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Dan Deacon: Bromst

by on August 30, 2010

9.4/10 (Future Classic)

If you are tired of the same old music, the same old dreary tone and beat of that hip-hop song, that drowning “indie” music, or that screeching and whining sound of your alternative music, pay attention. Bromst, Dan Deacon’s 11th work, is a force to be reckoned with. Take the beauty of a classical composer’s writing, infuse it with the mind of an electro-juggernaut, and combine them with that nerd from the high school AV club and you’ve reached the genius that is Dan Deacon.

Dan Deacon was born in Babylon, New York on August 28th 1981, but Deacon ultimately crafted his musical following from his home base of Baltimore, Maryland.  WHAMCITY! What is it? Sounds like a hipster’s idea of slang…damn hipsters…but no! It happens to be a musical collective Deacon built up in his last home, The Copycat Building. More slang? Afraid so. The Copy Cat building, for those who know about it, has been shelter for artists, musicians, painters and the like, for many years in Baltimore. Approximately 100+/- bands call the Copy Cat building home, the most famous artists who occupied its hallowed halls include Deacon, Jimmy Joe Roche, and Ed Shrader.

I first came across Dan Deacon’s music from a music playlist I happened to subscribe to, “Snookered”, I remember it was one of the first songs that caught my eye, yet I never happened to double-click on it. Then, serendipity had its way with me. On my first-ever trip to Lollapalooza, the first artist concert that I walked into, Dan Deacon was on stage with a full band orchestra, captivating his crowd and working his magic. It still stays in my memory to this day. He got his pal to go into the middle of the crowd, he managed to get the crowd to spread out in a vast circle and create a tribal dance. As the music shifted ever-so-slowly up, rising and rising, so did the dances intensity, until Deacon let blast away the tension with one of the greatest musical releases I’ve ever heard. The whole crowd erupted! Throwing into the air every piece of garbage they could find, water bottles, beer cups (full or not), and so on. It was the ultimate party.

I have had the privilege of seeing Dan Deacon play twice, once at Lolla, and once at a solo concert in Chicago. Both events have been ingrained in my memory as some of the greatest moments of my life. If you have the chance to go to a concert of his, go for goodness sakes.

Dan Deacon’s Wham City collective are just some of the musical variety and genius that are coming out of the Baltimore music scene. Dan Deacon’s electro-pop-rock, Beach House’s soothing odes such as “Norway”, Wye Oak’s girlfriend and boyfriend duo, Double Dagger, Spank Rock, and much much more.
With layers upon layers of complicated music structure as well as some of the catchiest beats and riffs you can find, Bromst provides a musical experience, something rare of the music biz today. Full of crescendos and descending tones and structure, Bromst has become one of the albums of the 21st century, showing that although the 20th century has passed, musical talent and genius has just skimmed the surface of its potential.

Dan Deacon’s 2009 album Bromst has gained much acclaim throughout the underground music scene, so much so that, as does happen, the album jussst scrapes the outer rim of mainstream knowledge; and that’s the way Dan Deacon would have it. Whartpscape, Wham City’s own creation, a music festival centralized in Baltimore, is a prime example of what Dan Deacon stands for. Whartscape began as a small music festival of a handful of underground bands, and over its 5 year lifespan has expanded into a 120+ artist bonanza, 100% volunteer based, 100% sponser free, 100% Wham City. And then, as the festivities came to an end at this year’s festival it was announced that the 5 years young concert would seize to run any longer. It had gained too much acclaim…in other words, it became too mainstream, too big. Thus, Wham City and Deacon have moved on and will, undoubtedly, find a new way to wow the entertainment world.


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