Beautiful 3min 51second Dan Deacon roadfilm/song video. It’s be cool if more attention were paid to what this thoughtful artist does in his work and practice, it goes really deep. Partystarting is only part of it…
Arthur Radio wants to say We Love You. A Lot. Joining us in this sentiment is special guest DJ Evie Elman, whose documentary Spiritual Lasagna about her grandmother, artist and lover of life Gemma Taccogna (featured on Arthur a few summers back), will cause even the most icy heart to thaw.
Evie’s solo show “Untied” opens tonight, February 14th at Brewers Mansion gallery in Brooklyn with a happening involving “Ancient craft, and sacred ritual via throw pillows, drums, dance, and audience participation” at 8.30 pm, and runs through Friday, February 18th with a closing performance at the same time.
Playlist after the jump…
WEIRD TILL I DIE.
AMERICA WILL NEVER FORGET.
IF YOU A FIGHTER, RIDER, BOUTHER, FLAME IGNITOR, CROWD EXCITER, OR YOU WANNA JUST GET HIGH, THEN JUST SAY IT.
BUT IF YOU A LIAR-LIAR PAINTS ON FIRE, WOLF CRY AGENT WITH A WIRE IM GONNA KNOW IT WHEN I PLAY IT.
WAVES OF ECSTATIC ATTUNEMENT TO THE SOUND CURRENT , THAT REVERSE ECHO THE DEMONIC WAVES OF ANXIETY REVERBERATING IN THE UNDERWORLD.
WAVE AFTER WAVE CRASHING UPON CONSCIOUSNESS.
EVER INCREASING INTENSITY.
NO SENSE MAKES SENSE.
EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF AND GOD/JUSTICE AGAINST/FOR ALL.
Short doc on DAN DEACON’s tourbus/commune sitch poached off pitchfork, looks like it was made by BMore Whamcityians. Nice! Good music + smarts + fun + commune-ity-style livin/workin = a good model, a great way forward thru grim/stoopid times…
Previously on Arthur: “DAN DEACON on his new tent, his new album and his new live show” by Jay Babcock
Dan Deacon at the controls (“photo by Zardoz, as interpreted by James Petz“)
A NEW STAGE
Experimental pop musician/joybringer Dan Deacon on his new tent, his new album and his new live approach
by Jay Babcock
(April 3, 2009)
From Dan Deacon’s page on the Wham City site:
“Hi. I’m Dan Deacon. Before moving to Baltimore I went to college and grad school at the Conservatory of Music at SUNY Purchase. For the past four years I have been touring a collection of pieces for voice, electronics and audience. In my spare time I enjoying booking shows at various weird places in Baltimore. I’m looking forward to touring less and finishing up a series of pieces for large ensemble. The future surrounds us. Let us begin.”
Dan Deacon has just begun his North American tour following the release of his second album. Released last week by the essential Carpark record label, Bromst an ebullient, anthemic, densely stacked minimalist rave monster recorded with “real” instruments, including a player piano. Bromst is bonkers in the best way: I hear Eno vocals, Koyaanisqatsi-era Philip Glass, Terry Riley, gamelan, Spike Jones, vintage video games, put-your-hand-in-the-air-and-knock-on-that-door techno, organized surges, simple chord progressions embedded in layers of drums and piano notes. (Stream Bromst songs at dan deacon myspace.)
Bromst is a unique album made by a uniquely multi-gifted artist: a class clown from music composition class, a populist intellectual with a fiercely whimsical streak, a serious composer who can elevate an on-the-edge-of-danger dance party into mass communion through charisma, imaginative group gameplaying and a certain fearlessness. If you haven’t witnessed Deacon live, check out the two youtubes included in the text below; in one, audience members sing from sheet music in a basement party; in the second…well, to write about it would be to reduce it. Goosebumps, baby! I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a performing artist so adept in creating group public joy without pandering—or one whose abilities, interests and ethic are so perfectly attuned to what the times call for.
There’s a lot more to say about what Deacon is up to, and why it’s so vital and inspiring. (A good place to start is this extremely perceptive thinkpiece by Rjyan Kidwell; also check out C & D’s interview in Arthur No. 27 with Deacon and director Jimmy Joe Roche about their “Ultimate Reality” film, available here.) I wanna wait to get my thoughts together on all of this til next week, though, cuz this weekend I am venturing for the first time to psychedelic Baltimore to see Deacon and his new 14-piece ensemble perform Saturday night as part of the 6th Annual Transmodern Festival.
