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Friday, December 26, 2008

Accordion Girl in: ATOMIC VAUDEVILLE 40th episode special.... Moneyshots. Release the Doves



Saturday December 27th
Sunday December 28th
Monday December 29th

Doors at 7:30pm, Show at 8:00pm
at the Victoria Event Centre 1415 Broad St.
(First come-first serve seating policy with advance ticket holders given priority)

Tickets $12 (student/unwaged) and $18
available at the door or in advance at
Rebel Rebel 585 Johnson St. starting Friday Dec 19th

This show is a milestone: our 40th episode!
A
big sloppy kiss and thank you for continuing to support and encourage
our work. We would never have kept going this long if you weren't there
to be a part of the whole thing.

So thanks for coming again and again.
We're gonna entertain you so hard,
you'll forget all about aunt Mabel's
incident with the turkey stuffing
at Christmas dinner.


Blogged with the Flock Browser

Holiday cheer 2008!!!


Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah!

Bringing you some holiday cheer, with the help of my loyal garden gnomes, glockenspiel, accordion, and of course my fur hat, here is my holiday cheer video for you!
(Hardly any rehearsing was involved in this video, you can thank the gnomes).



Feel free to subscribe to my youtube page or add me as a friend! http://www.youtube.com/cheekyminx21

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Accordion Noir's "Best of 2008" Radio Show!


I can be heard on Accordion Noir's "Best of 2008" Radio Show!!! http://accordionnoir.org/drupal/node/126.
Very exciting indeed! It was wonderful to be on their show last March 2008, to celebrate International Women's Day to be exact.
I was also a part of their First Annual Accordion Noir Festival in October 2008, along with Geoff Berner, Ami Denio, and the Creaking Planks.
Many thanks to the wonderful hosts of Accordion Noir Radio: Bruce Triggs and Rowan Lipkovits!

Monday, December 15, 2008

My Life in Lederhosen



Appropriately named blog title entry..."My Life in Lederhosen."

Sometimes, actually most of the time, my performances take place in the strangest of circumstances. Explaining what I'm doing to my Mother just feels cruel. "Mom, ya, I'm performing today in a women's bathroom, and there are bras, panties, maxi pads, and licorice all over the walls, ya you should come check it out..."

My last public performance was sitting in the storefront window for a shop on Pandora Street, while the public passed by the shop. 

Today was great, I took part in Hive Hair Salon's junior stylists hair show. I wore an amazing wig, styled by the talented Katie-Rose. I played a lovely waltz while my friend Chris and Emily did an interpretive dance - all with a Dr. Seuss "Whoseville" theme. Three standard hair runway shows went after us, and then we followed up with Chris and Emily doing a costume change into the characters of Cliff and Clair Huxtable. I did some kind of rendition of "The Cosby Show" theme song on my accordion.

I feel like I am in a David Lynch film.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Daniel Lapp in coming: Home for Christmas!

Now I know this isn't an "accordion" post...but I am in the Joy of Life Choir, and good friends of all the people involved in this concert. So if you please, I am cordially inviting you to:

With special guest Emily Braden!

Also featuring:

The Joy of Life Choir
The BC Fiddle Orchestra
Adrian Dolan
Leigh Grisewood
Brooke Maxwell
& Matt Pease

Tickets available at:

Larsen Music
1833 Cook St

Ivy's Book Shop
2188 Oak Bay Avenue

$15.00 Adults
$12.00 Students & Seniors
(by cash or cheque only)

PLEASE NOTE: tickets are available at Larsen Music & Ivy's Books ONLY until December 17th. I'll keep you posted is the show is sold out before the 20th.

www.houseofmusic.ca

(p.s. your good friend Natasha is in the Joy of Life Choir, come support local musicians!!)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Accordion Girl in the upcoming Atomic Vaudeville - Episode #39

Atomic Vaudeville presents:

Ordinary Freaks Like You...

cabaret episode #39

Friday Oct 24th
Sat Oct 25th
Thursday Oct 30th
Sat Nov 1st
at the Victoria Event Centre
1415 Broad St.

Doors at 7:30pm
Show at 8:00pm

Advance Tickets available starting Saturday Oct 11th
at Rebel Rebel 585 Johnson (CASH ONLY!)

