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2019-06-16: free Accordion Noir stage at Car-Free Main Street festival!

May 23, 2019
(Photo: Joana Reis, Accordion Noir stage at Car-Free Main 2018.)
We did it onceWe did it twice!  By popular demand… we were required to come back a third time.  (Further appearances beyond three might be gratuitous, but we will be happy to indulge.)  We’re pleased to announce the lineup for our third year presenting a squeezy live music stage at the Car-Free Main Street festival!  The stage will be running for the entire duration of the fest on Sunday, June 16th, starting at noon and wrapping at 7 pm from our little stage… OK, folding tent, on the west side of the intersection of Main Street at 21st Avenue.
Some of the performers you will have enjoyed hearing at last year’s Accordion Noir Festival.  For others this may serve as a sneak preview of their appearance at this fall’s upcoming fest!  Still others are just jolly accordion weirdos.  All of them are grand!
* noon-1 pm: melodies from around the world with the Squeezebox Circle Orchestra,
* 1-2 pm: Swampy bluegrass with the Spillionaires
* 2-3 pm: Central Asian sounds from Dyadya Varda (Caravan, Mezamazing) & co.
* 3-4 pm: Stupid Accordion Tricks with Rowan brings the viral YouTube sensation to life!
* 4-5 pm: buttons + strings in solidarity with Double Rainbow‘s accordion & banjo
* 5-6 pm: Scandinavian folk-metal by Wolfbrood
* 6-7 pm: and no one can beat the Argyle Embargo at queercoastal indie folk-rock!


… aaaand that’s a wrap!
Nuvo Zydeco give their regards!  Circumstances required them to back out, but you can still catch them the 2nd Saturday of every month at the Cheese Inn (4585 Dunbar).

Accordion Noir radio playlist 2019-05-22: Return of the Pod People (with Rob Reich!)

May 23, 2019

Screenshot 2019-05-23 00.15.09

Today Rowan and Bruce tried to turn the light back on for the withered remains of our podcast listeners, seemingly last served up new content automatically back at the start of 2012.  If any of them still have us in their list of subscriptions, they may be shocked to learn that they’ve missed out on over seven years (over half of our lifespan!) of weekly broadcasts from us — and delighted to learn how much catch-up awaits them.

Tonight we kicked our weekly radio show off with the last song we played in that last-podcasted episode, then went on to conduct a phone interview with Rob Reich, who is playing a Rogue Folk gig at the St. James Hall this Thursday night with the Nell & Jim Band.  You can enjoy listening to the episode courtesy of the Internet Archive (or, ahem, try plugging us into your podcast list!) and here is the episode’s playlist to help you keep up:

AccNoir-2019-05-22, Rob Reich and Podcast Reboot!

* El Gran Silencio – Songbomb – Super riddim internacional Vol.1 (2003) – Monterrey, Nuevo León, México –
* Anne-Mari Kivimäki – Ilja – Ilja (2018) – Finland –
* The Nice Guy Trio – Apples – Here Comes… The Nice Guy Trio (2009) – Oakland, CA, USA – Rob Reich, acc.
* Marco Calliari, Yves Lambert et Le Bébert Orchestra – Barbillon – Bal à l’huile (2009) – Quebec, Canada –
* Accordion Crimes – So Far Away From Home – Accordion Crimes (2005) – Toronto, Ontario, Canada –
* Nell Robinson & Jim Nunally Band – Old & in the Way / Emd – Steel (2019) – Berkeley, California, USA –
* The Gay – Robert Smith – You Know The Rules (2003) – Vancouver, BC, Canada – Maija Martin, acc.
* Rob Reich – Sunflower Slow Drag – The Balancing Act (2008) – San Francisco, California, USA –

Thanks for reading us here (and hopefully listening to us, there), but if you find you want more, you can always keep up with us on Twitter (@AccordionNoir and @AccordionBruce), Instagram (@AccordionNoirFest), and Facebook at Accordion Noir fansthe Accordion Noir Festival, and the Vancouver Squeezebox Circle.  Cheers & squeeze on!

