By Sarah Bennett
By Adam Lovinus
By Jena Ardell
By Nate Jackson
By Gustavo Arellano
By Nick Keppler
By Nate Jackson
By Alex Distefano
This isn’t a tale of two cities, but it is a tale of two people rapidly traveling to various cities and other places on the globe—and an upcoming show at UC Irvine that’s at once a celebration of what brought them together in the first place while preventing them from being at the same place at the same time.
“I’m pumped to come back to Irvine!” writes Dan Deacon, caught briefly via e-mail in the middle of what may be the busiest year yet for the New York-born, Baltimore-based artist. Following the release of his latest album, Bromst, and a summer tour with No Age and Deerhunter, Deacon is on yet another tour that will bring him to UCI’s Cross Cultural Center on Oct. 14.
Combining a sense of happy exuberance, warm sing-alongs and off-kilter experimentation—something a song such as “Snookered” from Bromst shows to the fullest—Deacon has gained as much of a reputation for his live performances as for his recorded work, as a number of YouTube clips readily demonstrate. Everything from games to coordinated dance moves often results; little wonder that the poster for this tour features a silhouette of him going happily nuts in the middle of a crowd of random figures from pop culture.
Deacon himself describes what happens with his live work as preparing “to just be ready for everything to go wrong and not to have expectations about anything. It’s important to able to think quickly when problems arise, and if you let stress take you over, it’s a lost battle.”
Deacon previously brought his brand of participatory merriment to UCI in January 2008 thanks to Sam Farzin. The KUCI music director has since seen his work with the booking/promotion crew Acrobatics Everyday move into overdrive, with an increasing number of acts making the university a key stop. (Just this past summer, Indian Jewelry performed a memorable show: They were so loud they blew out the power of the building they were in.)
Though Farzin and Acrobatics Everyday are once again booking Deacon’s show at UCI, Farzin himself won’t be there due to his own rock & roll adventures, as he explains with mingled pride and regret.
“I’m going on tour with my friend for five months, starting next week,” Farzin says. “His band’s name is Railcars. He originally went to San Francisco and just moved back here. The touring band’s just me and him, and we’re leaving in a week. We’re doing a U.S. tour, then a European tour, so I’m missing a lot of upcoming shows.
“I’ve never left anywhere I’ve lived for more than a week and a half, so I’m excited to basically go on something like a world tour—a ridiculous notion!” he continued. “But we’re playing five different countries in Europe, I’m so incredibly excited.”
Farzin contrasts the difference between arranging Deacon’s first appearance and the upcoming one with the understandable wisdom of experience, noting how his initial inquiry two years back to book a show by contacting Deacon via an online chat led to following up with his agent.
This time around, as Farzin notes, “The agent contacted me because he knew I would be interested—we weren’t able to get the full-band show, but [Deacon] did want to make an appearance. I wanted to put on the full-band show as a free noontime show, and there was campus support for that, [but] logistically, it didn’t work—it’s a 14-piece band, and I had another show I had to do that evening.”
Farzin is honestly bummed that he will miss Deacon’s return as a bit of a conquering hero. “I’ve seen him a dozen times at this point, and I always have a blast,” Farzin says. “Shows as big as this one are a bit rare for us to put on.”
Still, he admits, he’s already looking forward to spending the rest of the year on the road. And Deacon has some plans in place, too, such as writing of “going on a large trip with a bunch of friends and finishing writing the music I’ve been working on.”
Keep an eye on YouTube for the results.