(Arrive early to secure your seat,
advance ticket holders have priority)

Details at:
http://atomicvaudeville.com/shows.html

-------------------------

Come out and support local actors, musicians, singers, dancers, comedians, performers of all kinds!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Recapping Accordion Noir's First Annual International Festival

Accordion Noir's First Annual International Festival was such BLAST!!!
This night of furious accordionism all went down at the Railway Club in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia.
The line up:
Natasha Lena (myself) - The Accordion Girl from Victoria BC
Amy Denio - KMFDM's Favourite Accordionist
Geoff Berner - Official Them Songwriter 2010 Vancouver - Whistler Olympic Games - "The Dead Children Were Worth It"
The Creaking Planks - Jug Band of the Damned


I was up first, nerves and crazy energy pulsing through me...I just really really needed to get up there and play, and was it ever FUN! A great crowd to play to, thank you great crowd!!
My Mom caught some of my act on her camera, check out some of the songs on my youtube page: www.youtube.com/cheekyminx21


Amy Denio was after me, I unfortunately did not get a photograph of her, sorry Amy... she was so great though, a fantastic musician and singer. Here is her website to compensate: www.amydenio.com

Geoff Berner was #3...and captured the crowd. This was my first time seeing Geoff, he was really great, and I'm looking forward to future shows and projects to be a part of with him. Mr. Berner is off pretty soon for his tour through Europe. If you're in Europe, go see him!! www.geoffberner.com

Yes! The Creaking Planks! Rowan Lipkovits - the co-host for Accordion Noir Radio, is also the frontman and accordionist for The Creaking Planks. An explosive performance, they had every instrument up there, ukelele's, jaw harps, pots and pans, lamps, gut buckets, violins, steel guitars, trambones, smashing plates...and of course an accordion!
www.myspace.com/creakingplanks

Bruce Triggs, the co-host of Accordion Noir Radio and the wonderful host of the Accordion Noir Festival. He pushed and pulled this ancient Hohner accordion creating bursts of mildew to tuft out the top, and sounded kind of droany into the microphone. Bruce and Rowan are very rad and you should listen to their radio show, every friday night on Co-Op Radio from 9:30pm - 10:30pm.
accordionnoir.org


I'm so thankful for this experience, I had such a great time, meeting everyone was so much fun, the crowd was great, a huge success!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Yours truly performing at Accordion Noir's First Annual Festival


Accordion Noir Radio is having their first International Accordion Noir Festival, October 2nd and 3rd!

Thursday, October 2nd - 7 pm - Spartacus Books Festival opening - 684 E. Hastings at Heatley
Live music, an Accordion fashion show, and a rare Film screening of the Rockumentary about the international super-group Accordion Tribe!

Friday, October 3rd – 9 pm - the Railway Club concert - 579 Dunsmuir at Seymour
Geoff Berner, Ami Denio, Natasha Lena the Accordion Girl, and the Creaking Planks!


Myself, Natasha Lena aka Accordion Girl, aka Accordionspieler blogger, aka Accordion Saviourista, will be opening for the talented acts including indie Accordion sweetheart Geoff Berner.

I'll be bringing you all the great Accordion standards, some sing-a-longs, some covers, and many smiles :)

Looking forward to seeing you there!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Victoria Accordion Club - Potluck Picnic Edition


Homemade pie, chili, watermelon, potato salad, bbq chicken, and at least 20 accordions...good times to be had by all.
The Victoria Accordion Club meets on the first sunday of every month and the usual location being the Victoria Edelweiss Club, but this September meeting was a potluck picnic located at a gorgeous park on a lovely Sunday afternoon.
There was food, food, and more food. I brought my accordion wear goods, but most importantly there was lots of playing which is all I care about.

At one point the violinist and ex-concertmaster from the Victoria Symphony -Pablo, showed up and jammed with us as well.
Anyways, it was a lovely day, with lovely playing.

Monday, August 4, 2008

West End Wildcat

*

I know this has nothing to do with the accordion...but wait!
This is myself and my wonderful friend Gillian doing our kitty cat skit in the most recent episode of Atomic Vaudeville, #38 "I've seen the future and the future is smoke free".

Gillian and I loved performing in our very own skit together, and why this is so great is because we equally are making our own personal efforts to help, share, bring joy, and in so many words "save the world".

To see us in action check out my youtube page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rm4R_Im1oZE

*Top photo by Barb Pedrick

Monday, July 7, 2008

Happy Canada Day!


Happy Canada Day!
Canada is now 141 years old, and what better way to celebrate but by matching your outfit with 4 other accordionists, "eh?"
This was my second time marching in a parade with the Victoria Accordion Club Band.
We marched with the North Saanich Council, who were wanting to promote a "green" float and parade.
Not having a float made them wonder what kind of music they could have with them to make their "float" more interesting.
A big reason I love the accordion is because its so portable and self-amplifying.
The North Saanich council asked us to join them and it had a great response at the parade.
The North Saanich Mayor and Councellours flailed around us with flags and pulled a small wagon with a generated soundsystem, which we play along to for a louder effect.




