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Accordion Noir Theme Song Cover Extravaganza!

September 26, 2016

accnoirsheetGreetings, Accordion Noir fans! We have before us a year of rolling 10th anniversaries ahead of us: Next September will see the 10th installment of the annual Accordion Noir Festival, but before that it’ll be the 10th anniversary of our Vancouver Squeezebox Circle in March. But coming up still sooner yet we have upcoming the 10th anniversary of the first weekly broadcast of Accordion Noir Radio, which began at 2 am in the middle of the night the first Wednesday of December. (These are all goals we set out in a manifesto for accordion world domination when we first began scheming to go on the radio: what would naturally follow?  We got as far as starting a festival, but then ran out of gas before opening a record label.)

We’ll be celebrating this occasion with a Very Noir All-Star accordion concert (about which we’ll say quite a bit more when we get closer to it), but for the benefit of our remote fans — the ones who enjoyed listening live to us in the morning or over their lunchbreak while it was 2 am local time — we wanted to give them a chance to participate in the celebrations also: another crack at a scheme I hatched 6 years ago.

We have a splendid theme song.  Composed about three years in to our ten year spree (so far), it’s an amazing composition by Andy Fielding that manages to encapsulate the spectrum of emotional possibilities on those accordions that we champion.  And as Andy himself once did a cover version of the (much-covered) theme song to the late Jurgen Gothe’s Disc Drive, we would like to invite our friends and fans to record and send in covers of our theme song. It gets played on our show every week, and we’d enjoy the chance to demonstrate the instrument’s range and versatility by having varied versions of the song to draw upon — on different kinds of squeezeboxes, in different registers, at different tempos, with different accompanying instrumentation, in different styles. You get the idea. Also, it gives us a chance to play you on the radio and put you before an uncountably vast audience over the airwaves and online.

To make it easy for you, we have full sheet music available for your perusal — at the top of this post, or downloadable locally as a .PDF over at And for those of you who aren’t visual learners, you can get a ballpark idea of what the canonical version of our theme song sounds like by listening to the master, its composer Andy Fielding, playing substantial flights of solo fancy in this long recording of the theme song right over at (But you can try — in vain — to tighten it up and make it punchier if you want to go shorter-form.)

But really, we invite you to deviate from the norm, for the apple to fall quite some distance from the tree — you’re not going to out-Andy Andy, so you might as well play to your strengths and leave your own mark on the performance or the arrangement. Maybe you want to write some words for it and sing along? Take a crack at it! Taunt us by recording a performance entirely on non-free-reed-aerophone instruments? God bless you, you plucky little rebel. An a capella barbershop quartet arrangement? Well, I’m not sure why you would, but … knock yourself out!

And for you electronic musicians who wouldn’t otherwise be able to figure out where to plug a Cordovox into your patch bay, we are also interested in your remixes and mash-ups. If you inquire, we can provide stems (well, a keyboard track and a bass button track… and if we’re feeling really on the ball, a bellows-creaking track 8)

So your challenge is laid out before you: try to have a recording of your special rendition of our theme song (digital is best, MP3s are fine), in our hands by the last week of November. Cheers & squeeze on!

Accordion Noir radio playlist 2016-09-21: Maple Glazed

September 22, 2016


For obtuse reasons that can be explained but not made interesting, yesterday’s playlist of Accordion Noir Radio was a Canadian Content special. We play music from all over the world to a global audience, but when backed into our corner… can still come up with quite a show. You can click here to hear a digital audio stream of the episode (if you are listening on a device that supports our radio station’s somewhat head-scratching Flash interface for stream play) and to enhance your listening enjoyment, you can learn a little more about what you heard on the program by poring over the following playlist!

