Entries tagged with: Dan Deacon
Dan Deacon at Ecstatic Music Fest (more by David Andrako)
Dan Deacon has released "Lots", the first single from the Baltimore-an's debut LP for Domino Records America, due on August 27/28. In preparation, Deacon has will play a few dates around the states as well as in Europe, including a stop at River Rocks at Pier 84 on July 12th for a FREE show with John Maus and recently added opener Roomrunner. All Dan Deacon dates are listed below. All River Rocks shows are listed HERE.
If you can't wait to get your fix of the noisy-skronk of Roomrunner then head by Cake Shop on June 15th. There the ex-Double Dagger band will team with the also great Dope Body, Zulus, Guardian Alien and Lushes. Full set of Roomrunner dates are listed below along with a stream of their recent EP.
Speaking of John Maus, he's preparing to release A Collection of Rarities and Previously Unreleased Material on July 13th via Ribbon Music. The record features tracks that date back as far as 1999, and you can check out one track "Mental Breakdown" below. Order your copy via the label. the first 500 come in a rare translucent pink.
A listing of all tour dates and some streams are below.
#Guitarmy w Tom morello leaving the park (via)
"The Occupy movement that mobilized thousands of protestors last fall was mostly quiet through the winter in New York, as both the cold and the NYPD chased demonstrators out of their makeshift camp in Zuccotti Park. But the movement officially relaunched on May 1st in honor of International Workers' Day, with organized protests taking place throughout the U.S. and with Tom Morello, Das Racist and other musicians staging a May Day concert in downtown Manhattan.How was your May Day? Pictures and videos of the May 1st party in Union Square, below...
"I traveled 3,000 miles to march with you today," Morello told a diverse crowd of Occupiers during a ceremonial "mic check" in Bryant Park. "It is an honor to march these streets with you, to sing these songs with you, letting the powers that be know that we will be heard."
Morello led a "guitarmy" of hundreds along Fifth Avenue from Bryant Park down to Union Square. An Occupy Tumblr had already supplied the setlist - including Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land" and tunes from Morello's own World Wide Rebel Songs LP - and many had cheat sheets taped to the sides of their guitars, as they strummed and sang protest songs along with the rocker. As the band of marches inched its way into Union Square, a much larger rally commenced featuring Das Racist, Dan Deacon, and Immortal Technique on stage...." [Rolling Stone]
May Day flyers & posters @ Terminal 5 (more by BBG)
As you may have heard, the Occupy community has organized a protest to strike on May 1st as part of May Day. In solidarity with that sentiment, the Occupy Guitarmy organization is calling on musicians of all shapes and sizes to meet the group in NYC at Bryant Park....
All strings, shakers, and voices welcomeOnce Occupy Guitarmy reaches Union Square, they'll kick off a free, amplified rally at 4PM (with the correct permits) featuring long-time supporter Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine/Audioslave etc) and performances from Immortal Technique, Das Racist, Dan Deacon, and the Bobby Sanabria Band. More details are available via Occupy Guitarmy and below.
Bring your guitar (or other portable string instrument)
All levels of musicians from complete beginner to shredder needed
Assemble at noon @ Bryant Park by the Gertrude Stein statue
March from Bryant Park to Union Square
Later that night head to UCB East to protest some more and laugh while you're at it.
You can also catch Das Racist this summer in Red Hook Park.
Built to Spill at BV SXSW 2012 (more by Ryan Barkan)
The Hopscotch festival in Raleigh, North Carolina will celebrate its third year from Sept. 6-8, 2012 in downtown Raleigh, with 175 bands in 15 venues. The initial lineup, released today, runs the gamut from traditional indie favorites to punk to noise music to hip hop to noisy black metal and all stops in between, featuring performances from Built to Spill, sunn 0))), The Roots, The Jesus & Mary Chain (who played SXSW), Liars (who have a show coming up at Webster Hall), Baroness, Deerhoof, Death Grips (who play NYC soon and have new material on the way), Danny Brown (who was at Coachella and plays Prospect Park soon), Pallbearer (who play an exclusive East Coast Show soon), Screaming Females (who recently played NYC and are on tour now), Thee Oh Sees, The Spits (who just played NYC twice), Tenement, The Mountain Goats (two sets, one of which will be an all metal-covers set!) and so many more.