The band members are very sweet people, a great supportive group, with a lot of talent.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Accordions by the Sea

These past two days of Victoria BC's Accordion Festival "Accordions by the Sea" had been quite the experience for me.
I had a spot in the festival selling my "Squeeze Me Apparel", which went over quite well with the public. What was the best part was seeing many accordion friends I already knew, and making new ones.
I also met a lot of older gentlemen, and it is uncommon to be a 25 year-old female accordion player, so I did get attention...kinda funny




This is myself with Robert "Bob" DeCamillis. My "Camillo" Guerrini Accordion is named after him. The Guerrini accordions were exclusively handcrafted the Canadian Accordion Institute Ltd, back in the 1960's or so. Bob was a distributor and when ordering these accordions in from Italy had it customed to have his name "Camillo" on them.
Bob bought lots of my wears, but mainly wanted to buy my accordion from me...but I couldn't part with it.






This is George from Sugarland, Texas.
He's rad.
He's Mario Pedone's right-hand man, and was my neighbour during my time at the festival.

























This is Karl Hergt (Accordion Repairman extraordinaire) and myself. Karl is the co-owner of Tempo Trend, and is the silliest German man I've met.


The Story Dolls had a fun time at the festival as well. They entertained the crowds for 15 minutes, and made many friends as well.













Hildegärd in all her glory


















Hildegärd meets Irv Lang and his lovely wife.















This Accordionista is 89 years-young. I didn't catch her name, but she was very sharp and told me I was a "good-lookin' woman".
















A big jam session happened at the end of the festival. It felt like we were going to blast the Edelweiss Club off the ground.














This is myself with Mario Pedone, total accordion ninja, and *kinda* a big deal. He was very inspiring, encouraging, informative, and so interesting to talk to.
He and I played a couple of songs together in the parking lot, which was so intimidating at first, but he's very lovely and sweet about playing. He told me I played very well, and we had a good talk about how I just need to work on my technqiue, which I know. He was encouraging and is going to send me several workbooks to improve technique. He spoke about how no accordionist is better than the other, and that we're important to the world, as is all music.
In the words of my friend Justine "He's like your Miyagi."


Friday, June 27, 2008

Squeeze Me Apparel



Squeeze Me Apparel - A Division of Aspekt Clothing & Design will be in attendance at the upcoming Accordion Festival here in Victoria, British Columbia.
Great Accordionists will be performing, workshops going on, vendors (ME)....
Details below:

What: Accordions by the Sea
Where: Victoria Edelweiss Club, 108 Niagra Street, Victoria BC Canada
When: June 27th, 28th, 29th


And yes....I'm wearing a t-shirt with myself on it.....how's that for self-promotion?? and yes I'm standing next to a totally rad clock with a switch on the cord.....okay lets get going! turn off the clock!


By the way...I will have an etsy store or something of the equivalent up soon so you can shop online for the Squeeze Me goods.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Story Dolls

The Story Dolls

The Story Dolls are:
Gertrüd and Hildegärd

Gertrüd: Clarinet, Vocals
Hildegärd: Accordion, Vocals

Gertrüd and Hildegärd have travelled far and wide. It is their greatest pleasure to invite you to join them on their travels. If you wish for more romance, colour, poetry and imagination in your life let these cousins guide you to places unknown.

Cousins Gertrüd and Hildegärd grew up together in the mountains of Europe. At an early age they learned how to sing for their supper. Hardships and the loss of their families, in the Great Tragedy, brought them closer. To survive they kept hope alive by telling eachother stories of far off lands.

In the aftermath of the Great Tragedy, the Golden Years followed and the girls joined a caravan of entertainers. They each had jobs taking care of the livestock and the side show features.

Hildegärd squeezes her box and enjoys pickling in her spare time. She is the spokesperson for the International Safe Camping and Hiking Society, and specializes in photography of the “forgotten”.

Gertrüd blows a mean clarinet and has an enthusiastic interest in the Supernatural. Gertrüd has won first place in many International Pebble Painting competitions, and for 10 years in a row she has won second prize for her boiled potatoes at country fairs worldwide.

Together, Gertrüd and Hildegärd entertain audiences from far and wide.They are available for evening performances such as your brother's 30th birthday party, opening parties, and any great event that involves beer.

