Monday, December 28, 2009

Those Darn Accordions At The New Freight & Salvage

It's not too soon to mark your new Accordion Babes calendars for the first Big TDA show of the year. It's right around the corner in Berkeley, CA at the New Freight and Salvage on Jan 15. Show time is 8 pm. tickets are $18.50 Advance and 19.50 at the door.
What, you don't have you Accordion Babes calendar yet? Holy bellows, Batman. Better get one now! Be sure to wear your new Flying Accordion Bot shirt and get a free CD!. What, you don't have your new Bot shirt yet? Holy Robots, Batman, better get one Right Now!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Those Darn Accordions At The Freight And Salvage

You can have a listen to all the cool bands lined up to play the beautiful new Freight and Salvage in Berkeley, CA. Of course, we are on the list. We will be there Jan 15 at 8pm! It's #20 of our 20 City tour.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Robo-Hamsters Are Hot Toys This Year

Robotic hamsters called Zhu Zhu Pets are selling like mad this holiday season. The toys come in several versions, including Mr. Squiggles (pictured), Num Nums, Pipsqueek and Chunk. They are currently going for $50 and up on

From Amazon's product description: "Each Zhu Zhu Hamter has its own unique personality & whimsical sounds. Loving Mode: Pet them, love them, hear them chatter Explore Mode: Let them scoot, scamper, across the floor. Provide them with their Hamster Habitat."

The Associated Press calls the toys, which originally sold for $10, "an unlikely hit." (That's what everybody said about "Hamsterman.")

(Thanks for the tip, Bill from Milwaukee, who says: "Perfect gift for Hamsterman this x-mas!")

Friday, November 27, 2009

Jabara Rokushimai, aka The Six Bellows Sisters

Jabara Rokushimai, aka The Six Bellows Sisters, is a six-piece all-female accordion band from Japan.

(Thanks for the tip, Bill!)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hamsterman Video by Those Darn Accordions

I was messing around at You can upload a bunch of photos or videos and then your song. It does the rest! Check out the video it created for TDA's "Hamsterman".

Friday, November 20, 2009

Free MP3s From Those Darn Accordions

Sign up for the Those Darn Accordions newsletter and receive a link for a free MP3 download every Friday. You'll also get the story behind each song. The first free download is The Perry Mason TV Theme. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Christmas Jug Band is On The Holiday Highway

Those Darn Accordions takes December off each year while I join the Christmas Jug Band for a month of shows. This year we have a new CD out, "On The Holiday Highway". We are returning to the great Northwest as well as Northern CA for a bunch of jugaliciuos shows. If you need a little jump start to get your holiday spirit in gear, this is the place to be!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Oh No! Santa Lost a Ho...Again!

Look what they done to my song, Ma! Or should I say,Big Mama! It's just about that time again. Can't get enough of this video of "Santa Lost A Ho" as performed by the Fruitcake Follies. Of course, the original by the Christmas Jug Band is pretty good too! (If I don't say so myself).

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

40 Years of Sesame Street

As TDA celebrates 20 years, a staple of childhood is celebrating double that. Sesame Street first aired in 1969 as a pilot with a less muppety format. As Muppet Wiki explains,
Before Sesame Street began regular production, five test pilots were produced and shown to children. In these pilots, Ernie and Bert were the only Muppets present, and they didn't interact on the Street with the humans. Segments from these pilots include a sketch in which Ernie talks about what parts of the body he has two of, Batman appearing on Ernie and Bert's TV set, telling them to take turns watching TV, and the original version of the song "Rubber Duckie".

Since Sesame Street has been such a staple in so many people's developing years, it's no surprise that there's been so many homages. There's the creepy spin on Snuffy and the touching theme song cover that wraps up a hit television show episode. Sesame Street itself has released some items that rival any homage; Team TDA's favorites being the 1979 disco track "Me Lost Me Cookie," and the eventually banned track "I Want A Monster."

As we toast a glass of milk to Jim Henson, we ask what's your favorite Sesame Street moment?

Photo: Flickr/MarkJSebastian

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Those Darn Accordions Wind It Up In SF

If you've been looking for a reason to fly to San Francisco, we've got one for you! Those Darn Accordions wind up the 2009 tour at the Cafe du Nord in SF on Nov 5.
TDA has spawned several other bands and a few of them will be joining us in a TDA Reunion Accordion Blowout. First up is original TDA'er Tom Torigglia's "Bella Ciao" followed by TDA founder Big Lou and her "Casserole". Then present day TDA takes the stage for a set, before we all join together for a re-creation of some old TDA favorites. We are also planning a special tribute to our dearly missed Clyde Forsman.
So c'mon, hit the skies or the road and head for SF. It's going to be a blast!

Friday, October 23, 2009

TDA at 142 Throckmorton

Here's a few photos for you to enjoy, fresh from the balcony at tonight's TDA concert at the 142 Throckmorton Theatre.