(and now we know the Jesus & Mary Chain are coming back soon)
Tickets are on sale. The full lineup and flyer (update: and a few more announced J&MC dates) are below...
Dan Deacon @ Merkin Concert Hall (more by David Andrako)
Like he did recently at Merkin Concert Hall (and Carnegie Hall), Dan Deacon plays another "non-dan deacon" show with his ambient project, Pardalince Bird at 285 Kent TONIGHT (4/5). The show is with Ramble Tamble, Dan Friel, Doomsday Student (members of Arab on Radar), and Ed Schrader's Music Beat. More details below.
According to his website, Pardalince Bird is "that tape of 'sad songs' that was meant to be out ages ago" that he'll eventually be recording. Other Dan projects in the works include "a lighting system with Capser Electronics", and "the STINT RIDDLER set (ambient and noise pieces)."
Lemonade have a new album coming out next month and a tour with Neon Indian set to kick off later this month. Before that tour kicks off, the band will play a hometown show in Brooklyn on Friday (4/6) at 285 Kent with a pretty solid local bill including LE1F and Megafortress. The bill also includes DJs Lil Internet, Rem Koolhaus and Deanieman. More details below.
Lemonade are also playing the 'Audiophile' show at Brooklyn Museum with Small Black on June 21 that Tanlines were originally listed on, but are not in fact playing.
All dates and show details below...
photos by David Andrako
When not inciting mass hysteria in children, Dan Deacon keeps it fancy, and that was the vibe last night at Merkin Concert Hall, his first of two fancy NYC shows this week. Tuesday's show was part of the Ecstatic Music Festival which continues with a show Saturday featuring John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats (which will stream live). Dan was joined by Mark Dancigers, Daniel Wohl, and new music groups NOW ensemble and Calder Quartet on a bill which featured a series of new works (setlist below). if you missed it, WQXR will have an archived stream, and here are some pictures.
This Monday (3/26), Dan plays another classical show, but this time at Carnegie Hall as part of a Celebration of composer John Cage.
More pictures from Dan's show below...
Dan Deacon & fans @ Fun Fun Fun Fest
Dan Deacon, now signed to Domino (!) for a record due in 2012 (more details TBA), has still got it. Earlier this month, as you can see in the pictures here, I witnessed him play to a giant crowd of rabid fans at Fun Fun Fun Fest. As usual he played from the ground instead of the stage, and luckily with the help of a security guard to shield his equipment from the wild, swaying mass. More pictures are below.
====| FRIDAY 11/18 @ RIC/RAMBO @ 285 KENT AVE |====Dan will be back in NYC again in March to play a fancy show with the NOW Ensemble & the Calder Quartet as part of the recently-announced Ecstatic Music Festival. He also has lots of other dates scheduled which are listed below.
|| JM RAMBO presents
|| WHAM CITY COMEDY TOUR
|| Adam Endres
|| A Funny Clown
|| Alan Resnick
|| April Camlin
|| Ben O'Brien
|| Connor Kizer
|| Dan Deacon
|| Ellie Beziat
|| Erin Gleeson
|| Mason Ross
|| Peter O'Connell
|| Robby Rackleff
| RIC/RAMBO @ 285 KENT AVE |
285 Kent Ave @ South 1st | Williamsburg, Brooklyn
L-Bedford, G-Metropolitan, JM-Marcy | 8pm | $8 | all ages
Last but not least, Dan is one of a few artists who have contributed tracks to a free holiday album that Carpark is releasing on 12/6. The full tracklist and more details on that are also below...