Accordion Noir radio playlist 2009-05-01: May Day Squeeze-Bloc!

May 20, 2019


The very merry month of May begins with a worker’s holiday.  A little late out of the gate, but here’s how we celebrated that occasion ten years ago, making a whirlwind tour of territories formerly in the Eastern Bloc.  At its original online home, episode 127 achieved a high-water mark of 12916 listens… we are looking forward to meeting and beating that record at its new online host over at the Internet Archive, where you can hear it today and forever going forward.  Now here’s its playlist:

Accordion Noir: Playlist: May 1st, 2009: May Day with the Squeeze-Bloc!

Last show of the spring fund-drive! Thanks to our great donors!

Artist — Song – Album (Date) – sources?

Gregori Matusewitsch – Yidisher Melodien – Global Accordion: Early Recordings (1929) – Russia
Bill Mankiss – Accordion Polka – Echoes of Poland (?) – Canada – Arc Sound Records A561 (I still can’t figure out when this came out.)
Vladimir Denissenkov – Santa Russia – Guzulka (2004) – Ukraine, Russia? Italy –
Play, Bayan! – Alcohol – Med Album (2006) – Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation –
Friedrich Lips – I. Stravinsky: Tango – Cinema (2001) – Russia –
Katya Dolorosa – Prettygirl Mountain Ash – Accordance with the Scriptures (2007) – Russia –
Iva Nova – Печаль (The Sorrow) – Chemodan (suitcase) (2006) – Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation –
Bill Mankiss – Hi Dulli Dulli Polka – Echoes of Poland (still no date?) – Canada
Vladimir Sidorov – Concerto d’Aranguez, 2ième Mouvement – Boîte À Musique (2006) – Russia / Montreal, Quebec, Canada –
Ivan Koval – Auf verwachsenem Pfade – Das Akkordeon: Instrument der Melancholie (2001) – Czech Republic? –
Terne Chave – More Love! (remix) – Czech Republic – This was given to us from the folks at “All over the Map,” a world-music show here on Co-op Radio.
Bill Mankiss – Jolly Painter Polka – Echoes of Poland (prize to whoever can help date this record) – Canada
Motion Trio – Balkan Dance – Pictures From The Street (2004) – Poland –

This episode’s cover is some Russian toy-soldiers with their tank, and accordion! What else do you need?

Thanks for reading us here (and hopefully listening to us, there), but if you find you want more, you can always keep up with us on Twitter (@AccordionNoir and @AccordionBruce), Instagram (@AccordionNoirFest), and Facebook at Accordion Noir fansthe Accordion Noir Festival, and the Vancouver Squeezebox Circle.  Cheers & squeeze on!

Accordion Noir radio playlist 2019-05-15: Something On The Air

May 16, 2019
Accordion Noir 2019-05-15: Something On The Air


Tonight’s episode is our standard heady melange of round-the-world squeezebox styles (just tick off the boxes — Finland, Puerto Rico by way of New York, Montreal, the Dominican Republic) plus a couple of relevant items Bruce simply couldn’t wait another week without sharing — a piece celebrating the anniversary of the birth of 1930s French/Belgian button accordion virtuoso Gus Viseur, plus an initial tune from Hey Wow!, fantastically demonstrating an accordion path not travelled by western popular culture.  You’ll be hearing more out of them as we approach their album release, but in the meantime, you can hear this week’s episode online courtesy of the Internet Archive — and peruse the contents of its playlist below:

