Geoff Berner – Festival Man
I still consider myself on hiatus, especially from any sort of schedule, but of course I haven’t even lasted two weeks and this is already my fourth post in that short time. However, this required posting now, rather than waiting for when I feel I can come back here on a more regular basis.
We all know that my KMA Brother James rules. And this is another (long overdue) gratitude post celebrating the greatness of James.
It was James who told me about this novel by Geoff Berner, and about the limited LP that went with it. It was James who arranged to meet up with Mr. Berner at the Regina Folk Festival to procure my copies of these things, and sent them to me in the mail. It was James who wouldn’t take cash monies for these things. Like I said, greatness.
This novel was also #7 of my TBR20 project, thanks to Evaoverload for getting me started on that project!
We’re big fans of Geoff Berner around here. I have almost all of his CDs.* I even met the man once, in St. Catharines, when he shared the bill with Carolyn Mark and Diona Davies. Awesome show, and a cool guy. His songs are superb, and the man himself burns with an intensity, intelligence and humour. I bought his book How To Be An Accordion Player that night, too.
This new novel is so clearly, brilliantly written, and it’s completely hilarious too. It’s loaded with (probably) close to real life fictional experiences at festivals (the bits about actual artists, like Sarah McLachlan, cracked me right up). The main character here is a shady concert promoter who’s running out of friends, making one last shady (natch) run at the Calgary Folk Festival. How does it end? Haha go buy this and find out for yourself! So completely highly recommended that you do so!
Now, the LP is a thing of beauty too. Limited to 500 copies (mine is #323), and even autographed (see pics, below), this is a collection of awesome artists playing some of the songs of Geoff Berner. Lots of names I know on that list (see pic), I hope you know them too! Also, I’ll wager most of our Readers won’t be too familiar with Mr. Berner’s accordion klezmer politico poet punk work (BUT YOU SHOULD BE!), so I won’t belabour this blurb by breaking it all down song by song, comparing these versions to the originals. If you are a fan, you’ll aready have this and know all about it! Suffice it to say, this is a fantastic LP. The versions are done with respect, and a whole lot of fun.
My incalculable thanks to James for making this happen. Seriously. Dude.
Also, my thanks to Geoff Berner for doing this project up absolutely right and making it awesome.
Folks, go get this post-haste!
Look at all the majesty:
* I have all of his albums except Live In Oslo, which I simply cannot find anywhere. It’s on the Grail List, at the top of this page.
** Yup, James even threw in a hula girl Chrstmas ornament because awesome.