We're wrapping up our 20 City Tour & would love to see photos you've taken so far - add a link in the comments below to your favorite TDA pix.
If you haven't made it to a show this tour, there's still time!

Jim Rothermel guesting on Sax & Clarinet!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Discovery in Loch Ness - Golf Balls

When a U.S. research team was looking for proof of the loch ness monster, they made a discovery. Unfortunately the discovery was of thousands of golf balls. Originally, researcher Mike O'Brien thought "...they were mushrooms, there were so many. But when we lowered the camera, we were surprised to see that they were in fact golf balls."

CNN has more details & a murky video here.

Have you discovered TDA's song about the Loch Ness Monster fraud? Check out "Deathbed Confession" here.

Photo (of just an old anchor) courtesy: Flickr/Pudekamp

Monday, October 5, 2009

Young Accordionist Shreds Vivaldi's "Four Seasons"

Ukranian kid Aleksandr Hrustevich is making the inbox rounds with his playing of Vivaldi's "Four Seasons." A typically violin based piece, Hrustevich tears it up on a bayan accordion.

You can see more of his mastery at on his YouTube page here.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Oktoberfest Etiquette Tips

Tips for surviving the beerfest nearest you: Get beer wise with the Oktoberfest etiquette primer from

This will come in handy, I'm sure, for everybody headed to the two remaining Oktoberfests we'll be playing this year: Oktoberfest at The Village at Mammoth in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., on Saturday, Oct. 3; and Oktoberfest Northwest in Puyallup, Wash., on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 9 and 10.

Photo by Flickr user a4gpa

Related how-to's:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Barbecued Oysters, Brats And Beer!

MMMMMM! It must be time for the Seaside Oktoberfest. This has become one of our favorite Oktoberfests and we were quick to add it to our 20th Anniversary Tour. Not only is the food great and the beer better, but the folks at the Seaside Elks are wonderful. It also doesn't hurt that it's located in beautiful Seaside, OR. I got a call today telling me that the phone has been ringing like crazy and they expect to have a big crowd this year. Looks like it's time to party in Seaside! We are playing 3 sets, so this is a chance to get a full dose of TDA. The fun begins this Saturday, Sept 19 at 12 noon. See you there!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

TDA's 20 City Tour Rolls Into Oregon

Coming up on the halfway mark of our epic 20 year/ 20 city tour. Oregon, you are next! We hope to see lots of folks at our 4 upcoming shows this week. Here's the schedule:

Thursday, Sept 17 Cozmic Pizza
Friday, Sept 18 Mississippi Pizza
Saturday, Sept 19 Seaside Oktoberfest, Seaside
Sunday Sept 20 Bend

See all you Oregonians soon!

The Hamster Ball Derby is On!

Maybe we should sponsor one of these Hamster Ball Derbys before every show.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Those Darn Accordions and The Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend, WA

Two exciting events are taking place in Port Townsend, WA this weekend. The annual Wooden Boat Festival starts on Thursday and runs through Sunday. Over 200 beautiful vintage boats and lots of activities for kids and adults. On Friday night @ 8 pm, Those Darn Accordions take the stage at the historic Joseph Wheeler Theater in Fort Worden, just around the corner from the Wooden Boat Festival. Why not make a weekend of it and come up Port Townsend to see some amazing boats and hear some amazing music!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

New Pix From TDA's 20th Anniversary Tour

If you've been following us on Twitter, or have attended any of the shows on our 20th anniversary tour, you may have heard of the fabulous accordion-shaped casserole (pictured) cooked up by our pal Al in Wisconsin.

Served with refreshing Polish beer provided by Gary, it made for an unbelievably awesome meal after our massive "Beer Barrel Polka" finale in Oshkosh.

See more tour photos -- including the feisty-yet-doomed Somonauk Crawdad -- on the TDA multimedia page.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Fun Times In Oshkosh

We had a ball in Oshkosh last night. What a great crowd. It was an Accordion Blowout and we finished with a rousing rendition of Beer Barrel Polka. Nothing like a Wisconsin crowd to get things stirred up. Now it's on to Illinois. Hope they're ready!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

'My Accordion' Tells Life Story of Carmen Vitanza

Many thanks to Carmen Vitanza who sent me his book, "My Accordion: The Music of My Life." It's a wonderful look back over 60 years of this virtuoso's life. Any fan of the accordion will enjoy it.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Video: TDA Alumni at Cotati Accordion Festival

For the big ending to Saturday's 20th anniversary set at the Cotati Accordion Festival, former Those Darn Accordions members joined the current lineup for several songs.

In the first clip, Big Lou and Art Peterson sing "Hotsy Totsy Polka" and original TDA drummer Bill Schwartz sings "Low Rider."

In the second, Ron Muriera sings "It's Not Unusual" before Tom Torriglia and the rest of the TDA alumni reunite onstage for "We're An Accordion Band."

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Follow TDA Tour on Twitter, Win Road Swag

If you're not already following us on Twitter, now would be a good time to start. We'll be tweeting like mad as we drive across the country and get down to business playing gigs in Wisconsin and Illinois.

