Thursday, January 31, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Monday, January 28, 2008
Still regretting not flying out to DC last spring for the DPlan reunion show.
I wasn't really in the mood for the crazy free-for-all that Saturday night's Girl Talk/Dan Deacon shows must have been (will have to wait for RFC's Kirstiecat to report back), but when I found out Dan Deacon was taking his Ultimate Reality DVD on the road with a live solo set the night before at the Lakeshore Theater, I was very intrigued. What would this DVD entail, exactly? How would a Dan Deacon show work in a theater with seats? Would he still manage to perform his trademark set on the floor instead of the stage?
After Jason Ajemian made the kids antsy and chatty with a somewhat out-of-place opening performance involving doing strange things to an upright bass (like whack the strings with a mallet), a couple of drum sets were set up in front of a large screen. The lights went down, recorded music by Dan came on over the loudspeakers, and some old-school Arnold Schwarzenegger footage from Conan the Barbarian kicked things off. In fact, the entire DVD was a psychedelic homage to all things Arnold, with footage from Predator, Terminator, Junior, Twins, Kindergarten Cop, etc. etc. etc., all colored in neon and mashed together by Jimmy Roche into one ridiculous and hilarious assault of the senses (a pregnant Arnold is funny on its own; a pregnant Arnold in slow motion is downright hysterical). After a few minutes drummers Kevin O'Meare of Video Hippos and Jeremy Hyman of Ponytail, two fellow Baltimore bands, provided some intense synchronized drumming. The audience seemed virtually paralyzed throughout the entire performance until one audience member finally ran up to the stage to try to dance, instigating a mass rush from the audience to the stage. Comically, this happened just in time for the DVD to end, which I appreciated as a bunch of moshing hipsters would have been a little distracting.
Now that the seal had been broken, however, the 20 minutes before Dan began his solo set involved watching kids jump over seats trying to squeeze into the 15 feet of open space between the stage and the front row. Which is exactly where Dan Deacon decided to set up. Later telling us this was his first performance in a seated theater, he proved that regardless of the venue, never shall his table rest on a stage. As usual, this meant only people right up front could see him, but he threw us a bone by having a video camera pointing down at him from the stage so everyone who chose to remain in the seats (see: me) could check out the action and see his "trippy green skull" glow. Having seen him twice already (though always outdoors sans light show), a Dan Deacon show certainly has a specific formula which changes minorly depending on the venue:
1) Begin stretching with crowd to random song (Run DMC in this case, previously "Under the Sea")
2) Provide inane story that involves audience participation, including staring at a stranger, kneeling down and pointing in various directions
3) Turn story into some strange countdown that is spoken using various emotions as the numbers go down, possibly involving Ethan Hawke's career
4) Play some music, jump/jiggle up and down, kids go crazy, lose cell phones and cameras on floor
5) Commence dance contest
6) Have audience do the gauntlet around the room
7) Sing "Silence Like the Wind Overtakes Me" with the audience
Overall Dan provided us with a good time as usual, though I'm definitely too old to get down and dirty with the crazy moshpits and gauntlets these days. But I sure did appreciate that seat.
Most of my pictures are of are the video screen or the ridiculous crowd. Check it out.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Friday, January 25, 2008
"a special screening of the DAN DEACON & JIMMY JOE ROCHE video piece Ultimate Reality at the Lakeshore Theater. The work "combines an intense musical composition for electronics and drums with a psychedelic montage of ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER films that is projected at a monumental scale." The screening will feature live musical accompaniment by DEACON and ROCHE, playing alongside members of PONYTAIL and VIDEO HIPPOS. This is not to be missed!"
Sweet, Arnold films set to spazzy electro. Supposedly Dan is doing a solo set after the performance, so we'll see how that works in a theater of seats. I'll be sure to actually charge my camera batteries beforehand to try to take some pictures.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I played the aforementioned cover of Joanna Newsom's "Sprout and the Bean" on my show last night, and an alert listener directed me to this cover by the Moscow Coup Attempt. Interesting that it's done with another pixie-ish female voice, only slightly creepier.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Justin also proved to have a great stage presence- funny and self-deprecating, he did a great of job of engaging the audience, even though he and his band mates were all sitting down. This was my only complaint of the show, as I was in the back and couldn't really see anything as a result; luckily, Bon Iver will be returning to Chicago in April and I will make sure to be in the front row next time.
I didn't get any pictures, but Pitchfork has a few up from their show in the Twin Cities the night before. It looked pretty much the same (though the guitarist sported an Eau Claire shirt instead of Stevens Point. Still, showing the Wisconsin love.)
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Monday, January 14, 2008
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Monday, January 07, 2008
Sunday, January 06, 2008
This past Saturday I took a screenprinting workshop over at Spudnik Press. Considering how many screenprinted concert posters litter my walls, I figured it might be cool to learn how the process works. We got to make a super basic, one-color print based on an image we brought in, so I made one using the little flying monster from Menomena's I Am the Fun Blame Monster album cover. One of my fellow students took pictures of the workshop and posted them on flickr- check 'em out here- you can see my print on the drying racks in some of the pics. I loved it so much I'm planning on taking a 5-week course at the Lillstreet Art Center, where I'll probably continue to ape images from my favorite album covers.