Bollocks Box 

Punk rock accordion? Why not?

THU 4/28

When Henri Ducharme picked up an accordion and began to bellow "I Wanna Be Sedated" by the Ramones, the last thing on his mind was the reinvention of the instrument. He set out trying to bridge the gap between two musical genres, but ended up finding an innovative new style of music already furnished with an eager audience and a band of rebel geeks who couldn't wait to start playing. When we think of the accordion we probably see visions of jolly Alsatian men in short woolen pants and feathered caps heading up some kind of pub-style sing-along, or perhaps the melancholy accompaniment to a perpetually forlorn Edith Piaf. The instrument's stylistic versatility travels well -- just about everyone from Russia to China wants to take credit for the origin of the accordion. The weighty squeezebox has become a globally shared tradition prime for the tweaking by anyone brave enough to strap one across his or her chest and squeeze. Ducharme realized he was just the man for the task, and honed his craft with such heavyweights as the SF Symphony and the venerable Mark Morris Dance Company, then began imparting his unusual musical knowledge about town.

Mama Buzz Cafe hosts Ducharme the second and fourth Thursday of every month from 7 to 8:30 p.m. for a drop-in Punk Rock Accordion Workshop. Don't expect to be playing polkas, though -- the repertoire includes the Sex Pistols and the Clash. Getting started is a cinch: all you need is fifteen bucks and a sense of humor, and loaner accordions can be arranged. The workshop welcomes all levels of experience and offers a special "newbie" session at 6:30 for those who haven't played a note since high school band. So drop by this Thursday, have a blast, and mark one more thing off your never-ending list of wonderful, meaningless things to do before you die. Mama Buzz Cafe is located at 2318 Telegraph in Oakland. MamaBuzzCafe.comJustine Nicole

WED 4/27

Aarararar!

Irie, Mahalo

Quick: Who was Thundarr the Barbarian's sidekick? Not the bumbling Orko -- that little guy was He-Man's comic relief. Nope, the sidekick to He-Man rip-off Thundarr (no great shame, since He-Man himself was merely a way to market the R-rated Conan to kiddies) was Ookla the Mok, a sort of wookie-on-The-Clear who could have eaten Orko in two bites. As for the Hawaiian nine-piece that named itself for him, though they spell it Ooklah the Moc -- they'll be bringing an Aloha State of mind to the already laid-back sound of reggae, so you may find yourself looking around for something to snack on, yourself. At Ashkenaz: 9 p.m. doors, $12 cover, all ages. Ashkenaz.com -- Stefanie Kalem

SUN 5/1

African Overtures

Africa is all around us, as anyone who listens to popular music in the Americas understands. It'd be easier to name the Western Hemisphere musical styles not influenced by African rhythms, harmonies, and phrasings. That musical pervasiveness is the subject of an ambitious afternoon at UC Berkeley's Hearst Museum of Anthropology. Across Oceans of Sound: Music of the African Diaspora in the Americas features such panelists as musicians C.K. Ladzekpo, Dee Spencer, and Jacqueline Butler Hairston; stage director and actor Thomas Simpson; and ethnomusicologist Rebecca Bodenheimer, together with performances by hip-hop musician Carlos Mena and others. Sunday at 2 p.m.; see HearstMuseum.Berkeley.edu -- Kelly Vance

SUN 5/1

California Greens

Spring has sproinged, and don't it just make your cold thumbs green? Fledgling gardeners with an eye toward the sustainable can get a crash course in doing the right thing on Sunday's Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour . For the low, low price of nada, those who register at BringingBacktheNatives.net will receive passes to 56 gardens through Alameda and Contra Costa counties, ranging from the newly installed to the fifty-year-old, from five-acre lots to apartment gardens, and from owner-designed to professionally put-together. Learn how to choose and nurture California's greater green bounty, charm birds and flutterbys, use less water, and more, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. -- Stefanie Kalem

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Anonymous and pseudonymous comments will be removed.

Latest in Culture

  • How to Party Properly on New Year's Eve

    Whether you want to dance till morning or be in bed by midnight, we've got the rundown on the best events happening this year.
    • Dec 19, 2012
  • The Year of the Lounge

    Oakland's new nightspots incorporate a homey feel.
    • Dec 22, 2010
  • World of Punch Lines

    Comedy is the new way to diversify your hipster portfolio.
    • Dec 22, 2010
  • More »

Author Archives

Author Archives

  • Notes on Camp

    Fountain of Gravy?
    • Jun 15, 2005
  • Sin Is Good

    Mötley Crüe has built a 24-year career on it. And cover band Crucial Crüe is hot on its heels.
    • Mar 23, 2005
  • More»

Author Archives

Most Popular Stories

Special Reports

Holiday Guide 2016

A guide to this holiday season's gifts, outings, eats, and more.

Taste, Fall 2016

Everything you need to know about dining in and out in the East Bay.

© 2016 East Bay Express    All Rights Reserved
Powered by Foundation