Check out the official Those Darn Accordions Twitter page and be sure to follow @TDAccordions for updates, including the times and locations of TDA Roadside Giveaways: Some lucky winners will receive TDA merch, including the new Accordion Bots shirts.

To Cotati and beyond!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Here Comes TDA

Show #1 of 20 was in Alameda, CA. A nice warm up for Cotati Accordion Festival on Saturday. Come early and hear some great accordion playing, drink beer and eat some great food! We go on at 6:25 PM and will have lots of special guests from the early years of TDA. See ya there!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Toast To Those Darn Accordions

In the secluded studios of the TDA graphic arts department, a special commemorative pint glass is being prepared. Rumor has it that the TDA van will be making a diversion on its trip across the United States to pick them up at a secret location known only to a few select band members and the 100 or so employees that work there and their other customers and I guess anyone else who knows how to Google. Stay tuned for more info and how you might be able to procure one of these limited-edition glasses.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Big Lou Plays 'Chicken Dance' in Africa

Those Darn Accordions founder Big Lou, aka the Accordion Princess, plays the "Chicken Dance" with the Maru a Pula Marimba band (and Lou's husband David Golia on bass) at the Ladies Number One Opera House in Gaborone, Botswana. Weirdest instrumentation yet?

A little closer to home, Big Lou's Polka Casserole plays Schroeder's Cafe in downtown San Francisco this Friday from 6 to 9 p.m.

She'll also be joining TDA during our big reunion set at the 2009 Cotati Accordion Festival.

Friday, August 7, 2009

New TDA "Bot" T's Are Here

Oh No! Oh Yes! The Flying TDA Bots are about to conquer the world. Only those wearing the protective Bot T-shirt will be spared! There's no time to lose. Get to the TDA store and save yourself! Then check out artist Frank Samuelson, who drew the art for the shirt.

Monday, July 27, 2009

More Great Lakes Marine Life

If you've never tasted a fresh Walleye pan fried in a light batter with butter, well, you're really missing something! Delicious!

Great Lakes Marine Life

I spent the last two weeks in Northern Michigan on Lake Michigan. There's nothing like swimming in the clear, cold water to relax and forget your troubles. Of course, that first plunge can be a bit of a shock.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Just Added 3 More TDA Covers to the List

"Walk This Way," "Dance to the Music" and "Dancing Queen."

Wow, that's a lot of tunes we've learned (and mostly forgotten) -- nearly 40 over the years. But then, when you've been rocking the squeezebox for two decades, that's only a couple of new covers a year.

Check out the full list and leave us a comment about what songs you'd most like to hear when we hit the road later this summer.

So far it seems like "Frankenstein" is a must-play. (I'm rooting for "Godzilla.")


TDA Covers: 20 Years of Accordion-Fueled Rock 'n' Roll

Curious where we'll be playing? Check out confirmed tour dates.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Amazing Photo From The MJ Memorial

Bryan Chan of the LA Times put together this amazing panorama of the Michael Jackson Memorial at Staples Center. It's almost like standing in the middle of the huge crowd and slowly spinning around.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Photo Shoot Sneak Peak

Are you following TDA's official twitter - If so, this past Sunday you may have read of a photo shoot that involved Suzanne, Carri, & Susie.

We're excited to share the final photo with everybody & we'll be divulging more details as soon as we can, so stay tuned!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

AOL Radio Launches It's Polka Channel!

AOL Radio launches it's Polka Channel today and I'm honored that they asked TDA to be a part of it. The channel will feature all different styles of polka. Here's some easy to follow instructions I received from AOL on how to tune in.

"You do not have to be a subscriber to AOL to listen and there is no charge to you to listen. It is free to all plus we have a great tuner app for iPhones.
Here’s how you tune in from your computer.
Point your Internet browser to: and you’ll see a button on the page that says “Listen Now.” Click that and a player pops up. There will be a big column on the left hand side that says “Stations By Category.” Polka will be in the category “World/International” at the bottom of the alphabetical category listing. For a short time it will also be listed in “What’s New” at the top of the column.

Be sure to rate the songs you like, because that's how they decide which ones to keep playing. (Hint,hint)

Who knows, this could be the first step to bringing back the Polka Grammy!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

White Castle Memories

When I was 17 I had a Honda CB 160 which I thought was the coolest bike in the world. A few of my buddies had bikes too and we used to all sleep over at someone's house and then take off for midnight rides. Our route was usually Outer Drive, which is a loop that runs through Dearborn and a bunch of Detroit Metro suburbs, as well as Detroit itself. One highlight of the trip was going by Zug Island, just downstream from the Ford Rouge Plant, and marveling at the flames that shot out of the smokestacks. Very cool.
Another highlight was our stop at Mott's Hamburgers, (now called Motz's Hamburgers because the old owner wouldn't sell the name) which was a knock off of White Castle, It had the exact same white tile building, in fact, now that I think of it, it probably WAS a White Castle that had relocated elsewhere. (Like everything else in Detroit.) We loaded up with 8-10 sliders each and hopped back on our bikes to complete the loop and get back home right around sunrise. Those were the days! If you'd like a taste of this experience, White Castle is making it easy. To celebrate their 88th birthday they are giving away free sliders. Kick start that old bike and go pick one (or 10) up!

Monday, June 29, 2009

TDA Covers: 20 Years of Accordion-Fueled Rock 'n' Roll

Those Darn Accordions has covered some pretty varied musical terrain over the past two decades. The originals and polkas are one thing -- we've tossed plenty of tunes into the genre blender and pushed frappe repeatedly. We tried not to make too much of a mess.

But, as you can tell by this long (and probably incomplete) list of rock 'n' roll songs we've played over the years, we've taken the accordion to some pretty strange places in our never-ending pursuit of the ultimate squeezebox rock cover songs. Some of these covers became staples of TDA shows and even made it on to our recordings; others disappeared from the set list almost immediately, for whatever reason.

As we pull together set lists for our 20-city tour, we've been thinking a lot about what we should play. We've been getting a kick out of the whole "trip down memory lane" thing, and we'd like to take you with us.

So let us know: Which of these covers would you like to hear? Which ones should be banished forever? And which ones have we forgotten entirely? Let us know in the comments section below.

Whole Lotta Love/ Black Dog -- Led Zeppelin
Magic Carpet Ride -- Steppenwolf
Low Rider -- War
Frankenstein -- The Edgar Winter Group
We're an Accordion Band -- Grand Funk Railroad
The Devil Went Down to Georgia -- The Charlie Daniels Band
Back in Black -- AC/DC
Baba O'Riley -- The Who
Radar Love -- Golden Earring
Pump It Up -- Elvis Costello
Making Our Dreams Come True -- "Laverne and Shirley" theme song
Godzilla -- Blue Oyster Cult
I Melt With You -- Modern English
Moondance -- Van Morrison
Party Hard -- Andrew W.K.
Shine Your Light -- The Mavericks
Aqualung -- Jethro Tull
Stairway to Heaven -- Led Zeppelin
Uncontrollable Urge -- Devo
Fire -- Jimi Hendrix
Surrender -- Cheap Trick
(Keep Feeling) Fascination -- The Human League
Proud Mary -- Ike and Tina Turner
It's Now or Never -- Elvis Presley
Play That Funky Music -- Wild Cherry
Viva Las Vegas -- Elvis Presley
It's Not Unusual -- Tom Jones
Our House -- Madness
Da Ya Think I'm Sexy -- Rod Stewart
Sleep Walk -- Santo & Johnny.
Walk Don't Run -- the Ventures
Pick up the Pieces -- Average White Band
Tear the Roof off the Sucker (Give Up the Funk) -- Parliament
Dancing Queen -- ABBA
Dance to the Music -- Sly and the Family Stone
Walk This Way -- Aerosmith

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Follow Drew's Blog

Drew Carey has a blog up and is posting some funny and interesting stuff ranging from his job hosting TPIR (The Price Is Right), The Seattle Sounders (he's a minority owner), his adventures on Second Life and his adventures in real life. Dang, if he gets a third life I won't be able to keep up.

Dreaming Up a New T-Shirt

This being our 20th anniversary and all, I thought we should try to come up with a new t-shirt. I had a meeting with a local artist/friend and we knocked around a few ideas. I'm pretty excited to see what he comes up with. His name is Frank Samuelson and he's done some very cool work. Check it out!
BTW, we will be phasing out the Flaming T's, so if you think you might want one, you should drop by the TDA store.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Get Well Soon, Dr. Creep

Dr. Creep, the pancake-makeup-wearing frightmaster who hosted horror movies on Dayton, Ohio, television in the '70s and '80s, is having health problems.

A benefit show to raise funds for the good Doctor (aka Barry Hobart) is being held next month in Springfield, Ohio. I wish Those Darn Accordions was on the bill -- Dr. Creep's lineup of horribly great movies on Shock Theatre provided hours of entertainment during my formative years in the Dayton area.

Dr. Creep's style of weirdo TV humor and horror was great. He never failed to entertain. And now, when I watch bumpers like the one above, I realize he was playing Steely Dan and Pink Floyd during his corny intros and such. The world needs more of these types of local horror shows.

Get well soon, Dr. Creep. Thanks for all the horribly fantastic memories.

[via Laughing Squid]

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Story Of Clyde

I made a demo of a tune in honor of the recently departed Clyde Forsman and put it up on our MySpace page.
For those of you who were lucky enough to see Clyde perform and meet him, I hope this brings a smile to your face.



Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Video: Catnip Makes Kitties High as a Kite

I don't know what's funnier in this Weird Nature clip: The Scared Straight-style video of cats that are high as a kite, or the overblown BBC-ish voiceover.

