February 11, 2009

Shows! Geoff Berner & Forest City Lovers @ The Artel

Posted in mp3, mumbling at 10:31 pm by rgsc

Is it just me or is the pairing of  Geoff Berner & Forest City Lovers, happening TOMORROW at The Artel is a strange mix? A wonderfully strange mix featuring two things which I adore but I just never would have guessed they would appear on the same bill. But there you go – I guess I just suffer from a lack of imagination. It is undoubtedly going to be a fantastic show featuring two great acts.

The Forest City Lovers’ latest record, Haunting Moon Sinking, released last year, is top-to-bottom lovely. It is  filled with wonderfully lush pop,  featuring strong vocals, wonderful melodies, and exceptionally tight musicianship which weaves gorgeous strings, straightforward but confident percussion, and unobtrusive guitar in their delicate but dense songs.

* Monsters (from FCL’s show at the Artel in Jan 2007. The rest of the set can be found here)

photo by Silje Ese Haugen from a show in Norway in 2005.

The other half of the double bill, is the accordion-wielding, whiskey drinking Geoff Berner, is touring to support of his new album “Klezmer Mongrels,” which was released in Canada at the end of January. This album is the third and final installment in the ‘Whiskey Rabbi’ trilogy. Berner, accompanied again by Diona Davies and Wayne Adams, delivers another astounding klezmer punk record filled with his poignant insights, acerbic wit, social commentary, and self-depreciating humour. Brash and beautiful, ‘Klezmer Mongrels’  is celebratory and funny, but there is a dark undercurrent that runs throughout. This comes to the fore in the devastating “One Shoe”, which highlights the abuse of Aboriginal people at the hands of the Saskatoon Police, and continued in the dirge-like “Higher Ground”. But Berner ends on a lighthearted note with his joyous, tongue-in-cheek linguistic lesson “Fukher”. This record is raucous, smart, and funny – all the things I love most about Berner’s music.

Here are a couple of songs from the new record and a couple of live tunes for you:
* Luck in Exile
* King of the Gangsters

* Whiskey Rabbi (live at the Grad Club, 13 Jan 2006)
* Clown & Bard (live at Blue Chair Cafe, Edmonton, September 17, 2006. One of my all time favourite songs. Full set here.)

Forest City Lovers and Geoff Berner have a few dates on their tour left (posted below) and then Berner will be continuing on out East, then out West, then to Europe. See his website for full dates.

Feb. 12 – Kingston, ON – The Artel
Feb. 13 – Wakefield, PQ – Black Sheep
Feb. 14 – Montreal, PQ – Casa Del Popolo

Be sure to pick up Klezmer Mongrels (physical digital) and get yourself an awesome accordion shirt while you’re at it. Also, add Forest City Lovers’ wonderful albums to your collection (physical digital).

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