Fact and Opinion
by Stephan MacLeod
FACT: June is National Accordion Awareness Month 2001. National Accordion Awareness Month (NAAM) was established in 1989 to help spread the word about the resurgence in popularity in the accordion and to educate people about the accordion.
OPINION: It's kind of like Black History Month for white people.
FACT: The piano accordion is the official musical instrument of the city of San Francisco and has been since 1990. This year is the 11th anniversary!
OPINION: The unofficial musical instrument of San Francisco is the French meat whistle.
FACT: Actress Lucy Liu plays the accordion.
OPINION: For some reason I find this disturbingly sexy.
FACT: The accordion is a member of the reed family, not the keyboard family. The accordion's closest cousin is the harmonica.
OPINION: They must have some real irritating family reunions.
FACT: The first United States-made piano accordion (the ones with the keys on it) was manufactured in San Francisco back in 1907.
OPINION: It was originally designed as a tiny piano for midgets, until some jack-ass started squeezing it and playing it sideways (the accordion, not the midget).
FACT: When people think of an accordion, they usually envision that large, black monstrosity with piano keys on one side and about a thousand buttons on the other side. However, the accordion family also includes Cajun button boxes, chromatic and diatonic button accordions, the concertina, the bayan, and the bandoneon.
OPINION: When I think of an accordion, I envision a dancing monkey wearing a fez trying to molest my pant-leg
FACT: Cingular wireless is running a new ad with accordion music playing.
OPINION: Nothing sells wireless communication like the sound of a German farting through a tiny piano.
FACT: Last year, one of the longest-running commercials to feature the sound of an accordion is the Volkswagen Jetta commercial...you know, the one when the man pulls up to the light and the woman is beside him and when they drive off you see the little kids in the backseat. You hear a happy French musette song.
OPINION: That really narrows things down: there are hardly any car commercials with a family driving.
FACT: Unfortunately...and this is why there's still a reason for National Accordion Awareness Month...is a Mitsubishi radio commercial that began airing in May, 2000. In the commercial, the announcer mentions that Accordion Music is an oxymoron. Now, that's not very nice.
OPINION: Thank God there's National Accordion Awareness Month to clear things up. Shame on Mitsubishi for assuming accordion musicians are a bunch of pathetic pussies.
FACT: Toyota continues to use accordions in its truck commercials...zippy zydeco music.
OPINION: Jeezus. Does spreading accordion awareness consist of listing a bunch of fucking commercials with accordions in them?!
FACT: Clos Du Bois Winery is airing its popular radio commercial with the announcer "who is not from France." In the background is an accordion playing a French-sounding song on a musette-tuned accordion.
FACT: Even the Men's Wherehouse has gotten into the act with quirky background music on the accordion.
OPINION: Okay. That's it. I'm leaving.
Stephan MacLeod is all about the polka.