"In the presence of catnip, they do the unexpected," the breathless announcer says. "As well as rolling around, apparently in ecstacy, they chase imaginary mice."

[via Laughing Squid]

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hamster Runs Obstacle Course

The only way this could be better would be with a different soundtrack. And maybe a longer run, with some flames and water hazards.

(via Urlesque)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Saying Goodbye To Clyde Forsman, 1915 to 2009

Clyde Forsman, former Those Darn Accordions frontman and tireless champion of the accordion, passed away peacefully Friday night at his home in San Francisco. He died of complications from diabetes, compounded by a series of strokes, according to his family. He will be greatly missed.

A wonderful entertainer, Clyde never failed to bring a smile to the faces of his fans, whether he was knocking them dead with his takes on Jimi Hendrix's "Fire" and Rod Stewart's "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy" -- which remain to this day the standard by which covers of those tunes must be measured -- or just chatting before or after a show.

With a lifetime of experience as a musician and carpenter, he always had a story to tell. His amazingly colorful tattoos (which can be seen on the covers of TDA records Squeeze This! and No Strings Attached) always caught the audience's eye. But it was Clyde's limitless charm and infectious personality that hooked 'em forever.

To say that we had some amazing times on the road together would be an understatement. Clyde's performances with TDA were legendary.

I had the honor to work side-by-side with Clyde for more than 10 years and I can tell you that his energy and humor were truly inspiring. He joined TDA at the very first gig in at San Francisco's Paradise Lounge back in 1989 at the age of 74. He stayed with us till 2000, wowing crowds at hundreds of shows.

Clyde's performances across the country won him friends everywhere we played. He was always eager to talk to fans before and after a show and regale them with countless tales, each one more amazing than the last. I know he drew great pleasure from his time spent with TDA and appreciated all the kind words and encouragement he received from his fans. Thank you all for helping make this wonderful memory for him.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Say It Isn't So! No More Polka Grammy!

Dang! Just when TDA was putting together songs for our first polka CD, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences has decided to eliminate the category. I was really hoping to give Jimmy Sturr a run for his money. Ah well, I'm glad we found out now, rather than after we had the finished CD in the can. I guess it's back to the drawing board.

Outrage: Grammys Kill 'Best Polka' Category

The Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences is eliminating the Grammy for best polka album.

The latest slap in the face to accordion lovers everywhere, announced Thursday, is a move to keep the Grammys "pertinent within the current musical landscape," according to the recording industry group.

"It's not that the polka world's not used to it," said Carl Finch, leader of the mighty Texas band Brave Combo, which beat out perpetual winner Jimmy Sturr for the polka Grammy twice in the last decade.

"The polka world expects it," said Finch. "It's like, 'Yeah, the man did it to us again.'"

No kidding -- this is an outrage! The academy now wants polka records to be nominated in the folk category.

This is all part of the gray-beard music industry's drawn-out death throes -- the old categorizations don't work anymore. The old ways of selling records don't work anymore. The superstar system doesn't work anymore. MTV doesn't play music, people don't buy CDs, even the giants don't reliably sell millions of units anymore.

Maybe the Academy will replace the polka category with a "best manufactured band created for a television show and marketed via a soft-drink tie-in" category. Because it's clearly not about the music anymore.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Video Contest Competition

The entries are rolling in for the TDA Two Decades of Squeezebox Insanity Video Contest... Where's yours?

Last Chance to Win

Well folks, today (May 31) is the last day you have to enter the TDA's Two Decades of Squeezebox Insanity Contest! Bust out the webcam, choose your favorite track, make a great video, and you could win all the stuff you see here!

Check out the official contest page for full details.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Beer Sommelier Makes Food Pairing Easy

At a loss as to which kind of beer to drink with your Memorial Day meal? Probably not. But if you are, the Beer Sommelier is happy to help. Just select your meal's main ingredient, then select the dish, and the website will bubble up a handy list of appropriate brews.

OK, now I'm thirsty.

P.S. If you choose to enjoy a beverage on this holiday, take a second to lift it to the sky and offer a toast to all those who have served (and are serving) in our nation's military.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Let's Get TDA On Pandora

Have you heard of Pandora? It's a very cool online personal radio station that streams the music you are most likely to be in interested in. It's all part of what they call the "Music Genome Project". One way they decide which music to add to their library is by the number of requests they get for an artist or song. That's where you come in! Please visit the Pandora site and request your favorite TDA tune. Let's get TDA on Pandora!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

TDA's Awesome Video Contest

The songs of Those Darn Accordions have inspired plenty of strange
mental imagery (and maybe a few hamster-related nightmares) over the years. Capture your own vivid TDA vision on video, and you could win a sweet set of earphones.