The Ecstatic Music Festival is returning to the Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center from February 4 to March 28. The festival includes 11 shows over the course of the approximate two month period including performances by Richard Reed Perry (of Arcade Fire) with Son Lux and yMusic (who recently worked with My Brightest Diamond and St. Vincent), This Will Destroy You with composer Christopher Tignor and his band Slow Six, vocal octet Roomful of Teeth who will present a collaboration with Glasser and also present new work by Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, Rhys Chatham and Oneida, Dan Deacon with the NOW Ensemble and the Calder Quartet, The Mountain Goats with vocal quartet Anonymous 4, who will be performing material for John Darnielle's new project Transcendental Youth, which were arranged by Owen Pallet. Many other artists are performing too, the full schedule is below.
Full schedule below...
photos by Tim Griffin
Spoon @ Fun Fun Fun Fest
Spoon had nothing to promote and no surplus of new songs to unveil. This was just an Austin band -- Austin's biggest indie band ever -- playing an Austin festival for their only major show of 2011 (at least so far). As a live unit, the four-piece that recorded Transmission (augmented here by an additional percussionist) is as precise as Spoon has ever been, cranking out savagely controlled, often slow-building versions of such songs as "Written in Reverse," "Delicate Places" and the instantaneously applauded "I Turn My Camera On." "We got horns!" frontman Britt Daniel proclaimed, bringing out a six-man section for "Cherry Bomb," "The Underdog" and "Jonathan Fisk." By the four-song encore, the crowd had both increased in enthusiasm and decreased in size -- no doubt some people had wandered to another stage to see the Damned, which Daniel himself had said he wished that he could do. [SPIN]Personally I started at the Damned (who were great) and finished Saturday with about 30 minutes of Spoon which felt like the perfect chill ending to a long first-two-days of the outdoor Austin fest (right after their set I went back to the hotel, skipped all afterparties and crashed for 12 hours straight which made Sunday great).
Our first set of pictures from Saturday, Damned included, are HERE. Our second set continues, more of Spoon included, below...
Dan Deacon @ FYF Fest 2011 (more by Nathanael Turner)
Jeffrey Lewis, Lady Lamb The Beekeeper, and Emperor X play a show that starts at 8pm at Maxwell's in Hoboken tonight (9/21). Dan Deacon then takes over the club for a late Wednesday night show that starts at 11pm. It's a one-off for Dan who will hit the road proper in late October, playing both solo and Wham City comedy shows through 11/19, and then again for a few days at the beginning of December.
The "Wham City Comedy Tour 2011" hits 285 Kent in Brooklyn on 11/18, right before the tour ends back in Baltimore. What is the Wham City Comedy Tour? Well, "Their two-hour bat-shit variety show covers experimental theater, performance art, video, and stand-up." You might have caught it when it came to NYC in 2010. Video trailer (and dates) below.
Last week Dan reissued some stuff...
Deacon dug into the vaults and reissued two of his early LPs, Meetle Mice and Silly Hat Vs. Eagle Hat, on double LP via Carpark Records on Sept. 13. Also, limited cassette versions of Meetle, Silly as well as Spiderman of the Rings and Bromst will be issued and made available at shows and on the Carpark online shop. In October, Carpark will also reissue Spiderman of the Rings on LPAll dates are listed below...
photos by Nathanael Turner
Punk rock long ago transcended class, age, gender and ethnicity to become a signifier not necessarily of outward rebellion but of the symbolic, crazy-on-the-inside variety. That sense of internal defiance continues to permeate the entire underground and has become a secret handshake that united not only the artists who made traditional-ish punk rock over the course of 10 hours of the FYF -- the Descendents, No Age, Off! among them -- but from a wildly divergent cast of in-yer-face artists including beat makers Nosaj Thing and Dan Deacon, the deeply sensual, self-referential house music of New York's Chromatics and Glass Candy, and the catchy, arena-aspirant bands like Broken Social Scene.You saw the Future Islands shots. Here are some more of a bunch of the acts that played FYF Fest in LA on Saturday (9/3). No Dead Milkmen, Kid Dynamite or Guided By Voices, but a bunch of other stuff below...
