Just wanted to wish you well and give you a shoutout for reading these posts.
By reading them, you’re doing your part to bring the cool back to the accordion…and that’s a damn noble pursuit. The secret, actually, is that the accordion never really lost its cool in the first place. You know that, of course, because you’re smart and savvy. But some folks aren’t onto that concept yet, so you need to forward them these posts when you see or hear something you like. Then they’ll tell two friends, and those two friends will tell two friends, and, well, you get my point.
Share the love. Share the squeezebox. Keep the faith.
Finally, since it’s New Year’s Day, I learned how to play Auld Lang Syne. I’ve always loved that song, even though I have no idea what it means. Take a listen and Happy New Year!
My husband and I went to a great party Saturday night. A really great party.
You start with our gracious hosts, Aldo Bello and Marilyn Finnemore, and their lovely home in the country. You fill it with 30 or so of their fun friends and add some killer meat on the grill. Oh…and throw in some booze.
All that makes for a good party but not a great one. But here’s where Aldo and Marilyn were smart. They knew enough to invite not just one accordion player, but two. Hell yeah!
About two hours in, JoAnn (the other accordion player) asked to see my accordion, which Aldo and Marilyn insisted that I bring. She oohed and ahh’ed and then she pulled hers out of the case. Once they were out, well, we had to play.
Those of you who follow my blog know that playing in front of people generally gives me a mini stroke. But JoAnne and the crowd made me feel like accordions were cool (and by extension that made me kinda cool). So what the hell. I also had three Tecates in my blood stream.
Basically we started squeaking and squawking and we slowly filled the room. Got that guitarists? We filled the room–we didn’t clear it.
Here’s my new accordion buddy, JoAnn Pankow going to town. Chas (the guitarist) and I had given up trying to sight read along with her at that point and were just bobbing our heads in appreciation.
And here’s me actually playing a note this time.
Then came the guitar solo and the sing-alongs (but the accordions came first!). That’s Chas on the guitar. He’s a hell of a guy and writes some of the funniest original songs I’ve ever heard–I’m only sorry I didn’t get a recording of the song he wrote about his cat. Hoo boy.
It ended with craziness on the dance floor. This went on for hours.
Let us remember, it all began with some accordion.
When I dropped by Bill’s Cleaners in Carytown the other night, I had a delightful conversation with the woman behind the counter. In four minutes, we talked weather, rescue dogs. and Great Danes. While undoubtedly pleasant, this convo had nothing to do with my awesome accordion moment. That came next.
Heading out, I brushed shoulders and exchanged a smile with a gentleman heading in.
Seconds later, while I was hanging my clothes in the back seat, he rushed right out the door and gave me a hearty shout out–right there on the sidewalk.
Man from the dry cleaner: “Hey! I love your bumper sticker.”
Me: “Well thank you.” Smile.
Man from the dry cleaner: “That’s the best bumper sticker I’ve ever seen! Pro-Accordion and I vote. Hahahahahahaha.”
My God. I might as well have been a scuba diver swimming through shark-infested waters. OK, so that’s a slight exaggeration, but I’m prone to those. What really occurred is that I finally sat in with my friend’s band this past Sunday night and I played a song with them that I had been practicing for months. I was scared shitless.
But despite having subtracted years off my life, I’m glad I took the plunge. I have serious stage fright when it comes to playing the squeezebox in front of anyone other than my dog. See previous stage fright post from August 24, 2010. Sadly–the only way you can get over your paralyzing fear of playing in public is to play in public, or so my music-playing friends tell me. So I played.
I had a lump the size of a lemon in my throat from 8a.m Sunday morning until 8:43p.m. Sunday night (the precise moment I finished playing) and I lost three pounds of sweat. The lump was a little unpleasant but the weight loss helped me fit into my skinny jeans, so there was definitely a plus side.
I played some clunkers to be sure, but I kept playing and I didn’t stop and I didn’t run screaming from the room, even though I really really wanted to. That’s pretty good.
I will force myself to play in public again and am optimistic that one day it will feel more like fun and less like indigestion. Meanwhile, check out Loversville doing Waltz Across Texas. Oh yeah…that’s me on the left.
Don’t despair. You can give it a listen right now. Just download the podcast. Sit back and enjoy Bill Lupoletti’s fabulous radio show, Global A Go-Go on Richmond Independent Radio WRIR. Special bonus: this particular show is all accordion, all the time.
P.S. During the show there is talk of a bus to carry a bunch of spirited Richmond folk to Blob’s Park Bavarian Dance Hall in Jessup, MD. If this sounds like fun to you, drop me a comment on this post and your email address. I’ll contact you with details about the polka bus trip. For more info on Blob’s see Aug. 22, 2010 post.