If Jimi Hendrix played the accordion

MNDE-1AJIMI.JPGWhen I was a teenager, Jimi Hendrix was the epitome of cool. He played the guitar backwards, sometimes with his mouth, and always made it wail.

I was learning to play the guitar then, but most of my young musical life was taken up by learning to play the accordion.

Nobody in rock in those days played the accordion. Myron Floren played the accordion. And he was in the Lawrence Welk orchestra.

No thanks.

But the accordion has managed to become hip these days in so-called “alternative” popular music. I think the word “alternative” is a synonym for “not-so-popular.”

But that’s besides the point. What’s impressive now to me is that people who apparently have no idea how to play the accordion, strap one on, and pretend to play on stage, or play just a note of two with their right hand while moving the bellows in and out.

I get the feeling that for them, the accordion’s contribution to the music is more visual that aural.

And that an accordion in the band confers a level of ultra-coolness, or perhaps, extreme “alternative-ness”, without completely going bonkers by doing something really foolish, like, for example, playing the banjo.

One of my favorite jokes: What’s the definition of perfect pitch? It’s throwing an accordion in a dumpster and having it land on a banjo.

I say this while growing a new-found appreciation for the accordion, which I still play.

Which brings me to the point of this post. Yes, there is a point. The other day I came across the following photo-shopped still of a Jimi Hendrix playing an accordion.

Play it, Jimi.

Sure, it’s not real. But it got me thinking about what Jimi Hendrix’s music would have been like if instead of bending the strings on a Fender strat, he’d been squeezing the bellows of a 5-reed, 120-bass Scandalli.

Here’s a list of the five greatest hits of the accordionist Jimi Hendrix:

  1. Polka Haze
  2. The Wind Cries Lazy Mary
  3. Voodoo Child Chicken Dance
  4. Are You Experienced Wearing Lederhosen?
  5. Foxy Lady of Spain

Building a wall along the Canadian border: Let the Jokes begin

The set up

The Trumpification of American politics took a surreal turn this weekend when Scott Walker, an ever-desperate member of the trailing Republican presidential peloton, tried to out-wall the competition.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker addresses the media at the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011. Opponents to the governor's budget are in their tenth day of protests at the Capitol. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)Yes, Walker said that building a wall on the Canadian border is a “legitimate” subject for Americans to consider.

We have sunk this far.

Walker, appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press, was responding to a question by host Chuck Todd about the Donald-Trump-proposed fantasy of a 2,000-mile, 50-to-60-foot-tall wall along the Mexican border.

“We don’t talk about the Northern border,” Todd told Walker. “If this is about securing the border from terrorists, you want to build a Northern border wall too?”

“Some people have asked us about that in New Hampshire,” Walker answered. “They raised some very legitimate concerns, including some law enforcement folks that brought that up to me at one of our town hall meetings about a week and a half ago. So that is a legitimate issue for us to look at.”

At this point, the Republican presidential race basically exists as an academic exercise for American humorists.

So here’s my contribution

Five jokes on the Canadian-border wall

1. The hard part about building a wall along Canada’s border is that all our Mexicans will be needed to build the Southern wall.

2. Canada said it will pay for the Northern wall, as long as we keep Justin Bieber.

3. The Canadian wall is going to separate millions of family members from each other — and that’s just the moose.

4. Did you hear about Scott Walker saying a Canadian border wall is something we should consider? And to think, we made fun of Toronto’s crack-smoking mayor.

5.  The Canadian wall will create a significant drop in South Florida’s snowbirds, which could amount to tens of dollars in lost tips to Florida waitresses.

Feel free to join in

If you’ve got some Canadian-border-wall jokes of your own, this is your space to join in.