Greetings everyone from Rowan, Bruce’s co-host on Accordion Noir. Things have been looking a bit sparse around here (that just means that Bruce is actually making headway on his book), but fear not, I’m here to change all that. I was hoping to log an appearance here in December, but that didn’t pan out — but it’s a New Year and I have some exciting content for you! With the turnover of the calendar in January, I mark another milestone: the annual celebration of the establishment and first gig of my main musical project, East Van’s jug band of the damned The Creaking Planks. (I know, it probably violates some journalistic precepts to program myself on my radio show (what are we stooping to the level of, the CBC?), but the band has done a lot for the show and its festival, and so I prefer to consider it less nepotism and more … synergy.)
It’s true: our fabulous 11th Anniversary extravaganza concert is coming up Friday, January 29th at the WISE Hall with supporting acts The Myrtle Family Band and the Sidewalk Cellist, and to help to get the word out, we logged another of our long, strange and sporadic series of appearances on the Accordion Noir Radio program as a band to help give listeners an idea of the big musical fun that awaits them at our concert — and of course to continue doing our bit to spearhead the punk-accordion revival here at Acc Noir ground zero in Vancouver, BC. Bruce tipped us off that today’s date was the birthday of Leadbelly, which reminded us that we’d once (once) performed an arrangement of In The Pines, but in all the excitement Bruce was left to represent the Leadbelly without us while we wrestled with the mics in the radio station studio. (SPOILER: the mics won.)
We played and sang a number of songs for home listeners to enjoy on the show: a complete playlist follows, and you can listen and follow along with an audio stream provided by CFRO Co-Op Radio or, if streams aren’t your bag, an MP3 of the episode some canny fan managed to somehow bottle and ferment.
The Creaking Planks – Accordion Noir theme (Andy Fielding) – Live on Accordion Noir (2011)
Lead Belly (Huddie Ledbetter) – Laura (1947) – Born this day, 1888, Mooringsport, Louisiana (in Caddo Parish), USA
Mahlautini Luthuli – Ulele Izweni – Squashbox: Zulu, Sotho, Xhosa Concertina, 1930-1965 (1950) – South Africa – David Murray sent us this. Thank you, David!
The Creaking Planks – Born Slippy (Underworld) – from YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoORTedaJlY
The Creaking Planks – Like A Prayer (Madonna) – Live on Accordion Noir (2016)
The Creaking Planks – Warhol’s Portrait of Gretzky (Hawksley Workman) – Live on Accordion Noir (2016)
The Creaking Planks – Major Tom (Peter Schilling) – Live on Accordion Noir (2016)
The Creaking Planks – Sweethome Under White Clouds (Virgin Prunes) – Live on Accordion Noir (2016)
The Creaking Planks – Your Sister’s Wedding – Live on Accordion Noir (2016)
The Creaking Planks – That Pie Ain’t Gonna Eat Itself – Live on Accordion Noir (2016)
and, because what’s the Plankiest thing you can follow Planks with:
The Chieftains, John Hiatt, etc. – Down The Old Plank Road – Down The Old Plank Road: The Nashville Sessions (2002) – Marc Savoy, acc., Bela Fleck, banjo
Hope you enjoyed the program, and hope to see you out at the show! (If you like the accordion-playing octopi, we should have more of our fabulous T-shirts for sale to interested parties at the show — and online — bearing their basic design.) Cheers and squeeze on!
Forgive me but the subject of this post predates the advent of the accordion and European free-reeds, but the impact on the music is foundational. Basically this long piece stemmed from me trying to write a paragraph in my accordion research. Forgive me also for trawling the net for the illustrations. They are intended to as a pleasant breather for the long text, not as well-considered support for the issues under consideration. Aren’t they fun though?
– That intro is from Bruce, your humble Accordion Upriser.
