DAN DEACON'S AMERICA.
I guess that could've been a smarmier title, something like "it's ... we just live in it.." but what does that shit mean anyway? Dan Deacon, a dude I consider a friendly, and a friend, just put out a record called simply America. And it's pretty good. Dan's 2007 record, Spiderman of the Rings is ingenious, a Marquee Moon or uh, Into the Vortex career-definer in a lot of ways. This new one is more of a grower, but because of that, it's got a depth that I think's gonna make it last a lot longer as a piece of art. I'm still just working my way around it, which is to say, I think I've listened through the record about two times as a whole, and to different songs a few more times.
I found the statement here, on his website kind of moving. Reminded me of my first real time abroad as a sort-of-adult of 25, heading to a pretty foreign place as a Peace Corps volunteer. You know you're not supposed to tell everybody your country's great and has everything figured out, but you also miss a lot of things about it, and I, personally, hadn't thought of myself as particularly from a country prior to that. And, good, bad and in-between, I was proud to be an American, a guy from a community that has a lot going for it, has plenty of shit wrong with it, but you've got to be from somewhere. I don't like colonialism, and appreciate the sentiment that in a world as commercial as this one, and country at the forefront of that err, whole deal, it takes a more than minor act of resistance to actively equate one's Americanness with positive things like say: Shat Upon Zine, Humpy, the Fireballs of Freedom, Jay's Upstairs, Zoo City Apparel, the Ole Beck 209 VFW, the Lab, Disgruntled Nation, Ass-End Offend, Hammerhead, Needlecraft, Fugazi, the Missoula Art Museum, the river trail, Minor Bird Records, the Missoula Independent, the Rattlesnake Wilderness, Lightning Bolt, Shahs, fucking Lightning Bolt, Custody Battle and Dan Deacon rather than say, Coca Cola Budweiser, Tom Cruise and whatever other mass culture has got the better budget and is hugely vying for what the world sees as "America." By being an American who can represent a place, it's people, music, culture, food, festivals and all that, I think you kind of hack a little piece out of the commercial neo-colonialism that just creeps out of this place. So, I'm taking a huge leap in equating Dan's album explanation with all this, but it struck a chord. Sure, Pitchfork's fawning and NPR's gonna do a feature, but don't be a hater. The guy's legit, DIY and just made a great piece of art.
I normally go in for rock and punk records, but what I like about a band like Vaz, their visceral crush of energy and power, I also get off a record like this and performance like Dan's the first night of Total Fest XI. I saw Torche guys gleefully pulling Ben from Helms Alee and Harkonen into the sweaty pulse of folks going apeshit and dancing. And that made me stoked. It's also got a pretty couple of pictures of Lake Placid and Bryce Canyon on the record. (Josh V.)