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. 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

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

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, 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 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, 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)'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 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

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

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?)