"It's a punk rock festival. That means we're going to play ... in the wrong key," declared Guided by Voices singer Robert Pollard during his band's sturdy, hook-infused rock set featuring acrobatic kicks, monster choruses and a sexy girl delivering between-song lighted cigarettes to guitarist Mitch Mitchell.
But Pollard missed the point. As anyone who roamed downtown's Los Angeles State Historic Park on Saturday could see, punk no longer means inept, either on a musical or festival level. It means being inspired and maybe a little irrational, like festival founders Sean Carlson, Phil Hoelting and Keith Morris. It means realizing strengths and weaknesses. It means pushing at the edges like L.A.-based instrumental Nosaj Thing, who fused the deep, penetrating bass of dubstep with touches of skewed Aphex Twin breakbeat rhythms to create architecturally sophisticated sound structures as solid as they were abrasive. Or it means setting up gear in the crowd like electronic/serialist/rhythmatist Deacon to make sounds so driving and strobing that the level of crowd surfing reached Nirvana-like proportions. [LA Times]
DOWNLOAD: SBTRKT - "Wildfire" (Drumma Boy remix ft. Shabazz Palaces) (MP3)
Back in June, we announced the killer initial lineup for Moogfest 2011 (October 28, 29, 30). That lineup just got even better with additions including TV on the Radio, Special Disco Version featuring James Murphy and Pat Mahoney, St. Vincent, SBTRKT, Flying Lotus, YACHT, John Maus, Araabmuzik Baths, Zomby, Active Child and more. It was also announced that Brian Eno, part of the initial lineup, will be presenting Brian Eno's 77 Million Paintings and "Illustrated Talks" as part of this year's fest.
The initial announcement also included Suicide, Tangerine Dream, Hans-Joachim Roedelius, Austra, M83, Little Dragon, Passion Pit, Toro y Moi, Moby (full band), The Flaming Lips, Battles, CANT, Brandt Brauer Frick (who will be on a US tour that hits Glasslands), and more.
Speaking of CANT (aka Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear), he revealed the song "Believe" from his upcoming debut LP yesterday. Stream the track below. The album comes out September 13 on Chris' own Terrible Records. He's also got an upcoming tour surrounding Moogfest which includes a show on October 25 at Bowery Ballroom. Tickets are still on sale.
Speaking of SBTRKT and Little Dragon, Drumma Boy remixed the SBTRKT song with Little Dragon's Yukimi Nagano on lead vocals. Shabazz Palaces is also featured on the remix (compare that to Drake's version). Grab the track above via Gorilla vs Bear. Shabazz wrote on Facebook today, "Besides the release of Black Up, I don't think I've seen one article on here create such a surge of activity as this Wildfire Remix has. Amazing."
Sampha, who sings live with SBTRKT and on his album, also recently released his own song, "Indecision." Stream the track below. Moogfest is one of the stops on SBTRKT's recently announced US tour that also hits Bowery Ballroom on October 31 (with Araabmuzik) and Music Hall of Williamsburg on November 1. Tickets for both shows are still on sale.
Little Dragon plays a BV-presented Record Release show at Music Hall of WIlliamsburg TONIGHT (8/16). The show is sold out, but if you don't have tickets you can catch them in NYC again on their headlining tour which hits Terminal 5 on October 14. Tickets are still on sale.
Song streams and full Moogfest lineup below...
Slayer at Izod Center (photos by Samantha Marble)
Slayer, Thee Oh Sees, Public Enemy, Girls, Danzig Legacy, (Danzig + Doyle von Frankenstein playing Misfits, Samhain & Danzig), Hot Snakes, Diplo, Major Lazer, Henry Rollins, Ted Leo & The Phramacists, Spank Rock, Murder City Devils, Hum, Lykke Li, Passion Pit, Four Tet, Rakim, The Damned, Austra, Purity Ring, and Flynt Flossy are just a few of the acts announced today as part of the Fun Fun Fun Fest 2011 lineup. Another amazing year! Check out the full lineup below and stay tuned for more announcements coming in August and September.
