Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Efterklang, Peter Broderick, Yume at TT The Bear's


Peter Broderick


More photos on my Flickr

I felt kinda dumb as I was standing by the merch table waiting for the first band, Yume, to go on. Looking over everything, I saw signs indicating that Peter Broderick, the main reason I went to TT's Monday night, was actually in Efterklang. Huh. Who knew?

So a band called Yume played first. Doing about 3 seconds of research before the show, I mistakenly thought that it was this Yume who was playing, which I wasn't too excited about. But it was really this Yume who played and HOLY SHIT THEY WERE SO MUCH BETTER THAN THAT OTHER YUME. Among other things, they used a Nintendo DS (not that Korg game, though) and a tin can made into a microphone. They were like some awesome ambient drone version of The Postal Service or something. I don't know. I was too hypnotized by what I was hearing to actually pay attention to it. Just know too keep an eye out for a Canadian band named Yume.

Peter Broderick put on one of the best and most charming shows I'm likely to see all year. I kinda have a thing for people that do everything themselves but Broderick went beyond the usual loop creation. Instead of sitting by his piano, guitar, violin, and microphone, ready to tap the pedal at perfect moment, he would get up and "activate the space." Stand on top of his stool, walk to the middle of the stage, go wandering through the audience, anything to create tension, to keep the audience wondering "Is he gonna make it back to the pedal in time so he doesn't fuck the whole song up?" It didn't always go super smoothly, an accidental banging of the keyboard, missing the cue to start the song, or recording the loop a second too long. But all of these things are what made the show infinitely better than listening to a studio recorded album. Of course, it helped that both Broderick and the audience had a good sense of humor about the whole thing, neither of them getting upset or annoyed by the undeniable delight everyone was experiencing.

Broderick played a nice long set, including an improvised beauty that incorporated random noises from a mini circuit board and a little Casio type keyboard melody he made up on the spot. He also used the crowd's applause from the previous song he played and recorded himself asking us to say "Yeah!" It was definitely one of the highlights of the night. He ended his set shaking some toy bells and yelling nice and loud as he walked through the audience eventually laying on the ground for a minute. He went around the club and came back up on stage, still moaning, and as the band playing the Middle East Downstairs could be heard through the floor of TT's, he said, "Man, that band is even louder than I am." He finished up after another verse or two of his jingling howl/chant and the crowd showed their appreciation with plenty of woots and cheers, probably more applause for an "opener" than I've heard in a long time.

Apparently Efterklang is comprised of 7 different people. I don't know if you've ever been to TT's, but it's a small place with a small stage. Cramming 7 people with all of the required gear and instruments made for very difficult maneuvering once the band actually hit the stage. But full stages are fun, right? It makes it seem like you're seeing something super special. Once everyone was situated, they went into their near-patented blend of glitchy electronic off kilter organic indie folk that everyone loves them for. They played a couple new songs that were fantastic and they had a surprise special guest. Molly (10 years old) & Jojo (7) are a couple of young kids (see here for backstory and video) that covered "Mirador" on their own time. They were invited by Efterklang to come to TT's Monday night and play their version live. It was more wonderful that I can explain. These two kids covered a Danish band using keyboard and drums to a large audience at TT's. What were you doing at 7 years old? I'm pretty sure I was playing with my Ninja Turtles and kicking Bowser's ass in Super Mario 3 and I guarantee I had no idea what Denmark was. Molly & Jojo delighted everyone, then Efterklang came back to play a couple more songs, including "Swarming" after which I left to catch a train back home. It was a great show, with charm flying left and right. Seriously, though, watch out for Yume. Those guys are going places.

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