Dan was born and raised in suburban Long Island, New York. He graduated from Babylon High School in 1999 where he was a member of the local ska band Channel 59 . He later attended the Conservatory of Music at State University of New York at Purchase in Purchase, New York where, in addition to performing his solo material, he played in many bands, including tuba for Langhorne Slim and guitar in the improvisational grindcore band Rated R, and had a small mixed chamber ensemble. He completed his graduate studies in electro-acoustic and computer music composition. He studied under composer and conductor Joel Thome and Dary John Mizelle.
In 2004 he moved to Baltimore, Maryland and moved into the Copycat Building and, along with friends from SUNY Purchase, formed Wham City, an arts and music collective.
His first two albums as a solo artist, Meetle Mice and Silly Hat vs Egale Hat were released on CD-R on the Standard Oil Records label in 2003 while he was a student at SUNY Purchase. The albums are both collections of computer music and live recordings of ensemble pieces. They are markedly different from his first popular record, 2007's Spiderman of the Rings, in that they contain almost no tracks where Deacon sings or uses vocal manipulation. Most of the pieces are instrumentals or sound collages. He followed those two albums with a set of records made up of sine wave compositions. "Green Cobra is Awesome Vs The Sun" is a 42-minute piece comprising six slowly drifting sine waves. "Goose On The Loose" is a 60-minute piece featuring a Wavetek 180 signal generator being processed through a DigiTech Whammy and a Line 6 DL4.
His next two releases were the EPs Twacky Cats on Comfort Stand Recordings and Acorn Master on Psych-o-path Records. These were the first releases that contained material with which most of his current listeners would associate him.
Spiderman of the Rings was Deacon's first commercially distributed full-length album, released by Carpark Records in May 2007. The album was well received by the press and was included in the Best New Music section of Pitchforkmedia.com. The album was also ranked as number 24 on the website's "Top 50 Albums of 2007".
Ultimate Reality was released as a DVD in November 2007. It was a return for Deacon to composing music for others to perform. The pieces for percussion and electronics were performed by Jeremy Hyman of Ponytail and Kevin Omeara of Videohippos. The pieces were set to collaged and heavily altered video created by Deacon's long time friend and collaborator Jimmy Joe Roche.
Deacon's latest album entitled Bromst was released on March 24, 2009. It was produced by Chester Gwazda at Snow Ghost Studios in Whitefish, Montana and features live instruments including player piano and a variety of percussion instruments. It was also very well received. Pitchfork gave it an 8.5/10, and it made it to the "best new music" section. Bromst also ranked #46 in Pitchfork's Best Albums of 2009.
In 2011 Deacon began to work more outside of the indie and pop music scenes and began working in the contemporary classical scene and film scoring. On January 20, 2011, Dan Deacon and percussion quartet So Percussion premiered a new piece composed by Deacon titled "Ghostbuster Cook: Origin of the Riddler" at the Merkin Concert Hall in New York as part of the Ecstatic Music Festival. The piece was also performed at the Barbican for the Steve Reich Reverberations Festival, May 7, 2001. On February 3rd and 4th the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony conducted by Edwin Outwater premiered Deacons first orchestral works, "Fiddlenist Rim" and "Song of the Winter Solstice for orchestra and electronics". On January 21, 2011 it was announced that Deacon would score the film Twixt by Francis Ford Coppola. On August 1st, 2011 "Purse Hurdler", a composition for a 27 person percussion ensemble, was premiered by the So Percussion Summer Institute at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City.
Deacon has performed at several leading art centers
including Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, Getty Center
in Los Angeles, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in
Dan Deacon is famed for his live shows. When playing solo he performs on floor level within the audience, his musical devices being set up on a low table, and surrounded by the crowd.
In stark contrast to Deacon's electronic performances, the Bromst tour was with a 14-person ensemble of members of various Baltimore bands including So Percussion, Future Islands, and Chester Gwazda. He was accompanied by various acts including Nuclear Power Pants. This tour is also notable for the musicians' use of a veggie oil powered bus.
In the summer of 2009, Dan Deacon went on tour with two other notable acts, Deerhunter, and No Age, on the "No Deachunter" tour.
In the fall of 2009, Dan Deacon was forced to cancel the small remainder of his North American tour, which included shows at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY and Connecticut College in New London, CT due to health complications involving a battle with acute sciatica, all of which were rescheduled in winter of 2010.
In September 2010 Dan Deacon collaborated with
Jimmy Joe Roche at the Incubate festival in Tilburg, The Netherlands.
While in residency there, Deacon and Roche worked on a new piece
of video art. Material was shot at 't Schop, a farm in Hilvarenbeek,
and in the area surrounding Tilburg. During the festival, the movie
was shown at the farm before Deacon's performance.
Deacon recorded the track "Drinking
out of Cups". In 2006, Liam Lynch created a video to accompany the piece. The compilation
has been viewed more than 15 million times on YouTube. As the
video spread, rumors of what the video was and how it was made
quickly began forming. One popular rumor is that it is a recording
of someone on LSD locked in a closet. Deacon has stated numerous
times that this is not true.
Twixt (2011, with Osvaldo Golijov)
 Stage composer
Power Moves Forever Quest (2011, with Dan Breen, Josh Van Horne, Chase O'Hara)
A Green Cobra Is Awesome vs. the Sun (single
 Media appearances
July 23, 2003: performed on WFMU
August 1, 2006: Acorn Master hits #162 on the
CMJ Radio 200 charts.
Silly Hat vs. Egale Hat #18 in Top 30 most played
albums on WFMU in November 2003
 Festival appearances
SXSW 2007,2008, 2011 Austin, TX
 Museum and Art Institution performances
National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest
Romanian, April 2010
Kemet & Maat
: before Judaism, Christianity and Islam