Posted in music | pictures on June 2, 2008

photos by Zach Dilgard

Slaraffenland
Slaraffenland

Efterklang
Efterklang

The Danish bands Efterklang and Slaraffenland passed through NYC to play Knitting Factory on Wednesday night (May 28, 2008).

Slaraffenland played first and was joined on stage by Efterklang's drummer for a few songs (see below for why). Efterklang played last and was joined by all of Slaraffenland during the encore. That put around 13 or 14 people total on stage at the end of the show, including..... Christopher Taylor from Grizzly Bear who got to show off his skills on the tambourine. Casper Clausen of Efterklang said that every time they see Christopher, he gives them some haircuts.

Everyone seemed to be into both bands for the most part, but Bill from Sound Bites definitely preferred Slaraffenland...

Live, Slaraffenland are pretty fascinating to watch, as all the members sing and play at least two instruments... often within the same song. The guitarist played the oboe; the percussionist played a variety of woodwinds; the bassist also played flute; and the keyboardist / sampler was often seen with a trombone. I'm sure the drummer also was a multi-instrumentalist but he was absent at Knitting Factory -- a new father, he had to leave the tour early for daddy duty.
He follows that by saying that Efterklang....
were a little too affected for my tastes, both musically (a lot more precious and grandiose) and visually (they band wore turn-of-the-century garb, including those weird golf/riding pants that are baggy at the thigh and tight through the calf).
Ray went to the CT show and said Efterkland "was a truly hypnotic experience". More pictures from Knitting Factory below....

Slaraffenland...

Slaraffenland

Slaraffenland

Slaraffenland

Slaraffenland

Slaraffenland

Slaraffenland

Slaraffenland


Efterklang...

Efterklang

Efterklang

Efterklang

Efterklang

Efterklang

Efterklang

Efterklang

Efterklang

Efterklang

Efterklang

Efterklang

Efterklang

Efterklang

Chris Taylor
Efterklang

Efterklang

Efterklang

Efterklang

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Comments (8)

this was an excellent show. Slaraffenland were definitely fun to watch, all of them dancing rather goofily but having fun and playing different instruments and singing. their music was probably a bit more memorable and pop-oriented than Efterklang. But I thought Efterklang's performance was also great and diverse. I kept thinking these guys are the Arcade Fire of Denmark, but not that they sounded like AF, just in terms of their presentation and stage presence. The lead singer is a great frontman and not an ass....a very down-to-earth dude it seems. all the Danes seemed really chill. American musicians could really learn a thing or two from these modest, yet incredibly talented Danes.

Apparently, Efterklang are really popular in the UK and would have easily sold out the equivalent of a Terminal 5 or perhaps a Roseland here so it was a pleasure to see them in a small venue.

Posted by DenmarkRocks | June 2, 2008 5:02 PM

i wrote this to a friend. i'll share it here:

how many danes does it take to annoy me? eight. eight danes. all of them part of the band efterklang. a band i have been a fan of for a handful of years. anyway, they make incredible music and i had really high expectations. i figure eight people on a stage would make beautiful music together. but the result was underwhelming. and i think seeing the original lineup of múm has really kind of spoiled any future cute good music making bands i see in the future. you see, múm was adorable. there were a lot of them. and they all played cute little instruments and made big music. big music from tiny instruments. and the result was nothing short of breathtaking. and no one has come close. i hear people say how amazing sigur rós is live and i think, "psh, they're okay. but for all they're built up to be, they kind of blow." and anyway, i think i was expecting efterklang to be too good. instead, there were eight people on stage, all playing instruments that barely made noise. the majority of everything came from the mac. and when you have eight people on a stage, the mac should be the last thing i can hear. i left halfway during their set. i couldn't take the disappointment anymore.

Posted by michael seth novick | June 2, 2008 6:13 PM

efterklang are great

Michael doens't get it

Posted by Anonymous | June 2, 2008 7:24 PM

grizzly bear released their first album on efterklang's label. small world. danish dynamite!

Posted by Corinne | June 2, 2008 7:57 PM

I don't think it's fair to compare Efterklang to the original Mum lineup. it's like comparing apples and oranges. both evoking different emotions and responses from their audience. embracing different styles. Mum were awesome though. the new Mum is ok too.

Posted by Danes | June 2, 2008 9:10 PM

i agree it's not fair to compare efterklang's sound with múm's. i think when i compare the two, i'm kind of comparing what my expectations were for the two. both make music that moves me quite a bit, but one of them didn't seem able to recreate it in a live atmosphere. efterklang's recorded music is brilliant, and i wouldn't ever knock it, but i'm completely bewildered as to what there was to like about their live performance. there were eight people on stage, all playing instruments, yet it felt oddly lifeless. it all felt like false excitement. with all this said, i think in the end i'm criticizing my high expectations more than efterklang's actual performance, since it was clearly loved by most.

i can totally say, without any reservation, that slaraffenland was one of my least favorite experiences of my concert going life. i found them boring to watch. yeah, they play a lot of instruments, but they play none of them well. it was music to have a panic attack by. perhaps i'm too out of touch.

Posted by michael seth novick | June 2, 2008 9:55 PM

Saw this show in CT. I went as an Efterklang fan. I had never seen or heard of Slaraffenland.

I'm a little amazed at how under-appreciated Efterklang seems to be. Calling them a "Danish Arcade Fire" is interesting -- clearly they lack the pop appeal to succeed on that scale, but critically their music is amazing, and as I saw last week, their live show is brilliant and very captivating. I was utterly thrilled. I left with a permagrin that didn't come off for ~48 hours. I can't see how they are "affected" in any really remarkable sense, and if they are, it's skin deep enough that using THAT as your one word to describe the band seems sorta... affected? :)

They are incredible musicians and they make very elaborate, very smart music that scores huge points on the songwriting complexity scale. To boot, I found their live show to be filled with energy. To me they are one of the best things around. Again, sorta shocked they don't get the love some other bands do.

Which brings me to Slaraffenland -- loved them. Totally enjoyed the show and bought the records. Understandable that they are the band getting the bigger blog attention on this tour, their music is simpler and a more straightforward than Efterklang. I could see how it has wider appeal.

But in terms of songwriting, arranging, musicianship... I can't really think of many bands (Battles? Arcade Fire? The Notwist?) that inspire me more than Efterklang. They are the real deal and deserve more way more love than they get.

Posted by Rob T. | June 2, 2008 10:41 PM

Hey guys,

Slaraffenland is yet another band you've profiled that did a session with us in Atlanta at Have You Heard (www.haveyouheard.net)

You can hear an audio interview with the band in one of our latest podcasts, and you can get live tracks the band did in our studio, for free, on our sessions page.

I always love Brooklyn Vegan, and I hope to come back up that way very soon.

-Adam

Posted by Adam | June 5, 2008 3:06 AM

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