Okay, so that good story I was promising.

I’m not quite sure how to tell it, but it involves two accordions and a member of the Decemberists.

So at the show on Friday, there were three groups. The first was a group from Alaska, the second was Susie and the band, and the headlining band was the person whose CD release party it was. I was quite happily surprised to find out that DecemberistsAccordionist was playing in the headlining band, because I think she’s really great, and finally I’d get the chance to meet her and tell her so. It’s also gratifying, in a different way, because I get the chance to be on par with lots of the people who I’ve looked up to for a long time, as a participant instead of merely an observer. Making good connections and new friendships like that is always a great feeling.

Accordions are like cellos, in that they’re fairly uncommon, and people tend to use only their own for years on end. Whenever you get the opportunity to play someone else’s, you tend to take it. She wanted to try my accordion, and I wanted to try hers too, so we did, and it was really fun. She’s got a really nice one too; very small and light and easy to play, and sounds very much like a musette. Mine’s huge and heavy, but it has a wider variety of sound possibilities.

There was an impromptu bluegrass jam session happening backstage in the green room, involving DecemberistsGuitarist, DecemberistsAccordionist, MississippiStudiosJim and a really amazing girl fiddle player. I could have listened to that all night. CellistSkip joined them too, and then they asked for different songs. I was sitting and listening–not playing, because there was already an accordionist involved–and then Skip started playing “Comfortably Numb” by HugelyFamousPinkEnglishBand. I grabbed my accordion then, and started to play the really high violin part, in harmony with what Skip was doing. Super fun and hilarious. The real show always takes place backstage.

By then the first band had finished, and it was Susie’s turn to play, so we went out onstage. Sounded great and felt great, but on about the third song, one of my accordion straps broke. I ran off stage and grabbed a chair to sit on, but it was still pretty much impossible to play. The song came to an end, and I told Susie what was up, and ran offstage again. She started to tell a story, I think. I don’t really remember, to tell you the truth. I was too busy freaking out.

Jim took a look and said, “Maybe we can fix it,” but we couldn’t. It had snapped in the fatal spot. I asked for DecemberistsAccordionist, but she was nowhere to be seen. Someone went and found her, and she very generously allowed me to use her instrument for the remainder of the show. Extra special mega-thanks to her for saving the day.

Tonight I’m taking it to the repair shop for some new straps. Can’t live without the accordion at all; it’s my bread and butter instrument, and yes, I do know which side the butter goes on.

Saturday I drove up to EmeraldCity to play guitar with Brandon and the band. It was really fun, as usual. His mom happened to be in town. I didn’t recognize her at first–it HAS been fifteen years, after all–but she refreshed my memory, and she’s a really sweet lady. So our first two sets were flawless, but by the third set, my pedalboard started acting up and losing power. Sheesh! Two weeks ago, the metal screw that tightens the hair on the cello bow broke. Friday it was the accordion strap. Saturday, the pedalboard was freaking out. What’s next?? Never mind, GearGoblins, I don’t want to know.

After the show, the three of us went to FamousRestaurantThatRhymesWithPennies. I got back to LittleBrothersHouse at 3:30 a.m. It was a really great time all around.

My mom was also at LittleBrothersHouse this weekend, and I haven’t seen her for a few months. It was a really good–if short–visit, and you’ll be glad to know that on Sunday we made Mister T sandwiches. I swear those things are going to catch on.

CatZooey is back with her owner now. It was great to have her staying here, but it’s also nice to have my place back. I spent last night cleaning like a maniac. I still have more to do, but it’s quite an improvement over the way this place has been lately.

So yeah; quite a weekend, indeed. Here’s to plenty more just like it.