Ambivalent – having or showing simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings toward something or someone (Webster)
Captain Ambivalent is a satirical songwriting superhero with a sparkly accordion, cape, and boots.
His glacial rise from total obscurity to semi-obscurity began at the Front Porch Music open mic in Valparaiso Indiana and has grown to include South Bend Public Television, Pierogi Fest(R), the Gen Con gaming convention, one-man shows in Fringe Festivals and alternative theaters, and even a brief cameo on America’s Got Talent.
His recordings have played the genre-defying trifecta of WFMT’s The Midnight Special (folk), WXRT’s Local Anesthetic (alternative), and Doctor Demento (comedy).
The Captain’s not-so-secret identity, Dan Biemer, grew up in Louisville, KY then spent 20 years as a Litigation Support paralegal in Chicago before un-selling out to fight criminally boring music. His songs are comic takes on the entire human condition with a special fondness for the nerdy bits.
The Captain (Dan Biemer, pronounced “BEE-mur”) is available for media, concerts, one-man shows, variety lineups, open mic hosting, and private parties.
Call (219) 763-6456 or email email@example.com or click the button for a contact form.
“This accordion-rocking Hoosier throws down some tasty rhymes that bridge the gap from the fields of Indiana to the deserts of Tatooine.” – James Zahn, The Pop Insider Blog
Click an image below to listen
Captain Ambivalent’s debut album, “Fear The Accordion” (2012), enlisted long-time collaborator Mark Frey of the 1990s Buffalo NY band “Riley” to help create a signature accordion, drum, and tuba based sound they thought about calling “oom-punk” but found it was too hard to say. His genre-defying second album, “Pirate Ninja Zombie” (2014), added touches of mariachi, bluegrass, easy listening, prog rock, hip-hop, old-time country, gospel, house, and even musical theatre. But the main focus is always the words. The 50th anniversary of GenCon brought a 10 song EP of extra-geeky songs called “Save The Orcs” (2017).
The Captain has one original song, one cover, and some incidental music in the award-winning independent documentary “Uncle Fun: You’re The One” by Laura Force Scruggs.
Captain Ambivalent performs solo in the proud tradition of Weird Al Yankovic, Heywood Banks, Tom Lehrer, The Aquabats!, They Might Be Giants, and Calvin and Hobbes, half of which are actually duos.
He can perform unplugged in small venues, or with a vocal mic and quarter inch input for his accordion mic. His self-contained portable multimedia sound system handcart is good for up to 75 person venues. Bernice the dinosaur (not to be confused with any other purple dinosaur) requires a 10 foot cube of space to operate safely. Sound system/dinosaur require at least one grounded electrical outlet near the stage.
The Captain reaches out to local media for interviews/on-air appearances at time of booking, about 40 days before the show, and halfway in between. At time of booking he lists shows on Bandsintown and Songkick ( which sync automatically with Spotify, Bandcamp, Facebook, etc.), creates a Facebook event with the venue as co-host, and adds the event to captainambivalent.com (which follows Google’s event markup standards for preferred placement in search results). He provides digital or paper flyers upon request.
Theatrical multimedia performances for Fringe Festivals and other alternative theater spaces.
“Captain Ambivalent’s catchy songs and clever insights will have you saying to yourself ‘oh yeah, that’s right’ before he moves on to the next part of his nerdy tale. A crowd-pleaser with an accordion, this show is definitely worth seeing…” – Elgin Walkabout
“The show is a tongue-in-cheek, satirical look at the American Landscape since we all fell asleep one night in 2016 and awakened in disbelief, confusion, and despair…The Show isn’t about the costume, the accordion (very well-played), vocals, or accompanying sound track and visuals. It’s about the lyrics. And that’s why you should go and listen to this show.” – IndyFringe Talks Blog
“…a real-life saga punctuated by recurring scenes of unrequited love, noisy neighbors, and a relentless flow of song ideas. Career biography, yes — but this show is all about the music!…You’ll dance, you’ll cry, you’ll laugh and wonder why.” – Elgin Review
“…packed with wit…” – Jay Harvey Upstage
“…never lets up on the clever wordplay.” – NUVO
“…amazingly funny songs, wild costumes, and wonderfully cheesy props.” – Plays with John and Wendy
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“Pirate Ninja Zombie” (2014) grouped songs into the Captain’s lifelong quest to become a hero of some kind, “Laundry Night” (2016) delved into Dan’s lifelong quest to get the songs inside his head outside, “Fear The Accordion” (2017) explored the history of the future and internet dystopia, and “Captain Ambivalent Is In Denial” (2020) provided virtual fun in a time of pandemic.
Technical requirements and marketing plan are the same as for “Concerts” above.
“We’ve worked with Captain Ambivalent a few times over the last couple of years and it has always been a blast. First, the Captain comes prepared and ready to load-in to any venue no matter the circumstances easily and quickly. Second, working his show is incredibly fun and simple. Not because the show is simple, but because he has structured the show to be show-ready in a short amount of time with little help from the venue. Working with Captain Ambivalent is like working with a one-man band, he’s doing everything for you, he just needs a platform to perform on. Finally, the Captain is easy and fun to work with because he’s a kind, helpful, intelligent, and entertaining personality. We can chat about the show, life, and the greater world around us while simultaneously putting on a great show. He’s the best touring performer that we work with.” – Josh Beadle, Three Brothers Theater, Waukegan IL