* Maria Kalaniemi / Musiikkia Näytelmään – Nibe – Niskavuoren Nuori Emäntä (2004) – Finland – music for theatre performance, includes new compositions plus three pieces from older albums.
* Hey, Wow – Pour boire, il faut vendre – (2019) – Ottawa, Ontario, Canada –
* Balún – Ultravioleta (feat. Henry Cole) – Prisma Tropical (2018) – Brooklyn, New York / Puerto Rico, USA –
* Jordi Rosen – Morse Code – Madame Xavier (2001) – Montréal, Québec, Canada – (Is there still Myspace?)
* Gus Viseur – Ombrages – Swing Accordion –
* La India Canela – Con el Gusto Adentro (With the Flavor Inside) – Merengue Típico from the Dominican Republic (2008) – La República Dominicana – Accordionist Lidia María Hernández López.
* They Might Be Giants – We Want A Rock – Flood (1990) –
* Panic! At The Disco – Build God, Then We’ll Talk – A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out (2005) – Los Vegas, Nevada, USA –
* Orkestar Kriminal – Dos Ganevl – RyOBRA (2018) – Montreal, Quebec, Canada –
* Wendy McNeill – Animal – For The Wolf, A Good Meal (2011) – Canada and now Sweden –
* Sapo – 1000 Violets – Accordion Babes 2019 (2018) – Montreal, Quebec, Canada –
* Those Darn Accordions – Cocktails In Tehran – Squeeze Machine (2007) – San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA –
* Conjunto Bernal – Mi Unico Camino (al Espacio) – My Mac and old Tube Amp (0) – San Antonio, Texas, USA –

Thanks for reading us here (and hopefully listening to us, there), but if you find you want more, you can always keep up with us on Twitter (@AccordionNoir and @AccordionBruce), Instagram (@AccordionNoirFest), and Facebook at Accordion Noir fansthe Accordion Noir Festival, and the Vancouver Squeezebox Circle.  Cheers & squeeze on!

Accordion Noir radio playlist 2009-04-24: Ukulele Noir

May 13, 2019


From the beginning, we understood that accordions, despite having been top of the A-list instrument heap for the majority (well, 50% +1 at least) of the 20th century, now found itself bumping elbows with a different calibre of instruments — fellow “underdog” acoustic instruments often tied to ethnic cultural practices not widely shared (or perhaps popping once in the popular consciousness but never apparently undertaking a comeback.)  You know what we’re talking about — variety spice instruments you find these days icing folk recordings with a little bit of prestige: our fellow travelers the banjo, bagpipes, steel guitar, and so forth.  We’ve enjoyed good success intermittently pitting players of these instruments against accordionists at our festivals at our “underdog instrument grudge match”es, but before we began that practice, we figured that exploring the other instruments in our ghetto would make for interesting member drive radio specials, and would annually turn over an hour (or so) to some other instrument, to celebrate and edify them, for a change of pace, as we do weekly with the accordion.  We’ve done it since with a number of fellow underdog instruments (hello, hurdy-gurdy noir!), but the obvious place to begin was with the biggest comeback story among the b-list acoustic instruments, the ukulele.  (Its passionate local community of enthusiasts was the model that inspired us to mount the monthly Vancouver Squeezebox Circle get-togethers!)  10 years ago we kicked off this sporadic member drive tradition by inviting Creaking Planks strummer Heather McDermid and busker-entertainer “King of the Ukulele” Ralph Shaw to join us live on the air for a double-and-a-half length episode (number 126) to help give this twee little instrument the full noir treatment.  At its original online home it was enjoyed some 14009 times, but today’s cohort of intrepid noir uke explorers can enjoy listening to it online courtesy of the Internet Archive.  And now — here’s its playlist!

Accordion Noir: Playlist: April 24th, 2009: Ukulele Noir! Fund-raiser, Over-Timer!

Hosts: Heather McDermid, Ralph Shaw, Rowan Lipkovits, and Bruce “What’s next?” Triggs.

