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.