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Spiderman of the Rings


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Audio CD, May 8, 2007
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$11.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 5 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Standing in a Greyhound Bus station, wearing a Sylvester t-shirt and huge duct-tape-covered glasses, Baltimore 's Dan Deacon doesn't invoke the image of a composer to the other bus riders. The two suitcases he loads under the bus, which accompany him from city to city, hold the sweat-and-grime-soaked electronics that he uses to craft his raging, maxed-out party music and light show. After 12 tours and 300+ shows in little over 2 years, the gear is beaten and battered, but the show and the energy it produces is anything but. Dan Deacon has garnered a reputation in the underground as an intense performer and classic showman. The table top full of pedals, a sine wave generator, vocoder and casio blasting through the PA, joined by a makeshift light board with various bulbs and green skull strobe light, make his all out dance-til-you-drop performance a complete experience.But it isn't all fancy feet and bouncy beats. Deacon is a classically trained composer with a Masters degree in electro-acoustic composition. He has released 7 albums from 2003 to 2006, but those self-produced recordings do not contain the vocal-based experimental pop that he has fine-tuned in live performance. His latest full length, Spiderman of the Rings is the first album bridging the gap between party performer and genuine composer. A mixture of his live show dance anthems, intricate instrumentals and humorous monologues, 'Spiderman of the Rings' establishes Dan Deacon as a new type of entertainer in the contemporary underground.

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Baltimore-based bedroom electronic pop musician Dan Deacon has made a thrilling, buzzing little album that cagily mixes the throwaway with the epic. The record's centerpiece, a paean to Deacon's hometown called "Wham City," is so smartly constructed, anthemic, and lush, it makes Sufjan Stephens look like a confused, overreaching Boy Scout. While on the subject of comparisons, Deacon is repeatedly compared to Daniel Johnston in interviews. And sure, they both can display a love for whimsy and have been known to record using very inexpensive means, but Johnson seems to have such a wellspring of confusion and fear that he's working from. There's a euphoric thrill to Deacon's squeaky, looped-out music. The opening tune "Woody Woodpecker" piles so many chintzy and cheesy elements together it should be the most annoying thing ever. But it's expertly crafted and kaleidoscopic, and it will only annoy people who hate fun. You should take this song, or the entire album, with you on a first date with you and play it for that person. If they do not like it, you should never date them again, even if they are very rich. --Mike McGonigal

1. Woody Woodpecker
2. The Crystal Cat
3. Wham City
4. Big Milk
5. Okie Dokie
6. Trippy Green Skull
7. Snake Mistakes
8. Pink Batman
9. Jimmy Joe Roche

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 8, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Carpark Records
  • ASIN: B000OHZK5O
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,052 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Cale E. Reneau on June 18, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Despite a silly title, whimsical lyrics, and playful compositions, Dan Deacon's "Spiderman of the Rings" is music one should definitely take seriously. The album is comprised of the sort of glitchy, electronic tinkering that made up Sufjan Stevens' second, pre-states album, "Year of the Rabbit." At the same time, Deacon's music has a much more playful feel than Sufjan's, as evidenced by the title of the album and the tracks it contains. The end result is a fun-filled album, that should not go unnoticed.

"Woody Woodpecker" starts the album off on a rather sour note, to be honest. Almost every second of this 4-minute song is plagued by a sample of the iconic cartoon character's grimace-inducing chuckle, repeated over and over. The song clearly serves as the introduction to "Spiderman of the Rings," as it lacks the focus and characteristics of the album's real songs. As such, it's distractiveness can be excused and easily skipped over. "The Crystal Cat" picks things up a notch, and introduces listeners to what will be an ongoing theme throughout the album; the utilization of squeaky pitch-shifted vocals. What Deacon is actually saying here is a mystery to me, though I get the feeling that what is actually said is less important than what role the vocal melody plays with everything else that is going on.

"Wham City" is a 12-minute epic that features what sounds like a Munchkin Choir singing "There is a mountain of snow across a big land. We have a castle enclosed, there is a fountain. Out of the fountain flows gold into a huge hand," and other ridiculous, though admirable lyrics. The song is constantly evolving throughout it's 12 minutes, even coming to a complete halt at one point, only to slowly rebuild into its opening theme once again.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David on November 7, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Spiderman of the Rings. One of the best albums of 2007, and for many different reasons. I can't possibly hope to outline all of these reasons here, however I will go over the most important of them. Dan Deacon's music is like nothing else. If this music came out of stuff he pulled out of a dumpster, then damn do I want to dive into a dumpster. This music comes from a mind whose style of thinking has never before been seen.

"Wooody Wooodpecker" serves as a perfect introduction to the album, combining everything that Dan Deacon stands for into one song, thus sorting out who is truly in the right mindset to listen to this album. And yes, what he stands for may be absurd, but it is beautiful in its absurdity. The implacable laugh of Woody Woodpecker will keep me up for ages to come, and with the ever-growing cascade of dramatic synthesized chords to go along with it, this song sounds like the auditory equivalent of having everything you thought you knew about your childhood's cartoons destroyed.

"The Crystal Cat" combines Dan Deacon's noise-rock background with his new affinity for pop music, and the result is sheer ecstatic dancyness. The high-pitched squeaky refrain, although its words will likely remain a mystery to most, can set joy into the heart of any listener. The video for this song is amazing as well, so don't miss it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Casey Hannam on January 29, 2008
Format: Audio CD
If you are really serious and only listen to really serious music then you will not enjoy this album. This cd makes you want to jump around and dance like a 3rd grader. I'm not going to write a review that sounds like I think I work for Pitchfork or anything because I don't. If you like having a smile on your face buy this album.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By P. Erdmann on June 23, 2009
Format: MP3 Music
Think of a thousand best things you've ever experienced, and tightly pack them all in a tiny box. Then flick the box with your finger. The explosion is this album. Thank you, Dan.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Spiderman of the Rings (2007), Dan Deacon's first major release, makes a wonderful noise. I laugh with joy. Warning: this album rewards repeated listens. Warning: this music rewards careful listening.

Below I started a list of some of what you'll hear in this album: You have been warned:
-Cartoon music.
-Music that sounds like 8-bit video game music.
-Noise rock. Experimental rock. Electronic rock. Pop.
-Classical music.
-Percussion, one of Dan Deacon's (many) strengths, in my opinion.
-Certain vocals sound like a choir of elves who huffed helium. This is on purpose.
-Lyrics may be cartoonish, and often incomprehensible. Again, this is on purpose.
-The songs are uptempo, upbeat. Major chords. Positive energy. Each note, each beat, every carefully crafted sound, will be where it belongs. Some of the music is dense. It may build to a threatening cacophony. Did I mention noise?

It's under control. Dan Deacon knows when to stop. Anyways, buried beneath each song you find the comfort of a pop tune. The good kind of pop music. A tune you can hum along to. Tunes which soon feel familiar. The pop music at the back of its heart is the calm in the center of this cyclone.

To finish, I have a couple notes. The opening song kicks right off with a well-known, trademark laugh track from Woody Woodpecker, the funny animal cartoon character, and that laugh (which actually resembles a pileated woodpecker) continues all the way through the song, becoming the song's tempo. I find it hilarious. Others hear it and become angry, immediately. I do not know the significance of this. Perhaps the music can be challenging.

Another thing. Throw away the song Okie Dokie. The song is unlistenable. It sounds hokey, and only becomes more grating.
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