Cotati! Cotati! Cotati!

A FEW THINGS TO KNOW: It's funny to us that some people still need to muse upon the accordion's former fusty reputation. We know that existed -- well, in some quarters -- but it didn't last for long. And thank goodness for that. Consider that bands today regularly call upon the bellows and keys (well, maybe not regularly, but it isn't a shocker to see the instrument get strapped on during a rock ballad) and that actor Christina Hendricks plays (and has showed off her skills on "Mad Men"). In short, a lot of people are doing it, which makes the two-day Cotati Accordion Festival rightly famous and rightly well-attended. As it will be again, most likely, on Saturday, Aug. 20 and Sunday, Aug. 21.

MUSIC TO EARS: Well over a dozen performers or groups are scheduled for each day; we'd like to hear Polkacide and The Mad Maggies. And the Lady of Spain-A-Ring? Oh yeah. The audience is so joining in on that one. There's also a workshop on zydeco dance during the weekend. Sure, you could and should go if you adore your squeezebox, but go if you just love its atmospheric, cafe-cool sound. People who play appreciate a good admirer; after all, keeping those buttons and keys and bellows and rhythm going definitely takes a knack. And some good, old-fashioned talent. Yep, we said "old-fashioned," but not like fusty old-fashioned. Unless you like fusty. And that's a-ok.

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