Let me introduce you to Celia Pendlebury and her (successful, 2015!) master’s thesis which I’m pretty sure challenges much of what people have said and written about the origins of “traditional” instrumental/dance music in the former British Empire for the last one-hundred years. I am writing as an outsider to these traditions and an amateur so maybe this is all common knowlege, but it was new to me. I stumbled on her work while researching Inuit accordionists in the Arctic. Old time “Eskimo music” (as its traditionally called) consists of accordion led jigs, reels and square-dances brought to the North by over-wintering whalers in the 1800s. Read more…
It was an extra long show so we had plenty of time for them. Sorry if I talked about clown-noses a lot. I had forgotten mine at home and was compensating for feeling left out. Their combination of cumbia, rock, ska, and acoustic folk is seriously fun. They’re touring in BC for the next few weeks so go to their Facebook to hear about dates near you.
Here’s their song Yogadicto, about a guy addicted to yoga.
Listen to the show: Accordion Noir 2015-07-08 (two part)
First hour we took over for Soundscape: http://www.coopradio.org/content/soundscape-240
Second Hour Accordion Noir‘s normal 10-11 PM time: http://www.coopradio.org/content/accordion-noir-238
Playlist: Band, Song, Album (year), Planet of Origin, Contact to give them lots of money.
* Kroke – Fire – The Sounds Of The Vanishing World (2000) – Poland – http://www.kroke.krakow.pl/html_en/main_en.html
* Those Darn Accordions – Fire – Squeeze This! (1994) – San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA – http://www.thosedarnaccordions.com/
* Diana Hamilton – Diana Hamilton Rake ‘n’ Scrape Interview 2015-05-08 – Accordion Noir interviews (2015) – Cat Island, The Bahamas – https://www.facebook.com/dhaccordion242
* Georges Norbert And L Honore Rosa – Bonne Annee Amin Ny Tanana – Madagasikara One: Current Traditional Music Of Madagascar (1985) – Madagascar, Africa – (Ace Records, 1986, 1990)
* Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys – Rocky Road Blues – The Essential Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys: 1945-1949 [Disc 1] (1945) – Recorded in Chicago – With Sally Ann Forrester, acc!
* Calexico – Praskovia – Convict Pool (2004) – Tucson, Arizona, USA – http://www.casadecalexico.com/
* The Jerry Cans – Uanittuujalii – Nunavuttitut (2013) – Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada – http://thejerrycans.com/
* Le Vent Du Nord – Le Coeur En Trois – La Part du Feu (2009) – Montréal, Québec, Canada – http://www.leventdunord.com/
* Vishtèn – Valse Minette – Vishtèn Live (2009) – Acadia; Prince Edward Island; Quebec, Canada – http://www.vishten.net
* Mary Jane Lamond & Wendy MacIsaac – Taladh Na Beinne Guirme/The Blue Mountain’s Lullaby – CelticFest Vancouver – 2013 Performers Compilation (0) – Cape Breton Island, Canada – http://www.celticfestvancouver.com
* Motion Trio – Yellow Trabant – Berlin – Metropolis (2007) – Poland – http://www.motion-trio.art.pl
¡Live with Los Entangados!
* Me Pongo Heavy
* Me Pudro
* Un Buda Disfrazado de Miky Mouse se Abalanzó Como Bala de Cañon Sobre un Puesto de Choripan en el Barrio Chino
Thanks to Los Entangados: Petitito Titerelli (vox); Chamen (Shaman) del Acordeon Entangado (piano accordion); Jardincito Hendrix (bas & gtr); Jack Daniel San (tromb); Korcheito Jam (guit); Canaan Sungur (International Drummer of Mystery, aka Kenan Sungar)
And we finished the two-hour show with old friends:
* Jason Webley: The Monsters of Accordion show – Dance While the Sky Crashes Down – The Monsters of Accordion show, Spokane, WA, (The P.A. System, Spokane7 Podcasts) (2008) – Everett, Washington, USA – Ryan Pitts: RyanP@SPOKESMAN.com http://www.spokane7.com/music/podcast/?id=244
* The Tom Fun Orchestra – Last of the Curious Thieves – You Will Land With A Thud (2007) – Cape Breton Island, Canada – http://www.tomfun.ca/
Please consider supporting this: Donate to buy an accordion. Schedule to attend the camp (next year, if you can’t make this weekend), and support their proposed Caribbean Accordion Festival planned for 2017-2018. (Who wouldn’t love a documentary about that?)
