Well, okay – he may not have changed my life but he drastically improved my mood last Friday night in Dublin’s Crawdaddy.
The day had started off in truly shit form, involving financial troubles (of course) brought to head with a spectacularly unsuccessful conversation with a bank clerk.
Conversation went something like this:
Bank clerk: “I can’t give you any money. Your account is ridiculously overdrawn.”
Me: “Yeah, I know, but the thing is, I’ll be getting some cash in a few weeks but in the meantime I just need a few euro to get a few tins of beans and some cheap white bread, and a few packets of tobacco to keep me going.”
Bank clerk: “I can’t give you any money.”
Me: “Yeah, but, I mean, it’s just that I’m a bit stuck, and I know it’s not really up to yourself, like, but it’s just, you know…”
Bank clerk: “I can’t give you any money.”
Me: “Just a tenner?”
Bank clerk: “Get out.”
Anyway, to my immense appreciation, our guest from last week’s show So Cow had kindly put me on the guestlist for the Foggy Notion’s late show in Crawdaddy on Friday night. With a terrifying hole in my pocket, I headed off to Crawdaddy for about midnight.
I arrived just in time to see So Cow taking to the stage, starting his set with a rendition of the opening track of his These Truly Are End Times album, Casablanca. He proceeded to play through much of the album, including League of Impressionable Teens, and the very sweet love song To Do List which goes like this:
“I’ve yet to wish death upon anyone/ I’ve yet to pull the wings off a fly / I’ve yet to put a cat in a washing machine / and I’ve yet to grow tired of your smile”
So Cow put in an excellent opening set for Dan Deacon. He had pre-recorded some rather hilarious between song banter, as opposed to having to do it live. It was just himself, his guitar, and backing tracks of himself to sing along with, and I really enjoyed it. The only thing was that I was worried that he might break his glasses, as they kept flying off his head when he got into a song. (It should be noted that I’m turning into a nanna.)
The same fears about Dan Deacon’s Timmy Malletesque specs were soon allayed as Baltimore’s finest started to set up his stage area. One of the first things I saw him do was duct tape his glasses to his head. I think that may have been the first incling I got that we were really in for something special.
Dan set up his stage – which was basically just a little table with all of his electronics and ipods and bananas and pedals duct taped on to it – on the dancefloor to the left of the stage in Crawdaddy. At this point, I went upstairs in Crawdaddy to get a good view of proceedings from the balcony. Incidentally, it seems that a lot of people think the balcony in Crawdaddy is for VIPs but I’ve never seen Glenda Gilson there, and actually it’s open for everyone to go upstairs most of the time, which can be great if you like to get a good view but are a bit pit-shy like myself.
Anyway, Dan started his set with a count-down from 35 (a bit tricky for the numerically dyslexic like myself) which really got everyone psyched up – as Dan had requested, we were counting down “sassy as fuck” and by the time we got to ‘ONE!’ the crowd packed in front of the stage surrounding Dan’s little electronic trolley just kicked off straight away. There was crowd surfing, body contorting dancing, pints flying in the air, all with Dan in the middle of it getting rubs on his wee bald head while the glasses stayed perfectly in place.
What followed was one of the most up-lifting and fun and brilliant and exciting and hilarious gigs I have ever been to. I only knew the song Crystle Cat and stuff from some videos that I’d seen on The New(ish) Journalism and the web before I went to see the show, but it didn’t matter at all – especially when Dan taught us a line of the song like ‘Silence like the window that takes me….ooooooooohhhh!’ At least that’s what I thought the words were at the time – it’s actually ‘Silence that the wind overtakes me’. Anyway, he taught us the line of the song and then told us we had to find a stranger next to us and sing that line of the song to them while looking them directly in the eye. I shared a wonderful moment with a stranger, while everyone around us did the same. Then there was the dance-off in the middle of the set, when Dan got everyone to make a big circle in the middle of the dancefloor, and during the following song we got some great moves from about eight audience members, who didn’t let Dan down by truly getting into the buzz of letting go and being as ridiculous as possible!
At no point during this gig did I start thinking about bills, financial stress, whether I’d turned the gas off at home or anything – it was one of those gigs where you are one hundred percent there, and loving every minute of it. Not to get too emotional about it, but it’s gigs like that that remind you life is cool, and music is cool, and it doesn’t matter if the bank won’t give you any money for tobacco, you can still go to gigs and not drink and have a blast, and forget about all of the stupid shit that isn’t even important anyway. Dan Deacon – thank you for reminding me of this on Friday night.
The picture at the top of this post is from Dan’s myspace, as I couldn’t find any pics on the web from the Crawdaddy gig. However, I do know that nialler will be putting up a few pics and perhaps a gig rundown as well on the blog tomorrow, so do have a look at nialler9 then to get some kind of an idea of what went on in Crawdaddy last Friday night. He’ll probably have more of an idea of the line-up and what Dan played too. I was too busy dancing like a possessed aerobics instructor to take note of the song titles! I do know that he played Crystle Cat, but did not play the favourite Wham City, which is apparently about the warehouse where Dan lives in Baltimore with an artists’ collective.
In the meantime, here’s a video from a performance at Pitchfork 2007:
He mentioned that he would come back to Dublin in October or November – definitely check him out. Dan will help you melt all your worries away, in an electronic-tinged mad affair of silly dancing and fucking deadly vibes!
The mp3 of last Thursday’s show with White Noise will be up tomorrow morning, in time for the Monday morning blues.