Accordion Noir Festival embraces all

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With the fifth annual Accordion Noir Festival drawing near, skullduggery is rampant among members of Vancouver’s squeezebox, banjo, and ukulele communities. Conspiracy theories abound as to who’ll do what to win the event’s Underdog Instrument Grudge Match, at the ANZA Club this Sunday (September 16). And while the Straight was unable to find a ukulele player or banjo picker to make a statement for the record, Accordion Noir spokesperson Barbara Adler had some ideas about what’s going on, mostly having to do with Team Ukulele leader John Barbour’s ability to stack the deck.

“They’re kind of assembling this team full of cheaters, I think,” she posited to the Straight. “Even though each team is only three people, I think Team Ukulele is going to have, like, seven or eight people on-stage. I originally thought that Team Accordion would be doing the most cheating, but John’s really leading the charge.”

Despite this seemingly adversarial spin, she added, Accordion Noir is an ecumenical affair. “This year we’re linking it to bigger communities,” Adler explained. “So it’s not just about the accordion, it’s about all the people who like accordion—and there are actually a lot of people who like accordion. Opening night, for example, has a film-noir theme, so as much as it is about people who like the instrument, it’s also about people who like film noir and danger and dressing up and being sexy and stuff like that.”

The kickoff party, hosted by renegade songwriter Geoff Berner, takes place at the Cobalt on Thursday (September 13). For the full schedule, visit the Accordian Noir Fest website .

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John Barbour
Oh it's cheating now is it? Am I to blame if so many thousands are so desperately in love with these little four-stringed bundles of wonder-ificness that they all feel the need to bear public witness to their undying devotion? Heck, I'm not even sure you can call the ukulele an "underdog instrument", but when Squeezers offer a challenge, we gotta pick up the gauntlet. (oh, and, "unable to find a ukulele player for the record"? translate: Barbara gave them the wrong number ... again!)
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