Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Midday Show host Cheryl Waters, is “Paddling Ghost” by Dan Deacon from the 2009 album Bromst on Carpark Records.
Who is Dan Deacon, you ask? Believe it or not, the man is a modern day electronic mad scientist. Originally from New York, now part of Baltimore’s Art Collective, Wham City; he’s got a formal education in musical composition and a nose for technology, specifically analog and digital instruments of various forms, Signal Generators, iPods, knobs and switches, effects pedals, bright colored duct tape, and even yarn. His gear, resembling something between a synthesizer, an Atari 2600 and a junk heap, is usually set-up right in the middle of the enthusiastic crowd. The rabid fanbase that line up for his shows should be no surprise: his 2007 album, Spiderman of the Rings, received critical acclaim for its digital wizardry and danceable beats, and his latest album, Bromst, is already one of the hottest of 2009. Gone are the solo days of the first album; the new album enlists the help of up to 15 additional band members to pull off the much more complex analog sound live. If you’ve never been to one of his live shows, you’re definitely missing out. Usually, they include heavy crowd interaction and dancing. Lots of dancing... a dance-off, in fact... plus a human tunnel. Witness what happened when he played recently at the Vera Project in Seattle.
Dan Deacon has just a few more U.S. appearances and then he’s off to Europe! You can listen to additional tracks on his MySpace page or read more at his incredibly minimalist website. For now, check out the orgiastic spectacle of Dan Deacon performing “Snookered” at NYU: