Baltimore's prolific electronic musician and conjuror of instant dance parties Dan Deacon has released a music video for "When I Was Done Dying," a new song off his latest album, Glass Riffer via Domino Records (along with "Feel the Lightning" which I picked for my Spring 2015 New Music Playlist). It was directed by Adult Swim's Off the Air, utilizing an equisite corpse style of collaborative animation, with nine animators taking over for thirty second segments before handing off the creative baton. The visuals match the psychedelia of the music, churning with energy for each artist's vision.
I was introduced to this creative mind via LynchLand, a podcast by his friend and frequent collaborator Liam Lynch. He vocalized many characters, most memorably the lizard that is immortalized in the popular video from 2003, "Drinking from Cups." (Most assume it's a recording of a guy high on something fierce, but it is actually Deacon's ramblings while watching TV and supposedly neither Lynch or Deacon do drugs.)
The first time I saw Dan Deacon on stage at Moogfest 2010, where he asked a large arena crowd to blow a kiss to Bob Moog in heaven and then create a countdown to the next song, going nuts along with his fans when the music started blasting. (Witness this wonderful concert moment in the video at the end of the post around the 4:06 mark!) He also opened for Arcade Fire when we saw the last tour stop in Montreal, admitting to the Canadian crowd how the U.S. government thinks our country is too stupid to be able to handle two languages like they do. Deacon split the thousands in attendance into two groups for a Simon Says dance off, something he repeated recently at NPR for a Tiny Desk Concert, where he even got the hipster worker drones of public radio moving. During an interview at a live session for KCRW's "Morning Becomes Eclectic" (listen or watch here), Deacon describes his gear set up and why he took to vocal manipulation as a way to bring a performance element to electronic music. Using his voice as an oscillator plus group participation prompts certainly adds to the experience -- his live shows are famous for the sweaty fun involved.
"When I Was Done Dying" starts off in typical Dan Deacon fashion, with a busy structure that just gets busier as he adds in those vocals and multiple layers of synths. This craziness all seems to make sense in this universe, as it carries along any willing listener. Check out the video here or on YouTube, and the song is available as a free track download on iTunes US here. And after sold out shows in L.A. and NYC back in February, Deacon is heading out again on a headlining tour with a date at Brooklyn's Warsaw on May 22. It's sure to be one fine dance party!