Dan Deacon

Dan Deacon

Height With Friends, CHESTER ENDERSBY GWAZDA, Alan Resnick

Thu, November 15, 2012

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:30 pm

Union Transfer

Philadelphia, PA

$13-$15

This event is all ages

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Dan Deacon
Dan Deacon
With the success of Dan Deacon’s 2007 album Spiderman of the Rings, came an opportunity for the electronic-music iconoclast to increase the breadth and depth of his entire musical project. Deacon moved from self-contained computer music to orchestral epics. His interactive live show, honed in DIY spaces, was taken to museums and concert halls. He frequently expanded his performances to include a horde of side musicians. Gliss Riffer, an entirely self-produced record of almost all electronic sounds, is a return to Deacon’s Spiderman of the Rings-era process. He calls it “easily the most fun [he’s] ever had making a record.” After a string of large ensemble projects (including 2009’s Bromst and 2012’s America) Deacon longed for the “simplicity” of the days when he did nearly everything himself. So he made plans to sequester himself in his studio and conjure an album from the sketches and songs he had begun in the back of the van on the European leg of the America tour. Those plans were upended when he received a last-minute invitation to tour with Arcade Fire in August. Rather than lose momentum by pushing back his recording schedule, Deacon continued to make the record on the road. “I was mixing and arranging in the green room before sound check and each night back at the hotel.” Deacon said, “On days off I’d find a studio to track vocals or mix. When a studio couldn’t be found I dismantled a hotel bathroom, sealing the vents with towels and using all the bedding to turn it into a control room.” This is his first record to showcase his newfound appreciation for his vocal cords, an appreciation he gained after going through an extended bout of laryngitis. “I started thinking about how the voice is an instrument that expires,” he said, “and that made me want to make an album with the voice more exposed.” And that he did. While Gliss Riffer contains all the instrumental layering we’ve come to expect, the vocals are mixed with a prominence (“Feel the Lightning,” “Learning to Relax”) and, at times, a clarity (“When I Was Done Dying”) that have never been heard on a Dan Deacon record before. All the vocals are performed by Deacon himself, even the female voice on “Feel the Lightning” is the product of vari-speed recording techniques. This album also marks the first time Deacon replaced his digitally realized parts with analog synthesizers, giving Deacon the opportunity to experiment with synthesizers in the same way he experimented with strings and wind instruments on America. Deacon travelled to Asheville, N.C., to record with Moog’s at-the-time-unreleased Sub 37 analog synth. Gliss Riffer is the first record in the world to feature the instrument. Despite being predominately electronic, Gliss Riffer’s sonic palette is informed by his post-Spiderman material. The Disklavier, a MIDI-fed player piano first heard on Bromst, is present here. (This time around, Deacon ran it so hard it broke.) Cross-rhythms suggestive of America’s orchestral opus “USA” and Deacon’s art music work (including a Carnegie Hall performance and film score for Francis Ford Coppola) are also in evidence. What Gliss Riffer shares with Spiderman of the Rings as a musical experience is an aesthetic directness and ecstatic energy. Gliss Riffer trades in exuberant, uncontained fun. Lyrical images of lightning, oceans, lakes, and roads crop up frequently as stand-ins for freedom and self-realization. The tracks were started on the ever-changing landscapes that greet a touring musician. The lyrics, on the other hand, were mostly written in Deacon’s studio, a room with no windows and no air conditioning in Baltimore’s sweltering summer where it was easy to imagine being somewhere else. So while Gliss Riffer is all about fun, it’s figured dramatically. It’s a euphoria tempered by yearning and set in defiance of life’s nagging anxiety. “Happiness takes time,” we are reminded by tremolo vocals in the middle of the supremely danceable “Mind on Fire.” The bliss on this record is well-earned.
Height With Friends
Height With Friends
I've been recording and performing as Height since 1998. I added the 'with friends' in 2008 and made it more of a band, and less like a rapper with an anonymous crew. The cast is constantly revolving. At the moment, we are performing as a five-piece band with live instruments.

We've released thirteen albums and EP's. Wham City, Friends, Grand Man, Dogg Pony, Aural States and Snowghost Records have all put out our music.

We've played over 500 shows in the US, Canada and Europe. We have toured with Future Islands, Dan Deacon, Beach House, Jana Hunter, Grand Buffet, Adventure, Cex, The Death Set, and Oxes as well as many equally good, but yet lesser known acts.

We tend to keep all the writing and production in-house, but we've also been fortunate to collaborate with artists like Tobacco and Wye Oak.

The music of Height has changed drastically over the years, and it will continue to evolve. The goal is always to make understated, moving music from the heart. We are currently putting the finishing touches on a new full length, due out this summer.
CHESTER ENDERSBY GWAZDA
CHESTER ENDERSBY GWAZDA
Baltimore's Chester Endersby Gwazda has been behind the scenes for much of Baltimore's strongest releases as of late. His production can be found on amazing works like Dan Deacon's Bromst (as well as his upcoming LP) and Future Islands' In Evening Air. He's also served as part of Dan Deacon's touring ensemble (synths). He's worked on so many albums, but at heart he's a songwriter and musician…and somehow he's never released an album himself.

Now that's changed with the priceless release of Shroud. On this LP, he lets loose and experiments freely with a wave of different sounds but consistently instills a vibrant sense of melody and harmony throughout. The intricate balance of Shroud is what really strikes me. The sounds are so energetic and colorful, but much of the LP's themes are downers. Gwazda spoke on this:

The songs on Shroud are both pessimistic and hopeful at the same time, I guess. Lots of death and being buried alive and shit, but also lots of rebirth and discovery. That's where the album's title came from. Like, if you've got a death shroud over your face before you're dead, just pull it off, right? I'm not interested in making gloomy sounding music, but I'm not interested in being happy-go-lucky either. If the words don't match the feeling of the music, that's ok. The world is a confusing place, right??
Alan Resnick
Alan Resnick
Alan Resnick is a visual artist obsessed with his own face. Since 2009 he has been working towards the creation of a lifelike digital backup. This avatar is being designed to fill the role of Alan to family and friends in the event of his death. Alan has also gives"neat" lectures about the importance of digitizing the self and DIY virtual reality technology. After receiving his BFA from SUNY Purchase he started collaborating with the Wham City collective. He exaggerates his own self worth or importance, often in an overbearing manner.
Venue Information:
Union Transfer
1026 Spring Garden St.
Philadelphia, PA, 19123