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Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Squeazy E Plays a Squeeze Boxing Match at the Galactic Panther

Amber Cherry/The Hoya
Squeazy E dazzles the crowd with his accordion.

Last Saturday night in the heart of Old Town Alexandria, Va., the Galactic Panther art gallery held what the owners have dubbed a “(Squeeze) Boxing Match.”

The eclectic space hosts events ranging from open mics to moon rituals to workshops on the art of sipping tea. As my friends and I found our seats among the colorful artwork, the other patrons seemed to know each other for the most part. This microcosm of the greater Washington, D.C. area almost makes up its own subculture of the funky arts scene amongst the 35-and-up crowd. 

Alt-accordionist Squeazy E was up first. To get him on stage, two of the members of another band performing that night — one looking like David Bowie pre-“Ziggy Stardust” and the other post-“Ziggy Stardust” — started singing the theme from “Rocky” a cappella. The rest of the crowd joined in, a sort of spontaneous show of community. 

Squeazy E toggled between his original humorous songs and some more traditional ones with inspiration from klezmer musicAshkenazi traditional music from Central and Eastern Europe — as he was in a klezmer metal band in college. Squeazy E started with a song self-described as, “a dark mechanical Pinnochio gone wrong,” which was written for the last Galactic Panther exhibit, which had a circus theme.

Squeazy E also adapted Bo Burnham’s “Welcome to the Internet” to play on the accordion, altering some lyrics and the structure of the song to best fit his accordion performance. The tune resembled the tuba-heavy songs of VeggieTales, a popular early 2000s children’s Christian TV program, and “Weird Al” Yankovic parodies.

His set ended with his strongest original song, “Hair in My Soup,” on trichophobia — the fear of hair. Throughout the song he would list all the things he wanted to do but interrupted himself with, “but…ahhh there’s a hair in my soup,” and then would change the location of the unwanted hair with something that rhymes with the previous verses. Rarely were any two lyrics the same.

Squeazy E’s songwriting was impeccable and leaned into the absurdity of not only the accordion but also of the world we currently live in. “Hair in My Soup” perfectly explains the inhibitions irrational fears bring to our lives. The way he doesn’t take himself seriously at all is refreshing and allows for this free exploration to create his own genre, klezmer-accordion comedy.

However, he doesn’t sell himself short, instead the intermittent “ahhh” in “Hair in my Soup” was a cathartic release of fear and frustration at his trichophobia. 

It was clear the only reason Squeazy E learned the accordion was for himself. That did not stop him from sharing his talent with the world. The measure for success for any piece of art should be its ability to evoke human emotion, but often the joy from humor is overlooked, with musical comedy seen as a lesser art form. 

However, musical comedy is just a different art form and should be measured on different metrics. It invites the odd to revel in their weirdness. Though one could see Squeazy E as simply a hobbyist with an accordion performing a concert for charity, the rawness of his performance made the Galactic Panther an even more microcosmic celebration of uniqueness.

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