The new additions to the Austin, Texas festival, which takes place from 11/4 - 11/6, are in addition to the the previous "lineup leaks" that included Brian Posehn, Odd Future, Okkervil River, M83, X (performing "Los Angeles"), Reggie Watts, Flying Lotus, Tune-Yards, Ra Ra Riot, Kid Dynamite and others
2011 is the festival's sixth year, but first at its new home Auditorium Shores (no more Waterloo Park). Tickets are on sale now.
Fun Fun Fun 2011 flyer and almost-full lineup is below.
So Percussion (and Dan Deacon) @ Merkin Hall in January (more by David Andrako)
Dan Deacon has a few upcoming shows, including 4Knots Music Fest (where he will be DJing) and FYF Fest and Moogfest. He will also appear as a special guest on August 1 at Le Poisson Rouge when students from So Percussion's Summer Institute play his music "and other surprises". "The So Percussion Summer Institute (SoSI) is an intensive two-week chamber music seminar for college-age percussionists. The four members of So Percussion serve as faculty in rehearsal, performance, and discussion of contemporary music for percussion." All of Dan's dates are listed below.
Music in the Garden featuring So PercussionThat one is presented by Bang on a Can who recently held their annual 'marathon' at the World Financial Center.
Sunday, July 10, 2011 - 3:00pm
So Percussion (Eric Beach, Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski, and Jason Treuting) will join with Grey McMurray on guitar to perform work-in-progress excerpts from their next major theatrical work. A celebration of diversity, community, and collaboration, this project is an exploration of their outermost artistic boundaries, as well as a re-examination of comfort zones.
Dan and So Percussion collaborated earlier this year at Merkin Concert Hall during Ecstatic Music Festival. Check out a video from that below, along with all tour dates.
DOWNLOAD: Mister Heavenly - "Pineapple Girl" (MP3)
Descendents at FFFFest (more by Tim Griffin)
Much like last year, FYF Fest 2011 is poppin' off with some incredible bands, many of whom recently reunited. This year the LA fest will host a coveted Descendents appearance, a Death From Above 1979 show, Guided By Voices, another Kid Dynamite reunion, The Dead Milkmen, Explosions in the Sky, the return of The Weakerthans and many, many notable others. Full lineup is below. The show goes down at 1st and Main in downtown Los Angeles on September 3rd. Tickets are on sale.
For Kid Dynamite, which features members of Lifetime, Paint it Black and None More Black, the reunion is their first since re-emerging for This is Hardcore last year with Ink & Dagger. The band called it quits in 2000 and reunited in 2005 at CBGB and some other times too. I hope they schedule another NYC show, but it's just LA for now.
This is Hardcore THIS YEAR features an appearance from Ressurection, which also featured Dan Yemin on guitar. Tickets for This is Hardcore 2011, taking place in Philly's Starlight Ballroom, is mostly sold-out, with tickets for the Sunday show still available.
The Descendents appearance at FYFest is one of several dates scheduled for the reunited band, NYC's Roseland, Chicago Riot Fest, and Philly's Riot Fest included. Tickets are still available for the 9/23 Roseland show.
Mister Heavenly will hit the road for a string of dates on the West Coast leading up to FYF Fest. Check out their full tour schedule below, and look for their new LP Out of Love on 8/16 via Sub Pop. Check out "Pineapple Girl" from that record above.
The Death From Above 1979 appearance is one of several slated for the band in the coming months, including a 7/22 appearance at Williamsburg Waterfront. Tickets are still available OR, you can try your hand by winning a pair at our Facebook. The full set of DFA1979 dates are below.
The Weakerthans have a few other dates slated for Europe and Canada in the coming months. Hopefully they add more US dates too. All dates for now are listed below.
A few bands on the FYFest lineup (namely, Cults, Off!, and No Age) will also appear in NYC at the House of Vans this summer, and for FREE. The FYF-presented House of Vans series of shows starts this Thursday (6/30). You just have to RSVP to get in (and maybe get there early).