Stream or download the show:
* Ed Moxey’s Rake ‘n Scrape – The Timestable – Bahamas Islands Of Song (1995) – Ragged Island and Cat Island, the Bahamas – http://www.folkways.si.edu
* Diana Hamilton, Cat Island Accordion & French Camp – Diana Hamilton 1: Intro, Raking the Scraper – Rake ‘n’ Scrape Interview 2015-05-08 – Cat Island, The Bahamas – https://www.facebook.com/dhaccordion242
* Antonio Sanches & Tchota Suari – DJonsinho Cabral – Music From Cape Verde (1994) – Cape Verde, off the coast of West Africa – http://www.cdroots.com/
* Ed Moxey’s Rake ‘n Scrape – Big Belly Man Polka – Bahamas Islands Of Song (1995) – Ragged Island and Cat Island, the Bahamas – http://www.folkways.si.edu
* Diana Hamilton, Cat Island Accordion & French Camp – Diana Hamilton 2: Preserving a Tradition At Risk – Rake ‘n’ Scrape Interview 2015-05-08 – Cat Island, The Bahamas – https://www.facebook.com/dhaccordion242
* Thomas Cartwright and the Boys – Nobody’s Darling But Mine – Bahamas Islands Of Song (1995) – http://www.folkways.si.edu
* Diana Hamilton, Cat Island Accordion & French Camp – Diana Hamilton 3: Accordions for the World’s Children – Rake ‘n’ Scrape Interview 2015-05-08 – Cat Island, The Bahamas – https://www.facebook.com/dhaccordion242
* Thomas Cartwright and the Boys – Watermelon Is Spoiling On The Vine – Bahamas Islands Of Song (1995) – http://www.folkways.si.edu
* Paul Mcziel (Mczeal) & Wallace Gernger – French Waltz – Zydeco, The Early Years (1961) – http://www.arhoolie.com/
Forgive my ignorance but the last few days I’ve got new thoughts going on about Newfoundland accordion. As a newcomer I’m just realizing they have more than one accordion tradition running in parallel (and mixing). There’s traditional Irish tunes and that, filtered through songbooks and radio and records and hundreds of years (actually more like 130 years) of accordions which probably kicked out some of the trickier fiddle tunes. I’m just getting though that they have this Newfoundland country music that seems pretty distinctive. (I assume everybody who knows anything about Newfoundland doesn’t need to be told this, sorry.)
Simani’s Old Man’s Accordion. Isn’t that the sweetest thing?
I’m trying to write about this now, and finding bits and pieces others have done, but it’s hard to get beyond the simple “Irish Music Outpost” view of Newfoundland, Once again I’m struck by the irony when folklorists pick and choose what they like from the music that “folk” actually listen too. I think it’s really interesting though, simple accordions layered onto basic country ballads in sort of a combo of music-hall Irish ballads with Hank Williams. Sort of brilliant in a way.
Years ago, the late Peter Narváez from Memorial University in St. John’s wrote some about it. I really wish I could have met him, an inspiration. His work on the Latin influence on the Blues was really cool. You can find his original 1977 “Country and Western in Diffusion: Juxtaposition and Syncretism in the Popular Music of Newfoundland” at the awesome Memorial University archives in Newfoundland. It’s pretty darn cool, but then I’m a sucker most things that use the world “syncretism.”
Anyways, interesting. It seems quite basic musically, kind of honky-tonk accordion. If that had hung on in Southern Country music it would have been fun.
There’s some related work on Minnessotta’s Upper Midwest “Old Time Music,” which combined ethnic polkas and country. Seems sort of parallel. James P. Leary has written about how hard it is for other academics and folklorists to wrap their heads around the idea of these “mixture” traditions, even though other trads are equally mixed – we’re just used to them. Especially when you mix something like country, a low-status popular style, with some old folk tradition, the high-brows just want to edit that out.
It is troubling how popular “folk music” left out whole regions of the United States (Leary’s Upper Midwest). Why did Bob Dylan not pick up the accordion that people were playing all around him (local Minnesota folk music) and instead ran off to be an American? Good questions. Maybe Leary’s work with the long ignored Alan Lomax recordings from the 1930s will help change that. I can’t wait to read his Folksongs of Another America: Field Recordings from the Upper Midwest, 1937–1946, which is finally available! (I can’t help but cheer if people find accordion through Lomax’s work since he later developed an irrational hatred for what he called the “pestiferous instrument.”)