Just pick a TDA song, make a video for Those Darn Accordions'
Two Decades of Squeezebox Insanity Video Contest, and upload the clip to YouTube. If your video is picked as the First Prize winner, you'll get
a pair of Ultimate Ears 700 Noise Isolating Earphones, which retail
for $229. These are great earphones: They utilize advanced audio
technology that's used by 75 percent of touring musicians live
onstage. (And they make accordion music sound fantastic!) We are also throwing in a bunch of cool TDA merch to sweeten the deal. So get out your video camera and start shooting. We can't wait to see your vision of your favorite TDA song!

To kick things off, my son Jonny and I made our own homegrown video in our backyard.
Check it out!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Drew Carey Takes One For the Sounders

Our pal Drew Carey is a minority owner of the Sounders, Seattle's new expansion soccer team that is up in my neck of the woods. He recently had to dodge a beer thrown from a rabid Toronto fan during a game in Canada. The ever witty Carey emerged unscathed and got off a rejoinder to the Toronto fans. Speaking of beer, we've got our own Carey beer connection right here. Go Sounders!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Make a One String Bass

Are you and your friends planning to dress as TDA for Halloween this year? Well, the gang at Make Magazine recently posted this video that will help out the friend dressing as Lewis. With just a PVC pipe, some plywood, & guitar bits you have working one string bass!

TDA Is Now on Twitter

Hey, who doesn't need to waste more time typing out and sharing the latest little everything? Follow us @tdaccs ...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Teller Talks Magic and Science

In the current issue of Wired magazine (which is crammed with interesting stuff):

Magic and the Brain: Teller Reveals the Neuroscience of Illusion

We're fans of Penn & Teller -- great comedy, great magic, great genre-bending entertainment. (And Teller's a swell guy to talk to.)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

New TDA Demos on MySpace

We are contemplating taking a shot at a Polka Grammy next year. (Yes, there is a Polka Grammy). I put up 4 new tunes on our MySpace page for you to check out and weigh in on. Please let us know what you think!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Video: Robot Fetches a Beer

Thirsty? Watch as these robotic bartenders pour, then deliver, a cold beer to their human overlord.

Current price for one of these metallic manservants: $400,000. But Tokyo University engineers hope to cut that to just $40,000 within 10 years.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Workplace Pranks for April Fool's Day

It's never too early to start planning your April Fool's Day prank. Employment site offers up some helpful "career advice" in the form of "Joking Around at the Office," a list of several jokes you can play on your co-workers.

The best: Swapping packing peanuts for Cheetos in a dimly lit room.

The coffeemaker was in the machine room where I worked, and the lights were never on, because people needed the room dark to see the projectors they worked on. So one time, I got an empty Cheetos bag and some Styrofoam packing peanuts shaped just like Cheetos. I dipped them in water, and then in the cheese powder from a box of mac-n-cheese dinner. I put them in the bag and left it open beside the coffeepot with a sign on it that said, "Do not eat, property of so-and-so."

I hid at the back corner machine and just kept quiet when anyone came in. I heard some interesting noises when people tried the fake Cheetos. Everyone agreed it was a good prank.

I'm guessing Monster posts these hoping some folks will try similar stunts and then be looking for new jobs April 2.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Video: Two-Handed Bowler Rolls to 'Bowling King'

Check out the video from a Today Show report: "Unique bowler puts new spin on old game." Pay special attention to the soundtrack.

Accordionize Your Home - Part IV

You just did laundry and somehow there's a bunch more to do again. Will this chore never end? Why not duct tape an accordion to your dryer's vent*? That's what some freshmen at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute did to their dorm's vent. Freshman Kyle McDonald explains more in the video's description.

*- Team TDA takes no responsibility for any damage caused by blocking your dryer vent. The above video has been blogged about for entertainment purposes only. But if you do anything cool like that, be sure to share the video with us!

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Janitor Knows

Greg Grant from Festival Radio sent me an email letting me know "The Janitor Knows" is currently in rotation. Thanks Greg! Here's a re-post of the story behind the tune.

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!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Embroidered Drew Carey Art

You've watched our pal Drew Carey on his many shows and you've sung along with him on our Squeeze Machine album. Now you can enjoy his presence in embroidery art courtesy of artist Sarah Horton. As part of an art show consisting solely of embroidered work, she created the piece seen here, "Lucky In Love." Her site is full of art where crafts meet pop culture.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

This Is Why I Love 'Hee Haw'

That's Jimmie Riddle and Jackie Phelps, aka "Eefen and Hambone."

They did these musical segments in every episode, and sometimes they got really weird, like when the slapped around Roy Clark as part of their routine. Other times, the crazy sounds got drenched in tons of reverb, making for one wild sonic trip.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Kraftwurst: See the Sausage Sing

Singing sausage in a Kraftwerk homage. They should really be playing polkas on accordions.

[via BuzzFeed]

Bowling's Better When You're Dizzy

Spin yourself into a dizzy tizzy, then let that bowling ball rip. That's the idea behind this crazy Japanese game show.

The weird thing is, Suzanne bowls like that anyway.

[via BuzzFeed]

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Battlestar Galactica Composer Plays Accordion

I love Battlestar Galactica. I love the music for Battlestar Galactica, which is composed by Bear McCreary. I also happen to have a certain fondness for the accordion.