* Paul Reddick – Morning Bell – Sugarbird (2008) – Toronto, Ontario, Canada – w. Garth Hudson, acc.
* Andy Fielding – Accordion Noir theme (short version, 1:06) – Accordion Noir (2010) – Vancouver, BC, Canada – recorded special just for our show!,%2004feb10%29.pdf
* The Jerry Cans – Uanittuujalii – Nunavuttitut (2013) – Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada –
* Vishtèn – Tempête Des Glaces – Mosaïk (2012) – Acadia; Prince Edward Island; Quebec, Canada –
* Sudanda – Ahlam Bukra (Tomorrow’s Dream) – Tomorrow’s Dream (2014) – Sudan, Africa / Canada –
* Sara Ciantar – South America – How Long (2006) – Vancouver, BC, Canada –
* Amelia Curran – The Matador – They Promised You Mercy (2014) – St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada –
* The Bills – Mando Coloured Glasses – Trail of Tales (2016) – Victoria, BC, Canada –
* The Once – By The Glow Of The Kerosene Light – Row Upon Row of the People They Know (2011) – Newfoundland, Canada –
* Maria Dunn – West Mabou Song – From Where I Stand (1998) – Alberta, Canada –
* Geoff Berner With Diona Davies And Wayne Adams – Traitor Bride – The Wedding Dance Of The Widow Bride (2007) – Vancouver, BC, Canada –
* Wendy McNeill – Giver – For the Wolf, a Good Meal (Master 2) (2011) – Canada, Sweden –
* The Crackling – The Harm – Mary Magdalene (2013) – Vancouver, BC, Canada – Tyson Naylor, acc.
* Canailles – Train – Manger du bois (2012) – Montréal, Québec, Canada –

As usual, our reminder that if you get a kick out of our long-running radio project (have we mentioned that we’ll be celebrating our 10th anniversary of first going on the air this December?) and our blogging summation of it … you should follow us on social media, where we similarly hold forth in shorter form: at @AccordionNoir and @AccordionBruce on Twitter, at our Instagram account @Accordionnoirfest, and over at our Facebook groups for Accordion Noir fans, the Accordion Noir Festival, and the Vancouver Squeezebox Circle! That will help you do like we do and keep your finger on the pulse of the global squeezebox beat — in realtime! Join the angry accordion consortium!


All right, that’s enough merriment for this week. Cheers & squeeze on!

Accordion Noir radio playlist 2016-09-014: Après nous le déluge (Ksenija Sidorova and So On)

September 15, 2016


And just as suddenly as it descended upon us, our festival was done, leaving nothing but a cloud of bellows dust and a warm, satisfied glow in its wake. We’ll be sharing more fest highlights as we have a chance to digest and process what we’ve all just experienced, but in the meantime… accordion life marches on! Latvian accordion phenom Ksenija Sidorova is coming to town, and as we’ve been following her career since the very beginning — reporting in our first year when her school instrument was stolen — and so us interviewing her naturally fit. And in honour of the additional night extended them at their Accordion Noir Festival venue the WISE Hall, we threw in a little Piñata Protest. As for the rest of the set… well, there’s always more music we have waiting to share, so why not get on with it? You can hear last night’s broadcast by clicking here for a link to the digital audio stream, and to better understand what you’re hearing… the full playlist follows:

* Ksenija Sidorova – Waltz Margo – Ad libitum… – Latvia, London, England –
* Ksenija Sidorova – Ksenija Sidorova Interview (Stolen Accordion, Vancouver Shows, Studying in London)
* Ksenija Sidorova, Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, Sascha Goetzel – Chanson bohème – Carmen (2016) – Latvia / London –
* Ksenija Sidorova – Ksenija Sidorova Interview (Piano acc, Accordion in Latvia, Repertoire, Recordings)
* Ksenija Sidorova, Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, Sascha Goetzel – Sunrise Over Seville – Carmen (2016) – Latvia / London –
* The Bills – West Bay Crossing – Trail of Tales (2016) – Victoria, BC, Canada –
* Kevin Roy – Farm Boy & the Blonde Haired Troubadour – Heartworn Highways (2016) – Canada –
* Piñata Protest – Vato Perron – El Valiente (2013) – San Antonio, Texas, USA –
* Armando Almendarez & Conjunto México – Boppin’ The Rock – San Antonio’s Conjuntos In The 1950s (1955) – San Antonio, Texas, USA –
* Conjunto San Antonio Alegre – Las Pachuquitas – Pachuco Boogie (1954) – San Antonio, Texas, USA –
* El Gran Silencio – Dormir Soñando – Libres y Locos (1998) – Monterrey, Nuevo León, México –

Our Accordion Noir Festival was a great hub of local accordion activity, but the wheel keeps turning (no, that’s a hurdy gurdy metaphor… the bellow keeps pumping!) — you can find regular squeezy events listed on the calendar sub-page of our Vancouver Squeezebox Circle’s website.

