Last night, Baltimore’s Dan Deacon put the finishing touches on an album’s worth of mashups — tracks made from blending several songs together — and threw it on SoundCloud for free. It’s called Wish Book Vol 1, and Deacon says it was pieced together during long treks on his veggie-powered school bus, on which he’s been touring in support of America.
Tag: dan deacon
Ben O’Brien has never let the fact that he doesn’t play an instrument or write songs keep him out of the music scene. In college, this meant his brother (that’s me) had to devise a band with two lead singers, one of whom could sort of growl along. Post-college, it meant making a slew of music videos that tie into his puppet-and-green-screen-heavy video series Showbeast, which Ben describes as “a kids-TV-show style series of short films that come out irregularly for adults.”
Halloween is only 16 days away — why not dress up along with the kids this year? Doesn’t have to be a major production. And the lift that you’ll get from playing pretend for a sugar-buzzing night is worth the minor time investment to find a character who speaks to you and assemble the necessary props. Don’t leap for the omnipresent zombie or fairy princess duds; don’t dress as kooky Snooki with baby because everyone will do that. Here are some quirkier suggestions if you’re feeling stumped. May these ideas set you on your way toward finding your own funky Halloween fit.
Since Baltimore’s own Dan Deacon and Keith Lea released an app that turns an audience’s smartphones into a kind of crowd-sourced light show, confirmations of the app’s technological novelty (it requires neither wireless nor cell service to sync all the phones in a venue) and stunning visual effect have been slowly accumulating.
Baltimore’s own Dan Deacon is featured in a 600-word interview this month in Rolling Stone promoting his new album. In it, he names the musical and real-life influences of the record (David Bowie’s Low and American geography, respectively), and he name-drops Prettyboy Reservoir. The Rolling Stone piece is just one of an uncountable number of interviews, both international and domestic, that the Baltimore musician is giving in anticipation of the August 28 release of America.
We’ve still got a couple months until Dan Deacon’s album America drops, but for those of you who can’t wait till September for some more Deacon ear candy, he’s just released a new track – a remix of “Call Me Maybe” layered over itself 147 times.
He does this magical job of turning an overplayed pop song into something really enjoyable. The first few seconds are just the same bubbly notes we’ve all listened to way too many times in the past month or so, but then the next layer comes in, and then the next, and the next. By number nine a whole different melody begins to emerge, and by 100 it’s this almost mystical, rolling technobabble, with Jepsen’s lyrics only popping out in millisecond shards. I don’t think Dan intended it to be a commentary on playing a song too many times, but I couldn’t help but find it ironic how much I loved listening to what you can basically chalk up to the ultimate over-play.
The track, “Call Me Maybe Acapella 147 Times Exponentially Layered,” won’t be on America – it’s actually part of a remix album pulled together by Mabson Enterprises. The album consists of 43 (that’s right, 43) remixes and covers of Carly Rae Jepsen’s painfully catchy song. EAR PWR, Phil Blankenship, and many others have all contributed tracks.
Check it out / download it for FREE right here.
That’s right, Baltimore, Dan’s back and he’s announced the release of his next album, courtesy of Domino Records. America is scheduled to come out in North America August 28, though amusingly the rest of the world gets it the day before.
In the album release announcement, America is described as “a portrait of anger, confusion, and apocalyptic anxiety over corporatism and war, but one that finds consolation in the geography of the United States and in recent social movements both domestic and international.”
Dan performed Last Friday at the grand finale of the Open Walls mural project in Station North, where he (may have?) showcased some of the songs off his new album. Throughout the set, he reminded the crowd that they weren’t there to support the event’s corporate sponsors, but to celebrate their city and its art. America‘s themes land close to home for Baltimore.
Here’s the tracklist, confirmed by Domino Records:
1. Guilford Avenue Bridge
2. True Thrush
5. Crash Jam
6. USA I: Is a Monster
7. USA II: The Great American Desert
8. USA III: Rail
9. USA IV: Manifest
You’re driving down East North Avenue and just as you take the left onto Charles you look up and whoa! Huge mural. It’s a man lying on his side, fetal position, pulling off a mask that spirals away from him into a bright tangle of color and shapes. It must be 25-feet tall, and more than twice that long. All of a sudden the empty lot becomes a stage, a vantage point, somewhere to stand and take in the art. Sure it’s still dotted with empty cement buckets, and Doritos bags roll through like tumbleweed, but these things seem to matter less now.
The piece, recently completed by Argentinian artist Ever, is one of the most visible of 23 murals in Baltimore’s Open Walls project, which spans through Station North. Open Walls is an achievement in many senses – not only are the pieces artistically significant in and of themselves, they also represent a major collaboration among some of the foremost contemporary mural artists in the world, and a media success within and outside of the city. As a Baltimore native and resident, though, the most important part for me is their psychological impact, the way they transform the spaces they overlook. I wanted to see some more, so I rode around the area for a while.