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One Less Guitar: A Film about Accordion Noir

August 6, 2011

Look!  Film students from Pull Focus Films made a movie about us!  (We are in Vancouver after all.)

Hyperbole!  Simplification! Presumptuousness!  Amusement!

And, you get to see what we look like too.

Did I really say, “The coolest accordion show on the planet”?  Wow, that’s a lot to live up to.  I’d be happy to be wrong, then our job will be done.

A comment I want to add is about the photo of the blackface minstrel concertina player (:42), which doesn’t represent the “accordion boom” period I was talking about (the 1930s-60s).  I think blackface is very important and powerful history and not to be avoided.  I’m writing about it for a significant part of my book project now.  To me though, it’s too important to include it without commentary.

Blackface isn’t a novelty, it was the first popular form of American musical entertainment, and it was the foundation of today’s music industry.  Those pictures were taken during the time (ca. 1870-1880) when black men were regularly lynched as a form of terrorism against African Americans.  Sometimes the lynchings themselves were treated like entertainment events.  Picnic lunches, concessions sold, postcard-pictures taken for souvenirs, people gathering together and murdering black men.  The distortions of blackface hint at  the prejudice that allowed that violence, and I feel a responsibility to show that history, how slavery-level violence didn’t end, and how the culture of minstrelsy is a mirror that continues to reflect on our own culture today.   I’m uncomfortable with using those images without including that context.

That said,

This is quite a fun short picture of us.  I like the editing very much – clever stuff in there.

I’m glad they used our friend Andy Fielding‘s Accordion Noir Theme for the soundtrack.  That’s a nice touch.  All around, pretty darn swell.

Thanks to Ryan, Darcy, Shaun and Kevin!

There’s another fun one about our radio station, C0-op Radio too.  Nifty:

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