Because sometimes they only come through at the last minute, and sometimes they are private functions, and sometimes it is more work to talk about the gigs than to play them, a handful of shows eked out lately that we never mentioned here on our blog, an omission we intend to now correct:
August 22nd, as suggested, we returned to the Trout Lake Community Centre for another delightful outdoor evening concert, courtesy of the Myrtle Family Band who invited us to open. Repeat customers were veritably outraged with delight. One precocious tot wanted us to make impromptu musical arrangements of all of their favorite nursery rhymes — perhaps a project for another time. Only one on this occasion.
September 8th we bravely traversed the Great Ice Wall in order to take up an invitation to perform at the Sh’Bang festival, located in the beautiful Lookout Arts Quarry south of Bellingham.
September 12th we descended into Calabash’s caged basement between drag lip sync acts to enjoy a slice of cake and blitz through a blisteringly short set (prior to an Accordion Noir Festival visit from our visiting Bay Area pal Renee de la Prade on the radio) at the Catalogue of Independent Arts’ launch party for this season’s installment of their “See Seven” catalogue of arts events — for which we were paid in the following swell ad in their pages:
(Now all we need is some more recent gushing copy for our press kit!)
Then we performed Sept 19th at the Stanley Park Rowing Club, an organization counting among its honorary membership British royals who write in with letters of congratulations when their rugby clubs reach a century of age. There we played in support of one of the few Vancouver political organizations with which we could share a room without having to hold our noses: the end-of-summer BBQ of municipal party COPE. Despite preparing a set of old folk songs for, well, old folks, we ended up jamming instrumentals during supper (Fred Bass wanted to know: is that what is called klezmer?) and then, after Ben West spoke at length on many weighty matters, ripping through our power set for the youth slate. (Then getting lost in Stanley Park, then giving Norway’s accordion siren Guro von Germeten a ride back to Geoff Berner’s place from her Accordion Noir radio appearance!)
(Photos courtesy of AHA Media. SpongeDev not depicted due to late arrival 8)
Finally, despite rodents and humans coming together to coordinate elaborate preparations, we did not manage to field a physical presence last night, October 6th, at the eleventh annual Horace Phair party in Portland over Columbus Day (Wyoming Johnny did, but it takes at least two to be a “we”. Blackbox’s excuse is his accordion’s tapeworm.) Nonetheless, hearkening way back to the ridiculous technological underpinnings of our initial association with our jolly chums there, we managed to set up a videoconference through Google+ Hangouts (Skype wouldn’t return a picture from our end!) and after some awkward small talk played a set as an international duet over broadband, Johnny live in a Portland Saluthaus living room with a banjo and Blackbox in HIS Vancouver living room on accordion and banjo-ukulele, with guest Plank appearances for the first time from his pets Jim Casy the cat and Pickles the dog. Songs We Never Play Anymore came out for fans from way back, and were sung along to with minimal latency, making for the second most memorable tele-presence at this year’s party. If you can’t be there, this was a distant consolation prize, but a virtual party is better than a kick in the pants. We will drown our sorrows in turkey.
The jug band of the damned (that’s us!) return again to the Grandview Legion (upstairs at 2205 Commercial Drive) for our annual appearance at the Accordion Noir Festival of all squeezings dark and gritty (this is their 5th annual! Yow, outta sight!) Hopefully this party will simmer only slightly under the fever pitch of our last AN Fest appearance there, and perhaps be a bit less explicit than our last visit to the Grandview Legion.
We’re joined by two other East Van all-star bands, High Society (who we’ve been waiting a year to play with) and the Flying Folk Army, recently reconvened after a 7-year hiatus, for what’s been described as “a night of bellows-driven foot-scooting and boogying”. So bring your dancing shoes and come prepared to cut a rug!
The jug band of the damned THE CREAKING PLANKS (ab)use old-timey instruments to pull modern pop music back in time, kicking and screaming, to a folksy bygone era with more dancing and less chin-stroking.
The soul groove of HIGH SOCIETY screams out joyful into the night and leaves you drenched in sweat and eager for more. Chelsea Johnson and Adam Farnsworth will be flipping coins to see who has to give up squeezing their heart out to give the other one a chance.
Because politics don’t have to be dull, the FLYING FOLK ARMY has come off of a 7-year hiatus to remind people why music that matters… matters! Alison Jenkins rocks the box here while her crack squad of rebel folkies display precision musical maneuvres.
We opened for him last year at the Cotati accordion festival and now we’re going to do it again at the 4th annual Accordion Noir festival — San Francisco’s infamous Duckmandu, the man who married the unhip squeezebox to the entire back catalogue of the Dead Kennedys, is joining us for the fest’s closing party Sun, Sept 25th at Cafe Deux Soleils (2096 Commercial Drive). Show $10, starts at 8 pm!
Now, enjoy one of the strangest posters we’ve ever had:
It’s true: much like our legendary Nina Hagen show that never quite was, the Planks sometimes move through circles that enable us to eat above our weight class. Elizabeth Fischer of Dark Blue World is now booking at Kozmic Zoo (53 W. Broadway, formerly the Hennessey Lounge) and has sagely folded us into a bill with legendary noisy improvisor Eugene Chadbourne, with Darren Williams and Kenton Loewe in tow.
Accordion Hallucinations - September 6, 2011
This is a bit of a dry run for the following night, where plenty of Planks are performing — but not in any Creaking configuration — at Nyala (4148 Main St.) for the Accordion Noir Festival precursor show ACCORDION HALLUCINATIONS on Sept 6th. Lee Shoal will be handling and mangling the squeezebox in Ejaculation Death Rattle, Rumblebucket will be exploring the darker side of bent and tweaked reeds as Polly Hatchet, and Airbeard should be backing up Mr. Chadbourne — desperately trying to keep out of the way most likely. Also on that bill is a set from the Cross-Disciplinary Studies Department (Dream Casino) and the Antique Accordion Orchestra (BYO!)
Bonus! A fragmentary clip of us in action at the Kozmik Zoo!
The third annual Accordion Noir fest is upon us again, a whole week of festivities already underway (click here for full details) and as with the previous twoyears, the Creaking Planks simply had to log an appearance celebrating the bountiful local supply of the wonderful squeezy weirdness whose virtues the Accordion Noir radio show / podcast extols weekly. Otherwise put:
This Friday night, we celebrate two of the greatest mechanical inventions of the 19th century: the accordion, brought to life in the hands of some of East Van’s most bombastic purveyors of dance music from the Balkans and points further out in left field, and the bicycle, rolled along Vancouver’s moist lanes and byways in defiance of the notion that the change of season has to bring with it a change in attitude.
Enjoy an earful of the sweet people-powered music that ruled over the pubs and campfires before steam power ruined everything, starting at 9 pm upstairs at the Grandview Legion Hall (2205 Commercial Drive) and running late into the night. Everyone can enjoy the show for the low price of $10, but helmet-clad Critical Mass riders pay only $8!