2008 Accordion Gift Guide

Still looking for that perfect holiday gift? Want to help our nation’s beleaguered retailers and stimulate the economy? Never fear: Let’s Polka’s 2008 Accordion Gift Guide is here! We’ve got music, books, DVDs, and more for the accordion aficionados on your list — and for those folks you’re looking to convert to the squeezin’ side.


At Let’s Polka, we’re always hesitant to play favorites (because we have so many), but we’ll heartily endorse some of our favorite records of 2008, as well as some nifty gift sets:

  • A Mad and Faithful Telling by DeVotchKa
    Denver-based DeVotchKa broke big with their work on the Little Miss Sunshine soundtrack and their latest record is another winner. Check out our review for more info and an MP3 sample.
  • Hearts and Daggers by Miss Murgatroid and Petra Haden
    A beautiful, almost otherworldly, collaboration of accordion, strings, and voices. (An excellent recommendation from our pals at Accordion Noir.)
  • En Este Camino by Pistolera
    Recently showcased on our accordion advent calendar, Pistolera’s new album ups the ante from their already impressive debut, Siempre Hay Salida.
  • Pushing Daisies (Soundtrack) by James Dooley
    The show may be teetering on the verge of cancellation, but if you enjoyed Yann Tiersen’s Amelie soundtrack, you’ll love the whimsical (and accordion-laden) score to this quirky TV show.
  • MTV Unplugged by Julieta Venegas
    Recorded in Mexico City earlier this year, this intimate show is a mix of Venegas’ new material and reworking of older songs, with help from guests like two-time Oscar winner Gustavo Santaolalla.
  • Squeeze Me: The Jazz and Swing Accordion Story
    This was actually released in 2006, but it took me until this year to get through all four discs and 101 tracks covering the accordion’s contributions to the history of jazz. George Shearing, Art Van Damme, Gus Viseur, and many more are represented.
  • Ayombe!: The Heart of Colombia’s Música Vallenata
    Smithsonian Folkways has more than forty titles featuring the accordion in its extensive catalog, going back to 1948. Ayombe! is a collection of two dozen seasoned vallenato performers spanning three generations, playing the paseos, merengues, sones, and puyas of their homeland.
  • Those Darn Accordions Gift Sets
    America’s top accordion rock band is offering a few holiday gift sets this year, including a CD+t-shirt pack and a buy 1 CD, get 1 free deal. A great way to introduce a loved one to TDA.
  • They Might Be Giants Really Happy Child Bundle
    They Might Be Giants also have a number of gift sets, but we’re partial to this bundle aimed at the little squeezer in your family. It includes their CD/DVDs Here Come the ABCs and Here Come the 123s, as well as their bedtime book, Bed, Bed, Bed.

Of course, it can be tough to gauge someone’s musical tastes. In that case, try a gift card from somewhere like Calabash Music, PolkaMart, or iTunes.


  • Films of Les Blank
    Documentarian Les Blank has been making films about American roots music and culture for more than forty years. From J’ai Ete au Bal to Chulas Fronteras to In Heaven There Is No Beer, his work is treasure trove for accordion lovers.
  • Polka Time
    A heartwarming look at Midwestern polka culture through the eyes of attendees of the Gibbon Polka Fest in tiny Gibbon, Minnesota.
  • Charles Magnante DVD
    A rare film of legendary American accordionist Charles Magnante and his trio in 1946 studio session. Magnante was (pardon the pun) instrumental in getting the accordion taken seriously as a concert instrument in the US.


  • Cajun and Zydeco Dance Music in Northern California by Mark DeWitt
    With dozens of bands and weekly dances at Eagle’s Hall, Ashkenaz, and other venues, the Bay Area has long had a thriving Cajun/Zydeco dance scene. From Queen Ida to Danny Poullard, Mark DeWitt’s book examines how this region became the west coast’s answer to the bayou.
  • Grandpa’s Magical Accordion by Jessica Cherie Errico
    This charming book (and accompanying CD) tells the story of two children who, as their grandfather plays his accordion, are magically transported to the countries mentioned in the songs he plays.
  • The Giulietti Sound by Sander Neijnens
    Beautiful hardcover book from the Netherlands (but written in English) on the history and performers of Giulietti accordions. It includes a CD with performances by Guy Klucevsek, William Cosby, Karen Street, and others.
  • Golden Age of the Accordion by Ronald Flynn
    This book isn’t new, but it’s the authoritative resource on U.S. accordion history from 1900 to the 1950s. Full of rare photographs, it includes histories of accordion manufacturers, schools, and service centers from across the country. (Check out the table of contents to get an idea of its coverage.)
  • Accordion Man: The Legendary Dick Contino by Bob Bove
    Another book that isn’t new, but new to me (I received it for my birthday). If you didn’t live through the “Contino era” and wondered what all the fuss is about, this book is a great primer on the rise and fall (and rebirth!) of Mr. “Lady of Spain” himself.


  • 2009 Bay Area Accordion Babes Pin-Up Calendar
    A beautiful, accordion-toting babe for every month of the year, plus an accompanying CD? Sign me up!
  • Accordion Hero T-Shirt
    Rock Band? Guitar Hero? Bah. Real musicians do it with their lederhosen on.
  • Main Squeeze Tote Bag
    Like us, do you live in a town where “paper or plastic?” has been replaced by “why didn’t you bring your own bag?” Save the environment and ward off stern looks from the bag boy with this accordion-emblazoned tote bag.
  • Julius and Friends Slippers
    Anna has a pair of these fuzzy slippers, which feature Paul Frank’s Julius the Monkey playing the accordion in Oktoberfest garb.
  • Accordion Jewelry
    For that special someone. Nothing says “I love you” like a pair of gold-plated accordion earrings.

For more accordion gift ideas, check out our 2006 Accordion Gift Guide, visit our Amazon store, or read our other shopping-related posts. Happy shopping… and pick up something for yourself while you’re at it!

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