Headed to Celebrate Brooklyn tonight to see Jamie Lidell, Dan Deacon and psychedelic soul unit The Stepkids? It is free, after all. Heads up, because we’ve got some fun Dan Deacon news: his free app, Wham City Lights, uses phones in the audience, to be part of the synchronized light show that supports the music. We spoke to Deacon over email to find out to her a bit more about the project and the show.
If you’re going to the show and haven’t listened to America yet, give it a listen, because according to Deacon, the app would go along with a song from the album. “We’re going to try the intro of USA on the phones. It’ll turn everyone’s phone into a synchronized mass of square wave synths playing a sequence of pitches changing in time to the beat, but the speed of the sequence will be changed by the user holding the phone.”
The Prospect Park crowd is going to be one of the largest Deacon has played in front of since using Wham City Lights, and told us he’s looking forward to seeing what happens with the vast audience and space. “It’s exciting for me,” he says, “because it’s impossible to test without the audience. It’s an actual experiment that has a chance for failure… If it works, it’ll be a cloud of 1000 synths spread across a field in controlled chaos. And if it fails…hey, at least he app is free!
A SUNY Purchase grad, Deacon was turned off by the state of the Brooklyn DIY scene when he graduated in the early aughts, but gigs in town are much more enjoyable for him these days. “It’s always fun to come up and play New York. I have a lot of friends and family here so it’s nice to see them.”
“And,” he adds, “the crowds are, normally, particularly crazy.” While he’s got lots of Brooklyn-based artists whose work he likes, some of whom include Tristan Perich, So Percussion, Pictureplane, and DJ Dog Dick, But don’t expect to see him at the Bushwick Country Club or High Dive after the show. Deacon said on the road he just tries to”relax as much as possible, which is difficult for me since I’m an insane neurotic person. If I can get in a few hours of time spent with close friends and family the trip was a success.”