Dan Deacon Meetle Mice
The music contained on these albums I wrote while in college (and a few while in high school) when I was just discovering computer music. I wrote them for fun, never planning on doing anything with them at that the time or expecting them to be heard outside of my circle of friends. When I was asked to play a show on campus I thought it might be a good idea to burn some CD-Rs and try to sell them at the show.
Going through my files, I found the pieces that I liked the most, grouped them into two different collections and gave them the most appropriate/absurd titles I could think of. The organization of the songs was somewhat thoughtout but mostly chaotic: make sure the granular synth pieces are far from each other; keep the songs with beats spread out; sound collages placed amongst sine wave drone pieces. They were more like compilations of my experiments than albums of compositions.
I made only 8 CD-R copies of each in photocopied sleeves with contact paper on the discs. I sold all but 1 of each for $7 or two for $10. Explosions were going off in my head, dollar signs appearing in my eyes. Making $70 from selling CD-Rs was blowing my mind. I started selling them at every show, even though the music contained on them didn’t represent what I ever performed live, since the music on Meetle Mice and Silly Hat was never meant to be performed live (except for the acoustic ensemble pieces).
The CD-Rs and artwork are riddled with mistakes. There’s digital clipping on many of the tracks; ‘Silly Hat vs. Egale Hat’ was meant to be ‘Silly Hat vs. Eagle Hat’; “copy write” should have been ‘copyright’, etc., but I thought the typos were funny and kept it with each batch of the CD-Rs. Since I was only selling them on campus or a few shows in NYC it didn’t really matter. I hated stuff that took itself too seriously so keeping my spelling mistakes glaring was important to me. And considering the music was made in a vacuum with no intention of it ever seeing the light of day, it made sense to keep all the errors in their original state (true of this reissue as well the artwork for this reissue was scanned from the original run of 8.)
I was a very different musician back then trying to figure out how to interact with sound, what could be done with it, where it could go, learning music software for the first time. Since then my aesthetic has shifted, my absurdist mindset subdued. At times I feel like these albums are skeletons in my musical closet. Many of the song titles are absurd or toy with the idea of what is offensive and what is not, many of them created as a commentary on the super politically correct atmosphere that was Purchase College in the early 2000s.
These albums are like seeds. They sound, look and feel very different from the fruit that they’ve grown but they are still of the same tree.
Standing in a Greyhound Bus station, wearing a Sylvester t-shirt and huge duct-tape-covered glasses, Baltimore’s Dan Deacon doesn’t invoke the image of a composer to the other bus riders. The two suitcases he loads under the bus, which accompany him from city to city, hold the sweat-and-grime-soaked electronics that he uses to craft his raging, maxed-out party music and light show. After 12 tours and 300+ shows in little over 2 years, the gear is beaten and battered, but the show and the energy it produces is anything but.
Dan Deacon has garnered a reputation in the underground as an intense performer and classic showman. The table top full of pedals, a sine wave generator, vocoder and casio blasting through the PA, joined by a makeshift light board with various bulbs and green skull strobe light, make his all out dance-til-you-drop performance a complete experience.
But it isn’t all fancy feet and bouncy beats. Deacon is a classically trained composer with a Masters degree in electro-acoustic composition. He has released 7 albums from 2003 to 2006, but those self-produced recordings do not contain the vocal-based experimental pop that he has fine-tuned in live performance. His latest full length, Spiderman of the Rings is the first album bridging the gap between party performer and genuine composer. A mixture of his live show dance anthems, intricate instrumentals and humorous monologues, Spiderman of the Rings establishes Dan Deacon as a new type of entertainer in the contemporary underground.
1. BJI Aii Hmhp #14
2. Never Do That (Mars)
3. Biggle Hat Was Ice Cream Time (Card Shark Nose Nose) (Live)
4. 30 (from 21 through 35) (Live)
5. Electronics With Clarinet and Bari Sax
6. Song For Dina
7. My own face is F word
8. Drinking Out of Cups
10. The Adventures of Mr Bumbershine Featuring Doctor Witherbean
11. That’s A Nice Shirt (Dad)
12. Aerosmith Permanent Vacation 24162-2
14. I’m So Gay with The Boner
15. Aw Ah Ah Ah (Party Cakes)
16. My Weasle Is Married Worm Married
17. I Have AIDS
18. 005 September 22 BE