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Preview: Dan Deacon

The always-surprising Deacon comes to Republic April 21



Anything can happen at a Dan Deacon show. That's not empty talk — really, anything. There's the usual swirl of blissed-out, neon-tracing spazzes, and then there's the row of concertgoers who interrupt the gig at Deacon's Bugs Bunny command and proceed to line up for a block outside the venue, pairing off and facing with their hands in the air and touching, breaking two-by-two at one end to follow the wormhole to the other end, where they locate their impromptu partner and rejoin palms, eventually returning the same way to the door and the music, a psychedelic human Slinky. Listening to his new album Gliss Riffer (Domino), it's as if Deacon is describing this odd bit of group dynamics: "I'm having visions, infinite visions, the same ones as you," he begins "Feel the Lightning," measured and monotone, before lapsing into the kind of double-time groove that accelerates so many of his songs: "Ten thousand eyes and 400 hands / And all of my arms are made of the sands." Giving yourself over to Deacon means relinquishing control and going a little insane. It's worth it. He can be ecstatic and annoying, though those extremes each recede somewhat toward the middle on Gliss Riffer, which features some of his most creative and mainstream songwriting yet. I lose myself every time in the middle third: "When I Was Done Dying," a springy army of double-tracked, octave-hopping Deacon-ribbits; "Meme Generator," cut-up vocals arranged like an origami flower; and "Mind on Fire," the mountaintop from which you can survey the madness. He even provides a beautiful breather, 45 seconds where everything drops out except a single-bird synth, a trenchant beat and Deacon's voice, which kind of is the beat: "Happiness takes time / And time is my life / And if I have no time / Then am I still alive?" Prince Rama and Ben O'Brien open. Tickets $15 in advance, $18 day of show.

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