The latest newsletter from our Canadian friend Geoff Berner:
I'm on my way into England, playing London Tuesday night, at the Black Gardenia. At midnight, it's my birthday, and the next day I fly home home home! So for me, there's lots to celebrate.
I've been very happy with the tour. My German label 9pm tells me that the reviews have been great for the new album (I'll take their word for it), and I just played on national Dutch radio. The turnout has been great overall, with many shows actually selling out. It seems that now more than ever, people want to hear New Jewish Drinking Songs.
But I think that for the Canadian tour, in February/March, I'll be trying to bring back the idea of the "sliding scale" for admission cost, where guests can pay, maybe 5 bucks if they're unemployed or working for minimum wage, and 15 if they're doing okay. I always liked that system, and I've found that people rarely abuse it. I think that live music is really a human right. But that's just my opinion, of course.
The Canadian tour is pretty much booked, with only a few little holes here and there. In the East I'll be bringing the full album trio of me, Wayne Adams and Diona Davies along for that, and that means we're hoping for some fun, silly dancing and merriment.
I'm very pleased at the disproportionately large number of physicists coming to my shows lately. A whole bunch of them ("mass" of them? "quantum" of them?) came to the Berlin show, for instance. Then of course there's D and his crew of frighteningly thirsty nuclear physicists. Another 3 came to the Braunschweig show and one fellow informed me that, although they used to think that light had a dual nature, that's all over now and it's just a wave. So I think non-physicists can now take a break from talking about the dual nature of other stuff, like God. Whatever it is, it's just a wave, man. Keep up the good work, folks.
Tough economic times are breaking out all over. In Trier, (birthplace of Karl Marx) for instance, the Bank of Luxembourg phoned the Chat Noir, the venue I played, and said they'd like to cut the costs of their private Christmas party in half, starting by ditching the contracted musicians (oh dear). The Bank has just received a big bailout from the government, so they felt that having live musicians would be "unseemly".
Tom, the promoter, suggested that they just have a trio in black play funeral music, but apparently the Bank didn't find that very funny. When he then suggested that the Bank economize by ordering the 3rd class menu for the guests, the one without the caviar, the Bank didn't laugh at that either, apparently. I suggested a Grapes of Wrath, Depression-themed folk band playing old labour anthems like, for instance, "The Banks Are Made of Marble". Tom will get back to me.
Nov. 25 UK/London - The Black Gardenia, 93 Dean Street, Soho, near Tottenham Court Road Tube Station
LITTLE PACIFIC NORTHWEST JAUNT Dec. 12 USA/Seattle - The Tractor, opening for The Squirrels Christmas Show Dec. 13 USA/Portland - Mississippi Pizza Pub, EARLY SHOW, 6PM. Future Historians play early short opening set.
CANADA Feb. 6, 2009, TORONTO, ON - TRANZAC CLUB: CANADIAN RELEASE PARTY for "Klezmer Mongrels", with Forest City Lovers. Feb. 27, 2009, VANCOUVER - THE BILTMORE: VANCOUVER RELEASE PARTY for "Klezmer Mongrels".
Flying Shoes have received a couple of really great reviews on their debut album. Check it out on their MySpace blog (PS These reviews are in Norwegian only, the album is yet to be released internationally).
Now available on iTunes: VARIOUS ARTISTS - (Not Just) Another X-Mas Album
Today we had the first snowfall of the season here in Stavanger. This is a rainy town, and the snow tends to melt away in a day or two. Despite the cold wind, the slippery sidewalks and wet shoes the snow managed to inspire thoughts of a white x-mas (which are not all that common here on the west coast). Anyway, when we finally arrived at the office we dug out "(Not Just) Another X-Mas Album", an alternative X-Mas album we released in 2004, and pumped up the office stereo. Lo and behold, instant X-Mas mood all around! (in an indie / ironic way of course, we do have an image to protect). What can we tell you, this is just a great album, and it hasen´t aged one bit. This is what we said when we released the album four years ago, and we think this is still a valid statement: We are soooo tired of the same old artists playing the same old songs on the radio each and every x-mas. This album gives you an alternative twist to the x-mas music genre. Fifteen artists have written 13 songs (+ two covers) pulling the x-mas spirit in to their own musical universe. Indie-pop, stoner rock, reggae, pop, rock & cabaret. In a few years we are going to moan about these songs as well, they deserve to be instant classics the lot of them. Have a very indie x-mas!
Do yourself a favor and check out this album today. If you plan on ordering a CD you better grab your credit card and order it soon for it to arrive before X-mas. Both the CD and digital files are available though Musiconline.
Regional newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad are inviting anyone who are interested to vote for the best album cover by local artists. Of the 20 covers they have nominated, three are released by CCAP: Thomas Dybdahl - that great October sound, Helldorado - The Ballad Of Nora Lee and Jackman - Jackman. All brilliant covers (and albums!) but they all need help to win this thing. Please visit the competition here and vote for your favorite (we take for granted that you pick one of the three mentioned above:-)
"The Way It Will Always Be" by Christer Knutsen & Sacred Hearts is now avaialble on 7" vinyl through Musiconline The single includes dropcard codes for MP3 version of the songs (a & b sides) and a link to where the card can be redeemed. Buy a vinyl single and get the MP3 versions for free, thats a bargain folks!
Lonely One by The List is released digitally today! The first shop to sell the song is Musiconline Lonely One will soon also be available through iTunes and other digital web shops If you are in the Stavanger area you should check out The List live at Checkpoint Charlie this coming Saturday
The List are releasing a brand new track next week (week 46). "Lonely One" is the first song picked from the recording sessions from their next album to be releases in 2009. You can listen to "Lonely One" at The List´ MySpace site Press release: The List is currently working on their second studio album with a probable release date early 2009, according to the band the second album will be a giant leap towards the bands musical ambitions.
Lonely One is the first single to be released from the forthcoming album and will be available through iTunes and other digital webshops very soon
Lonely One is the first recording with The Lists current lineup and a document of the ever evolving sound of The List. Lonely One was recorded, mixed and produced by The List at Polar, and mastered by Thor Lekvoll at Sonovo.
A brilliant new singer/songwriter from Stavanger, Hovering Orville aka Birger Bekkeheie, releases his solo debut "Sliverlines" through CCAP monday 17th November. Great voice, great tunes, great atmosphere. Rock and Americana, Indie and Country. If you listen closely to his music you might find traces of some of the artists Hovering Orville are inspired by: Ryan Adams, Bright Eyes, Band Of Horses and Neil Young. Hovering Orville has posted one of the album tracks, "Spoiling The Moon", on his MySpace site. The album will be available through Musiconline on the releases date, and through iTunes and other fine digital music providers soon
Finally, the new video is now out on YouTube The new single will be available as 7" vinyl next week. The single includes a drop card which gives you access to free MP3 files of both the songs on the vinyl Check in next week (week 46) for information about where to buy the single