Ahnald! | Dan Deacon’s Ultimate Reality

Last Friday night I took a short walk down the street from my apartment to the cozy Lakeshore Theater so as to pay homage to one of the most amazing figures of my generation. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger raised me up from a young pup. A boy not aware of things like time-traveling robots, lethal game shows, or, as Jimmy Joe Roche describes, man-wombs. That Friday, I experienced Ultimate Reality with Dan Deacon and said Wham City virtuoso Roche.

Deacon scored the forty-minute mind bender with steely dueling drums, drones, loops and synths. Roche borrowed scenes from some of Arnold’s most awesome films but also a few of his more banal flicks in order to create the footage. The clips were always mirrored and sometimes turned into almost unrecognizable psychedelic collages. I found myself breaking out of trances and leaning over to a friend to exclaim, “that’s from Total Recall!”

As a piece of art, the entire production was really unique, and at times, fascinating. And if that was the goal — to create a singular piece of art — then this is another affirmation for the very gritty, hip Baltimore art scene. Some of the changes and loops were perfectly placed and the innocence of the entire atmosphere was endearing, especially Deacon watching his own show right over my shoulder. As a live show, it lacked the anticipation and energy that can move between the crowd and a band when things get going at a concert. That being said, both these guys are real artists, experimenting with everything around them in order to push open new ways of seeing and hearing. That Friday will be burned into my memory for a long while and that’s always a good indication that what was seen was worth every minute of my time.


Welcome the first post written by Andrew McMahon, a new regular around these here parts. Be nice in the comments once you trip out over the weird ass Arnold video…