accordion

Joey deVilla plays accordion at the Fandango partyLast year, I wandered into Fandango’s party at South by Southwest and stumbled into a karaoke competition. I walked out with a brand new iPad 1, which now belongs to my friend Katie Hrycak (I myself got a free iPad 2, and that’s another story).

This year, my Shopify coworkers and I wandered into Fandango’s party, and Karaoke Apocalypse, the karaoke band who played at last year’s party, were there.

“I remember you!” said the rhythm guitarist. “You’re that guy with the accordion! You’re the accordion guy!”

“I’m back,” I said. “Wanna play Dirty Deeds?”

The end result is the video above, with special introduction by Cody Fauser and Mark Hayes. Enjoy!

 

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I’m sitting cross-legged on the floor near a power outlet as I answer some email and watch Jennifer Pahlka’s keynote, Coding the Next Chapter of American History. With this particular set-up, the accordion makes the perfect stand for my laptop, bringing it up to the right height.

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Jammin’

by Joey deVilla on June 18, 2011

Joey accordion shopify bbq
Photo courtesy of Theresa Nguyen.

I’m enjoying my summer sojourn in Ottawa. One reason is my coworkers at Shopify: they’re great people, and great fun to hang out with. We usually get together for a barbecue every couple of weeks, including last night, where they asked me to break out the accordion; I was only too happy to oblige.

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aloft Wedding Party

by Joey deVilla on May 12, 2011

Last Saturday in Minneapolis, after spending the earlier part of the evening doing this:

Joey deVilla bowling

…and the later part of the evening doing this:

Bottle of Auchentoshan scotch

…I returned back here at around 3:00 a.m.:

Exterior of aloft Minneapolis

The lobby was still packed with people, many of whom were still dressed up pretty nicely. A quick look confirmed that it was a wedding party that didn’t want to stop, even though last call for alcohol in Minneapolis is 1:00 a.m. (it used to be that way in Ontario until the mid-’90s). They’d turned the lobby into their own private party, and the aloft management, as hip as they are, let them be. The tables were covered in boxes from Pizza Luce and bottles of beer.

I made my way to the elevator, but was stopped by a big grey-haired gentleman who said “Oh, no you don’t!”

“Pardon me?” I asked

“You just can’t wander through a lobby at three in the morning, with an accordion, without at least explaining what it is you’re doing!”

“I take it out a lot. Good things happen when I do,” I replied.

Aloft wedding 1

“That’s my son,” the guy said as he pointed to a young, shaven-headed guy in a dark grey T-shirt. “He just got married!”

“Congrats,” I said. “Would you like a song?”

“That is exactly what I want. Play whatever you like!”

And so I stayed for another hour, chatting with the bride, various wedding guests and relatives, and singing with the groom, who knew the lyrics to a lot of songs. We did The Clash, Black Eyed Peas, Britney, Cee-Lo, Stone Temple Pilots, AC/DC, Violent Femmes and Steppenwolf. People sang aloug — boisterously — and all the while, I could see the night manager at the front desk, smiling. aloft run an extremely cool hotel.

I made it to my room at 4:00 a.m.. A nice night all ’round.

Aloft wedding 2

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There, Even When I’m Not

by Joey deVilla on May 11, 2011

Photo of Joey deVilla on the cover of Jason Rolland's karaoke songbook

I may be in Ottawa (Alternate Accordion City) for the summer, but I maintain a presence in Toronto (Original Accordion City) thanks to Jason Rolland. He’s the host of many popular karaoke nights, including the one informally known as Loser Karaoke — the Thursday night session at Tequila Sunrise frequented by Toronto’s social media types and their friends. Jason’s just redone the covers of the big binders containing his song lists, and Yours Truly is on the cover. My friend Rayanne Langdon pointed it out to me last night. Thanks for putting me on the cover, Jason, and thanks for the heads-up, Rayanne!

If you want to see where Jason’s playing next or what songs he has, make sure you check out his site.

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That’s Not a Proverb; That’s a LIE!

by Joey deVilla on April 18, 2011

weird al accordion proverbClick the photo to see the dirty, dirty lie at full size.

Don’t just stand there, Weird Al! Smash that window! WITH YOUR ACCORDION!

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In Case of Emergency…

by Joey deVilla on August 12, 2010

You’d be surprised how often something like this would come in handy:

Two accordions in an "In case of emergency, break glass" case

This is from “Weird Al” Yankovic’s Twitpic account (click the photo to see the original). Thanks to Oliver Meyn for the heads-up!

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