But there’s no reason not to post the following conversation now, conducted by phone at 11am on consecutive days in February from two secret locations in Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood (thanks Geoff, thanks Jack). Dan was waking up in Baltimore. The first day, midway through an answer to my second question, he confided, “I’m having a weird allergic reaction. The whole right side of my body is swelled up and I can’t open my eye all the way.” But I thought he was talking perfect sense and he was up for it, so we kept on rolling. The following is a condensation from those two conversations; any mistakes in transcription are mine, and will be corrected…
Arthur: That’s a great, evocative album cover. How did you come up with it?
Dan Deacon: I was camping with my dad this summer and one morning I woke up early, because you tend to wake up early when you’re camping, and the light was coming through the tent and it just looked really nice. I started thinking about tents, as a structure, as a place in which to live, and being a very old, old thing. I thought, I’d love to make a tent, an old fancy European-looking tent that you’d see in a movie like Lord of the Rings, where they have that kind of encampment set-up and some of them are just shitty tents, shantytowns, and then there’s the beautiful one. I realized I knew nothing about making a tent, I know nothing about construction, or sewing, so I designed it on paper first, then started to build it. It became this nightmarish project, but I’m really glad I did it. It’s 10 foot x 10 foot x 10 foot, it’s a hexagon-shaped tent, so it’s ten feet between opposite points of the hexagon, then ten feet straight up. I also wanted something [for the album cover] that could exist in reality, so if I used it in the live show, the audience could have some sort of connectivity to it, which a lot of what the record is about—about interconnectivity and feeling attached to things that otherwise feel abstract or you have no attachment for.
Two big events on the East Coast this weekend. In Baltimore, its the Transmodern Festival all weekend long with a gaggle of some of the best tweaker-performers around (Dan Deacon maybe the best-known of them). Here’s a nice chat with the festival’s organizers from the Baltimore City Paper.
In Brooklyn on Saturday night, there’s the Launch Party for WFMU’s FreeMusicArchive.org , a site that will soon be eating many of your evenings in solitude by providing you with tons of free and totally legal downloads by great musicians who you really want to listen to. Before that happens, you can get out and among other people one last time and hear live music by Sightings, Pink Skull, John Dwyer’s new band, Excepter and DJ Brian Turner. Here are deets.
We will expect to see smiling, drunken photos of you at one of these events on Flickr Monday morning.
C & D
Two guys who will remain pseudonymous reason together about new music “product”
Originally published in Arthur No. 27 (Dec 2007)
DAN DEACON & JIMMY JOE ROCHE
Ultimate Reality dvd
C: State-of-the-art psychedelic film with music composed by electro-dance party joker Dan Deacon and visuals by Jimmy Joe Roche, two guys from Baltimore’s Wham City operation. It’s constructed from clips from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career—Conan the Barbarian, Terminator, Total Recall, Kindergarten Cop, Predator, Junior—collaged and layered and doubled together into something altogether overwhelming at 35 minutes in length.
D: This is Arnold’s mind on drugs. Arnoldelic, baby!
C: Absolutely gorgeous, seriously funny, weirdly poignant and possibly seizure-inducing. This is a landmark work. It’s the first time someone has taken the stuff those Fort Thunder and PaperRad dudes were (or are) doing—bright color-saturated, warped psychedelia incorporating pop iconography—and thrust it forward into a new realm of…of…beauty, really. Watching this right now is for me like seeing “Wonder Showzen” for the first time, or Chris Morris’s “Blue Jam”: a breakthrough on many levels, by somebody pretty much out of nowhere.
D: [reading from Arthur Magazine office rolodex] Or Baltimore…
C: [mischievously] Hand me that. Let’s make a phone call. [Dials on red phone…] Hello? [In Howard Cosell voice] Yes, this is Arthur magazine. We are seated here drinking kratom-powered smoothies having just watched “Ultimate Reality,” and we had a few questions for the filmmakers. [turns speaker phone on] So, Jimmy, what exactly is Wham City and you guys must know the Fort Thunder guys, right?
JIMMY JOE ROCHE: Wham City—the space—was a dingy, insane warehouse, then another one. Me and Dan and Dina and Adam and some other kids lived together at SUNY Purchase, all graduated in 2004, and we had this sort of unfigured-out energy. We knew we wanted something, we had a vision undulating out of control, and those guys wanted to move to Baltimore, because it’s cheap as hell. It seemed like it was a potential void where someone could come in and do art, totally fresh.