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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Efterklang's Tour Mini-Doc, and Peter Broderick's Letter to Portland

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Wed, Mar 10, 2010 at 4:44 PM

Check out this rather awesomely assembled mini-doc of Danish band Efterklang on tour, with them performing "The Soft Beating"—a highlight from their splendid new Magic Chairs album—in a variety of different places, with incredibly consistent results until the whole thing devolves into a pillow fight. Portland musicians (and siblings) Peter Broderick and Heather Woods Broderick have joined the Danish band as auxiliary members, but due to unfortunate circumstances Peter had to drop out of the tour. (That's Peter "softly beating" on his chest in the video.) You can read all about that in our article on Efterklang, and you can see Efterklang (minus Peter) this Saturday, March 13 at the Doug Fir.

I asked Peter about the circumstances around his having to drop out of the tour, and he went above and beyond by writing me an incredibly detailed account of his injury and the subsequent events. I'm posting the entirety of Peter's story after the jump; be sure to check it out. Peter is returning home later this month, ironically only a few short days after Efterklang plays their show here. It's too bad Peter had to drop out of the tour, but it will be great to have him back home in Portland as he takes time to fully recuperate.

From Peter Broderick:

In July 2007, I was the happiest boy on the planet when Efterklang invited me to move to Denmark and join the band. Not only did they invite me to play with them, touring around the world, but also to open many of the concerts as a solo act. Aside from having to leave my friends and family and Portland musical projects behind, I was absolutely thrilled.

At the time I didn't even have a passport, nor had I never played a solo concert. But I had to go for it. I payed extra for an expedited passport service, filled out a ton forms for a Danish work visa, started learning a bunch of (not so easy) Efterklang songs on the violin, and managed to play one solo concert in Portland before I left, at Mississippi Studios.

My flight left on September 11, 2007. In order to avoid paying rent for the month of September, I moved out of my Portland house at the end of August, and stayed with my father in the countryside for the remaining days.

On my last night in Portland, I had already packed up all my things, and I was hanging out with one of my roommates and a couple of his friends. We were listening to some music and decided to play Scrabble. I grabbed the Scrabble board, but we didn't have a pen to keep track of the score, so I ran upstairs to my room to grab one. The house was dark, and I'd forgotten that I left my huge black bag (which would later come to be known as "the body bag" by the Efterklangers) in the middle of my usually empty floor.

I'm running to grab a stupid pen for a stupid game of Scrabble, and I trip over the stupid bag, and land directly on my right knee cap. Incredibly painful. I could hardly walk that night, and in the morning it was still the same. And when I was still in pain a couple days before my flight to Denmark, I went to the doctor. He took a look at it, and said it should heal up in 6-7 weeks.

——-

Two and a half years later, here I am in Copenhagen while Efterklang are in the US, on their first tour without me (aside from the time I was deported from the UK and had to miss 5-6 shows) since I arrived in September, 2007. Weird.

These last couple of years have been an absolute dream come true for me. I haven't had to work at a pizza shop any more, I've traveled all around the world, I've made the friends of a lifetime, I've learned how not to speak Danish, I've experienced what I would say is a huge growth and development, both as a musician and as a person.

But the whole time, I've had this bad knee from that little incident where I tripped over my suitcase. Call that fate, call it whatever you like. It has never left me. Some days are better than others, but I can feel it every second. And finally, after seeing various doctors in the US and in Denmark, I decided to have a long needed surgery back in December.

I hoped my knee would heal quickly enough for me to be back on the road by now. But it hasn't. If anything it's gotten worse. So when Efterklang play at the Doug Fir on March 13th, I'll be sitting in Denmark in my pajamas, with an icepack on my knee.

The last few weeks have been very strange. For two and a half years I told myself this knee problem would go away eventually. And hopefully that's still a possibility, but I finally realized that it's going to take some time, focus, and patience. And I realized, my body was simply not cooperating with my lifestyle.

So I'm heading back to Portland on March 17th. And I'll be in the area for an indefinite amount of time. Doing physical therapy, spending some time with my family, seeing some old friends, drinking some amazing coffee, going to nice record stores and book stores. What a terrible punishment, right?

No, in the end, as sad as I am to miss out on any Efterklang concerts, this feels like the right thing to do. I'm counting on Portland to heal me, and hoping it won't take too long. Actually, the thought of being in Portland again is starting to excite me more and more. Especially considering that when I moved to Denmark I was 20 years old! I wasn't even allowed to drink a beer or go to most venues in Portland! Of course I was glad to leave.

Portland, jeg kommer tilbage!

(That's a little bit of Danish — Portland, I'm coming back!)

—Peter Broderick

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