Another Clever Accordion Shirt

In honor of Accordion Awareness Month, is featuring an accordion t-shirt which reads “Everything’s going accordion to plan!” for $15. From the site:

“Wear this shirt: every day during National Accordion Awareness Month, this June and every June. Don’t wear this shirt: while you’re playing accordion. Then nobody’ll see that hilarious pun.”

Hilarious indeed. Get yours before they’re sold out!

(Thanks for the heads up, Robyn!)

Mumlers Accordion Dog T-Shirt

Mumlers T-Shirt Accordions are clearly on the minds of hip t-shirt designers these days. One of my coworkers pointed me towards this unique accordion dog shirt ($16) for San Jose indie band, The Mumlers. In addition to peddling cute shirts, they play catchy, folky tunes on unlikely instruments such as the toy piano, stand-up bass, french horn and, of course, accordion.

iTunes for Accordion?

iTunesThe beauty of online music services like iTunes is that they offer instant access to hard-to-find music. No waiting, no standing in line, no condescending looks from record store clerks when you’re picking up the latest polka CD (ahem)… just instant gratification for music lovers. But even iTunes’ vast catalog has some holes — particularly when it comes to solo and ensemble accordion music.

Accordionist Lenny Feldmann (the “Cordeen Man”) is trying to fill those holes, though, with his own all-accordion online music service. Just like iTunes, you can listen to samples, buy entire albums or mix and match tracks at 99 cents a pop. There are currently over 200 tracks available, including selections by Frank Marocco, Zevy Zions, and the Accordion Pops Orchestra. It’s definitely worth checking out and, hopefully, the selection will continue to grow over time.

Piano Accordion Buying Guide

From time to time, we get email from people looking for advice on buying their first accordion. I try to give them an overview of the instrument, what I found helpful when I was starting out, etc., but it’s difficult to convey all of that information through email.

Recently, though, I found this video guide to buying a piano accordion from the guy who runs Liberty Bellows in Philadelphia. He covers the basics — keyboard sizes, button layouts, numbers of reeds, bellows condition — and how they relate to pricing. Experienced players won’t hear anything new, but if you’re just getting started and want to know what to look for when buying your first accordion (new or used), it’s definitely worth checking out.

Accordion-Shaped Kids Furniture

Posh Tots Accordion Dresser

Forget race-car shaped beds; your kids need this one-of-a-kind accordion-shaped dresser. Designed by Judson Beaumont, each dresser is custom-made and available at PoshTots for a mere $5,600. (There’s a reason it’s called PoshTots!) There’s also a vertical version available for just $5,000. A small price to pay for living in Wonderland…

[Found via Rare Bird Finds]

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What Did Squeezebox Santa Bring You?

Chris and I had a great holiday and received some awesome accordion-related presents! Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Custom-Made Folding Accordion Stands
    Handmade by my dad, the expert craftsman! One of the stands is pictured here. Using wood from an old futon frame, he designed two identical stands from pictures of other accordion stands I found online.
  • Big Lou's Polka Casserole CDBig Lou’s Polka Casserole CD
    Big Lou’s first album is a classic and belongs in every accordion lover’s collection!
  • Julius and Friends Slippers
    Check out these awesome Paul Frank slippers that Karla gave me. The slipper on the left shows Julius the monkey playing the accordion to a chicken wearing lederhosen. These slippers are perfect for your favorite bird-lovin’, accordion playin’ friends! You can find them online at Tilly’s.
  • The Weird Al Show - The Complete Series (DVD)The Weird Al Show – The Complete Series DVD
    A must for every Weird Al fan, this complete series also comes with an excellent commentary track.

Did you get any cool accordion-related goodies this holiday season? Leave us a comment and tell us about them!

A Li’l Wally Christmas

Li'l Wally record: Merry Christmas Mom and DadThis year, make it a Li’l Wally Christmas. Head over to the Record Robot, where they’ve posted a couple MP3s from an old Christmas record by Li’l Wally and the Harmony Boys. The tracks are “Merry Christmas Mom and Dad” (a Wally original) and “O Christmas Tree”.

If you want to pick up some holiday polka albums, check out the selection Jimmy K. Polkas. They have Christmas recordings from Li’l Wally (including two albums of Polish Christmas carols), Eddie Blazonczyk, Lenny Gomulka, Jimmy Sturr, and more.

2006 Accordion Gift Guide

Jon considers giving Liz accordion lessons for Christmas

It can be tough to shop for an accordion lover. You won’t find a custom-made Petosa accordion at Wal-Mart, Martha Stewart hasn’t published a magazine on making your own accordion straps, and most music stores don’t carry much beyond The Best of Lawrence Welk.

Luckily, Let’s Polka is here to help. We’ve put together our 2006 Accordion Gift Guide — gift ideas for the budding accordionist (or enthusiast) on your holiday list. And everything on our list is $50 or less (usually much less), so there’s money leftover for lessons.

Weird Al releases “Straight Outta Lynwood”

Straight Outta LynwoodToday Weird Al released his 12th studio ALbum, Straight Outta Lynwood, featuring parodies of Chamillionaire, Green Day, Usher, R. Kelly and (best of all) Taylor Hicks! The DualDisc also includes six animated videos, a behind-the-scenes featurette on the making of the album and even karaoke mixes with optional on-screen lyrics. (And, for those who were wondering, there is a 27 on the cover).

My review: 5 stars, baby! Okay, I am biased. Weird Al is one of my favorite musicians ever. I am continually impressed with his breadth of experience spanning multiple genres. Some of my personal favorite songs are “White and Nerdy” (watch the video on Al’s Myspace), “Polkarama!” (any song that starts with “The Chicken Dance” and ends with “Gold Digger” is a favorite in my book) and “Do I Creep You Out” (I love Taylor Hicks but even he might agree that song was asking for it).

I also love the additional videos. Some of my favorite animators worked on them, including John Kricfalusi, Bill Plympton and Robot Chicken. The behind-the-scenes featurette is also really fun. In it, you’ll see Al playing his accordion (a red Hohner 72 bass with 5 treble switches) as well as a toy piano, vibraslap, bass harmonica and a watermelon! That guy has mad skillz.

If you like Weird Al, I think you will be pleasantly surprised with this album. Click here to buy the CD.

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