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Watch out Port Moody: Meet the city's new accordion jester

Adam Faber first picked up the accordion about 10 years ago. Now he uses it to poke fun at the local zeitgeist.

Port Moody council may want to duck for cover.

A new troubadour is in town and he’s got his accordion plugged into the local zeitgeist.

Adam Faber just moved from Halifax three weeks ago with his wife, Sarah, a neuroscientist who landed a research gig at Simon Fraser University (SFU).

While taking some time off from his own job with an east coast-based tech startup as arrangements were finalized to allow him to work remotely, Faber, 37, immersed himself in the local news scene, discovering what makes his new hometown tick, then mining it for musical inspiration.

Music is a bit of a sideline distraction for Faber.

About 10 years ago he picked up an accordion that his grandfather, Heinrich Faber, had brought with him from Germany. He didn’t know how to play, but after years of piano lessons he figured how hard could it be?

“It’s just a sideways piano,” he said of the bright red squeezebox.

Faber joined a band, The Lethbridge Privateers, comprised of science and tech geeks like himself.

And to work out some of his frustrations about day-to-day life, he started writing parody songs.

Some of his early efforts include a lament about having to check out his own groceries at the local Sobeys supermarket and a tribute to Dartmouth’s ongoing problem with aggressive geese.

Faber admits the inherent goofiness of the accordion gives him license to sing things others might be thinking but are afraid to express out loud.

“I can crib off other people’s annoyances and complaints,” he said.

“We can’t all just go down to the legion and bitch.”

Just over a week after moving into his new apartment, Faber read an article in the Tri-City News about the area’s pickleball problem. Neighbours of a Coquitlam park are upset about the noise the sport makes when the hard plastic whiffle ball is struck by wooden racquets. A similar complaint last year sparked Port Moody council to banish players from Chestnut Way Park.

Faber started playing with the words then matching them to an easily recognizable melody, batting ideas back and forth with his wife to determine the combinations that made each other laugh.

Half a day or so later, he was ready to record his pickleball accordion musical to the tune of Wonderwall by the British band Oasis and post it to his newly minted @Accordiyonder Twitter account.



It got noticed.

First by the local press, then by CBC Vancouver.

Even the network’s national current affairs program, As It Happens, picked it up, prompting a tide of emails from friends back east who hadn’t yet heard Faber moved west.

Since then, Faber’s tuned his accordion to the high price of rents in the Tri-Cities, and the ongoing saga of the barge that ran aground at Vancouver’s Second Beach during a violent wind and rain storm last November.





He said he never really knows what might scratch his satirical itch.

“A story has to be evocative enough,” Faber said. “They have to jump out at me.”

But from what he’s heard already, Port Moody could be fertile ground.

“I poke politicians a lot,” Faber said. “You better watch your step: There’s an accordion jester waiting for you to fall.”