Thursday, July 13, 2006

The 14-Accordion Version

Actually maybe it's more than 14 accordions. Maybe it's 18. It's a lot of accordions, is what it is. My favorite podcaster Daniel (you should really hear the sounds in his head) stumbled across a version of "St. James Infirmary" by The Main Squeeze Orchestra, and kindly passed this news along to me. The Main Squeeze Orchestra's site says the group is "the only all-female accordion ensemble in the western world." (Apparently it was organized by some guy who was "plagued with visions of the 18 glossy accordions, the wall of sound, the pigtails" -- which is either a little creepy or a great gimmick. Or both.)

Anyway: The music. One of the MP3s available here is in fact, "SJI." It's a live recording, I think from 2003. Obviously it's an instrumental version, and it's a really good one. The arrangement (um, accordions) has a lovely Eastern European feel, and is highly recommended. It's very Jarmusch, actually, now that I'm listening to it again. I can really imagine one of his characters walking along a deteriorating cityscape, finishing a cigarette, as this plays... Then he ends up at some weird carnival.... And then...

Never mind. Far as I can tell the band doesn't have a CD out as of yet, but here's a schedule of live gigs that I hope will soon be updated. Seems like a band worth seeing.


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