27/08/09 12:33 Filed in: Geoff Berner
Latest newsletter from our Canadian friend Geoff Berner
I hope you've been enjoying the lazy, hazy crazy days of summer. I have been enjoying mine. I've played some lovely summer festivals here in Canada, and just generally basked in the very warm weather. Now it's time to go down the coast of the U.S., play Accordion Noir Fest Sept. 12, and then head for Europe September 24.
Of course, there is the occasionally literally hazy day here in British Columbia Canada, on account of most of the province being on fire and everything, but my friends and I have just learned to sit back, pour a drink, and enjoy the irony as the local papers devote their front pages to editorials against the evils of bicycles getting in the way of the commuting cars. Tra la la!
The Artswells festival in particular was a terrific time. I guess because it's not only a music festival, but a general Arts festival, there's an overall feel of a gathering of people who are just open to the Life Artistic. In particular, I recommend the One Minute Play Festival, the festival within the festival, hosted by the inimitable Paul Crawford. He concluded the proceedings with a stripteasing auction of his own clothes, in order to raise funds for the non-profit group that runs the festival.
Although I didn't enter the contest, Paul awarded me a special Olympic Gold Medal, in honour of the work I've done in the past year or so to promote the Vancouver Whistler 2010 Olympic Games, as you know. I was very flattered, until I bit the medal to see if it was Real Gold, only to find that it was Pure Plastic. Further examination revealed the words "Budweiser--King of Beers!" engraved on it. Still, a medal is a medal, and I wear it proudly.
Another part of what's nice about playing these festivals is the chance to re-encounter old friends. It was at Artswells that I got the news that Tolan McNeil and Dave Lang are moving back to the infamous Chambers Towers, in Victoria, home of the lovely and talented Carolyn Mark. These three have lived together before, and the results were creative and actual industrial-grade dynamite, so I'm looking forward to what comes out of the re-convening of this infamous crew, especially the products of the basement studio.
Recently, Tolan has been living in Powell River, a small mill town on Vancouver Island. He commented on the experience in this way: "Yeah, for a while, I was putting the 'pow' in Powell River. But then after a while, I was just putting in the 'O well.', you know?"
Even more recently, Tolan was arrested by private security, or "rent-a-cops", for riding down the Bow River on an inner tube, through the middle of Calgary, with nothing but a six pack of Lucky Lager to hide his nakedness. Apparently, the Calgary Police were very polite to him when the rent-a-cops handed him over to their custody. They even gave him a green plastic garbage bag (or "bin liner" as you Europeans say). I guess this sort of thing is a common occurence in Calgary. Good times, good people.
I've got a bunch of stuff to tell you about. It's kind of all about accordion playing, so if you're not into the accordion, you should just skip right down into the tour dates, I guess.
I'm doing this big Monsters of Accordion Tour, starting in Seattle, all the way down the West Coast to Los Angeles, and then concluding with the fabulous Accordion Noir Festival, in Vancouver, at the WISE Hall. All of this will be in conjunction with my American pal Jason Webley, who is a swell guy, a clever songwriter, and an incredibly charismatic performer. You've probably already heard of him.
This Accordion Noir Festival is going to be a glorious Lost Weekend Blowout. The main even is Saturday evening, with me and Jason co-headlining, but there's a whole bunch of other stuff going on which is described below. I really hope you'll come, and if you own an accordion, do bring it down. We're going to try for an accordion orchestral version of "The Dead Children Were Worth It". More details below.
Then in late September, it's back to Europe. 9pm Records is putting out something I'm very proud about: A re-issue of my first album, "We Shall Not Flag or Fail, We Shall Go On To The End", with a bonus of my very first EP, "Light Enough to Travel". Both of these have been unavailable for some time, even though people still request a lot of the songs at shows.
The whole concept of "Flag or Fail" was to make a full, eclectic singer/songwriter album with no bloody guitars on it whatsoever, and to use accordion in place of where the guitar might go. It was a risky experiment, but it worked. Its release signaled the beginning of the period in my life when I've earned my living through music alone. This period continues. Knock wood, and thank you for supporting what I've been doing.
So I guess the next couple of months are really all about doing a big Victory Lap for my accordion, Estella, the little chrome and black box that's been on all my records. When I began playing and touring, Estella was often a target of derision. In the late nineties, it was still considered very uncool to play the accordion in many circles. Every interview I did seemed to begin with the question, "So--why the accordion?" Now, thanks to people like Jason Webley, the hosts of Accordion Noir, and many others, the accordion has returned to its rightful place in the peoples' hearts as an instrument of romance and emotional power--even aggression.
In honour of these developments, Jason and I have written an Accordion Anthem, called "I Reach For My Accordion". Hopefully, you'll be hearing it soon, if we see you at the shows. If you do come out, please do come up and say hello.
