GEOFF BERNER vrs THE OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES
As you all know the Winter Olympic Games is held in Vancouver / Whistler this year.
Now, Vancouver is a beautiful city, and we Norwegians love the Winter Games, but there is a dark side to the games.
Our Canadian friend Geoff Berner is one of many Canadians strongly opposed to the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. There are many reasons to the opposition, government funds are being used to host the games in stead of taking care of the rising social problems in the city of Vancouver being one of the most important issues.
A couple of years ago Geoff Berner wrote a song abut the Olympics, governments spending and more specifically: that the city closed the official investigation into the deaths of 700 children, they felt the money was better spent on the Olympic Games.
The song is called: «Official Theme Song For The 2010 Vancouver / Whistler Olympic Games (The Dead Children Were Worth It!)»
Official video on YouTube
Live Video on YouTube
MP3 / Free download
GEOFF BERNER - NORWAY TOUR
On a happier note, Geoff Berner accompanied by Diona Davies and Wayne Adams is coming back to Norway for a few gigs in February:
March 3 - Trondheim - Familien
March 4 - Oslo - MIR
March 5 - Oslo - MIR Pre-sale tickets go on sale at MIR Feb. 1!
March 6 - Bergen -Victoria Bar
March 7 - Stavanger - Cementen
March 8 - Kristiansand - TrashPop / Charlie's Bar
March 10 - Arendal - Munkehaugen Kultursenter
GEOFF BERNER - NEWSLETTER
I hope you're enjoying the new decade so far. Or at least surviving it.
Thanks to all the lovely drunken dancers who came out to our shows throughout Europe in November and December. This was my dream and it came true, which is more than a person can reasonably expect from this unjust world.
I'm preparing for 2 separate tours, one on the Canadian Prairies, one in Norway. They're both with the Klezmer Trio! More drunken dancing! There's a nice link between the two territories: the virtuous social democrats of Norway have a major investment, by Statoil, the Norwegian national oil company, in the dirty nasty capitalist Mordor-like Alberta tar sands! Here's some info about that: www.tarsandswatch
. I guess that the common ground between lefties and righties is a kind of gooey, dark bitumen. Just as I suspected.
I'm touring the Prairies with Rae Spoon. I want you to understand something very important: Rae Spoon's Polaris Prize-nominated album, recently released on vinyl, "Superioryouareinferior", is a perfect record. Every song on it has a majesty to it, a greatness, and they all work together as a whole to create a fierce melancholy, the fierce melancholy of a vast northern landscape. Catchy, too.
I am such a picky jerk when it comes to lyrics, and I know that a lot of you are, too. It's part of why I like you. So I hope that you'll remember to thank me for introducing some of you to this unique voice, inventive and piercing. Try this one from the song "My Heart is a Piece of Garbage. Fight, Seagulls, Fight."
"And the Calgary Tower stands up in the sky
Like a giant fist that sticks up with all of it’s might.
And the Calgary tower is shining in the night
Like the mast of a ghost ship on its inaugural flight."
If you've never been to Calgary, trust me, love it or hate it, it's pretty darn hard to muster an elegaic tone about it. Maybe only Kris Demeanor is comparable. Rae Spoon. Come see him play on a double bill with me on the Canadian Prairies.
"Let the Devil in your heart,
You will never be alone."
Don't cheat yourself: go to this link
and hear Rae Spoon
I also want to let you know about the big Apocalympic Cabaret I'll be hosting in Vancouver, at the height of the Olympic madness. It's a benefit for PIVOT legal society and the legal defense fund for arrested protesters. That's Saturday, Feb. 27 at the WISE Hall in Vancouver. Organized by Neworld Theatre.
Get in touch with the event organizer, kenji, at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you'd like to volunteer to take tickets, decorate, etc. We still need more Burlesque dancers, too.
More about that next month. If you're interested in protesting the Olympics, please look up Olympic Resistance Network.
Did you hear? We had a little run-in with Nazis in Denmark!
