September 27, 2007

Record Review: Dirty Projectors

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Rise Above, the sixth LP from Dirty Projectors (the one-man recording machine Dave Longstreth, a Yale slacker/dropout) is a “reimagining” of Black Flag’s Damaged. It is a “reimagining” because he has tried to recreate the album from memory, recording his impressions rather than retooling the songs structurally. So, Rise Above doesn’t sound like a Black Flag or punk album. It sounds like a Dirty Projectors album, which means lots of quirky melodies, fractured time signatures and bursts of noise. I guess that noise part makes it a little bit punk. Longstreth doesn’t simply rehash the original album or abandon its intent, but updates the original’s angry protests with his own endearing charm and bizarre musical style. And luckily for us, he is coming to Ithaca’s No Radio Records, this Saturday, with a full backing band. How will his fluttering vocals, stabbing guitars and idiosyncratic drumming translate live? Nicely, I hope. We’ll see.