Category Monsters of Accordion

Monsters of Accordion – San Francisco

Day 4
I opted to ride with the Petrojvic brothers. Charles wanted to leave right after the show rather than get up early.
One of my favorite drives is Oregon through northern California.

It was hard to sleep in the truck but I got a few good naps in. We pulled over to a quiet road near Mt. Shasta at dawn to sleep but because it was so pretty we stayed awake.
We listened to a Dune audiobook for most of the trip. My voice was wrecked from the night before so I kept quiet.
When we got to SF, I stayed with my friends Rich and Jenn. We ordered pizza and played video games. Then, we watched the Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work. It was a nice way to spend the afternoon.

I like Slims. They made us dinner and provided beer and snacks. The security was really nice, too...

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Monsters of Accordion- Eugene

We left late to get to Eugene. The first band was sound checking when we got there. They’re called Aeon Now – Trombone, glockenspiel, banjo, violin, accordion, washboard, bass drum, snare, cymbal. They dress like the Upper Crust but with cooler make up. They were excellent.

This was the most eclectic crowd of the tour. I could play to this crowd every night of my life. They weren’t better than any other crowds but the ages went from one to eighty. That’s a true all-ages show. I appreciate older people coming to clubs. I made a new fan who was in her late sixties.
One of the other things I love about Eugene is the way people dress. There’s an individualism that shuns the conventional hipster boundary...

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Monsters of Accordion – Portland

Day 3
We had a late start leaving for Portland. Renee sang Christmas parody songs like the ones I used to read in Mad Magazine. Then she sang Weird Al’s “Christmas at Ground Zero” for me and Jason. She’s a joy.

Kennedy School is a great, great place. So much attention went into making the former school into an amazing complex of bars, restaurants and theaters. The venue we were in had a shitload of couches. It was an old auditorium converted into a movie theater converted for us into a music venue. Me and the Petrojvics drank at a tiny bar they dubbed Hogwarts.
The crowd was great. So nice. From the stage it looked like the seating for the Muppet Movie...

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Monsters of Accordion – Seattle 2

Day 2
Jason and I went to pick up t-shirts near the airport. They look really good. Jason is better at telling stories than I am. He told me some good ones about hooking up, epic stories that fiction couldn’t hold.
We picked up the Monsters of Accordion t-shirts and they looked really good. I like watching machines make things and they had one that screenprinted the tees.

Jason and Renee went to Petosa’s to take back an accordion. I hung out with Chris Weber.
We ate Vietnamese then went back to his house which was built by the 3rd most powerful man in Washington state. He’d built it with his dad in the 70’s. He’s a state senator and Chris’ landlord. It looks like an old national park building. There’s a small house outside that the senator keeps...

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Monsters of Accordion- Seattle

12/14/10 – Day 1
Flew Delta. It was an old-timey plane that still had the “No Smoking” lights that turn on and off. They showed Eat Pray Love on the aisle televisions. I didn’t want to watch it but had nothing else to do. I was too tired to read or write. So, I made myself sit through it. I unplugged my earphones within the last 20 minutes. It was that bad. Even when I saw The Postman I had to finish it. (The book The Postman is much better than the movie and the movie strays from the book). This movie was like looking at a Rothko. It just pissed me off. At least Rothko didn’t have someone looking over him to make his painting more appealing to movie audiences. Just restaurant ones. There’s really no reason for me to get upset. I do admire Rothko for making me upset.
Then, I...

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Monsters of Accordion 8/25 – 21 Grand, Oakland

Some friends and I went to the wharf to wander. Rich was teaching his wife the blues box, so from time to time they go to a bar in the Fisherman’s Wharf and watch the blues bands that play all day.

monster42.jpg Papa’s Garage. Note the drink holder on the mic stand.

I got a ride to Oakland, back to Aaron’s place. We were to go on an errand for Kimric, the guest of the evening. He owns the accordion shop that is in the building that houses 21 Grand, the venue of the evening. He was at the local accordion festival and needed us to get a car airbag. All of the info given to me was piecemeal so I wasn’t sure what we were doing. We ended up at Ace Autoparts. Then, I started to figure it out...

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Monsters of Accordion 8/24 – 12 Galaxies, San Francisco

The plan after the show in Eugene was to drive straight to San Francisco. Aaron (Duckmandu) would be doing that. I had uncomfortable sleep but at least I got sleep. I don’t know how he did it. On the morning of the 24th, we stopped somewhere near Mt. Shasta and it was beautiful.

monster43ps.jpg somewhere between Eugene and Oakland is beautiful

monster44ps.jpg convenience store wisdom I didn’t take. I got whoppers and jerky.

