here, there, everywhere

Accordion Noir

In At home on September 24, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Geoff Berner and Diona Davies killing it on stage.

Last night was the fourth annual Accordion Noir festival at the Waldorf.  This was not an evening I was originally interested in attending but my adventurous friend, Sara, convinced me to go.  So glad I did although I have to say, I don’t do drugs.  Maybe if I did I would understand a bit better what I was seeing.

It started with a long line up outside, a sold out crowd waiting to get inside to see the performers.  We got in around 8pm and they said the show wouldn’t start for awhile so we should go watch the film about gypsies and their love of accordions.  That was not the movie at all.  It ended up being a screening of Black Cat, White Cat and for the first 30 minutes we sat there absolutely confused as the actors babbled in Romani, Bulgarian, and Serbian.  No accordions anywhere.  But then when we finally understood we wouldn’t watch what we thought we would, we settled into 2 hours of one of the best foreign films ever.  And eventually an accordion appeared for about 1 minute.

After the movie ended we sauntered over to the main stage to catch the tail end of Fang’s punk accordion performance and a rousing version of Michael Jackson’s Beat It.  She left and a burlesque dancer came on for about 10 minutes, quickly followed by Dr. T., a dapper fellow in black skinny jeans and tuxedo jacket.  His routine consisted of juggling plastic bags (try that one at home to see how slow it actually moves) interspersed with Irish dancing, balancing the mic stand on his chin, and stripping down to his underwear before he balanced a chair on his chin, bowed, and then asked if anyone had any questions.  Was anyone surprised he brought the house down?

What is this? What is going on???

Not sure, but that guy’s underwear is not clean!

Geoff Berner was the headline act and came out with his fab fiddler, Diona Davies.  About an hour of punk and klezmer, wild dancing, and highly odd entertainment.  That left us tuckered out and hungry so we headed to Denny’s for late night cheesy fries, the best way to end any evening.

If you’re ever around for this annual event, check it out, it’s well worth being utterly confused.  Accordion Noir

Party goers bikes locked up outside the Waldorf. Van East Side photo: Sara McIntyre

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