Horn Apart

SNMNMNM wields weird instruments -- and an even weirder sense of humor.

There's an even better tale behind "Disco Barry," one of the catchiest, most dance-inducing tracks from As Best as We Can! "It's actually based on a real person," Seamus claims. "He's a parking-lot attendant in Rochester. It's a really tragic story. He was born a twin, and his mother was pretty poor, and she couldn't afford to have two kids. So she had to give one up, and it was him. When this guy grew up, he ended up being a dancer and then a male prostitute in New York City during the '70s. We'd always notice this guy around town. He was always weird, kind of off-kilter."

SNMNMNM's live shows are allegedly just as unhinged -- no doubt thanks in part to Seamus and company's unorthodox choice of instruments. "On early tours," he remembers, "I'd be playing the accordion 90 percent of the time. But this tour, it's been a lot different. Some of the newer songs on the album, I play a lot more guitar on. The other night we played a show in Gainesville, and we were two-thirds into the set before I strapped on the accordion. Everyone went crazy. It was great. I felt a surge of power."

Behold the accordion, conduit of rock-and-roll omnipotence. Still, as wise-assed as SNMNMNM can be, Seamus takes the squeeze-box as seriously as he does Daumen's comically lumbering tuba. "Everyone makes fun of the accordion," he admits, "but I think our fans are the type of people that get made fun of a lot, too. They can relate to the accordion. They arethe accordion."

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