So how come I'm only now finding out that Bear plays accordion?

See him in action in this video from his 30th birthday party, in which he joins his brother's band in a version of "All Along the Watchtower" -- Galactica style.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wacky Costumes in a Wacky Market

Reuters reports German stock traders spent Tuesday in costumes celebrating Germany's Carnival Tuesday. The photo gallery is worth a peek, even though there doesn't seem to be any images of the accordion player costumes referenced in the article.

Get a Free Quiznos Sub Sandwich

No really -- the chain restaurant is giving away 1 million subs, and all you have to do is give 'em your e-mail address. (The counter says there are still about half a million in the freebie chute.)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Odd Jobs

How's that economy treating you? If you need a new idea on how to get your hands on some more money, CNN & Fortune Magazine has an article calling attention to the odd jobs that exist. You won't see these job titles on Craigslist; titles like Movie Prop Replicator and IMAX Screen Cleaner. If you're ready to dive into an kooky job, MSN Money has a more how-to based article.

Do you already have an odd job? Tell us about it in the comments.

Photo by stuartpibrow/Flickr

Monday, February 16, 2009

Jimmy Sturr Does It Again!

Congratulations to TDA pal Jimmy Sturr for bringing home his 18th Grammy. Dang, we'd settle for one. Watch out Jimmy, we just might put out own polka CD later this year!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Accordionize Your Home - Part III

Did you buy the accordion couch and the accordion dresser, but now you're looking for a way to accordionize the dining room? Try serving Accordion Red Potatoes. The simple dish partially slices the tuber to mimic an accordion's bellows.

Do you have an accordion or music related recipe? Share it with us in the comments. Perhaps button box mutton chops? Stuffed stomach Steinway appetizers? Some diatonic gastronomic delights?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Don't Press the Emergency Yodel Button

No really. Don't press it. This is not an emergency. And even if it were an emergency, pressing it wouldn't help. It wouldn't help at all.

And, whatever you do, don't buy one for your home. That's the last thing any of us needs, especially in times like these. In situations like this. Not emergencies, mind you, but ... periods of stress and doubt.

I mean it. Don't press it. Think of the children.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Beer Gear, From Can to Refrigerator Robot

One thing that is not missing here -- beer, beer, beer.'s gallery of
beer gear mashes total gadget geek-out with breweriana.

("Mashes" ... get it?)

The reason? Today marks the birthday of that most modest of summertime beer-drinking essentials, the styrofoam cooler.

New Salary Cap for TDA Bass Player: $500,000

In a real tearjerker of an article, The New York Times outlines why it's practically impossible for a captain of the banking industry to live on the half-million-a-year annual top salary proposed by President Barack Obama for bailout-backed institutions.

I can almost hear the sad accordions playing as I propose that the top salary for a bass player in Those Darn Accordions be set at just $500,000. It's going to put a crimp in my style, but I accept it for the greater good.

(How's that TARP check working out, Paul?)

Video: Foxes Bounce on a Trampoline

Actual foxes (the kind with fur and tails) on an actual trampoline.

[via Videogum]

Deep-Fried Splendors on Display

Witness the unspeakable beauty of corndog pizza, the Turbaconucken (pictured) and a french fry-encased hot dog on a stick on a delectable website called This Is Why You're Fat.

(According to NYC Food Guy, the Turbaconducken is "a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey, all wrapped in bacon.")

I am to embrace the awesome marvel that is road food once again.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Don't Miss the Mad Maggies' CD Release Party

The Mad Maggies play a special CD-release party this Saturday in San Francisco. Accordion-squeezin' bandleader Maggie Martin is a hoot, and a great friend of TDA.

Original TDA drummer Bill Schwartz plays with the Maggies these days, and the big band consists of a bunch of nice people playing fun and interesting international music.

Think reels, sea chanteys, polkas and some rock, all pulsed through a giant honking blender with horns, accordion and a full rhythm section.

The new record, Skull & Magpies, sounds great, and I was lucky enough to play on a few of the tracks.

Here are the details on the CD-release party from Maggie herself:

A rousing night of musick, pyrates and high seas rabble celebrating the Mad Maggies latest musical offering, Skull & Magpies.

Doors open at 8 p.m. -- $10 donation

The Accordion Apocalypse Repair Shop
2626 Jennings St., Bayview
San Francisco • (415) 596-5952

Look your pyrate or wench best!

Because it is a "private" organization's party it can be all ages.
The owner Skylar will contract for someone to run a bar (with rum drinks, natch ;-)

If you are anywhere near San Francisco, get thee to the partee.

See a Coconut-Size Kidney Stone

I had my first kidney stone just before New Year's Day. It felt like it was about this size. Ouchy.

[via BuzzFeed]

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Beer Week Comes to San Francisco

The event: SF Beer Week.

The dates: Feb. 6 to 15, 2009.

