Kaizers Orchestra's Devilishly Good Video

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Kaizers Orchestra performs its last show before disbanding on May 16.

For the past few days I've been unable to get this song by Norway's Kaizers Orchestra out of my head. Blending rock, opera, Balkan music, and a kind of alt-cabaret to great effect, the ensemble's "Begravelsespolka," or "Funeral Polka," is a brilliant, if unholy love child of Cabaret, the Dresden Dolls, and perhaps a bit of filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan.

The song comes from Kaizers Orchestra's magnum opus, Violeta, Violeta -- a tale of Faustian bargaining and heavy drinking that has spanned three albums that they've put together over the last few years.

Don't worry about the song's language (though a translation is available online). I got hooked on the music and the video’s creepy goodness, and so, I think, will you. 


Notice that frontman Janove Ottesen never sings the lines "Please allow me to introduce myself / I’m a man of wealth and taste" -- yet it's pretty clear from the beginning just who his character is. And for someone who, according to legend, has a cloven foot, he's a pretty fine tap dancer. The tap dancing, by the way, is not on the album version, so this is a rare example of a video of a song that’s actually better than the one on record. The tap dancing is, apparently, a part of the band's live show. 

Speaking of which, now that Volume III of Violeta, Violeta has been released, the band is making its first ever appearance in the U.S. -- and also its last. They will disband later this year, but not before bringing their live show to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art this Thursday, May 16.