Playlist: Artist — Song – Album & sources?
Ukulele Noir Promo clip… We made this!
Jason Castro – Somewhere Over the Rainbow (after Israel Kamakawiwo’ole) on American Idol April 8th, 2008. Video at
Beirut – Elephant Gun – Lon Gisland (2006) Music video at
Augustinho De Pina – Hora Di Bal — Music From Cape Verde –
Tahiti Here (That’s the name of the group) – Purotu – Music from the South Pacific (2009)
Toots Paka’s Hawaiians – Kamawae (1911) – Edison wax cylinder. From the fabulous UCSB Cylinder Digitization Project:
Tahiti Here – Haere Mai Na – Music from the South Pacific (2009)
King Bennie Nawahi – Mauna Kea – (Can be heard as the soundtrack to Marv Newland’s 1988 animated short “Black Hula” at ).
Hawaiian War Chant (Kaua I Ka Huahua’i) via the Lion King.
Jake Shimabukuro – While My Guitar Gently Weeps – Gently Weeps (2006) –
Molly “SweetAfton23” – Toxic (after Britney Spears) – as at
Julia Nunes aka “jaaaaaaa” – God Only Knows (after the Beach Boys) – as at
Danielle Ate the Sandwich – Gone – as at
Waitswatcher – Hoist that Rag (instrumental, after Tom Waits) – as at
The Burning Hell – Dinosaurs – Happy Birthday (2007) –
Screw You (from Scrubs) – “Garfunkel & Oates” (Riki Lindhome & Kate Miccuci) – as at
Uni and her Ukulele – My Favorite Letter is U —
Krista Muir (Leiderhosen Lucil) – Kuss – Accidental Railway (2008) –
Jean Martin & Justin Freedman – Bookends – Freedman (2008) –
Bohemia Ukulele Band – My Baby Just Cares For Me —
The Magnetic Fields – I Don’t Really Love You Anymore – “i” (2004) –
Olo T. Schickellegroughverre and the Happy Philanthropist Orchestra – I Can Tell the World – from the incredibly rare album, “Jenny Tantric’s Preggo Playground.”
Bob Uker – Uke Messiah – Visit his portfolio site at
Bob Uker – Poutine
Heather McDermid (Live!) – Tired of Running from the CIA – (after Sloppy Seconds, originally on their album Destroyed, which is available at your favorite online audio-retailer.)
Guy Forsyth (his own song, “True Friends”) – “Waking Life” Dream Monologue – can be seen at
The Burning Hell – Goodbye Ukulele –
Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World
Toots Paca’s Hawaiians – Aloha Oe (1913: again from the Edison cylinders online.)
George Formby – Why don’t Women Like Me (George Formby’s Lament)
[You might want to check out Bryan Talbot’s “Alice in Sunderland” page. We talked about George Formby’s cameo.
[And perhaps visit the brief “George Formby Grill” animated short at ]
Cliff “Ukelele” Ike Edwards – Fascinatin Rhythm
Ralph Shaw – Frank on his Tank (live in our studio!) –
Joel Eckhaus – Cheek to Cheek –
James Hill – Little Wing – A Flying Leap (2005) –
Ralph Shaw – Do I Worry (live!) –
Ralph Shaw – Manikin Man

(Thank you for joining us in the studio tonight Heather and Ralph!)

This episode’s cover is from a ukulele art-book project by Peter and Donna Thomas. Check them out at:


It’s come to our attention that there [was] a monthly uke showcase called “Ukulele Noir” in Boston! There is information at (and , but that site is having problems currently.) They have some recordings up at: .

Ralph Shaw host[ed] the Vancouver-area monthly Ukulele Circle at Our Town Cafe the third Tuesday of every month, and it has a website at


This is where we love to say, “Please support ethical and unusual media by becoming a member of Co-op Radio,” because we love our little radio-station, and it loves you.

Thanks for reading us here (and hopefully listening to us, there), but if you find you want more, you can always keep up with us on Twitter (@AccordionNoir and @AccordionBruce), Instagram (@AccordionNoirFest), and Facebook at Accordion Noir fansthe Accordion Noir Festival, and the Vancouver Squeezebox Circle.  Cheers & squeeze on!

