The accordion. It’s probably not what you asked for on your sixteenth birthday. It’s heavier than a week’s worth of groceries, and playing it is akin to milking a woolly mammoth. Also, why do you need all those buttons? Are you making music or operating a Cold-War-era submarine?
But despite all these characteristics, the accordion can make some lively, even romantic, music, typically of the arm-around-your-significant-other-in-the-streets-of-Paris variety. Just take a look at Musette Explosion, a trio featuring Will Holshouser on the squeezebox, accompanied by guitarist Matt Munisteri, and tuba player Marcus Rojas. The group plays bal-musette music, which originated back in late-1800s Paris, and was more extensively popular in France in the 1920s–1950s.
I’ve only heard two 90-second teaser clips from them, but it was a pretty nice 180 seconds, and I would have bought a song or two if they were for sale. You can listen to those clips here, on Will Holshouser’s site, but don’t confuse Musette Explosion with Holshouser’s trio, which is decidedly less streets-of-Paris accordion music, and more psyche-ward-horror-film accordion music.
If you’d like to hear them live, stop by the Rockland Center for the Arts on at 2 p.m. on Sunday, December 7. They ask that you RSVP ($10; 27 South Greenbush Rd.; West Nyack; 358-0877; rocklandartcenter.org).
FYI, the Rockland Center for the Arts has a fun surrealist exhibit happening, as well.