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L.A. Beat

Klezmer comedy with Geoff Berner and Kris Demeanor

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Geoff Berner and Kris Demeanor combined Jewish klezmer music with a whole lot of comedy plus crazy stream of consciousness rants during their Oct. 17 show at the Slice for University of Lethbridge community radio station CKXU.

Vancouver musician Geoff Berner opened the show just after 10 p.m. with his treatise on religion ‘Rabbi Berner Finally Reveals his True Religious Agenda.’ It set the tone for the night —  entertaining and whimsical rants with a dead serious message, but delivered with deadpan delivery and a mischievous glimmer in Berner’s eye.


 Not to be outdone, Calgary poet laureate Kris Demeanor played a song supposedly composed of nothing but fragments from Nickelback lyrics. He may have  been describing his song ironically, but  it included a line about Nickelback’s song

Geoff Berner beginning his set. Photo by Richard Amery

 “Something in Your Mouth.”


 More impressively, he had the best recovery to a technical difficulty as I’ve ever seen. His microphone started slipping, but without missing a note, he crouched and followed it down the the floor, continuing singing and playing guitar until CKXU station manager Aaron Trozzo fixed it mid-song.

 Berner continued the show with another religious themed song about kapparot, an old Jewish ritual  involving swinging a chicken on the air above your head to redeem your sins.

He promised Kris Demeanor  would show off the dance moves to go with their big ‘hit.’

Berner did so while singing his next song.

 Berner got the crowd singing along with a “happy, sing along, fun song about the global climate change thingy that is definitely doubtful.”

 He got them singing happily along with the chorus “The Rich Will Move To the High Ground.”


 This was another dark song, I was surprised he could make sound so happy.

 The duo ended the first set with ‘Henry and Jason,’ a cover of a Carmaig DeForest song.  He “used to open for the Ramones and Dead Kennedys solo with just a ukulele.”

 Their second set started with one of Berner’s lighter songs about the “problems of dating someone much better looking than you” which Berner followed up with  his “hit“ When Didi Gets her Donkey, (everything will be all right) about his fiddle player. He had the audience singing along with this one as well. Kris Demeanor also got the crowd involved in his second set on “Perfect Buzz” and another drinking song/ rap/ poem “Oh Man, I’ll Never Do This Again, and Again, And Again.”


Kris Demeanor follows his microphone  to the floor. Photo by Richard Amery

Berner followed that with one of his lighter songs about Vancouver Canucks goon Gino Ojick which was a crowd favourite as well.

“Dalloy Polizei” was a highlight that came midway through the second set, which was one of many songs that Berner got the crowd to sing along on.

– by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Thursday, 24 October 2013 14:46 )  
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