For more information: www.myspace.com/thestorydolls

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I HEART ACCORDION


This is the amazing story of a girl with a sign, and a lovely band called Beirut....

I absolutely LOVE Beirut, and love their use of the accordion in their music. I can play many of their songs on my accordion, and was so excited to be able to see them live, and to have my wonderful friend Gillian as my date.

I originally was going to make a sign that said something along the lines of "I play the accordion and want to play with you" something like that. When the time arrived to go to the show, I decided I didn't want to do that so I made a sign that would show my appreciation instead. I think its more from the heart this way.

So I held up my sign, several times, and probably embarrassed the accordionist in Beirut.

Holding this sign really did create a sense of community amongst Gillian, myself, and other audience members. People were curious to know what my sign said, and seemed delighted when I told them.

I stood almost front and very centred as they played their hearts out, so much talent was on that stage at the Commodore Ballroom. Each musician having the ability to perform many different instruments. What a treat to have them blast out 3 encores as well!!!

So the end of the show had to come, and I told Gillian that I wanted to leave my sign on the stage for the accordionist to keep.


As I made my way up to the front he came out to collect instruments I suppose and I handed him my sign and he bashfully took it and we had a brief exchange of "thank you's" to eachother. I snapped this shot of him, and heard a little cheer from other audience members as I did this.

Lesson learned: Parades are awesome


On May 19th I united with the Victoria Accordion Club and took part in the Victoria Day Parade. There were 3 accordionists in the back of the truck, I sat back there and played for the start of the parade, it was raining and we were covered under there. Hopped off the back of it and joined Ron and Martin as they marched on foot along Douglas Street.
We played along to pre-recorded songs that the Victoria Accordion Club had recorded. The crowds loved us. It was fanastic to have people clapping along and waving at us.
I got to see friends along the way, promote the upcoming "Accordion Festival by the Sea" which is at the end of June at the Edelweiss Club, and also have the opportunity to scream "ACCORDIONS ARE HOT" while walking in the middle of the street.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Accordions on Parade



Who doesn't love a parade? Exactly the reason why I'm going to be in one!
I'll be amongst other accordionists this monday, Victoria Day, marching/parading/floating along with our accordions, spreading the accordion love.
The Victoria Accordion Club is taking part in the Victoria Day Parade, and I've graciously been invited to be with all the great folks that belong to the club.
I think its time I was crowned Miss Accordion 2008, hello?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Schoolhouse Rocks!!!


Join Theatre SKAM and 12 Local Companies for a Homegrown Theatre Experience!


Thirteen independent performance companies have come together to create Schoolhouse Rocks.This event features thirteen new short performances, a visual art installation, and a funky little lounge all tucked under the roof of a vintage schoolhouse.


With my accordion at my side, more like strapped to my front...I am performing in SNAFU Dance Theatre's production titled "PRiMP". Just follow the teenage boy in the red hat, and he'll lead you to his hazing requirement, to make his way into the girls washroom....



Located at The Vancouver Island School of Art, 2549 Quadra Street, Victoria BC


April 30 to May 3Doors 7pmPlays begin 7:30pmLast call 10pmAdmission $15 cash at the doorRead more at http://www.skam.ca/

Thursday, April 24, 2008

In Memory Of...


Today marks a year since the death of my Grandmother. She was also known as our dear Mutti. What a difference a year makes. I didn't start performing until after her death, but I know she would be very pleased and proud of what I am doing with my life.
My Grandmother meant so much to me, my heritage, my creativity, insight, love, open heart, strength. She was more of a second parent than a grandparent, which is why the loss was so difficult for me.
Today I met with my Mother and my Cousin at the cemetery and I brought my accordion. I sat and played. The Spring weather still holds a chill in the air and I could only play for so long before my fingers were pretty much numb and I couldn't play properly anymore.
I'm grateful for my Grandmother, and I'm grateful I have found music and that it is holding such a strong presence in my life now. It is a perfect fit for me.
This entry has been for Mutti, who was always so supportive and loving, caring, open, generous, strong, full of stories, and much more.
xo N

Monday, April 21, 2008

Onto the next intense week...




