“Mama Said Knock You Out”, with rapping German mama and accordion-rockin’ Papa

mama said knock you out

This is amazing: it’s German techno DJ Flula Borg‘s cover of LL Cool J’s 1990 hit, Mama Said Knock You Out, with Mama sayin’, and Papa doing the baseline on the squeezebox. Hang out with me and you too can have moments like this:

This is pure Teutonic weirdness at its finest.


One item off the to-do list

seating chart

Click the photo to see it at full size.

T minus 12 days…


The Pixies are coming to Tampa: Saturday, May 9th!

pixies coming to accordion bay

I’ll let the Tampa Bay Times do the talking:

Did you miss the Pixies as they criss-crossed the U.S. these last two years? The band is ready to make good on all the spots they missed, so they’ve announced a new North America tour for 2015, which includes a previously announced May 9 stop at Tampa’s Big Guava Festival.

The Pixies will continue to tour with founding member Kim Deal. The current lineup is Black Francis, Joey Santiago, David Lovering and touring bassist Paz Lenchantin. The band also plans to debut some new Pixies songs for this time from material written in the last few months.

A fan-only pre-sale starts at 9 a.m. EST on Feb. 25 at (Use the pre-sale ticket password snakes.) General on-sale tickets for this run go on sale to the public Feb. 27. More dates are expected later, but here’s the lineup so far.

  • May 5: Civic Theatre, New Orleans, LA
  • May 6: Iron City, Birmingham, AL
  • May 8: Shaky Knees Festival, Atlanta, GA
  • May 9: Big Guava Festival, Tampa, FL
  • May 11: PAC, North Charleston, SC
  • May 12: Ovens Auditorium, Charlotte, NC
  • May 13: The Norva, Norfolk, VA
  • May 15: Louisville Palace, Louisville, KY
  • May 17: Masonic Auditorium, Cleveland, OH
  • May 19: Rapids Theatre, Niagara Falls, NY
  • May 21: Flynn P.A. Center, Burlington, VT
  • May 22: Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, NY
  • May 24: Boston Calling, Boston, MA
  • May 27: Beacon Theatre, New York, NY
  • May 28: Kings Theatre, Brooklyn, NY
  • June 18-21: Amnesia Festival, Montebello, QC

For more about the Big Guava Festival, go check out their site:

big guava poster


Can I ever truly be “American”?

The clip above is from the TV show Scandal, and it features an exchange that any non-white immigrant kid should find familiar. In it, main protagonist Olivia Pope, a crisis management expert, gets lectured by her father that “You have to be twice as good as them to get half of what they have!”.

The version of this talk that came from my parental units was less dramatic and didn’t take place with a private hangar with a limo and Learjet in the background, but the message was the same: You’re not white, and they’ll always see you as an outsider, interloper, or intruder, even if you’ve lived here longer than they have.

sureshbhai patel

The “you don’t belong here” message is still there, although in this civilized era, it’s now encoded in actions, such as the police assault on Sureshbhai Patel, whose only crime was going for a walk while being Indian. He was visiting his son in Alabama (there’s your warning right there) to help with a newborn grandkid. While out on his morning walk, a local got freaked out about a dark-skinned man in their neighborhood and called the cops. Between Mr. Patel’s limited English and Officer Eric Parker’s limited policing ability, Mr. Patel got walloped and wound up partially paralyzed in the hospital:

Can you imagine a white European with limited English skills getting the same treatment? Or even being reported to the cops?

giuliani - christ what an asshole

On the national level, this comes in the “dog whistle” form of accusing a black president of not being American enough. It started with the Birther conspiracy:

Meanwhile, this guy, who’s figuratively in bed with the family business masquerading as a country that’s been aiding and abetting extremism, is a true patriot:

hold hands with bush

I’ve had dates with less physical contact than this. Can you imagine the furor if there’d ever been this kind of smooch between the late King Abdullah and President Obama?

bushy smooch

“Not porno tongue, but church tongue.” Or maybe mosque tongue.

Here’s the money paragraph from the New York Times piece titled Why Giuliani and Other Obama Critics Play the ‘American’ Card:

Whatever his intentions, Mr. Giuliani’s statement reflects the ease with which people dissociate Mr. Obama and other African-Americans with American identity, especially those who don’t like him. A 2005 study examined this pattern using the Implicit Association Test, which measures the associations between concepts using differences in response timing during a categorization task. People tend to respond faster when categorizing paired stimuli that are congruent with their implicit associations (for instance, “thin people” or “good” versus “fat people” or “bad”) than those that are incongruent (the opposite pairings). In the study in question, the authors found response timing patterns that suggested that African-Americans as a group are “less associated with the national category ‘American’ than are white Americans” relative to the category “foreign” — a pattern that holds for other nonwhite groups such as Asian-Americans and Latinos.

Yours Truly, stopping to enjoy the view during the Toronto-Tampa drive last year.
Click the photo to see it at full size.

In less than a fortnight, I’m marrying an American. As the husband of a U.S. citizen, I would be eligible for a green card, and eventually, citizenship. I’m also the direct descendant of a U.S. citizen, but I’m told it’s easier to get it via my wife rather than my great-grandfather, James O’Hara. One option is to stay here in the subtropical climes of Accordion Bay, which may mean that someday, I might apply for citizenship.

I come here bearing goodwill, skills in the areas of technology, writing, and rock and roll accordion, cultural and language skills that surpass those of many of the locals (it’s Florida, man!), and a jacket (pictured) that cannot possible be any more American than it already is. I have what it takes to be American. But the question lingers in my mind: will Americans ever consider me to be one of them?


Meanwhile, up north…

the air hurts my face

Of course, since I live in Florida, you can come back with “Why are you living where people high on bath salts eat your face?


I just became “that guy”, didn’t I?

man from canada acts like hes not cold

See the article I posted earlier today.


What passes for cold in these parts

waking up to cool temperatures

Click the photo to see the news report.

Here in Accordion Bay, schools have been phoning parents of their students with a warning about the cold weather, reminding them that they should make sure that the kids are dressed in layers.

tampa bay cold

The local news shows have been cranking out the graphics illustrating just how cold it’s getting here. If you’re wondering what those temperatures are, here are some screen captures from the weather forecast as of this writing:

tampa weather fahrenheit

For my readers from Canada, here are those same temperatures using a real measuring system:

tampa weather celsius

That’s right — the big weather news here is about temperatures close to freezing. The way people have been going on about it here, you’d think we should all huddle in the library and burn books for warmth as civilization slips into an icy grave, a la Jake Gyllenhaal in The Day After Tomorrow.

dos and donts for freezing temperatures

Click the photo to see the news report.

I don’t see what all the fuss is about. I’m a recent import from Toronto, whose winters are considered relatively mild in Canada. I’m enjoying the local weather as much as this guy is enjoying his:

lawnchair in the snow