Here's what happened:
1000fryd is a sort of youth club/culture centre/community house in Aalborg, a small city in the north of Denmark.
It used to be a squat. That is, the punks took over a big old abandoned building in the middle of the city, put it in more-or-less working order, and made it into a place that people could go to if they were a bit different, a bit not buying the general awfulness of mainstream monoculture.
In a brilliantly subversive maneuver, before the city could get around to shutting them down, the 1000fryd people managed to actually buy the building. So it's a permanent space in the centre of Aalborg that belongs to the punks and weirdos. Nice.
Here's a shocker for you: Nazis don't like that. Funny how the likes/dislikes of civic governments and skinheads so often co-incide.
So every now and then, the Nazi skinheads like to come by 1000fryd and cause trouble. Once or twice, they even got in and broke up the place. Mostly, though, the punks are ready for them, and keep them out. The punks are brave.
Diona and Wayne were out having a lackadaisacal smoke with the nice people, after our fun, packed, fun-packed show where everyone got drunk and danced. I wasn't out there. I was in the bar, drinking, where musicians belong. I believe that my beliefs are clearly on the record on that subject.
Some skinheads came by. They were genuine, honest-to-goodness White Power skins, right down to the white laces on their Doc Martins.
They started singing their little songs, all about hating people and being white and stuff, I suppose.
The punks started singing their little songs about how the Nazis should fuck off and how they lost the war and all. The tension was building.
Some regular mainstream culture nice-dressing young fellows came up the street. They were drunk and also big and sporty, so they didn't alter course when they found themselves walking into the makings of a rumble.
Being regular, mainstream-culture-presumably-Nickelback-loving, nationalist-party-voting fellows, they of course instinctively sided with the Nazis.
As they walked past, the biggest fellow, who I will call "Horst", decided, out of nowhere, to sucker-punch Wayne in the chest, knocking him to the ground.
Sensibly enough, and in a rebuke to those who say that the coming generation represents a decline in moral values, the punk kid next to Wayne picked up a beer bottle and threw it at the the big closet Nazi. Well done, youngster!
Unfortunately, in an affirmation of people's concerns that physical education programs in the schools lack the necessary rigor, he didn't throw the bottle hard enough to knock the guy out, but instead only made Horst angry.
Horst turned around and marched back towards the smattering of punks. The punks tensed for a confrontation.
But rather than use his steroid-enhanced strength to engage in a cinematic fist-fight with the skinny punks, a fight which he might have won but would have inevitably got him at least a little hurt, Horst chose an alternate strategy: He reached over to the nearest bicycle, which was conveniently leaning against a wall (Danes love their bikes), picked it up over his head, and hurled it at Diona. Then he and his friends ran away as the mass of punks, queers and weirdos came out of the bar to defend 1000fryd.
Wayne and Diona were mostly unhurt. DD got a scrape on her nose but mostly blocked the bike with her hands. Her hands were unhurt. Thank God.
Some valuable lessons we can learn from this episode:
--Every day, we discover new ways in which Smoking is more dangerous than Drinking.
--Some Canadians wrote in to me when I first reported this incident on facebook and asked, "What caused the fight?" and also "Did the police catch them?" Haw haw haw. Canadians can be very funny sometimes.
--Diona is indestructible. Maybe immortal. Doctors mistakenly diagnose her with cancer, a giant Nazi throws a bicycle at her, she just keeps going. Don't let the military get ahold of her DNA, or they might construct a secret regiment of invincible violin virtuoso super-soldiers!
--People who say that Europe is just a wheelbarrow-full-of-euros-per-carrot away from another Holocaust maybe ain't just whistlin' Dixie, as my old colleague Bugs Bunny used to say. After this incident, the minaret referendum in Switzerland, the bulldozing of the "jungles" in Calais, and the recent events in the boot of Italy, I respectfully suggest that Europeans might want to take a short break from talking about how xenophobic, ignorant and narrow-minded Americans are. Just saying.
But don't get mad, Europa. You know it's because I love you so much that you just make me crazy sometimes. Good luck!