I’m working on my book’s chapter about Newfoundlander accordion, which is quite rich and fun. Meanwhile of course, who can get Korean pop music out of their head? (Note, we previously mentioned Dallea, a group of North Korean women who use significantly more accordion content than the artists I present today.)
The Korean girl-group T-ara (get it?) uses a dash of accordion in this dance song “Countryside Life”, which is rather frenetic and relentless. Here are two contrasting videos, one is a sort of glitzy stage set-piece and the other is almost the same music and patent dance-moves, but with some kind of narrative about older folks watching TV, and people working in a greenhouse, and a dog, and stuff. I admit to complete befuddlement. If you search online you’ll find trailers and previews that were released to promote the videos. Used to be the video was itself a promotion. I guess we’ve got those for movie-previews now? ”Teaser-trailers”? Weird. The final product as after-thought, hmm.
I actually like the way the accordion touches are mixed in with the other sounds so you’re not quite sure what’s what. Get your Brian Wilson on a bit. If anybody wants to share more Korean accordion with me that’d be swell. Enjoy.
T-ARA N4 – Countryside Life – MV (Dance Version) 티아라 N4 전원일기
T-ARA N4 – Countryside Life – MV (Drama Version) 티아라 N4 전원일기
I just heard a disturbing little piece on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, like NPR but probably better) about K-pop and how they groom the performers like olympic gymnasts with cosmetic surgery and stuff to get “perfect.” The Wikipedia page for T-ara says they were in “training” for three years before their first record. Yikes. Stick with the accordion kids.
Now back to Newfoundland.
Calle 13 is a band from Puerto Rico well known for eclectic music (somewhere beyond reggaeton), social commentary, and occasional controversy, political and otherwise. Cool. Oh, and some accordion in there sometimes from their man Visitante, who plays like, a million instruments. Like the disturbingly provocative melodica in this concert-poster (left).
Anyways, what’s important is, I found this highly strange and funny video by them, that is self-un-explanitory. I do not know what it is about. It’s probably (as I’ve noted in my title) inappropriate in various ways. But it’s awesome as it unfolds. Think, country-music cumbia, olympics dance-contest, non-normative body images, and tutus, and you’ll have no idea what it means either.
Our friend Alan from the Vancouver Squeezebox Circle sent me this:
From the book ‘Stomping the Blues’ by Albert Murray
I want to know more of the story of this picture – the date? That’s a 1930′s style accordion I’d say.
Cornell Smelser played accordion and recorded with Ellington in 1930, I wonder if that could possibly be his? (Like Lennon picked up the session guy’s when they were recording, “All You Need is Love.”) That would be a treat;
Cornell died soon after of TB and [Correction, I just heard from Cornell's family that he lived a long life after his jazz career. I look forward to more such happy errors!] not many jazz accordionists stepped in to take his place.
My fave Cornell track: ”Double Check Stomp” from 1930. One copy I have lists it as by, “The Jungle Band,” that’s Ellington’s orchestra.
Dig the kazoo solo.
Then there’s Ellington jammin out “Accordion Joe” with Cornell.
Here’s a later version of Cornell’s (he wrote it) “Accordion Joe,” with the Dorsey brothers along for the ride.
Oh, hey! There’s a bunch of Cornell Smelser tracks on YouTube. Nobody has ever collected his stuff at all. I’m gonna grab them while I can.
Here’s “Cotton Club Stomp” from that same “Jungle Band” in 1930.
Thanks to Squeezebox Alan for starting this off!