Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bratwurst: Cook 'Em Right!

An excellent article by Bob Currer on how to properly cook a brat. It also gives mention to TDA's "First Bratwurst Of Summer". I'm looking out at the grill and thinking it might be time to attempt a mid-winter fire-up.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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The Hamster Ball Derby is On!

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

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Monday, September 07, 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!

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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!

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Thursday, July 02, 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!

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

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.

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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.



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Friday, June 05, 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.

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Saturday, May 02, 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!

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

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!

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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


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!

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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. video

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

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.

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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!

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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.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

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.

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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%

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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.

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Friday, March 07, 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

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Bowling King Dethroned

Say it isn't so! First the breweries left town, now it looks like the United States Bowling Congress is threatening to leave Milwaukee and move it's headquarters to Texas.
That's just not right. Of course, that doesn't mean folks will stop bowling (or drinking beer) in Milwaukee, but it is another chink in the grand history of this great midwest blue collar town. Who knows when the next pin will drop? Perhaps only The Bowling King! Whatever happens, we can rest assured that there will always be Koz's Mini Bowl to fall back on!

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Stranger Than Fiction

Leave it to our old pal Lawrence Welk to provide what has to be one of the more bizarre moments in television history.

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Have Distortion, Will Travel

Hey, When Magnetic Fields set out to make a CD with distorted accordion, they should have given us a call. We've pretty much got it down to a science. With Sennheiser mics and amps set on overdrive, we get a pretty beefy crunch. The only concern, and it's a big one, is the dreaded feedback. I don't know why they were having trouble getting feedback because it's a constant threat when we play live. Of course, there's a big difference between "feedback" and "distortion" and the article doesn't make that distinction. It could just be a matter of semantics. Anyway, check out Magnetic Field's new CD, "Distortion" and then give "Squeeze Machine" a listen. It should make for an interesting comparison.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Squeeze Machine Secrets: 'Tandem Bike'

Inspiration for a tune can come out of nowhere, or right at you on a bike path. We had a day off in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, and I was sitting at my laptop in my hotel room when I noticed Carri walking briskly across the parking lot. I thought for sure she must be headed to a store and decided to seize the moment and put in an order for a sandwich and a candy bar.

I slid open my window and asked her where she was going and she completely confounded me by replying that she was off to rent a bike. Then she asked me (demanded, actually) if I wanted to come along, claiming that as a band leader, I need to keep in shape, blah blah blah. It was the last thing I wanted to do, but before I knew it, I was pedaling down a bike path about 50 yards behind Carri, breathing dust and wondering how I could have let this happen.

The Stevens Point bike path is a loop, but at times it uses city streets, and somehow we managed to get lost. We stopped to check the map the bike-rental shop had given us, but we couldn't make any sense out of it. That's when an older couple came gliding serenely toward us on a tandem bike.

Now, I had always thought that a tandem bike is a sure recipe for divorce, but these folks looked like they were having a wonderful time. I waved them down and asked them for directions, and they came to a graceful, synchronous stop in front of us. The gentleman in front gave me directions and we exchanged a few pleasantries; then he proceeded to remount and pedal off.

Unfortunately, Carri was still engaged in deep conversation with his wife as the bike began to move away. The poor woman did her best to make a quick seating and get in step, but alas, they only made it about 5 feet before slowly careening down to the ground. I was truly shocked and fearful that they might be hurt, but they waved us off and said they were fine. The gentleman then mentioned that it was the first time they had gone down in 30 years. Carri and I both felt a little guilty about helping to break this streak, and we offered our most heartfelt apologies.

Well, sort of.

I must admit that as soon as I saw they were OK, my mind was headed on its own little tandem-bike adventure. "Tandem bike" -- it just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it? How could you not write a song about this? I tried not to for about 10 minutes. This happens sometimes. You know you're going to write a song about something, but you are feeling lazy and try to put it off for as long as possible. But then the lines start coming, and as soon as I start to chuckle, I know I have to do it.

As we continued our ride I would occasionally catch up with Carri and sing a few lines. She got in the spirit and threw out a few of her own, and by the time we made it back to the rental shop, this little ditty was complete. I especially like the ending, which -- oddly enough -- came first!

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

It's TDA Polka Time!

Lots of folks have been asking how they can get all of TDA's polkas in one place. Yielding to popular demand, we've made an iMix on iTunes of all our polka recordings. Just click on this link and you can buy all our polkas at once. Of course, you'll need to open iTunes to view and purchase the list. What time is it? It's polka time!

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