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Dan Bern

Folk Artist in Residence

The past few years have been big ones for Dan Bern. They saw the release of Dan's fifth full-length album with his new rock band The IJBC (International Jewish Banking Conspiracy), two folk driven EP's, and a host of tour dates throughout the country. It seems than Bern has no plans to slow down this summer, as Thursdays at 12 Galaxies belong to Dan for the next month.

That's right kiddies: four straight Thursdays devoted to this sometimes funny, sometimes sarcastic, sad, political, or just plain bizarre, but always energetic and poignant folkie from Iowa. A little bit Dylan, Springsteen, and Costello all rolled into one while still being an original, Bern is 12 Galaxies' artist-in-residence for June and July. It is rumored that he has more than one release planned for later this summer following a buddle of exclusively-California tour dates.

Bern's first album, self-titled Dan Bern, arrived to critical acclaim in 1997, briefly adorning him the crown of "The Next Dylan". Despite the clear influences of Dylan, Guthrie, and Springsteen, Bern's songs were always more self-conscious and more character driven. Sketches and speculation of pop icons Elvis, Tiger Woods, Marilyn Monroe, Kurt Cobain, Charles Manson, and even Dylan, Guthrie, and Springsteen fill-up Bern's back catalogue.

Dan Bern's music has certainly evolved over the years, as Fleeting Days (Dan's latest) is more Costello and Leonard Cohen than it is Dylan. He appears to be more focused on simply writing good songs than on being funny or ironic. That being said, newer topical tracks like "Talkin' Al Kida Blues" off The Swastika EP still make their mark. It seems that Bern hasn't lost that particular breed of brilliant-bordering-on-inappropriate, yet sincere, humor so many of us have come to love.

For an artist who wears so many hats, it's hard to predict just what these shows will be like. However, a song or two about the Giants and visions of a world without George Bush as our President are most certain to surface.