Review: The New Dirty Projectors


Dirty Projectors

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: In 2002, an Ivy League student recorded a quirky, yet promising album on a four-track in his bedroom.  He dropped out of school and moved to Brooklyn to pursue a music career, fueled by the modest buzz surrounding the release.

It’s an archetypal story, but it’s important to remember that all archetypes begin as something original and exciting; a testament to just how influential Dirty Projectors’ Dave Longstreth has been over the past decade.

Swing Lo Magellan, Dirty Projectors’ seventh album, finds the band at a crossroads.  Key contributor Angel Deradoorian split, leaving Longstreth with the pressure of releasing the pivotal follow up to an album that has cruise ship-sized shoes to fill, his 2009 breakthrough, Bitte Orca, without his most senior collaborator.  The “on the cusp” success of Bitte Orca has primed the tenured Dirty Projectors to “make the leap” to Grammy Award-nominee mainstream acceptance (or recognition, to be more accurate), another increasingly archetypal plot line for indie bands in this day in age. Longstreth’s been at this project for a decade, now.  It’s make or break time.

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The Most Blogged About Shows of the Week Special Edition: CBGB Festival


CBGB is a name that means a lot of different things to a lot of different people.

CBGB might have been your church.  A punk rock church that featured sermons from the likes of Alan Vega, Patti Smith, David Byrne, Richard Hell and Joey Ramone.

CBGB may have been your favorite club, with high-energy, uncompromising matinee sets from hardcore bands like Bad Brains or The Misfits.  Maybe you caught The Beastie Boys there in their earlier, more punk rock-leaning days.

Or maybe CBGB is a slogan on a t-shirt you bought at Hot Topic or Spencer Gifts.  A “cool” logo that suggests some sort of connection with underground music, with a limited understanding of the original idea or aesthetic.

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The Most Blogged About Shows This Week

Laurel Halo

There’s something to be said for normalcy.

The last couple of weeks brought our fair city of Gotham a plethora of summer festivals and concert series that thoroughly wore us at My Social List out (in all the best ways.)  There’s no big summer series this week… but that doesn’t mean there aren’t buzzworthy shows to enjoy.

THE MOST BLOGGED ABOUT show this week is a very danceable one over at 285 Kent, a venue that seems to be skewing increasingly in that direction over the past few months.  Slava headlines with sets from Laurel Halo, Gatekeeper, Anenon, Wish, Brenmar and a DJ set from none other than Teengirl Fantasy, whose upcoming LP is one of the most anticipated releases of the year.  Laurel Halo guests on their new album, so I wouldn’t be too surprised to see them collaborate at some point in the night.  Sounds like a party destined to rage on until the sunrises with a lineup that stacked.

Speaking of anticipated releases, Japandroids recently dropped their second full-length, Celebration Rock, which is already showing up on everyone’s album of the year lists; from the most obscure indie blogs to big-time mainstream magazines.  And with good reason, the LP’s collection of celebratory punk party anthems is a welcome breath of fresh air in today’s electro and shoegaze-saturated market.  The album doesn’t veer too far (if at all) off the path they blazed with Post Nothing, but that’s not exactly a bad thing.  They’re this week’s EDITOR’S PICK, and they’ve sold out two nights this week at Bowery Presents’ mid-sized venues, Bowery Ballroom (tonight) and Music Hall of Williamsburg (tomorrow.)  Cadence Weapon opens.  Next stop, Terminal 5…

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The Most Blogged About Shows of the Week Special Edition: Governor’s Ball

Governor's Ball

As made evident by the content of this and the previous edition of “The Most Blogged About Shows This Week,” New York City is increasingly overrun by festivals.  There’s a few going on this week, most notably Hillstock (Bushwick), Rockstock (Rockaway Beach) and, with some of the biggest names to hit NYC this summer, Governor’s Ball.

Festivals can be a crap shoot… so many things can go right (Northside) and so many things can go wrong (Googa Mooga.)  Governor’s Ball’s lineup is awesome on paper and is well put together (more on that later), but the Randall’s Island location presented some issues last year (longggggggggg ass lines for the ferry.)

It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out this year.  There’s a shuttle bus running from Williamsburg this time around (right in front of Brooklyn Bowl, every hour from 11 am to 6 PM), but the price was steep ($50 round trip) and they’re sold out.  Last year, patrons reported waits of upwards of 2 hours for the ferry, so I’m a bit wary this year.  I’ll likely walk across the RFK Bridge from Queens, which takes about 30 minutes.  The temperature is supposed to drop about 10-15 degrees from the oppressive and record-breaking temperatures we’ve seen the last couple of days, so it should be rather pleasant.

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The Most Blogged About Shows of the Week Special Edition: Northside Preview

The Northside Festival

The Northside Festival can be intimidating if you have a badge… so many shows, so little time.  And while our own humble Brooklyn-based festival isn’t as massive as similarly-modeled “showcases” like SXSW or CMJ, it also won’t put as massive of a dent in your wallet.  There are plenty of free shows worth seeing, and most others are $12 and under.  Or hey, you could pick up a badge for just $80 (which could have been had for AS LOW as $52.50 for our loyal readers), and you’ll have free reigns to run wild up and down Williamsburg and Greenpoint for a long weekend.  Rather than discuss everything that’s awesome (because there’s a lot of awesomeness) I thought I’d share how I plan to map out the weekend, with the hope of maximizing said awesomeness.

The music portion of the festival begins tonight, and who better to get things started than Kool Keith?  That’s right, KOOL KEITH.  The enigmatic absurdist underground rap deity has been pretty quiet the past couple of years, but he has a new LP Love & Danger out later this year and plays Brooklyn Bowl to kick things off (and closes things out with Ultramagnetic MC’s on Sunday.)  Doors open at 6.

Cold Cave fronts an awesome lineup at 7 PM (their set at 10) at Europa with White Ring and Burning Star, which is really tempting, but I’m planning on staying closer to North 6th tonight (more on that later.)  Instead, I’ll probably catch the first couple bands at 285 Kent’s showcase at 8 PM.  Local fuzz-punks Eula are up first and are followed by New York experimental legend Dave Shuford’s (No Neck Blues Band, Speer) new instrumental outfit Rhyton, who play incredibly loud reverb-drenched psych jams.

After those two wrap things up, it’ll probably be wise to get on line to catch GZA’s second Liquid Swords set over at Music Hall of Williamsburg, the first absolutely CAN’T MISS performance of Northside.  He plays earlier in the night as well (doors, 8PM), so I’m hoping a lot of people decide to go to that one (which is sold out) so I can check out some of the above shows earlier in the night.

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The Most Blogged About Shows This Week


Just when you thought the blog cycle was over… SHE RETURNS.

That’s right.  The ever divisive Lana Del Rey is back in town. She’s playing the sold out Irving Plaza tonight, a decidedly less intimate setting than her first couple of shows in New York, which were at Glasslands and Bowery Ballroom.

Lana might have moved onto slightly larger venues, but her buzz has died down considerably.  She’s not even our most BLOGGED show for TONIGHT, let alone the week.  The mindie-starlet comes in THIRD (for the week) behind  the ever bloggable (and equally divisive) Drake, J Cole, Waka Flocka Flame and Meek Mill at the PNC Bank Arts Center down in Holmdel, NJ next Tuesday; and a FREE show from BIG K.R.I.T. at the West 14th Street Apple store TONIGHT.  Wristbands are going quickly for that one. They must be picked up prior to the show, so head over the West Village NOW if you plan on going tonight.

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The Most Blogged About Shows This Week


So… the My Social List top ten for the week is broken right now.  All we have for you is a top four, until we get things straightened out.  Why?  Because we deleted the Bobby Womack and Willis Earl Beal Summer Stage show that is being rescheduled for sometime in July.   For some reason, it made everything all wonky.  The show is being rescheduled due to “sickness” of some kind, but I’m guessing it has more to do with Willis Earl Beal’s detainment from kicking a homeless man in the face in Amsterdam.  He’s since been released, but that kick had ramifications beyond his wildest dreams… namely, it means this list is going to be ORGANICALLY CURATED by me.