Which reminds us, there’s a Vancouver Squeezebox Circle presentation happening tonight!


… but I digress. Anyhow, some soon-upcoming not-produced-by-us highlights include:

  • September 16, 9 pm: Three for Three – Howard Schmenge Chapman, Sue Baines, Steve Cotrill – Princeton Pub, 1901 Powell
  • September 17, 5.30-8 pm: Three for Three – Howard Schmenge Chapman, Sue Baines, Steve Cotrill – Kino Cafe, Cambie St
  • September 18, 3 pm: Ksenija Sidorova – Latvian classical accordionist – Vancouver Playhouse
  • September 19: Ksenija Sidorova – Frankie’s Jazz Club
  • September 21, 6.30 pm: West My Friend album release concert – Kingfisher Farm, 512 172nd St, Surrey BC
  • September 25, 7 pm: Fall Equinox Coffee House w. Rio Samaya and more – Seniors Lounge, Britannia Community Centre – Commercial Drive at Napier Street
  • September 29, 8 pm: The Holy Roller Revue, hosted by The Wayward Hearts – Fox Cabaret

… and that’s just in the remaining two weeks of this month! More, much more in October! We usually don’t get that fine-toothed in our blog posts, which — like the radio program — happen only on a weekly basis. But if you’d like to be in the loop for breaking news and accordion announcements on matters local and global, you should follow us on social media: @AccordionNoir and @AccordionBruce on Twitter, our Instagram account @Accordionnoirfest, and our Facebook groups for the Accordion Noir Festival, Accordion Noir fans, and the Vancouver Squeezebox Circle! If after all that you still aren’t satisfied… we should probably recruit you as an intern for our festival. Until next time — cheers & squeeze on!

Accordion Noir radio playlist 2016-09-07: Accordion Noir Fest is here!

September 8, 2016

Enough with previews and promos — the 9th annual Accordion Noir Festival begins today! We kicked things off last night with a visit from our friend Gunther Kablutsiak, visiting from Nunavut to perform with a crack band at our Saturday night mainstage this weekend with Jack Garton’s Demon Squadron and Piñata Protest from San Antonio.

Plenty of upcoming events listed on the bulletin board here at CFRO Co-op radio but one looms front and centre… #noirfest2016

A photo posted by Accordion Noir Fest (@accordionnoirfest) on Sep 7, 2016 at 10:01pm PDT

We split the show up between live interviews and performances from Gunther and canned tracks representing other festival performers — you can hear the entire program as a digital audio stream by clicking here! And to help make sense of what you’re hearing, here’s the playlist of the show:

Yeti – Isabelle
Magic in the Woods – Jardin
Gunther Kablutsiak – Square Dance 1
Gunther Kablutsiak – Sanimuuq
Nefertiti in the Kitchen – Purple Lady
Yeti – La Java Blanche
Gunther Kablutsiak – Jingle Bells
Jack Garton – Move the Mess Around


(You can get a better view of his button-box from his CBC Radio appearance this morning over here. Their studios are a little larger than ours 8)

As a bonus, Gunther hung around for nearly a half-hour with the radio problem following ours, Late Night With Savages, continuing to paint a picture of life in Nunavut as an accordion player — and you can hear it over here.

And that brought our exciting night to an end — but the weekend is just heating up, with the festival beginning tonight at LanaLou’s! You will need to be keeping your eyes open to all our social media accounts to get a full grasp of all the festivities this weekend — our Twitter account @AccordionNoir, our Instagram account @Accordionnoirfest, and our Facebook groups for the Accordion Noir Festival, Accordion Noir fans, and the Vancouver Squeezebox Circle!

You’ll be getting a no doubt comprehensive festival report on next week’s episode of Accordion Noir.  Until then… cheers & squeeze on!

Gunther Kablutsiak pores over a collection of Inuit music on vinyl at CFRO.

