36%
8. Hotsy Totsy Polka 36%
9. Mr. Slagle's Revenge 36%
10. I Think About Stuff 36%
11. Baba O'Riley 32%
12. Hamsterman 32%
13. Hippie With A Banjo 32%
14. Wall of Gum 32%
15. My Friend Jim 32%
16. Back in Black 27%
17. The Story Of Lawrence Welk 27%
18. Do Ya Think I'm Sexy 27%
19. Led Zep Med 27%
20. The Bowling King 27%

Tiny Tim Remembered #2

TDA fan Michael Butler forwards this photo of he and the brilliant song stylist. As you can see, the photo was taken in July, 1993, which is about 7 years earlier than the one with Tiny and I at the Sweetwater. I wish I had a shot of Tiny when he got down on the stage and started spinning around on his back in a frenzy as we banged out an Elvis tune. It was a great moment in rock history.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Remembering Tiny Tim

You know, we've got some folks in Those Darn Accordions that have worked with some BIG names in showbiz. I'm not kidding. Mick Jagger, Pat Benatar, Melissa Etheridge, Billy Idol, etc, but no one tops my street cred. Here's the proof. What a magical night that was backing up Tiny Tim. If I hadn't happened to find this photo while cleaning up my studio, the moment would have been lost forever. I know to some of you this will explain a lot, and upon reflection, I suppose it does.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Help Build the TDA Top 20 iMix!

Dear Friend of TDA:

We need your help! We want to put together the top 20 Those Darn Accordions songs of all time and make them available as a custom "best of" iMix for download on iTunes.

Of course, we're all a little too close to the subject matter, if you know what I mean. And we'd really like to know what songs you like the best: What tunes get you laughing, dancing, singing, sneezing, whatever. It's a pretty big and varied catalog we've put together over the years, and we would love to know what songs the most important people in the world -- our fans -- really enjoy. (Can you believe this band has been pumping and grinding for almost two decades?)

So, whip out your iPod or your TDA CDs and cassettes, and give 'em a listen. Then e-mail us a list of your fave 20 TDA songs of all time, along with your snail-mail address, and we'll send you a free bumper sticker for your help. Bonus points if you put together a thematic list -- best TDA polkas, best TDA kids tunes, etc.

We'll tally the "best of" votes and put together the ultimate iMix of TDA songs. When we have the iMix complete, we'll let you know where you can go on iTunes to check it out.

We look forward to seeing your lists!

Paul Rogers and the rest of Team TDA

Squeeze Machine Secrets: 'Mr. Saggy Butt'

OK, let me just say from the outset that I am fully aware this is a ridiculous song. Of course, that only means it satisfies nicely the stringent criteria for inclusion in the TDA repertoire.

Having got that out of the way, let me quickly relate the inspiration for this ditty. It was on a family trip to the local mall, which in my case is about 40 miles away. There I had my first sighting of "The Mall Walkers."

I had read about these folks appearing in large midwest malls in the winter time and walking briskly around the the entire place for exercise. They usually show up just after the mall opens and begin walking a set course that takes them by literally every shop in the complex. I guess in a way you could call it power window shopping. They tend to walk in pairs and dress so they blend in with the rest of the shoppers, but not always. The more seasoned MW's wear sweats and headbands and take it pretty darn seriously. They've got elbows and they know how to use them, so you want to give these type a wide berth.

Regardless of dress, it's the relentless pace that gives them away. I was immediately mesmerized when I realized I had spotted some right in our own mall blazing by a Radio Shack and cutting a clean swath right through the heart of the line at the Cinnabon. I wanted to follow them but my wife yanked me into an Eddie Bauer and the moment was lost. It was a great image and I filed it away in hopes I could use it somewhere.

Now, every mall has at least one guy that does exactly the opposite of what the mall walkers do. His goal is walk as slowly as possible and linger as long as possible before he is rousted by the security guards and forced to move on. Although you could argue that they too are trying not to be noticed, you have to wonder when you see how they tend to accessorize their attire. In this case, I saw a fellow with all sorts of things hanging off his belt. A teddy bear, toy monkey head, etc. I never got a close enough to get a good look, so I was forced to make a few things up. But one thing that was very clear was his saggy pants. I think the idea is to drop one's drawers to such a low point, that the only mode of locomotion left possible is a slow shuffle.

It's really a bit like a self-imposed governor on one's ability to move. It seems to work great. So I went home with all this churning in my mind and mixed it all up and out came "Mr Saggy Butt." It's silly to be sure, but not nearly so much as the dance I made up to go with it.

I sent a little video of it to the rest of the band so they could learn it and they all replied that they were very concerned about my mental health. Not a new development, but perhaps further proof that may be used against me later. I do hope this doesn't show up on YouTube.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Are You In The TDA Tribe?

An interesting talk from marketing guru Seth Godin on the state of the music business. I like the fact that he refers to polkas several times in his speech.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Squeeze Machine Secrets: 'The Janitor Knows'

Some of you know that in my other life I am an electrician. I don't do much of it these days, but occasionally my wife will let it slip to one of her friends and the next thing I know I'm up on a ladder hanging a ceiling fan.

That's exactly what I was doing when I got the inspiration for "The Janitor Knows." I saw a photograph on a wall in the room where I was working and it intrigued me enough to stop and take a closer look. It was a photo taken in a gymnasium of a guy in the foreground in what I thought was a janitor's uniform and two younger guys shooting hoops in the background.

It immediately hit me that this janitor must be waiting for these guys to finish their game so he can clean up the place and go home. It was like two different worlds in the same room. I couldn't get it out of my head and by the next day "The Janitor Knows" was done. It's actually my favorite tune on Squeeze Machine, but I really had to fight to get it on. Some of the gals in the band thought it was about a peeping tom and too creepy, but that never occurred to me. I assure you it is not.

A couple of months later, I mentioned to the people that I was working for that I had written a song about the photo on their wall. It turns out it's actually their son, who is a prison guard, and he is watching two prisoners during their exercise break. They were mildly amused at my interpretation. Geez, if I'd known what was really going on, I think I would have been sent in a whole different direction. I'm glad I didn't!

BTW, this is not the first time I got a song inspiration on the job. I was cutting some conduit and I cut my finger in the process. I immediately had an image of my high school shop teacher laughing at me. Out popped "Mr. Slagle's Revenge," which we recorded for Amped. Oh, the things I do for the sake of art!