In Case of Emergency…

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!


Accordion and Air Pump, All at Once

Accordion being used a air pump to inflate a raft

It would come in pretty handy for camping: inflating rubber rafts and air mattresses, followed by providing backup for campfire songs.


“Keyboard Cat”, Performed by Ron Livingston and Yours Truly

Pure awesomeness for a back-to-work Monday morning:

And for those of you who missed it, my accordion rendition of the tune:


Back from New York, Still on Vacation

Joey deVilla with his accordion and the Naked Cowboy at New York's Times Square, July 2010

…and I can scratch one item off the “Bucket List”: do a musical number with the Naked Cowboy of Times Square.

Accordion, Instrument of the Gods Geek It Happened to Me Music Play Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked

Joey deVilla playing "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked" on accordion at Loser Karaoke

One of the songs in my MP3 collection that’s on heavy rotation is Cage the Elephant’s Beck-ish, slide-guitar southern-rock-y ode to “doin’ what you gotta”, Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked. It practically begs for an accordion version, so I’m learning it in order to add it to my repertoire, which could stand a little refreshing.

Joey deVilla playing "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked" on accordion at Loser Karaoke with Jason Rolland in the background

While I haven’t learned the song well enough to perform it unaccompanied, I’ve had just enough practice to do it as an accordion karaoke number, which I did at last week’s Loser Karaoke. Loser Karaoke is a regular Thursday night event at Tequila Sunrise where having a good time trumps singing ability. It helps that Jason Rolland is an entertaining karaoke host. As an added bonus, it’s where a lot of the people from Accordion City’s high-tech, startup, social media entrepreneur scene come to cut loose. For more on Loser Karaoke, check out their Facebook page.

I should feel ashamed to say this, but a decade’s worth of public accordion playing has attenuated my ability to feel shame: the reason I know about Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked isn’t because I’m dialed into the alt-rock music scene. Thanks to middle age, I used to be with it, but they’ve since changed what “it” was. I know about the song because of…well, a video game. Namely, Borderlands, which uses the song in its intro sequence:

For the curious (and the fans), here’s Cage the Elephant’s official video for Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked. Enjoy!

Accordion, Instrument of the Gods Play

“Hey Jude” Flowchart

The lyrics to The Beatles' "Hey Jude", in flowchart form.

…and if you were wondering: oh yes, I do own the deluxe edition of The Beatles: Rock Band:

Photo: My little red accordion, dwarfed by the box for the deluxe edition of "The Beatles: Rock Band"