So I’m jumpin’ on this Newfoundland country thing. Opening my ears to some real folk I suppose.
I haven’t been regularly posting playlists, and I’m not even certain this one is totally in the correct order, but it’s such wonderful music it seemed worth putting up.
You should be able to listen to the shows for now at:
1st Hour (taking over Soundscape’s spot): http://www.coopradio.org/content/soundscape-234
Playlist: Artist, Song, Album (year)
Maria Kalaniemi – Cranes of Spring – Bellow Poetry (2006) – Finland – http://www.mariakalaniemi.com/
Sagapool – Le vent des Îles – Sagapool (2012) – Quebec, Canada – http://www.sagapool.com/
Bon Débarras – O Yaille – Errance (2013) – Montreal, Quebec, Canada – http://www.bondebarras.ca
Rattletrap Ruckus – Lola One-Step – Redlight Rag (2013) – Bellingham, WA, USA – http://www.RattletrapRuckus.com
Luftstråk – Maxlax – Siska (2008) – Finland/Sweden – http://www.mariakalaniemi.com/
Luftstråk – Skogsbässen – Siska (2008) – Finland/Sweden – http://www.mariakalaniemi.com/
Maria Kalaniemi / Musiikkia Näytelmään – Kurkimaisema – Niskavuoren Nuori Emäntä (2004) – Finland – music for theatre performance, includes new compositions plus three pieces from older albums.
Maria Kalaniemi – By the Window – Bellow Poetry (2006) – Finland – http://www.mariakalaniemi.com/
Maans, Kalaniemi, Varis – Honga – I Ramunders Fotspar (2000) – Finland
Maria Kalaniemi – Taklax I – Maria Kalaniemi (1992) – Finland –
Maria Kalaniemi / Musiikkia Näytelmään – Ilo – Niskavuoren Nuori Emäntä (2004) – Finland – music for theatre performance, includes new compositions plus three pieces from older albums.
Maria Kalaniemi & Sven Ahlbäck – Randas (Dawning) – Airbow = Luftstråk = Ilmajousi (2000) – Finland, Sweden – http://www.mariakalaniemi.com/
Bon Débarras – Bercitude – Errance (2013) – Montreal, Quebec, Canada – http://www.bondebarras.ca
Dardanelles – Bad Boy – The Eastern Light (2011) – Newfoundland, Canada – http://www.TheDarddanelles.com Aaron Collis, acc.
Danielle Martineau – La danseuse des brumes/Multurluti – Les secrets du vent (2004) – Quebec / Nova Scotia Canada – http://www.qim.com/albums/description.asp?albumid=2679
Maans, Kalaniemi, Varis – Jag Ser På Dina Ögon – I Ramunders Fotspar (2000) – Finland
Maria Kalaniemi / Musiikkia Näytelmään – Lyhyt Ilo – Niskavuoren Nuori Emäntä (2004) – Finland – music for theatre performance, includes new compositions plus three pieces from older albums.
Luftstråk – Skarv – Siska (2008) – Finland/Sweden – http://www.mariakalaniemi.com/
Luftstråk – Bleke – Siska (2008) – Finland/Sweden – http://www.mariakalaniemi.com/
Maria Kalaniemi – Under Fullmånen (Täysikuu) – Vilda Rosor (2010) – Finland – http://www.aitorecords.com http://www.mariakalaniemi.com/ Accordion Tribe – Istunpa Sankys Laitalla – Accordion Tribe (1998) – Slovenia, Sweden, Finland, USA, Austria –
Maria Kalaniemi & Sven Ahlbäck – Nu Skall VI Gå I Skogen (Now We Shall Go Into The Woods) – Airbow = Luftstråk = Ilmajousi (2000) – Finland, Sweden – http://www.mariakalaniemi.com/
Luftstråk – Skog – Siska (2008) – Finland/Sweden http://www.mariakalaniemi.com/
Maria Kalaniemi – Farmorspolskan – Maria Kalaniemi (1992) – Finland –
Maria Kalaniemi – Vilda Rosor – Vilda Rosor (2010) – Finland – http://www.aitorecords.com http://www.mariakalaniemi.com/