We arrived in Oakland at Aaron’s place which is a converted furniture store. It has a nice stage in the living room for his band to practice. I took a nap one of five couches and woke up to a call from my friend who told me he’d had dinner with Mel Brooks and watched him drink too much Grapa, giving him courage to do his act from his Catskills days. Gold. I went to the bathroom that ho...

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Monsters of Accordion 8/23 – Sam Bonds, Eugene

We drove to Eugene in a swift manner. I don’t think I’ve been here since I was with the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus back in 2002. We played at Sam Bond’s Garage. No one knew or remembered we were doing two shows. The sound guy they called was recovering from eating a case of marinated meat seared on a grill. The show started weird but ended up being good. It may have been better than the second show. Someone told me that a cat had sprayed on my accordion case but I can’t smell anything. The bar staff was kind and gave us everything for free.

monster41.jpg Geoff in the first show

monsterps42.jpg Geoff in the second show

monsterps43.jpg Duck

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Monsters of Accordion 8/23 – Still in Portland

We stayed with Devin and Kiri, a couple from Portland with a big place. They made us crepes in the morning that featured tomatoes, basil, and strawberries from the front yard’s garden. Afterwards, Geoff went to visit his 90-year-old grandmother. Duckmandu went to the 76 station to get his van looked at.

monster35.jpg circus door to the house. camera phone trumps efforts to prove it.

Devin had RBI Baseball on Nintendo. He knew that’s where I first used the name Corn Mo. Corn Mo was the name I had given my pitcher for my Nintendo baseball team. I haven’t played that game in a while. As I destroyed my opponent, he felt a bit let down, not from my bad ass pitching but because he thought the name came from the game. “Nope.” In the next phase of our time together, he brought out Dr. Mario...

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Monsters of Accordion 8/22 – The Kennedy School, Portland

On Wednesday morning, we met up and went to the international district of Seattle. Jason took us to a great Chinese restaurant. These accordion guys are great to hang out with. There was a bit of satisfaction being together after a sold out show.

We drove on to Portland in Aaron’s van. The destination was The Kennedy School, a school converted into a restaurant, bar, movie theater, showtime room, etc. It was a nice place. The show was sold out. People were turned away at the door. That’s always sad. Again, it dumbfounds me to see a room of people that want to hear 5 accordionists. But that was the room and they loved it.

allstarLast song together
crowd2nice folks

It was all ages. I tried not to go blue, as they say. I somewhat succeeded. I’m glad my dad introduced me to Peter Selle...

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Monsters of Accordion 8/21-Fremont Abbey, Seattle

The show was good. It was in an old church and was run by volunteers I think. They were really, really nice.

This was the first time I’d seen Geoff or Aaron perform. Both were fantastic. Geoff’s songs are haunting, funny, smart, and beautiful. Aaron does a lot of Dead Kennedy covers very well. I’d say he’s the most accomplished player in our group. He also does a fantastic “Stars and Stripes Forever” cover. I love John Phillip Sousa. Vladmir Horowitz does a great cover, also. So do The Residents. Jason went on last. He can hold a crowd in his hand like a street performer with no final trick. He’s a great showman.

My friend, Nick, came. His show just got cancelled. We were going to drink after the show to his show’s demise. They didn’t have beer at church and...

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Monsters of Accordion 8/21 – Jason’s Place

There were two places to sleep at Jason’s. One was the apartment of a dearly departed friend that was nestled inside a wood shop. It had a bed, a couch, and a lazy boy. Jason and Geoff slept there. The other was Jason’s house which is a shack that floats on the river. That’s where I slept. I slept very well. It rocks pretty well when boats come by.

“Feel free to pee into the river,” Jason told me since the shack is one room with no bathroom. I used the bathroom in the bathroom because there’s a mom-to-be living in an rv parked nearby and its rude to pee in the accidental viewing distance of a pregnant lady. She wants to name her kid Eva May Joan Fog. She and her husband want to change their last name to Fog because they don’t want to hyphenate the current last names...

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Monsters of Accordion 8/20 – Getting There

I forgot I was flying out of Newark. I shouldn’t have had the plane booked out of Newark. It’s easy when you don’t have a lot of bags. Otherwise, it sucks. The cheapest way is to take the subway to the PATH train and get out at Newark Penn and transfer to a bus. The second cheapest is to take the subway to New York Penn and take Amtrak which was $37 when I checked. Amtrak is overpriced. Another way to go is by car service: $60. Dammit. I didn’t have time to do the other options.

The driver was nice and chatty but he couldn’t read road signs very well. I gave him the benefit of the doubt I’d had when he passed the exits for the airport. It’s his job and he probably knows a shorter way, I thought, so I’d leave him alone. He passed three exits and got on the turnp...

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