Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Accordion

I bought an accordion. No I do not play the accordion. Yet. Do I intend to join a German polka band? No. Collect Euro's on the crooked streets of Florence? Someday.

There is no clear 5 year plan for me and my accordion. This was by no means a practical purchase. When asked why I wanted an instrument that has been utilized by the likes of Weird Al and Steve Urkel I thought,

“Because there are so many possibilities!”

I was envisioning a different musical style. I imagined the musings of the Decemberists and Flogging Molly. I've been learning on old country songs by the Statler Brothers and Johnny Horton.

For as long as I've played collaborative music, I've been the band mate with the eccentric musical proffering. When I started writing music with my college friends, I was featured on trombone on many of the tracks. So why was the accordion any different?

The accordion was different because I actively sought this quirky arm organ. The trombone was a default assignment carried over from the fifth grade – the only instrument I could play if I wanted to keep up with my friends who played guitar like they'd been doing it in the womb.

So why make myself the focus of such scorn? I think I like the idea of playing the accordion. Sure, I think the haunting tones of the strudella bass are majestic, and the reeded wails of the keys eerily captivating, but I like the idea that no one else plays one. At least no one I know. I like the exclusivity. I like the idea of telling people I play the accordion, something I've been careful not to utter thus far. I have an accordion, I do not play the accordion. Yet.

This whole thing may sound arrogant – that I like the aesthetic appeal of the instrument. Maybe it just sounds asanine. But it is also the intrigue. It's a conversation piece, this bellowed organ that straps to my chest and scares the living daylights out of my basset hound. That is also part of why I love the accordion. In my appreciation for the culture and lifestyle of the bluegrass world, I feel that a hound dog baying on the front porch while I make music would authenticate me as a true folk musician.

I've got the hound dog. Now I just need the front porch.

1 comment: