4Knots Music Festival: Dan Deacon, Yeasayer (DJ sets)
Saturday, June 16
4Knots Indoor Lounge
Better than: Going home and passing out.
In my coverage of the 4Knots main stage, my “critical bias,” as named at the bottom of these write-ups, has been fairly obvious—almost so obvious that it’s been kind of difficult to state it in the clever, self-deprecating manner that the format requires. So, again, I’ll foreground that bias and note that I’m getting paid to write this by the dudes who hosted the whole shindig. But I’ll also add a biases into the equation. Like, for instance, the fact that by the time Yeasayer began spinning records I had consumed too many drinks, complimentary or otherwise, to remember much about their DJ set besides some sort of Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth mashup. And I missed entirely the work of BRAHMS, Punches and Finger on the Pulse. Plus I was kind of tired (the curse of arriving on time).
None of this is to say, however, that I didn’t have a great time; it’s more that I spent that time talking with old friends, meeting new ones and watching a certain hair-metal-loving music editor sing karaoke to old hits as if she were preparing a Fabolous-style There Is No Competition mixtape.
I can also tell you this: The “lounge” was located on the corner of Beekman and Front Streets. There was an entrance area where you could cool off and buy drinks, then a dance floor overseen by the DJ of the moment, then a back area filled with sponsors, free t-shirts and iPad-powered karaoke. (Critical bias 5: They shut down karaoke right before I could have a go at Night Ranger’s “Sister Christian.”) The entire place was surprisingly well-lit, even without the bursts of light coming from the flashbulbs of the party photographers.
For his part Dan Deacon spun a genuinely surprising and enjoyable set, filled with far more Spice Girls-style pop and early ’90s R&B than I once would have guessed. Of course, the indie rock DJ set is practically made for such displays of performative eclecticism, giving artists the chance to show that although their albums may be the whitest thing since sliced bread, it’s pointless to Merritt-bait them into a discussion of the relationship between race and music. Still, at the lounge, such thoughts had yet to enter my head. I was saving them, I guess, for the long train ride home, when I needed something to displace the regret caused by missing the opportunity to belt that “Motorin’ ” refrain before a crowd of mostly strangers.
Critical bias: See above.
Random notebook dump: Nope, none of those.
Overheard: I’m kind of curious to find out what the people lounging in the giant potato-chip-branded bean bag chairs might have been talking about.