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'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.