ALL GENRES: When one gets to thinking about instruments that can be heard in all types of songs, from rocks to pop and beyond, there really are only a handful that spring to mind. We personally have to give props to the flute, which can cameo as easily in a classical fugue as a '70s space ballad. The acoustic guitar? It can guest in a children's party song or an on-the-range warble.
But we still believe that nothing tops the accordion for versatility. A zydeco stomp? No problem, the accordion rules it. A beautiful Norteño love song? For sure. A French sidewalk flight of fantasy? The accordion's romantic wheeze is an integral part. Quirky nerd pop? Gotta have the bellows in there somewhere. It's a musical chameleon of sorts, and always up for the job of providing atmosphere and class. And to hear it played live? The atmos is upped.
U.S. & World
THE BIG SQUEEZE: That sweet accordion sound will flow at the OC Marketplace in Costa Mesa on Sunday, Oct. 14. That's the date of the memorably named The Big Squeeze -- we like the play on both oranges and accordions -- which happens to be one of the bigger accordion celebrations around. Several artists'll show, packing their bellows and keys; some will stroll and some will take to the three stages. Zydeco will definitely be the theme of the day, both in performances and the Cajun food for sale, so come prepared to swing (there will indeed be lessons). Mardi Gras is still a few months in, so you've got to get your bead bash on now, right? Cost to get in is two bucks or free with a canned food donation.