The deal: "America's original craft beer-drinking city" pops the top on seven days of high-end suds. SF Beer Week is already twittering away.

There's only one thing missing here: bratwurst.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Groundhog Bites Mayor Bloomberg

Chuck the Groundhog bit New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg after the official repeatedly took an ear of corn from the irritated rodent.

"He got my finger pretty good," said Bloomberg after the incident.

I'll bet. What kind of moron tries to steal a groundhog's corn? A bleeding one. The city slicker is lucky he didn't draw back a stump from Chuck's hideout.

[via New York Daily News]

Creepiest Watermelon Ever

Everybody turns pumpkins into art at Halloween, but will watermelon carving become a summertime treat?

[via BuzzFeed]

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Video: Hamsterman a Criminal?

Check out the crazy mugshot in this otherwise sad report. Doing TV news is hard -- so many things can go wrong.

[via Videogum]

Video: Giraffe Fight

And you thought giraffes were just cute creatures with silly necks.

[via BuzzFeed]

Friday, January 30, 2009

Video: Kittens Ride a Red Roomba

The last kitten to get thrown during this Roomba ride should win a prize.

[via Videogum]

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tunesmith to Rescue Rogers Career!

Just when I was running out of song ideas, along comes Microsoft's "Tunesmith". Now writing new songs is a snap!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

TDA Photos From the Patty Brady Archives

TDA alumna Patty Brady has been uploading tons of vintage photos from the band's early years. (You did know that we've been at this for, like, two decades now, right?)

You can currently see some of the photos -- like the group shot above, from way back when the band had more than a dozen members -- on our multimedia page. You can see the full set on the TDA Photo Archive on Flickr.

One of my personal favorites is the action shot below, which shows Suzanne and Patty, and reminds me of a bullfight. ¡Ole!

Thanks for sharing, Patty!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Behold, the Bear of Gum

Artist Maurizio Savini got crazy with the chewing gum to create this life-size bear.

Savini's gum-based works, which also include a buffalo and "suited businessmen suspended in gymnastic poses," have been exhibited around the world, according to The Telegraph.

"The reason I like to use chewing gum is because it seemed to me an amazingly versatile material compared to those used by the traditional arts such as painting," said Savini.

How does he do it?

"I work the chewing gum when it is warm and manipulate it with a knife just like some traditional material like clay," Savini said. "The most important step is the fixing of the sculptures with formaldehyde and antibiotic."

Read the Telegraph's full report to see the buffalo and enjoy what is perhaps the most ludicrous bit of art criticism ever, courtesy of Mario Codognato (here's a snip):

"Maurizio's work reminds of the sensual act of chewing, the voluptuous warmth of rebelling saliva, the artificial and secretly aseptic fragrance which spreads from the mouth as a promise and missed kiss."

Wonder what the art critic would say about Santa Cruz's infamous wall of gum?

[via Neatorama]

Crazy Road Signs You Don't Want to See

News flash: England is full of towns and roads with names that would make a nun blush, The New York Times has discovered. "Crapstone," "Butt Hole Road" and other horrors await the unprepared in the English countryside.

The nanny state swoops to the rescue in the form of East Sussex's Lewes District Council, which has banned "street names which could give offense" and decreed that town planners should avoid "aesthetically unsuitable names" and "names capable of deliberate misinterpretation."

Read all about the menace in the Times' investigative report, "No Snickering: That Road Sign Means Something Else."

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Two Four One on the Bonnie Simmons Radio Show

Austin deLone and I had the pleasure of playing 6 tunes live on the Bonnie Simmons radio show on KPFA in Berkeley, CA. Here's the archived show in case you'd like to check it out.

I'm Visiting from Mayberry RFD

A Michigan resident, when asked recently by his bank to show identification, decided to be witty and give his novelty Barney Fife license as identification. Like the character Fife, from The Andy Griffith Show, the teller was a little slow on the draw and merely commented that he wasn't "from around these parts."

If you want to have your own fun, purchase a Barney Fife card here.
Although TDA claims no responsibility for your fraudulent misuse of identification, we sure would like to hear about your shenanigans!


(Image: RobertLZ/Flickr)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Video: Orson Welles, Tipsy Pitchman

This is supposedly an outtake from one of Orson Welles' Paul Masson TV commercials. The apparently intoxicated actor can't quite get through a few simple lines -- looks like he drank some wine well before it was time to knock off for the day.

[via Neatorama]

Sunday, January 11, 2009

In My World, It's Always Cheese O'Clock

Here's how I tell what time it is (and what type of adult beverage I should be enjoying).

[via Buzzfeed]

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Video: Cow Gives Birth to a Dude

Gotta agree with Videogum's headline: "I Do Not Want Whatever This Is Selling."

[via Videogum]

Monday, January 5, 2009

1 Piano and 2 ?????

My friend Austin de Lone and I are doing a 1 Piano, 4 hands thing, but this might be hard to beat.

Sunday, January 4, 2009