The most blogged about show this week is a no-brainer; algorithm or not, and that’s Radiohead and Caribou at the Prudential Center.  The My Social List machine seems to feel that tonight’s set is more blogged than tomorrow’s set, but I’m envious of anyone who got tickets to either night.  Well, kind of.  I definitely would have coughed up the dough to see Radiohead this time around, had I not been one of the lucky few who was able to secure tickets to one of their Roseland shows this past September.  I will say this: If you’re a King of Limbs detractor, like I was, be prepared to be reborn, because all of the songs sound absolutely incredible live.

If you’re not schlepping out to Newark tonight, schlep to downtown Brooklyn instead, because Thurston Moore is playing a set, consisting largely of songs off of his excellent LP, Psychic Hearts, at Roulette tonight.  He’ll be joined by Bill Nace and Joe McPhee.  I caught his set at Maxwell’s earlier this year and you definitely won’t want to miss this one.  It’s not Sonic Youth… but it’s the next best thing, no disrespect to Lee Ranaldo (who also put on a great show at Glasslands in January.)

There’s a lot of great options for you this weekend, beginning with tUnE-yArDs Terminal 5 show tomorrow night, and ending with Blondes, JDH & Dave P and Paul Raffaele at the Dekalb Market on Sunday.  SANDWICHED IN BETWEEN, there’s Porcelain Raft, Firehorse & Jane Jane Pollock at Mercury Lounge tomorrow; Woodsman, Dustin Wong & Jovontaes Herbcraft at Big Snow Buffalo Lounge (also tomorrow); and a BIRTHDAY PARTY and loft shitshow over at Cheap Storage in Bushwick with Total Slacker, Night Manager, Heaven’s Gate and Turnip King Saturday night.  You’ll want to catch that one if you’ve managed to miss Total Slacker or Night Manager over the past year (and if you go to shows, I’m not sure if that’s possible), as they’re heading out on a mini-tour of the east coast/mid-west in June.

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The Most Blogged About Shows This Week


*Insert obligatory comment about the long lines and overall poor-planning of The Great Googa Mooga HERE*

Alright, I’m glad we got that out of the way.  Let’s move onto something a bit more current.  Complaining about Googa Mooga is sooooooo four days ago.  Next thing you know, I’ll be writing an op-ed about the Facebook IPO!  Onto the Most Blogged Shows of the Week.

We all cracked on the name when we heard it (or read it, I guess), but it looks like DIIV has the last laugh as they’re this week’s MOST BLOGGED show AND my EDITORS PICK, and that’s for their free Hype-Machine-produced and Toyota Prius-sponsored show at Brooklyn Bowl tonight.  It’s my pick for a few reasons.

1)     It’s free.

2)     DIIV are actually pretty awesome, if you haven’t heard them (or seen them) by now.

3)     KILLER MIKE is also on the bill (holy shit!)

4)     DIIV are about to blow up, so who knows what kind of venues they’re going to play from now on?  And at what cost?  Not that Brooklyn Bowl is “intimate” or anything, but you understand my meaning, no?

5)     The openers, High Highs and Beat Culture are no slouches.

6)     The first 150 people get some kind of “League Night” gift bags chock full of target-marketed goodies!

7)     Did I mention it’s free?

Make sure you show up early (Brooklyn Bowl opens their doors at 6 PM.) I’d guess this thing’s going to be packed.  I wouldn’t recommended showing up if you haven’t RSVP’d either, and that’s all closed up now.  If you get turned away, The Deli Magazine’s Emerging Artists festival continues tonight at Public Assembly and Spike Hill.  ALSO, a couple of awesome bands that have shared the bill with DIIV about 74 times (Night Manager, Heaven’s Gate) play Cameo Gallery for just $5 with some solid openers as well (Yvette, Mala Strana.)

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