Paul Grant, author of the forthcoming Blessed Are the Uncool, is all about the accordion these days. His two most recent posts are exploring the cultural phenomenon of cool in ways that brush up against accordion playing. Post one includes an insightful deconstruction of the Weird Al Yankovic video "White & Nerdy," which I keep making my wife watch because it's so dang funny. You can watch the video while reading Paul's stinging critique. Post two picks apart a USA Today profile of some youth in middle America who are learning the accordion as a means of carrying their ethnic heritage forward. Shame on them, suggests the author of the article. Shame on the author, suggests Paul.
I happen to own an accordion; I thought they were decidedly uncool until I heard REM use one--and then Jars of Clay, and then Counting Crows, and then the Decemberists. Turns out, as Paul points out, that the accordion was there at the beginning of rock n roll, in the tail of Bill Haley's Comets.