Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Welcome to Wham City

The whole glasses and nerdy demeanor and obsession with electronics should have made him a dead ringer for Mark Mothersbaugh, a one man Devo. And the name of his official breakthrough album, Spiderman of the Rings, boldly strives for Phillip Glass. Wham City's mayor, Dan Deacon revels in his electro-theater of the absurd. The Wham City collective (originally populated by a wildly inventive bunch of SUNY Purchase art school grads colonizing Baltimore) has served as a venue for upcoming electro-clashers, it is Dan Deacon who has been the theater's brightest star. In fact, Deacon came up with the entire name deeming a dormitory at Purchase, Wham City. Just listen to a song like "Wooody Wooodpecker" and you'll understand that Dan Deacon is on an astral plane. The first few seconds are simply a loop of "ha ha ha" machine gun laugh of America's favorite cartoon woodpecker. Harmless and innocent at its start, the "ha ha ha's" eventually warp into some nightmarish version of Woody. And it just goes. I dare you to turn it off. Deacon's theater of the absurd, however, is not dark or nilhistic. On the contrary, he wants everyone to join in, except "no jerks" (a Wham City slogan.) Spiderman of the Rings is bizarre, but its strangely accessible. Tracks like "Pink Batman," "Okie Dokie," and the epic tribute to Wham City (guess the name of the song) although layered with experimental touches of but there is no question that this is a pop album. Meet Dan Deacon, the mayor of Wham City. No jerks allowed.

Dan Deacon on an early morning cable access show

"The Crystal Cat"

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