All Weakerthans, DFA1979, and Mister Heavenly dates, some video, and the full FYF Fest lineup is below.
photos by Eric M. Townsend
So what exactly is a human dance tunnel supposed to look like?Dan Deacon continues to prove that no venue is safe from his human tunnel. Like he did recently at the Museum of Natural History, he successfully made the tunnel at the Comcast Theatre in CT on Saturday. More pictures of the games below...
Electronic dance wizard Dan Deacon laid out his vision, and it looked something like this: from the front of the Budweiser Stage to the top of the concrete staircase leading to the Comcast Theatre bandhshell, hundreds of B.O.M.B. Fest attendees stood in parael rows, locking hands above their heads as a stream of people shimmied through the mass.
But just before kicking off the audience-wide dance party, the pied piper of blip had just one more rule: "Safety first, everybody! Safety first!"
Deacon, whose choreographed, synth-spastic boogie processionals have earned him legions of head-smashing fans, bases his idea on a unique philosophy: the wall between artist and audience should be torn down.
"When I perform solo, I'm playing back and forth with the audience," said Deacon, who performed at B.O.M.B. Fest Saturday. "It's not about watching me; it's about the audience watching each other and letting lose." [CT News]
photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Frisicano
The "Our Band Could Be Your Life" tribute Sunday night at Bowery Ballroom ran more than four hours with 14 bands playing the music of 13 bands (plus a special encore act that covered Nirvana). Set changes were kept short, and bands generally played about 10-15 minutes (between one and four songs). Unannounced guests included Tim Harrington and Lee Ranaldo singing the Minutemen, Craig Finn playing the role of Minneapolis cop, and Dan Deacon's multimedia barrage and three-piece band. More highlights, lots of pictures, and a bunch of videos (UPDATE: NPR has audio of the show) are below...
photos by Chris La Putt
"The idea of a Dan Deacon dance party in the space room at the American Museum of Natural History kinda blows my mind." - luke wilhelmi
""keep moving that way. Thats right...everything a/b this is successful!" -dan deacon @ natural history museum" - whitney pettyjohn
Dan Deacon made his presence known in NYC over the weekend. Last night it was the Our Band Could Be Your Life concert at Bowery Ballroom. Saturday was a Brooklyn show at 285 Kent, and Friday was his performance as part of The American Museum of Natural History's "One Step Beyond" series. More pictures and a video from the museum show (which Hesta Prynn also DJ'd), and Dan Deacon & Jimmy Joe Roche's recently-released video for "Hilvarenbeek", and some more tour dates too, below...
Dan Deacon @ Merkin Concert Hall (more by David Andrako)
The Vivian Girls show at 285 Kent takes place four days before the space hosts green-skull-wielder Dan Deacon, who'll join Moss of Aura, Janka Nabay, and Friends (the band called "Friends"). Advance tickets for the May 21st show at 285 Kent Ave are on sale at Desert Island Books (Metropolitan Ave @ Union Ave).
The Brooklyn show is part of a three-night NYC run for Deacon who is also playing the next edition of One Step Beyond at the American Museum of Natural History on May 20th. Tickets are on sale.
May 22nd is when Dan plays Butthole Surfers covers at Bowery Ballroom as part of the sold out This Band Could Be Your Life concert.
All Dan Deacon tour dates, more details on those 285 Kent show, and a new video for "Surprise Stefani," below...
Nat Baldwin, David Longstreth and Brian McOmber play Black FlagNo, that's not a list of what happened in a weird dream last night. That is the LINEUP of a NYC show at Bowery Ballroom on May 22nd in celebration of the tenth anniversary of Michael Azerrad's "classic history of the '80s indie underground", Our Band Could Be Your Life (a book everyone reading this site should probably own!)
Delicate Steve plays the Minutemen
Ted Leo plays Minor Threat
Titus Andronicus plays the Replacements
Tune-Yards plays Sonic Youth
Dan Deacon plays the Butthole Surfers
St. Vincent plays Big Black
Wye Oak plays Dinosaur Jr
Buke & Gass plays Fugazi
To quote show co-presenter Tiger Mountain Presents, "some of the best bands in contemporary indie music will play songs by each of the 13 bands in the book."
"For years, all kinds of people -- musicians, people who run labels, concert promoters, journalists, whatever -- have told me that they've been very inspired by Our Band Could Be Your Life and the bands it profiles, which is incredibly gratifying and totally unexpected," says Azerrad. "The tenth anniversary of the book was a great occasion for the current generation of bands to celebrate these pioneers."More bands & guest hosts TBA. Tickets are $25 & go on sale Friday, 3/11 at noon.
Meanwhile the book will also be the topic of a panel discussion at SXSW that Merrill Garbus aka tUnE-yArDs (who is also playing the festival) will speak on.
Delicate Steve and Wye Oak are going to SXSW too. Wye Oak can be found at the BV/KF/Partisan day party at Swan Dive on Friday, 3/18. Wye Oak will also play Bowery Ballroom as part of a tour in April.
St. Vincent plays Big Black. I just felt like saying it again!
words by Andrew Frisicano, photos by David Andrako
I was prepared to be disappointed by the Dan Deacon/So Percussion collaboration on Thursday night. I've seen Dan Deacon several times over the past few years and it has always seemed like more or less the same show ("Hey, it's that people-bridge thing."). With So Percussion, the last I saw of them was an evening-length piece at BAM titled Imaginary City. There the music was competently performed, but presentation was underwhelming; the ensemble got swallowed in their junkyard of instruments, too delicately played for the large theater space. My hope was that the group would be less calculated and more playful, which is when they're at their best, with Deacon (the amazing finale of their Matmos collaboration had them alternately chugging and playing beer cans).
Another reason to be skeptical: if you can remember back to May 2009, So Percussion described a Deacon-penned piece they'd be playing at a performance that month. An e-mail from the group warned that the piece "may include pouring liquids onstage, amplified coke bottles, and other oddities..." Well, it didn't end up coming together in time for the show. But it did last night. I figure, any project delayed more than two years is either a catastrophic trainwreck (Chinese Democracy) or a landmark breakthrough (Finnegans Wake or something). Part of that curiosity is what drew me to the show.
The night was divided into two halves, the first with So Percussion and Dan Deacon performing individual sets, then with the groups together. So Percussion's Jason Treuting was absent for the evening, off spending time with his new baby, who'd just been born two hours earlier, and substitute drummer Eric Rosenbaum did a great job of filling in. The band had the crowd sing "Happy Birthday" into a cell phone for the newborn, which was the first of several crowd-performances of the night.
Their opening set comprised of several short pieces, mostly based on videos submitted by friends: a bearded man using an electric toothbrush, a child playing with an orange balloon (replicas were thrown into the crowd to play with), and Martin Schmidt from Matmos looking very John Cage-ish, straight-backed and in a bow tie, playing a succession of musical objects into the camera. The ensemble improvised over the clips in meditative waves, aided by guitarist Grey McMurray.
Up next was Dan Deacon's solo set, which he didn't really perform in at all. In an obvious reach-out to prose scores (by John Cage and others I'm less familiar with) and aleatoric pieces like Terry Riley's In C, Deacon passed out a 24-step pamphlet with instructions for audience members to perform in their seats. The steps were to be repeated variously, before moving to the next in the sequence. Some instructions said to focus on breathing, others instructed you to sing a tone or scream, several involved using a cell phone, either to set off its alarm, create feedback with a neighbor's phone, or call a friend and have them sing to you (one stranger serenaded the near-silent hall to "Proud Mary"). The gambit paid off, both as a natural extension of the crowd-participation Deacon has previously employed and as a link to "new music" tradition.
