Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dirty Projectors

Dirty Projectors’ music is rife with humor. e.g., the song “Useful Chamber,” where angelic harmonies are repeatedly bombarded with BOWM-BUD-UMP bass & drums like water balloons dropped from the roof. Hee-hee. The songs are quirky, they’re playful. Not broadly comedic, but arch & amusing.

& executed with force & precision, I hasten to add. The band’s chops only emphasize the deliberateness of the eccentricity. All those abrupt changes in key, time signature, dynamic, & texture are sure-footed & emphatically on-purpose. The shit is delightful!

Last July I saw Dirty Projectors at the Independent on Divis. Mid-show, in a spontaneous outburst from the back of the room, somebody shouted out “I LOVE you guys!” The crowd laughed in agreement & recognition: once you allow this music to take you where it’s going, the result is exuberance.

Which makes the band’s stoic stage presence a little puzzling. Amber Coffman does smile from time to time, but Angel Deradoorian is downright pensive onstage. Meanwhile Dave Longstreth gives every indication of occupying an isolated little world all his own, & the whole band usually looks at least a little… I don’t know, worried or something.

Hey, I get that it can take some serious focus to execute these complex & intricate songs, sure! But Dave’s response to that shouted outburst was 1st bewildered & then merely perfunctory, albeit polite. I don’t mean to be critical. Believe me, I’m right there with that guy in the back of the room: I, too, LOVE these guys. It’s just that we’re all having so much fun down here on the floor & sometimes I wonder if they’re missing out up there on the stage. Like, Hey, Dirty Projectors! It’s a party & you’re invited too! Bartender, another round s’il vous plait.

Anyway, Dirty Projectors are playing this Sunday night at Bimbo’s 365 Club in North Beach. It will be my third time seeing them this year. Look for me --I’ll be that old guy right down in front of the stage.

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