Just in time for Canada Day, the Big Day when Canada celebrates 150 years of officially being a country called Canada, Geoff Berner drops a brand new single: Hustle Advisory Canada 150 Remix, by Socalled.

“This song is my Canada 150 song. It takes all my horror at the corporate racist colonialism, broken promises, the degradation of humanity and the land that Canada today represents, plus my own complicity in it, and puts it in one catchy, dancey pop song. Yeah!” says Berner.

Hustle Advisory is Berner’s 1st new music since the release of his album “We Are Going to Bremen To Be Musicians”, which garnered rave reviews and made the German Critics Circle Best-Of List for 2015.

The song was originally cut with producer Paul Rigby (Neko Case, Carolyn Mark) for the upcoming album “Canadiana Grotesquica”, to be released September 9 on the COAX label, at a release show as part of the Accordion Noir Festival at the Russian Hall in Vancouver, followed by Canadian national and European tours. This single is a remixed version of the track on the upcoming album. The re-mix was done by Josh Dolgin, aka Socalled, a hit-making klezmer hip-hop artist who produced Berner’s previous 2 albums.

“Hustle Advisory” is a satirical romp, a funny, nasty little tune that advises in the refrain, “If you fuck with my hustle, I will get you if I can.” Socalled’s witty, tasty production makes the tune slip down easy, like a lysteria-tainted maple syrup freezey.

“Canadiana Grotesquica” will be part of a big year for Berner, because in addition to the new album, he’s putting out a new novel, entitled The Fiddler Is A Good Woman on Dundurn Press, of Toronto. Release date is October 14. Sean Michaels, Giller Prize-winning author of Us Conductors, says it’s a great book. So it must be. Each copy of “Fiddler” will come with a free download code, enabling the reader to access the full “Canadiana Grotesquica” album online.

“I’m hoping that this way, people who like my music will get into my writing, and vice versa,” says Berner. “And if they don’t, fuck ‘em!”

Happy Canada 150 Day, Everyone.



MUSIC
We Are Going To Bremen To Be Musicians” is Geoff Berner's first original album in four years. He says that it’s “meant to be powerful cheering-up medicine that you don’t have to turn your brain off for.”

Berner counts himself as part of the “Klezmer Bund” movement of makers of Radical Jewish Culture, which includes artists like Daniel Kahn of Berlin, Psoy Korelenko from Moscow, and the rabble-rousing Jewdas group in London. The Klezmer Bund rejects orthodox and ultra-Zionist conservative notions of Jewish identity, and seeks to connect with the deep roots of left-wing Jewish thought in a way that’s entertaining and accessible for everybody.

Berner’s first album in that vein, “Whiskey Rabbi,” was released ten years ago, giving him a nickname that stuck. This new album, recorded in Vancouver, Canada, features most of the musicians from his previous release, the award-winning “Victory Party.” It was produced by Josh Dolgin, aka Socalled, from Montreal. Socalled is himself a superstar of radical Jewish culture. “As with Victory Party, there really was nobody besides Josh who could have made this album with me,” says Berner. “His knowledge of both the recording studio and Jewish music is unmatchable.” Oriente Records of Berlin is the pre-eminent label in Europe for klezmer, and for the Klezmer Bund, too, so it’s a natural home for this album. In Canada, “Bremen” is part of the exciting roll-out of Coax Records’ new roster of artists for both its recorded music arm and booking agency.

“We Are Going To Bremen To Be Musicians” is a reference to the old German folk tale about elderly farm animals threatened with death, who run away from their masters in the hope of achieving freedom and becoming Town Musicians. It’s an absurd tale of irrational hope and optimism in the face of horror, and that’s where the story connects with the songs on the album.

“I would describe the record as a compendium of strategies against despair,” says Berner.

Some of the strategies offered include: Love, as in the song “I Don’t Feel So Mad At God When I See You In Your Summer Dress;” Redemption, as described in “Swing A Chicken 3 Times Over Your Head;” and pure Schadenfreude, as depicted in “Dance And Celebrate (The Misfortunes of People We Hate).”

You don’t already have a record like this in your collection. Look for it at independent record stores everywhere, online, or at a Geoff Berner live show in your town, coming soon.

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