June 29, 2003
Geoff Berner

Why didn't anyone tell me about Geoff Berner while I was living in Vancouver? That's right, I'm talking to you two bastards! - the one who comments, and the other who emails his comments in, discreetly.

Why guys, why?!

I caught his act at The Oasis on Friday. It was just him and his accordion, playing to a room of maybe 20 people. His humour was as sharp and biting as a young Randy Newman, his melodies reminiscent of Elvis Costello in his prime. His set, song for song, stunned me into submission, while his between-song-bantering made it clear he could be a comedian if he so desired.

The highlight had to be the one about the song that was simply too real to listen to. It was the saddest, most inspired little ditty I'd heard in ages, and when I find the album it's on, it may, for me, become the song his song was describing. But somehow I doubt it, as sad songs are rarely too sad for this chump.

You could go here and listen to "The Clown And Bard", to lines like "Prague's like a Disneyland for the terminally fucked", to the chord change under the phrase "I don't know why I find the leaving so hard"-- pretty much everything I love about song-writing in a nutshell, and it isn't even close to being my favourite piece on We Shall Not Flag Or Fail, We Shall Go On To The End.

If you hate the accordion too much to bother, I'm with you! But I was seriously thrilled to have had my convictions tested on this one. I love the place he's singing from - and I don't just mean the West Coast.

Posted by at June 29, 2003 01:54 PM

It's true--Geoff Berner plays accordion so nobody cares. There just aren't enough pirates or swarthy Frenchmen left in the world to foster his celebrity...

Perhaps you'll allow me to right this grave injustice by directing you the following "hot new talent":


His name is Devendra Banhart. A punk kid fresh outta art school in California. Rest assured, there's an unselfconsciousness about his music that betrays his pedigree. He's channeling something...

Posted by: -lb-tr-ss on June 30, 2003 03:03 PM .

We can fix your hairline in post.

As for Devendra Banhar - channeling's the word. Kid's awesome.

Posted by: towel-boy on July 1, 2003 04:22 PM .

To err is human, to moo bovine.

Posted by: Party Poker on November 4, 2004 07:22 PM .
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