A photo posted by Accordion Noir Fest (@accordionnoirfest) on Sep 7, 2016 at 11:38pm PDT


Accordion Noir radio playlist 2016-08-31: Accordion Noir Fest preview

September 1, 2016

Our 9th annual Accordion Noir Festival will soon be upon us — hopefully on the radio next Wednesday night we will have live sneak previews from fest performers the night before it kicks off — but in the meantime all we had to stir the pot with was some hot press kit song samples to share with you… some of which even contained accordion playing! Bruce had a hard time jumping back into the digital pool after two weeks in Luddite limbo, airing songs off of CD, but at least it should be easy to listen to as a digital audio stream — simply by following this link! And for your convenience, the following playlist will tell you a little more about what you’re hearing:

Ben Holmes – Black Handkerchief Dance
Pinata Protest – Valiente
Magic in the Woods – Long Nights
Magic in the Woods – BOCL
Jack Garton – Move the Mess Around
Jet Black Pearl – Hot Boots
Geoff Berner – Shut In

That’s all for now, but if you can’t wait until next week’s episode, you can keep up with us on Twitter (@AccordionNoir and @AccordionBruce), Facebook and Instagram.  Our festival is knocking at the door, so there’s lots of activity for us to share every day!

Accordion Noir radio playlist 2016-08-24: Come Hell Or High Water

August 25, 2016


It’s sad but true — Bruce’s computer is still down for the count and his attempts to both repair and replace it have been fraught with problems (he’s currently looking at replacing it with cuneiform tablets… No! I tell him, we’re accordion noir, not Akkadian noir!)  This means that last night’s episode of Accordion Noir Radio (which you can listen to as a digital audio stream by following this link) has been another compact disc special, reduced to such primitive methods that he’s been reduced to communicating the playlist contents to me through a series of candid photographs like one of the downtrodden voiceless.  You’ll see at the bottom what I have to work with here.

Bruce wanted to stress that this week’s episode is dedicated to the Lost Bayou Ramblers’ fundraising efforts to help people recover from the recent flooding in Louisiana.  You can find out more about it here.  He aired live performance snippets from their digital back stacks interspersed with the songs listed below, but was never quite sure what the names of the songs were (audio streams: no liner notes, amirite?), so … they’re not listed below, but when you run up against them, you’ll know.

Accordion Tribe – Sea of Reeds – Unikko
Accordion Samurai – self-titled – De Delay Lo Ribatel / Espresso
3 Leg Torso – Animals and Cannibals – The Life And Times And Good Deeds Of St. Penguin
Montcorbier – self-titled – Shottishe et polka du lac Brome
Daniel Kahn – Partisans & Parasites – Khurbn Katrina
Miss Murgatroid & Petra Hayden – Hearts & Daggers – Another Day
Saul Berson Quartet – Intricacy – Allure
KTU – 8 Armed Monkey – Sineen

Or, if you prefer, the illustrated playlist:

That’s it for us this week, but if you can’t wait until next week’s episode, you can keep up with us on Twitter (@AccordionNoir and @AccordionBruce), Facebook and Instagram.  Preparations are ramping up for our 9th annual Accordion Noir Festival which will be landing in just two weeks!  Rest assured you’ll be hearing more from us about that one!

Accordion Noir radio playlist 2016-08-17: Retrofuturism

August 18, 2016


Greetings, all!  Bruce’s computer, with its digital library of 30 thousand unplayed accordion songs, is still broken.  This means we had to do things the old -fashioned way.  A tanzbar?  No.  Accordion 8-track tapes?  Close.  Play songs off of CDs like we did way back in the ’90s?  You got it!  Anyhow, you can enjoy listening to last night’s episode by following this link, and of course to enhance your enjoyment you can follow along courtesy of this (hand-transcribed, shudder!) playlist of the tunes we somehow mined from the thin discs of plasticised aluminum.

Carlos Ramon – El 4 y 5
Pablo Aslan Quintet – La Calle 92
Jason Webley – Balloon Feather Boat Tomato
Jason Webley – Music That Puts Everything Together
Anne Niepold & Gwen Cresens – Savoie 64, Smells Like, Option Plus
Visten – Pour Jacob
Sivuca – Riacho Seco
Clarence Clay & William Scott – It Was Hit Blood
The Band – Rocking Chair
New Orleans Klezmer All Stars – Boozoo’s Breakdown

If you just can’t wait until next week for more breaking accordion news, you can always follow @AccordionNoir and @AccordionBruce on Twitter for the hottest of takes.  Cheers & squeeze on!