Let's Get Physical

September 12, 2012

Baltimore’s Dan Deacon wants you to really, really feel the music.

A Dan Deacon concert can feel like something between a riot and that P.E. class where everyone ran around under a giant parachute. The sometime leader of Baltimore’s Wham City artists’ collective is a nut or a genius, depending on whom you ask, demanding physical participation of entire audiences at his shows. His music — a collection of strange, discordant and beautifully uplifting sounds and effects — is surprisingly danceable, and his latest, the just-released “America,” is his most smoothed-out and accessible work yet.

Backstory: Deacon moved to Baltimore in 2004, producing his own music and that of other artists. The classically trained musician has returned to those roots, scoring Francis Ford Coppola’s 2011 film “Twixt.”

Good to Know: A la Ken Kesey, Deacon & Co. travel on a magic school bus that runs on vegetable oil. In 2009, 5 gallons of oil got you a free ticket to the show. Thirty gallons got you dinner on the bus.

Moving Music: Deacon’s shows reach religious-type trip-out levels. At an outdoor show at 2010’s final Whartscape fest, the hypnotic sounds had the crowd undulating so wildly that it felt like a spirit deep beneath the filthy parking lot was being raised.

There’s an App for That: A brand-new app makes your phone “a source of synchronized light and sound” in time with Deacon’s live show. Or it sends you to Mars.

Ottobar, 2549 N. Howard St., Baltimore; Sat., 9 p.m., $10; 410-662-0069.
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Rudi Greenberg | September 12, 2012