Animal Collective’s Deacon Plays First Solo Gig, Heads To Mali

You got more than enough Animal Collective in 2009, but Deacon, formerly known as Deakin, and known to his family/friends as Josh Dibb, was absent from Merriweather Post Pavilion and its ensuing full-court press. He offered up remixes, but that was that. While you were nursing a hangover, though, Dibb performed a set of solo material at Baltimore’s Ottobar, along with sets by the legendary Daniel Higgs, WZT Hearts’ Jason Urick, Zomes (aka Lungfish’s Asa Osborne), and Moss Of Aura (aka Gerritt Welmers of Future Islands). It was a warm up, of sorts, for his upcoming set at the Festival au Desert in Mali. If you missed it, you can warm up via video (thanks for the link, Aaron) and MP3 documentation. He performed five new, currently unnamed songs.

Know that you know how things looked, this is how the set got started:

Deacon – “Deacon 1″ (MP3)

If that whet your appetite, you can download audio versions of all five tracks at Bmore Musically Informed. As far as the titling, Brett at BMI notes:

Josh said he’d update me with track names once he had reached Germany from Africa and had a better internet connection.

Getting to Africa is expensive. Deacon initially set up a request-for-donations project at Kickstarter so he could get to Africa (travel expenses = $10,000) and then produce a limited-edition book/CD “to bring awareness to the beauty and plight of Mali, and to bring money from music fans into the region to help abolish slavery, and bring economic development to the oppressed of Mali.” As Josh explained at MySpace, Paw Tracks stepped in and covered the travel and project costs, which means Dibb can instead give the money raised directly to a Mali organization, TEMEDT, which “is working to create a law that abolishes slavery of the black Tuareg people, set up legal support services for them, create economic development in black Tuareg communities, and give them educational possibilities.” More than $25,000 was collected. Impressive way to start the New Year. The festival takes place 1/7-9 in Mali. You can get more info at