Here are the dates:
Aug 26th - Seattle, WA - The Triple Door
Aug 27th - Portland, OR - The Crystal Ballroom
Aug 28th - Eugene, OR - Wow Hall
Aug 29th - San Francisco, CA - Slim's
Aug 30th - Los Angeles, CA -Synchronicity Gallery
Aug 31st - Sacramento, CA - Luigi's
Sep 1 - Ashland, OR - The Black Sheep
September 12 - WISE Hall - MAIN DAY Of ACCORDION NOIR FESTIVAL:
Workshops and Concerts. Full Day: $20. Just the concert: $15
Workshops begin 4 pm, go to 7:30, Featuring:
* Accordion maintenance and repair with Rickey Mann
* Accordion songwriting with Andy Fielding
* Accordion history with Bruce Triggs
* Accordion Film Festival!
Concerts: 8:30 to 12:30
Story, from P.E.I.
Jason Webley from Seattle
WE STILL SHALL NOT FLAG OR FAIL TOUR of EUROPE, 2009:
Sept. 24 - Hamburg - Klezmerfestival @ Goldbekhaus
Sept. 25 - Annaberg-Buchholz - Alte Brauerei
Sept. 26 - Chemnitz - Exil
Sept. 28 - Wien(Vienna) - Chelsea
Sept. 30 - Salzburg, Austria - Denkmal
Oct. 1 - München - IG Feuerwache
Oct. 4 - Vinelz, Switzerland - Alte Landi
Oct. 5 - Zürich, Switzerland - El Lokal
Oct. 7 - Mainz - Hafeneck
Oct. 8 - Trier - Varieté Chat Noir
Oct. 9 - Saarbrücken - Sparte 4, with Wax Mannequin!
Oct. 10 - Köln (Cologne) - Bauwagenplatz "Wem gehört die Welt"
Oct. 11 - Castrop-Rauxel - Bahia de Cochinos
Oct. 12 - Osnabrück - Unikeller
20/08/09 14:46 Filed in: CCAPknirk
Butcher Red review in Vital Weekly:
EGG3 - BUTCHER RED (CD by CCAP KNIRK)
From the norwegian label CCAP KNIRK comes this
release by the british-norwegian trio EGG3. Vidar Schanche wrote all the compositions and plays guitar. Simon Kaylor plays baritone sax, Stale Birkeland drums. As a member of the Leeds_based music collective LIMA, Schanche got an idea for a trio that he now realized with Egg3. It is a powertrio with an explosive mixture of jazz and rock that has similarities with bands like Mr.Bungle, Fantomas, Naked City, a.o..
All three players participate and engage on the same high energy level. In the opening title track "Butcher Red" however they seem not really awake, as the piece moves forward in a plumb and sluggish way. But with the second piece "Revenge of the Chicken" they pick up speed and the music becomes more aggressive and powerful. But this speed metal jazz is only one face of the trio. In "Easteregg" they show themselves from their lyrical and friendly side with what sounds almost as an traditional folkdance. A very surprising combination. And it works. Another contrast is reached with the closing piece "The Chickens are not what they seem", a short but superfluous Tom Waits-like ballad. Egg3 do a well crafted job with some very convincing tunes ("Dr Bucket") and an original concept. (DM)
19/08/09 21:26 Filed in: New Release
Christer Wulff is releasing his debut EP «Until We Meet Again» on Friday 21. August on the new CCAPlokal label
This is a digital only release, but the artist have printed a few physical copies of the EP to sell at gigs
He performs at Revolver in Oslo Friday 21. August, and will be performing in Tromsø, Bergen and Stavanger the coming week.
Full schedule, music, bio and more at his website
Christer Wulff is a singer/songwriter from Tromsø, a small city at the northernmost tip of Norway. And perhaps the long dark winters or bright short summers have inspired him to lure out the contrast and nerve in each song. Maybe the early fondness for Elvis or the childhood days with Traveling Wilburys' Vol. 1 has shaped his sound into what PopMatters refer to as “A soul-bearing balladeer with booming vocal bravado”. Or it could simply be that his nomadic past of living in Berlin, New York or Central Asia have formed his eclectic songwriting.
Live he varies his shows by bringing his trumpet player, the upright bass, an organ, drums, a backing vocalist or just his acoustic. Regardless, the songs are always upfront, honest and heartfelt.
05/08/09 12:23 Filed in: New Release
Soldiers & Sundays EP by Poor Edward
is being released 14. August on the brand new CCAPlokal label
Other upcoming releases on CCAPlokal:
Until We Meet Again EP by Christer Wulff as well as new EP´s by Atlars, Frekk Tunge & Stiv Kuling and Ragnhild Skaar
Links and more info soon
New releases by CCAP:
The Rise Of The Urban Child, debut album by Sebastian Waldejer
out 24. August.
First single off the album, Always In Love or Hell, is available at Spotify
Check out the videos at You Tube
Now Breathe, the new album by Christer Knutsen & Sacred Hearts
out 7. September
The singles Looking This Good and The Way It Will Always Be are available at Spotify
Check out the videos at You Tube