Have you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.
“Snookered” by Dan Deacon
It’s a little troubling to admit, but I went through a brief raver phase when I was a teenager in high school. It was short lived, but I’m not proud of it…I’m kind of embarrassed actually. And while I wasn’t some JNCO’s-wearing, pacifier-sucking, glowstick-waving weirdo, there were a few months there in the mid 90’s when one could find me on weekends on the outskirts of town somewhere, gyrating in a cramped space with a bunch of freaks I didn’t know. Drawn in by mysterious flyers, pulsing beats, flashing lights, pharmaceuticals, and shaking, sweating coeds, I found myself entranced by the electronic music and thudding house beats. It was a time and place in my life, and I’ve certainly shaken that scene from my repertoire, but the music’s influence remains, cropping up in the works of artists I can’t help but dig on. I’m not talking about EDM or anything like that, but rather throughout the ranks and echelons of pop and art rock. Or, most specifically, Baltimore’s Dan Deacon and the positively addicting jam “Snookered” from 2009’s Bromst.
Beginning with some vibes and chimes, something akin to an infant’s lullaby, the song churns slowly at first, gradually increasing tempo and adding instrumentation. A beat here. A synth there. And then Deacon’s voice comes in, layered with effects, creating a chorus of sound that ascend and ascends, the beat getting faster and faster. By the time the bridge comes around, the song’s New Wave-y pop aesthetic has begun to disintegrate, pitch-shifted choral vocals lifting off and sampled blips and blurps creating a frenetic rhythm that suddenly drops, the verse and chorus beginning again, but smashed into the dance floor. You cannot help but shake to this song. You cannot help but bob your head and wave your arms in the air, smoke filling a room, lights spastically flashing in conjunction with the beat, bodies moving in harmony. “Snookered” is the sonic equivalent of speedball, but goddamnit it’s good for you! And then the lights go off, and the gentle, lullaby chimes come in again, and it was all a dream.
“Been wrong so many times before, but never quite like this…”
From a bunker somewhere in Central Texas, Thomas H. Williams spends most of his time with his wife, his two sons, and his increasingly neurotic dog. He listens to a lot of music, drinks a lot of excellent beers, and gets out from time to time. For even more shenanigans, visit heavenisanincubator.blogspot.com.