Saturday, 10 May 2008

rise above.....


In this day and age, it is incredibly easy to know tremendous amounts about music, books, films etc. before you actually experience them directly. I think that there's a lot to be said for just going to something completely blind, without any preconceptions in your mind about what will follow.

It was with this spirit in mind that I headed down to Nouveau Casino on Thursday to see Dirty Projectors. There's been a lot of hype about these guys whizzing its way around the blogosphere, since Rise Above, the release of their hazy recollection of Black Flag's album, Damaged, hit the shops last autumn. Again I'm completely oblivious with regard to Black Flag as well.

More to the point, the only reason I was going down to the Nouveau Casino was also because it was free. Last.fm were running a competition in association with the venue to give away 15 free places to anybody who could be bothered to track down the tracklisting for their 2002 album, The Graceful Fallen Mango, and post one of the song titles in the relevant group shoutbox.

So, I had absolutely nothing to lose. I'd pilfered a promo of the album from work a few days before but hadn't had time to listen to it. This again is an all too regular problem - too much music, too fast, not enough time. Everybody has gaps in their musical or literary knowledge that you're never going to fill in.

I caught the tail end of the support, Nancy Elizabeth, but I didn't really see enough in the one song that I heard that impressed. Dirty Projectors took to the stage soon after and blew me away. I was just struck by the sheer power of the vocal harmonies between the frontman, Dave Longstreth, and the two girls, Amber Coffmann and Angel Deradoorian, who were backing him up. At one point, they held a note for what seemed like an age before just casually pitch bending up a few notes. My flatmate described Longstreth's vocal style as "Antony Hegarty meets Prince" and I can't really think of a better way to put it. Their music is quite dreamy and soulful, but it also has a lot of bite through the sharp guitar playing and incredibly forceful drumming of Brian McComber. Bought the vinyl after and it comes with a coupon for MP3 download for a short period, which is always good. Here's the first track off the album for you to check out. Perhaps you should just ignore my advice and just go to one of their gigs blind, check the links below for dates. Don't actually go with your eyes shut, because then you might get runover or walk into someone but anyway, they are playing lots of festivals this summer. I will be at Primavera Sound in Barcelona.

Dirty Projectors - What I See

visit dirty projectors myspace / website

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