Many artists that regularly use accordion that I can think of are considered pretty geeky (They Might Be Giants, Barenaked Ladies, Moxy Fruvous, Weird Al etc.) but I love these geeky bands. What made accordion so geeky? I suppose the relationship of accordion with old world music and polka has something to do it. Regardless there's some wonderful music out there with accordion in it, and I thought I'd mention a few favorites of mine.
As previously mentioned, They Might Be Giants
is not a band many people take seriously because of the somewhat juvenile nature of their lyrics. They don't write love songs, or personal touching songs...they write songs about things like presidents, shoehorns and hermaphrodites. Despite this uncool fact, they were still voted into Paste Magazine's
Top 100 Living Songwriter's list recently. Because really, in a way isn't it much harder to write intelligent songs about mammals than to write an ode to your girlfriend? John Linnell, the co-founder is a keyboardist and accordion so a number of their songs are accordion-heavy.Beirut
is a band that's pretty recent. They're really popular out there in the blogosphere right now though, and I can see why, they really have a very unique sound and are very talented. They are using that "old world" flavor in their music, and it really is mesmerizing. The accordion sound they feature is very reminscent of the movie Amelie
, if you're familiar with it (it's one of my favorites).Pee Shy (unfortunately there is no official or even unofficial website for this defunct band, at least none worth linking to)
has been a favorite of mine since high school. A rock band founded by 2 spoken-word poets from Tampa, FL that could play accordion and clarinet. Rock music with accordion and clarinet? Yes please! Their first album "Who Let All The Monkeys Out?" was an indie gem in my opinion. Unfortunately the only time I ever see or hear of them now is when I see them in the used CD bins, for shame. They broke up around 1998-9 when Jenny Juristo, a co-founder, decided to leave the band shortly after their scond album, "Don't Get Too Comfortable" was released. The remaining members have started another band, under various names. The most current, and most successful of which is The Caulfield Sisters
. They never did much for me, as Jenny Juristo's songs and voice were the ones I liked the best.
Labels: Beirut, Pee Shy, rock, They Might Be Giants