There was an intermission, then "Ghostbuster Cook: The Origin of the Riddler," a collaborative piece with So Percussion, whose performance centered on drumming a row of soda bottles of varying sizes. They emitted a marimba-like sound that Dan Deacon manipulated with a row of effects. The next stop was a series of bass drums and congas, that sounded at times like a drum corps. When Dan Deacon fired up his sequencers, which took a few moments to lock in with the drums, it was the closest the night would get to a standard Dan Deacon set: overwhelming sound with chaotic execution (So Percussion didn't seem exactly at ease with their cues here). The group moved back to the pitched containers while members emptied more soda bottles into plastic tubs. Stoppers at the bottom of two playable bottles were let out and a misting sound filled the hall. Then, the silence. For what must have been more than ten minutes, So Percussion stood perched over their marimbas and vibes waiting for the running water to stop (no doubt a reference to the silence of John Cage's 4'33"). One enraged audience member exclaimed "Are you fucking kidding me?" before storming out the back. Then the water ended, and the group came in with an arrangement of twinkling mallet percussion, with a melody that hinted at Danny Elfman's film scores and polyrhythms that tugged in several different directions.
Was the night a success? Partly. Dan Deacon seemed serious about his concert hall debut; the prose score was fun and effective. So Percussion's solo set was a stellar example of what makes the group great: aural treats born out of playful experimentation. Their collaboration was a risk that had an admirable scope, and paid-off in parts, but stopped short of making a cohesive whole (again, the thing was called "Ghostbuster Cook: The Origin of the Riddler"). If Deacon and the group had put together a suite of short pieces, with spots to recalibrate and adjust, I suspect the result would have been a full success.
As it was, only one crowd member in a sold-out crowd leaving (as far as I could tell) is more than a minor victory. The biggest regret is the fact that the program's final piece, So Percussion's "I Love You, Goodnight," didn't happen. They skipped that song, possibly for time, or perhaps because Jason was absent, but I wish I had a video of it to post here: It's an amazing lullaby to send off an audience.
More pictures from the Ecstatic Music Festival show at Merkin Concert Hall (the next one is Craig Wedren, Jefferson Friedman & ACME on Saturday) below...
Buke & Gass and Victoire @ Merkin Concert Hall - 1/17/11 (by David Andrako)
For the dozens of artists who participated in the opening marathon concert of the Ecstatic Music Festival at Merkin Concert Hall on Monday, the event was less a defining breakthrough moment than the establishment -- temporary or not -- of an uptown beachhead for a flourishing alliance normally encountered in downtown and Brooklyn spaces like Le Poisson Rouge, Galapagos Art Space, Issue Project Room and Joe's Pub."The Chiara String Quartet and the Music of Nico Muhly & Valgeir Sigurdsson" happened last night (1/19), and the Ecstatic Music Festival continues tonight with a now-sold out Dan Deacon & So Percussion show. Some videos from previous shows below..
The notion of a mission seemed too heavy for the feel of this sprawling showcase, which was meant to run for seven hours and consumed nearly eight. If there was a core statement, it could have been -- to twist slightly the title of a song by Sarah Kirkland Snider, a gifted composer to be featured in a later festival event -- "This is what we're like." [NY Times]
Dan Deacon has been tapped by Francis Ford Coppola to score his next film, Twixt Now and Sunrise, due later this year. The gothic romance stars Val Kilmer, Bruce Dern, Ben Chaplin & Elle Fanning. In addition to scoring the film, Mr. Coppola and Mr. Deacon are collaborating on a larger level, details of which will be announced soon.In not really related news, Dan's old touring partner Girl Talk was the topic of a much-talked-about article in the NY Times (again) this past Sunday. Girl Talk is on tour now. Max Tundra and Junk Culture are both opening the sold out Terminal 5 show. Penguin Prison opens the sold out Wellmont Theatre show.
The announcement comes on the cusp of Deacon's concert of new music for So Percussion on Jan. 20th at the Merkin Concert Hall in NYC and his first performance of new orchestral work Feb 3rd and 4th with the Kitchner-Waterloo Symphony in Kitchner, Ontario.
The new Francis Ford Coppola movie is a horror movie, as the video below points out...
Dan Deacon & So Percussion
The picture above comes from the video below where Dan Deacon and So Percussion talk about what their January 20th Merkin Concert Hall show will be like (part of the Ecstatic Music Festival and tickets are still available). Check that out, with all of Dan's tour dates (including a NYC Apple store panel discussion), below...