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Accordion Revolutionary Book Club! Annual Report for 2019

December 9, 2019
Banner graphic: Yellow "cloudy sunrise sky" background. Accordion Revolution book cover floating on left. Right hand text: "Accordion Revolution-ary Book Club!" [with "-ary" added after "Revolution," like a graffiti tag]

Welcome to my long-in-coming (and very long, but with prizes, so read carefully near the end) update on the Accordion Revolution book and my doings since its release.

First off, thank you for joining the “club,” and I hope you’ve had a chance to explore the book. It’s been great to hear what people think. (The pictures have received universally good reviews. But that’s the part I didn’t write.) 

Late in the summer, the eBook version of Accordion Revolution came out. It’s only $10 and available instantly nearly anywhere through the internets. That’s a quick gift idea if you ever need one (stage wink, and see below).

It’s been exciting to learn how far the book has travelled. I have photographic evidence of it carried knee-deep in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. (Not at the same time — one reader was on a trans-continental journey.) The book made its way through Europe and over to Japan, and even to Madagascar (Hi Tom!) 

It’s lovely to hear from folks and to see pics of the book “in the wild” (usually when it’s just unwrapped after arriving in the mail). If you give permission I’m not too shy to share them on the media sociál. 

So what is the state of The Revolution?I did my expedition-by-train down the West Coast of the United States in August. Highlights were the Cotati International Accordion Festival of course, and talking in Portland, Oregon, where I met the granddaughter (did I get that right?) of one of the Three Vagrants sisters—pictured in their vaudeville finery on pg. 60 of the book. What a treat to make living connections with characters I cherished writing about. (If I ever meet Julie Gardner’s family, I’m pretty sure I’ll cry.)

Book Display made from an accordion and its case. Black and gold accordion sides hanging off the open case, Red velvet interior with Accordion Revolution books. pins, stickers, lined up nicely inside.
The Accordion Revolution Book Case! Made for the launch, now an international traveller. Made from a sadly corroded accordion that was deemed unsalvageable. 😔

We shared more tales from the book at the Victoria Accordion and Tango Festival this fall, and then at our own Accordion Noir Festival, practically the birthplace of the project. I’m struggling with whether air-travel is justifiable for the sake of the squeezebox, but may be open to more opportunities if you know any destinations eager to hire an accordion historian.

The Accordion Noir Radio program has continued, now in it’s 14thyear on the air. I’ve found notes from that vintage at the very start of my research. My advice is, if you talk and play music long enough, an accordion book may come out!

Most recently, I’ve revamped the website at AccordionRevolution.com There you’ll find details on the production of the book under its original title, “Accordion Uprising,” which is high on the list if I ever do a sequel on modern accordionists. It also features little animations of the book-cover’s development, and a flickering-heart accordion tattoo, like the one “Rosie” sports on the book’s cover. I made both those tiny “movies” while waiting for copy-edits in the last stages of the book, so they make me laugh, and carry fond “Almost there!” memories.

Two Flaming-heart accordion pins, front and back, Back is black with tiny 'Accordion Revolution' and twin silver badge-backing. Background of image is the 'about the book' paragraphs from the back of the Accordion Revolution book.

On tour, I sold swank enamel pins of that “sacred-heart of the accordion” design. I’ve just this week opened an online shop to make them available to the world. There’s a few days to get them for holiday gift-givers, so take a look at: http://accordionbruce.etsy.com There’s also the amusingly provocative “This Machine Irritates Fascists” button/badges (based on Woody Guthrie’s quote), and our famous “One Less Guitar” stickers that raise funds for Accordion Noir’s base of operations Co-op Radio. I got a flurry of orders and sending packages internationally only hours after opening the shop, so that’s exciting. 
——

Let’s move into, “Self-serving Revolutionary–Propaganda book-promotion” time. Here are some Accordion Missions if you choose to accept them:

The best hope that more readers enjoy Accordion Revolution is promotion from readers like you:

If you get a chance to recommend it to others: Information about print and eBooks, with many international options is at:

Accordion Revolution: Buying the Book

A stack of four copies of Accordion Revolution, on a woodgrain background

Next: Request a copy at your local and academic libraries. Most librarians love to hear suggestions for books their patrons would enjoy. Search online for “Request books, your library’s name,”and you’ll likely find a simple form where you can request all your favorite books. This supports authors in many ways: Libraries buy their books. It gets the unexpected accordion history book in front of readers who (after they get over their surprise) might want their own copies. And library copies are there for those who wouldn’t have the ability to buy it. Libraries are awesome! So please, request it from your local librarian.

The last way to support the book is to leave reviews. Maybe you own an internationally popular media outlet, or a niche-music journal? More likely, sites like Amazon and their subsidiary Goodreads, and other places that promote reviews (like libraries, see above) are a great way to share how you liked the book (or ways you wished it was better. Nobody’s perfect). People pay attention to reviews and may order the book elsewhere, so it’s worth dropping your opinion at even the biggest sites.

And of course, a few of you may be wired up on social media. You may recommend me at @AccordionBruce on most of these dubiously popular venues, and I’m happy to hear from folks. (Mostly I do my part to keep #AccordionTwitter squeezing, but make appearances elsewhere.)

——

This email is practically a book in itself. So if you’ve read this far you deserve a reward! Here is a code for half-off on the ebook (good until Jan 8th): Sign up at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/949223 Enter the code VZ23Z when you buy the book, and you’ll get a 50% discount (so it’s like five bucks, eh?) Feel free to use it to send a copy to a friend. Perhaps encourage them to pick up the print version for themselves? 😉

Oh! Typing that smiley reminds me of my other project this year. The official proposal for an #AccordionEmoji! It won’t be publicly announced until March, but it’s very likely that every phone and computer in the world will soon have an accordion alongside classic emojis like 😻 (smiling cat face with heart-shaped eyes), 😥 (disappointed but relieved face), 💆🏽‍♂️ (man getting head massage), and the ever-popular, 🏚 (derelict house). (I have to figure out a way to work that last one into text messages.)

Draft emoji graphic for the Accordion Emoji: Red three-row button accordion with dark brown bellows splayed in an arc

If you’d like to learn more about the emoji process, I started a twitter account just to talk about it. You’ll find a link to the amusing full proposal there: https://twitter.com/accordionemoji

And finally, thank you all so kindly for your support over this eventful year. Here’s to the squeezebox revolution,

Bruce Triggs

  Accordion Revolution: a People’s History of the Accordion

   Vancouver, BC, Canada

       www.AccordionRevolution.com 

Text Graphic: Yellow "cloudy sunrise sky" background. Text: "Accordion Revolution-ary Book Club!" [with "-ary" added after "Revolution," like a graffiti tag]
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