Sunday, June 25, 2006
for the single young professionals, who find the neighbourhood hip and charming

One Song: Perfect Songs for an Imperfect World City


download: Geoff Berner - That's What Keeps The Rent Down, Baby (via GeoffBerner.com)

I hadn't actually heard Geoff Berner until he was invited on stage during Jolie Holland's recent show. And, I never would've figured out who the guy who blew me away with his accordion driven song was, if it weren't for a kind soul who enlightened me in the comments of my recap of that show (thanks apl!). Since then, because of the wonders of the internet, I've been listening to this tune ad nauseum. The song, taken from Geoff's 2004 Live in Oslo record, may not end up amongst my favourites five/ten/howevermany years from now, but for now it's on near permanent repeat. And, on a weekend that saw the "W" plucked off of the Woodward's building, not to be replaced until the top floor houses a million dollar suite in 2009, it's timely.

Songs stick with you for a variety of reasons. Some of them just resonate for reasons unknown. Some of them are attached to certain feelings or individual moments or places. And, some are attached to certain times. This is very much one of the latter. Here I am, fresh out of University and looking for gainful employment, and watching the city I love as it slips further and further away from affordability for any of my peers. Renting, of course, while still getting expensive, is much different than buying. And, it's still possible to set up shop in an East Van apartment/basement when you're just eeking out a living. But, with expensive lofts popping up in Strathcona and Chinatown, and high end condos going up in the Downtown Eastside, there are fewer and fewer places within Vancouver's borders that "nobody wants to live in."

"That's What Keeps The Rent Down, Baby" is the perfect Vancouver rallying cry against every condo that sits purchased and empty, every rich WASP that moves from Kits to South Main because it's trendy, and every building full of lofts that "retains its original character" but gains $400k in price.

Featuring only accordion, fiddle, and Berner's voice - relaxed and conversational at one moment, epic and theatrical the next - the song is musically stunning, in addition to its apt lyrics. Based on the instrumentation, there's an unsurprisingly old time feel to the song, which juxtaposes nicely with the very modern lament. The accordion pushes and pulls laying the groundwork, while violin lines twist in and out at just the right moments.

Next time you find yourself in the Eastside, and notice shiny new condos cozying up to decrepit old buildings, this will be your soundtrack.

Geoff plays Rime at 9pm on June 29th, as part of the JazzFest.

now playing: the Verve - Sonnet

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upcoming shows
2/8 Twin Sister, Eleanor Friedberger, and Ava Luna @ the Media Club
2/9 David Choi @ the Rio
2/10 Secret Chiefs 3 and Dengue Fever @ the Rickshaw
2/13 White Buffalo @ the Media Club
2/14 The Ballyntines and Pleasure Cruise (TT) @ the Biltmore
2/18 Grimes w/Born Gold @ Fortune (early)
2/18 Cruel Young Heart, Young Liars, the Oh Wells, and Matiation @ the Dodson Rooms (AA)
2/18 Cursive w/UME @the Media Club
2/19 The Asteroids Galaxy Tour w/Vacationer @ Venue
2/20 Veronica Falls w/Bleached @ the Media Club
2/26 DJ Krush @ Fortune
2/29 Trevor Hall @ the Media Club
3/6 Slow Club w/Signals @ the Media Club
3/7 Cloud Nothings w/Mr. Dream @ the Media Clubr
3/8 Islands @ the Rio
3/10 Memoryhouse @ the Waldorf
3/17 William Fitzsimmons @ the Biltmore (early)
3/18 Magnetic Fields @ the Vogue (AA)
3/21 Plants & Animals>/b> @ the Rickshaw
3/22 Drive-by Truckers @ the Commodore
3/23 White Rabbits @ the Biltmore
3/23 Loney Dear @ the Media Club
3/24 Sharon Van Etten and the War on Drugs @ the Biltmore (early)
3/25 Nada Surf and An Horse @ the Rickshaw
3/27 The Ting Tings @ the Commodore
4/5 House de Racket @ the Electric Owl
4/6 Chairlift w/Nite Jewel @ the Electric Owl
4/7 Heartless Bastards @ the Media Club
4/8 Metronomy @ Venue
4/8 Gotye @ the Vogue (AA)
4/9 Cults @ Venue
4/10 First Aid Kit @ Venue
4/10 Andrew Bird w/Laura Marling @ the Vogue (AA)
4/13 The Odds and the Grapes of Wrath @ the Rickshaw
4/14 The Joel Plaskett Emergency @ the Vogue (AA)
4/24 School of Seven Bells w/Exitmusic @ the Electric Owl
4/26 Justice @ the PNE Forum (AA)
4/27 M83 @ the Vogue (AA)
4/27 Yukon Blonde @ the Commodore
4/28 Neon Indian @ Venue (early)
5/6 Delta Spirit w/Waters @ the Electric Owl
5/9 Yann Tiersen @ the Rickshaw
5/11 Great Lake Swimmers w/Cold Specks @ the Commodore
5/12 The Boxer Rebellion> @ the Biltmore
5/27 Coeur de Pirate @ Venue

legend:
AA = all ages
DG = @damaged goods
DFTK = @dirty for the kids
FJW = @fake jazz wed
EN = @easy now
GD = @glory days
HL = @higher learning JH = @junior high
JY= @junkyard
RRPP = @rocknroll pizza party
SD = @shindig
TT = @toonie tuesday
NW = @no worries

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previous posts
hearts & harps
i'm afraid of japan
sharing different heartbeats
old fashioned morphine
an actor will seek revenge
decent days and nights
no party
post-war
rub alcohol blues
another one goes by

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mp3s are for preview purposes, if you like what you hear, buy it at your favourite indie record store. please don't direct link to photos. click for more.

writing by Quinn
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