Dan Deacon – America
Dan Deacon comes out with a new album this year. His songs are about America. I argue Dan is a true American weirdo. Look at that beard. See those thick glasses. The knee jerk reaction would be to call him a ‘hipster’ or ‘crazy-type person’. While neither of those words is wrong per say, there’s more going on beneath that wild beard. Of course I know this better than anyone.
I went to high school with Dan Deacon. We were best friends. Dan and I played in a local band. He played the Sine Wave generator, me the one string. People hated us. Yet we always got the girls. Just kidding: we never got the girls. People found our music horrible. Babylon was not the place to start up experimental bands. Long Island is not the place to really start up everything. Go west, young man.
So Dan went south. Baltimore adopted him into Wham City. That’s the artist nickname for Baltimore. Baltimore is called Wham City due to the amount of muggings. A few say it is due to the unique artistic community that thrives there but that’s a bunch of nonsense. For me Baltimore punches me in the face metaphorically every day. I have never lived in a city so indifferent about its own fate.
Yet Baltimore’s fatalism works well with Deacon’s style. Even at Deacon’s most ‘day-glo’ there’s a deeper sadness underneath. Take his latest effort ‘Bromst’. While there are some extremely happy songs ‘Padding Ghost’ for example, much of it is far more mournful. ‘Surprise Stefani’ is a particularly mournful piece. This is heavily emotional experimental music running the gamut from happy to sad.
‘Lots’ the first song off of the ‘America’ album appears to follow that similar vein. It has all the hallmarks of a Dan Deacon album. Volume, intensity, chaos, and a certain amount of vulnerability are all in full effect. Normally Dan’s shorter songs don’t do it for me. I feel Dan works better in a longer format. That’s what I remember about him from High School anyway, before he went to college. Hope this album works out well for him. Right now he’s probably one of the most creative artists doing seriously weird stuff. Baltimore loves him. Maybe with ‘America’ Americans will warm to him too, thick beard, glasses and all.