Accordion Noir radio playlist 2019-05-08: World Accordion Day to Day

May 9, 2019

The announcement of this week’s episode of Accordion Noir comes with a cross-promotional endorsement:

As part of Co-op Radio’s Spring Member Drive, Bruce announces [heh, he wrote this in the third person – Ed.] that he will offer a copy of his upcoming Accordion Revolution book at his book launch [in June, stay tuned!] to every listener who donates more than $120 at once or as a Sustaining Donor of [at least] $10 / month.
Check out the cover we revealed in honor of International Accordion Day!
Donate using the enticing purple button on the website, tell them Accordion Noir sent you, and get ahold of us to receive a copy of the book! (Note, we’d have to arrange postage for distant listeners).
Thanks so much for your support!

Phew. Last night’s episode followed a frequent theme, acting to illustrate the accordion’s many faces in different styles across different cultures worldwide. Soon we’ll also be able to footnote songs in the playlist with relevant pages in Bruce’s accordion history book! Until then, you can listen to last night’s episode over and over again online courtesy of the Internet Archive. Here’s its playlist:

AccNoir-2019-05-08, World Accordion Day to Day

* The Pogues – Sit Down By The Fire – If I Should Fall From Grace With God [Bonus Tracks] (1988) – Ireland / UK – James Fearnley – accordion
* Regis Gizavo – Zeombanao – Mikea (1996) – Madagascar, Africa – Label: Indigo
* Pietro Frosini – The four jacks – Edison Blue Amberol: 4167 (1921) – – Part of the UCSB Cylinder Digitization Project:
* Lost Bayou Ramblers – J’Etais au Bal (Fariad) – Live À La Blue Moon (2007) – Louisiana, USA – Visit
* Red Rowe – The Midnight Train – from Kevin Coffey’s collection (1947) – Los Angeles, California, USA – (Eddie Carver, acc.)
* Quintet Johnny Meyer – Honeysuckle Rose – Squeeze Me 3: 1943-53 Rebop Continental (The Jazz and Swing Accordion Story) (1949) – The Netherlands –
* Sagapool – Eravamo Bene – Épisode Trois (2008) – Quebec, Canada –
* De Danann All Stars – Conlon’s Jig – Padraig O’Keefe’s – Head O’ Cabbage – Boys of Malin – The Star Spangled Molly (1978) – County Galway, Ireland (etc) –
* Chango Spasiuk – Posadas – The Charm Of Chamame (2002) – Argentina –
* The Jerry Cans – Aakuluk, Pt. 2 – Aakuluk (2014) – Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada –
* Lykaios – Lampshade – Accordion Babes 2019 (2018) – –
* Marie-Josee Houle – Collarbone – Monsters (2008) – Ottawa, Ontario, Canada –
* Alphonse ”Bois Sec” Ardoin/Canray Fontenot – Eunice Two-Step – Louisiana Cajun and Creole Music: The Newport Field Recordings (1966) – Louisiana, USA –

Thanks for reading us here (and hopefully listening to us, there), but if you find you want more, you can always keep up with us on Twitter (@AccordionNoir and @AccordionBruce), Instagram (@AccordionNoirFest), and Facebook at Accordion Noir fans, the Accordion Noir Festival, and the Vancouver Squeezebox Circle. Cheers & squeeze on!

Accordion Revolution: The Book Cover!

May 6, 2019

Today is World Accordion Day (the anniversary of the date in 1829 when Cyrill Demian and his sons filed the first patent in Vienna for an instrument called “The Accordion.”

In honor of this momentous anniversary, I unveiled the cover of my upcoming Accordion Revolution book. It’s expected to be available in June. More updates will be included at the page, but here’s what you’ll find there today:

Accordion Revolution book cover: light brown skinned woman with long brown hair and a red accordion, modeled after the

A new book by Bruce Triggs

Paperback, 6 x 9 in, 430 pgs.

