Looney Tunes

Funky typography that spells "Looney Tunes" with music note connecting the two o's in looney on a pale yellow background.

Exploring Offbeat Musical Places With Accidentally Wes Anderson

An opera house in the middle of the jungle? How about a music store where exotic animals are part of the gig? We’ve rounded up a cacophony of uniquely wonderful one-hit wonders that are sure to have you cheering for an encore. So grab your avocados, Adventurers, it’s time to guac and roll. (We’re sorry, we had to.) 

Classic pale yellow convertible parked under a neon sign "welcome to the Wildwoods" on a bright sunny day with pale blue sky.

Rockaway At The Beach

Wildwood, NJ 
Photo by Paul Fuentes | @paulfuentes_photo

In the 1950s, where did up-and-coming rock and roll icons go to debut their soon-to-be hits? Not the clubs of New York, Memphis, Chicago or LA. They went to the beach! Wildwood, New Jersey, remains the unexpected home to skyrocketing some of the biggest songs on the charts, from Chubby Checker’s “The Twist” to Bill Haley’s “Rock Around the Clock.” Some even share the hot take that the rebellious genre of music was invented here … but we can dive into that discussion at a later date. 

Front of the wooden storefront with big letters that spell "The Flute Shop" in front of a desert mountain landscape.

Rooted In Tunes

The Flute Shop, Torrey, Utah 
Photo by Jeffrey Czum | @jeffreyczum

While it may look like it is in “the middle of nowhere,” this part trading post, part motel is actually rooted in Native American culture in the tiny town of Torrey, Utah. The Ute, Paiute and Navajo tribes called the region home for centuries and continue to keep their history alive in the form of music. After a good night’s rest, patrons can peruse the gift shop for authentic Native American jewelry, rugs, pottery and handmade wooden flutes. Trivial tchotchkes and bric-a-brac need not apply.

Outside of the Opera House. Intricate architecture with pink brick and a grand double staircase in front of a bright blue sky.

Rainforest Opera

Amazon Theatre, Manaus, Brazil
Photo by Alfredo Nugent Setubal | @alfredo.n.setubal

Opera in the middle of the rainforest, anyone? This opera house has the rubber plant to thank for its peculiar location. Thanks to the elastic ficus, the city of Manaus, Brazil, saw an uptick in wealth and a mad rush to “keep up with the Joneses” ensued. Not a penny was spared on the design of Teatro Amazonas, with roofing tiles imported from France, steel walls from Scotland and Carrara marble for the stairs, statues and columns, from Italy. Although there was a “brief” 90-year intermission the melodies and theatrics once again grace the stage.

Photo of a green tile wall with 5 red chairs placed in the center next to a wood door.

Brighton Burials

Brighton Dome, Brighton, UK 
Photo by Sarina da Costa Gomez | @sarina___

For 153 years and counting, this venue has welcomed an all-star list of performers: Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, all the cool kids. But what (literally) lies beneath may overshadow these impressive performances. During a 2017 renovation, archaeologists found a total of 18 skeletons buried underneath the theater. Investigations ensued and the case was closed after authorities agreed the deceased had at least been enjoying some good music in the afterlife. *ba dum tiss*

Close-up image of an organ with sheet music and all of the repeating keys and buttons.

She’s All Pipes

Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania 
Photo by Randy Neil | @good_vibes_randy

From farmland to botanical garden, Longwood Gardens grew beyond wheat and corn into a budding establishment at the center of the world of arts and agriculture. Originally an arboretum owned by William Penn, the man-made forest was reconfigured in the early 1900s to become a place of arts and culture with the addition of open-air theaters, a stately conservatory, and the Longwood Organ. Constructed of 10,010 pipes divided into 146 ranks, it is the largest Aeolian organ ever constructed in a residential setting and is still played to this day.

Storefronts with a red brick intricate patterned brick work with a blue sign "Woody's Music" in the center. In the windows are a mannequin with guitar and a "go sharks" neon sign.

Eclectic Groupies

Woody’s Music, Detroit, Michigan
Photo by Lydia Garcia | @aidyl211

Enter stage right Woody Black, founder of the aptly named Woody’s Music, a haven for all music lovers in Central Michigan. Aside from being a one-stop shop for aspiring musicians, the store also became the venue for Woody to display his personal collection of autographed photos, concert tickets, unique instruments and … exotic animals. That’s right, instruments aren’t the noisemakers in this shop, and patrons pop in just to check out the assortment of iguanas, spiders and reptiles. Forget being a guitar god, Woody would prefer to describe himself as an alligator wrangler. 

Natural History Museum, photo of a desk with globe and rocks on top. Gallery wall with paintings and a stuffed owl in the background.

Feathers For A Flute

British Natural History Museum, London, UK
Photo by Marjorie Becker | @marjoriebeckerphotography

Songbirds, warblers, fledglings and fowl of all flocks are far from safe when it comes to music—not because of their melodic sounds, but rather their plumage. That’s right, in 2009 a young flutist looking for additional cash snuck into the ornithological department at the British Natural History Museum and took off with feathers from 299 rare birds. What did he buy with his quill-filled plunder? Well, a golden flute of course. 

Continue the adventure at accidentally.co