In which Dan Deacon brings Whartscape to New York, and some asshole steals his iPod.
For those who missed it: you should have been there (of course). For those who have no idea what “it” I’m talking about: Baltimore sent the rest of the northeast its own mini-Whartscape in the form of the a series of Round Robin shows, two nights in each city, 24 bands and performers in all, plus assorted additional strangeness. I only managed to catch day two, the so-called Feet Night and dance-party to the preceding Eyes Night’s more reflective offering. As could perhaps be expected from a Dan Deacon-lead program, the night was fluorescent Saturnalia of disheveled blacklight Siamese shark twin electropunk (Nuclear Power Pants), spazzed out hip-hop triggered by what looked like a Fischer Price keytar (DJ Dog Dick), condo- (and perhaps audience front row)- leveling agit-punk (Double Dagger), frantic business-funk mashup mixes (Double Dagger drummer Denny Bowen as Smart Growth), LED-blink gameboy robot themes (Adventure), almost-oldschool rap (Height), charismatically vaudevillian bigbeat goth-pop (Lizz King), bombastic electronically-articulated melodramatics (Future Islands), and technicolor video-synced fuzz-pop (Video Hippos). Actually, quite a lot of video to go around, mostly thanks to Mark Brown’s various live video constructions of swooping owls and splintering transformers.
The only sour note came near the end, when someone in audience nicked Dan Deacon’s backing track-triggering ipod just before his closing song. Thanks, whoever, for bringing the collective euphoria back to bitter reality. You better at least be using it as the centerpiece of a Wham City altar surrounded by show posters and fake moss from the Jurassic Park play, or something otherwise more interesting than leaking songs or just selling it. Fortunately, after repeated choruses of Ed Schrader’s “I Think I’m a Ghost” (with a reconfigured Double Dagger as backing band), and a monologue from Dan about New York’s economic doom, presumably delivered in revenge, Dan’s laptop surfaced and was able to step in for the purloined mp3 player. Thus making possible the ecstatic chorus of “Wham City” that could really be such a show’s only proper finish.