58 historical illustrations

Release, June 2019

Cover by Vancouver artist:
Michelle Clement


Arriving in North America in the hands of immigrants, the accordion was heard everywhere from Creole string bands in New Orleans to Inuit square dances above the Arctic Circle. Popular musicians embraced the squeezebox from the earliest jazz to the dawn of rock ’n’ roll. After years of neglect, their stories can finally be told.

Accordion Revolution uncovers the hidden history of the squeezebox, with characters like: Vaudeville star Guido Deiro’s secret marriage to a then-unknown Mae West; John Kimmel, star of the Irish accordion, ironically born to a German immigrant family in Brooklyn; and R&B accordionist Julie Gardner, who jammed with Charlie Parker before shipping out to play for the troops in the South Pacific.

When the instrument fell out of fashion, folklorist Alan Lomax amplified a common disdain, calling the accordion a “pestiferous instrument.” Thankfully the squeezebox survived its exile. Louisiana French Zydeco and Cajun musicians have rocked the world. Virtuosic accordionists like Eva Ybarra sustain a line of Tejana accordionists going back to the 1930s. The stories in Accordion Revolutionrestore the squeezebox to its rightful place at the roots of North America’s popular music.

Table of Contents:

Accordion Revolution: The Squeezebox Heart of Pop Music in North America

Part I: The Dawn of the Accordion Revolution
Chapter 1: The Accordion Conquers the World
Chapter 2: The Accordion’s Family Tree
Chapter 3: Blackface Minstrelsy: Roots in Racism

Part II The Golden Age
Chapter 4: Vaudeville and the Dawn of the Golden Age
Chapter 5: Polka and “Ethnic” Music
Chapter 6: Jazzing the Accordion
Chapter 7: The Closing Acts of the Golden Age

Josephine & Lena Bergamasco of the vaudeville group the Three Vagrants (1920s)

Part III Roots Music: An Outsider’s Canon
Chapter 8: Acordeón: Mexican and American Roots
Chapter 9: Creoles, Cajuns, and Zydeco: French Music in the American South
Chapter 10: Irish and Scottish Accordion: Immigration, Transition and Tradition
Chapter 11: Canadian Accordion: Northern Traditions
Chapter 12: Klezmer: a Restoration with Accordion

Part IV: American Wheeze: A Pre-History of Rock
Chapter 13: African Americans Played Accordion Before They Played the Blues
Chapter 14: Country & Western: Cowboys and Squeezeboxes
Chapter 15: The Folk Revival: The Accordion Betrayed

Part V: Accordion Exile: The Rise of Rock
Chapter 16: Rockin’ the Accordion
Chapter 17: The Accordion Exodus

About the Author

Bruce and hulusi (sheng)

Bruce with the Chinese hulusi (ancient free-reed cousin of the accordion) he found in a local thrift store.

Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Bruce has hosted the Accordion Noir radio program and the annual Accordion Noir Festival for over a dozen years. He plays a Giuliette chromatic button accordion that was built-to-last in the 1960s.

Way back in 1955, Toni Charuhas’ book The Accordion predicted a bright road ahead for her favourite instrument.  It didn’t quite turn out that way.  Instead the accordion became the Most Uncool Instrument In North America (at least for mainstream white people).  It lost any connection to past legitimacy or glory, and “Stomach Steinways” slept in thrift shops or in dusty grandparents’ closets for the next fifty years.

I got into accordions after growing up with rock and roll.  Inspired by that background I co-host the weekly Accordion Noir show on Co-op Radio in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Now after ten years of talking about it, I look forward to sharing the Accordion Revolution with you!

Fiat Blue Tiger Combo 'Cordion from 1966, with its original Tiger-Print Case!

Among the dozens of illustrations featured in the book (book images are b/w): The fabled Tiger Combo ‘Cordion (1966) with its original tiger-print case! See chapter 17 “The Accordion Exodus” which covers the rise of rock & roll and why accordions and their story were unheard for so long. (Courtesy of Tempo Trend Accordions, Victoria, BC, Canada.

To be first in line when the book is ready to order, add your name here: