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This Little Underground

This week, Bao Le-Huu covers Dan Deacon, Iris DeMent, Bog Prophet and more

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I dig the forward-thinking, wonder-filled quality of his breathless electronic music. But his shows are the real marvel. You can't fully appreciate what he does unless you've seen him live. Like a garage rave with the devotional zeal of a hardcore, rural Pentecostal service, he doesn't give you a performance, he gives you something to be involved in, a genuine communal happening.

Proof that his ability to create an interactive, all-in social situation has magnified is the club-exiting parade he incited. Like some combination of limbo and leap frog, the progressive procession was the longest tunnel of human bodies I've ever seen (or gone through), expanding as each pair of people passed through until every non-staff soul was outside on Orange Avenue and then suddenly collapsing in on itself in just as orderly a manner as it materialized. Participatory performance like this proves that Deacon's far beyond even dance party spectacles like Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt. He's now one of the greatest Pied Pipers alive.

Holy shit, Iris DeMent is back (Dec. 8, Plaza Live)! The recent release of her first original album in 16 years brought her to town. Live, she reaffirms everything that's unique about her outlook in ways that can only happen when you're in the same room. Foremost is the experience of her voice, the soul-baringly melodic tremble of which could pass for a lost Carter daughter. There's nothing like being in the presence of such raw, unvarnished and staggering truth. But utterly refreshing – no, validating – is the reminder that country authenticity isn't exclusive to intellect and poetry. Rather than canned hick stereotypes or aw-shucks affectation, real folk and country music in her hands is the vessel of candor, humanity and wisdom.

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