The four nights of performing in Atomic Vaudeville's "Cute Attack" are now complete. This was one of my favourite episodes to be in, and what a whirlwind it was! I came down with Salmanella poisoning the first week of it, and didn't realise what I had, and performed a show in that strange state.
On a better note, I got better!
The show was such a hit, and so much fun. I played my accordion in two acts, felt great to play infront such a large sea of people on closing night. The place was packed wall-to-wall, and what a powerful feeling of having 150+ eyes watching you.
My Mother got some pretty good footage of our dance off and of the "Lion and Lamb" skit which I played in. All available to watch on youtube.
Highlight of my night was having a very lovely female audience member come chat with me afterwards telling me she saw me play at the December 07 Accordion Club meeting. I mentioned at the meeting I was in Atomic Vaudeville, and because of that she has been coming out to the shows.
Onto the next projects taking over my life...SKAM School House rocks, Girls Girls Girls, working on pieces with Chris and Jason, busking in May....

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Cute Attack!



Rehearsals have been underway since early last week. It's always an intense rush to get everything figured out, dance numbers memorized, who is going to say what etc.
I've got my accordion ready for two numbers! Come out and see the show! Here's all the info:

Atomic Vaudeville presents CUTE ATTACK "It's so bad, it's good"
4 nights of cute overload with a dizzying number of cast members, a keytar and plush toys.

Thursday Apr 10
Saturday Apr 12
Thursday Apr 17
Saturday Apr 19

8:00pm showtime
7:30pm doors open
at the VEC 1415 Broad St.

Tickets are $12/$15 and available
at Rebel Rebel 585 Johnson St.
(starting Friday April 4th)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Esoteric Day



What a day! Jamming with two fantastic musicians Jason and Chris this morning/afternoon...finishing my day with Treena, hammering out more songs for our "doll" act. A Balkan/Esoteric project is in the works with Jason and Chris. It was mesmerizing today. Chris has this amazing oud that sounded lovely with the accordion.
Treena and I discovered improvising songs and getting lost in space while we do this is our new favourite thing.
Preparing for the next Atomic Vaudeville, quite possibly am doing three extremely different skits with my accordion. Rehearsals will be quick and the show opens next Thursday night. Not much time!!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

New Order


The accordion isn't commonly associated with 80's synth music, but it seems to be making a connection with New Order for me.
In highschool I was obsessed with bands like New Order, Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, Erasure, Bronski Beat, The Smiths, The Cure, Crowded House...so when hanging out with myself and my accordion I try to learn any ol' song. I attempted and I feel I succeeded with a nice version of "Blue Monday" by New Order. I first recorded it onto this mp3 player that was given to me by a cherished friend. I passed along the recording to my friend DZL, who loves New Order. He told me it sounded like I dubbed myself 5 times on an old tape deck.
Awesome.


I then recorded myself on video, and I preferred that take because I was more rehearsed, but DZL still loves the first one. I can do "Bizarre Love Triangle" as well, but "Blue Monday" is probably my favourite New Order song, coming in close is "Temptation" and "Regret".

Here's the video on youtube: http://youtube.com/watch?v=y8_FHNzvgkM

Friday, March 28, 2008

Victoria Accordion Club


The Victoria Accordion Club meets the first sunday of every month at the German Club in town -Edelweiss Club. I've enjoyed many meetings, you pay $3 and get tea and donuts. Oh! And you can sit and hear some amazing accordionists play and blow your mind. I've played there as well, and besides this little guy that is about 8 years old, I'm the next youngest person there.
Some of the amazing accordionists there include the wonderful Irv Lang, who taught in town for many years, and is the leader of the Accordion Band. There is also Marc Wald, a very entertaining man full of stories. He used to play on the Tommy Hunter show back in the day.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Full day of jamming





Today was a very full day of jam sessions. I did the accordion proud. Met with Treena to rehearse our german doll act, performed our set for her dad. Went over a skit with Gillian aka Lambo, and Justine aka Derek the Lion to further an Atomic Vaudeville skit idea. Ended my night with an awesome jam with the Keytar Warrior. So amazing. Download "When you were mine".






Monday, March 24, 2008

Squeezebox Circle and Accordion Noir Radio




I want to start posting the last year of my journey into the accordion world....I'm going to go back two weeks....a great thing about facebook and myspace is connecting with other accordionists. I made friends with Rowan, who co-hosts "Accordion Noir" on 102.7 FM with Bruce, in Vancouver BC every friday night from 9:30-10:30pm on Co-op Radio.
We met online, and before I knew it I was invited onto their show. A very exciting experience to be performing to an infinite number of people that I could not see, unlike how I usually perform, to 150+ people right before me. http://accordionnoir.org/drupal/node/75
Thats a link to the show I am featured on, for International Women's Day, whoohoo!
The night before the radio show I went to the monthly "Squeezebox Circle" meeting. This gathering takes place the first thursday night of every month. Super fun times. Bartender!

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