Accordion, Instrument of the Gods It Happened to Me

Four years ago today…

Southwest Airlines jet landing
Photo via pxfuel. Tap to view the source.

Four years ago today, I was flying into Washington, DC to both attend and give presentations at RWDevCon, a conference for mobile app developers.

The winds were high that day, and as the pilot made their first attempt at a landing, the gusts hit the plane with enough force to make it obvious that we’d have to do a go-around.

On our second landing attempt, the gusts were still there. There was a nervous vibe throughout the cabin, and one of the flight attendants decided to lighten the mood by making an announcement over the PA system:

“If we need to do another go-around, I’m getting the accordion man to play us a song.”


Dispatches from SxSW, Part 14: Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap on Accordion at the Fandango Party

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!



Dispatches from SxSW, Part 13: Posters, Posters, Posters!

One great thing about South by Southwest is that there’s no shortage of very creative posters. While this collection — a mere thirteen out of what must’ve been thousands — is hardly complete, it’s a set of my favourites. Enjoy!

Poster: "Nah, they got the metric system. They wouldn't know what the f*ck a quarter pounder is."

Poster: "Weapons of Mouse Destruction"

Poster: "They f*cking drown 'em in that shit."

Poster: "Keep calm and carry wands."

Poster: Not sure, but it looks like a pixelated Jeffery Zeldman

Poster: "Donkey v. Elephant: Stop the Fighting!"

Poster: "Seeking Asian Female"

Poster: "The Amsterdam Fellows"

Poster: "We are Legion"

Poster: "Did you read that article on TechCrunch? Yeah I read it."

Poster: "Your music looks like shit"

Poster: "I like boobies!"

Poster: "Thank you for all your money, now PLEASE GO HOME! -- Austin"


Dispatches from SxSW, Part 12: No Grievance Deserves Violence

We found this painted on the side of a bridge not far from where we were staying, near 3rd and Lamar:

"No grievance deserves violence" graffito

It was a cute graphic, but it needed a little extra something. That something, it turned out, was Edward:

Edward Ocampo-Gooding poses beside the "No grievance deserves violence" graffito


Dispatches from SxSW, Part 11: You Know You’re in Texas When You’re Knee-Deep in Sauce

Barbecue and hot sauce, that is! The place where we stayed was a block away from the Whole Foods flagship store and we dropped in for breakfast on our first day. I couldn’t resist getting a photo of their hot sauce / barbecue sauce aisle.

Want this photo as a desktop? Here you go — right-click here and pick “Save As…”!


Dispatches from SxSW, Part 10: Isn’t That What We All Want?

A free taco and a job we like — isn’t that what we all want?


Dispatches from SxSW, Part 9: The Ultimate South by Southwest Laptop Stand

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.