Review: The New Dirty Projectors

Preview

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 This Week

DIIV

*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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The Most Blogged About Shows This Week

Foo Fighters

The MOST BLOGGED shows this week are somewhat enigmatic… and that has EVERYTHING to do with the Bamboozle music festival, which apparently our algorithm likes a whole lot.  And hey, there’s some stuff to like (and a lot to make you cringe.)

I’m a New Jersey native, who has no problem admitting that I spent a great deal of my youth at Jersey shore emo and hardcore shows.  That’s what this Asbury Park festival was originally known for, going back to its roots as the Skate and Surf Festival at the dilapidated Convention Hall.  Some of that remains on the bill (Brand New, Jimmy Eat World, Motion City Soundtrack, Hot Water Music, Promise Ring, to name a few of the friendly faces), but the rest of the lineup is something of a gigantic clusterfuck consisting of everything from wub-wub dubstep to bad comedy.

Andrew Dice Clay is probably the biggest “WTF” of the event, and he has a set scheduled on Sunday which is headlined by an equally “WTF” act (but for totally different reasons), Bon Jovi.  This isn’t AS MUCH of a surprise for me, as I’m somewhat familiar with the festival.  They usually have some incredibly off-the-wall act every year that really doesn’t fit (acts as diverse as MC Hammer and Skid Row has graced the festival’s stage in previous years), but Dice Clay might take the cake (though I’m not sure where.)

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The Most Blogged About Shows This Week

The Walkmen

Today marks the beginning of a new era for My Social List.  From this day onward, we will be known as MI SCILL LIIST.  We really don’t give a fuck about the name.  We originated this project in a bedroom with no internet and didn’t know it would ever leave.

We’re taking a cue from DIIV, formerly known as Dive; aka Zachary Cole Smith of Beach Fossils’ side project.  Apparently, he’s changing the name out of “respect” for some early 90s industrial act from Belgium.

Come on dude, how have you never heard of Dive?  Their experimental sound, consisting of abused drum machines pulsating through crackling distortion influenced everyone from Frontline Assembly to Klinik.

If that all sounds ridiculous… it’s because it is.  My guess?  The guy never heard the “original” Dive in his life, and Wikipedia’d his band name before his LP came out.  Dude.  It’s totally ok.  I have idea who the hell Dive is either.  The last sentence of the previous paragraph is a combination of Wikipedia’s “Dive (Belguim Band)” page and industrial acts from Allmusic.com.

Maybe this perceived insecurity over not knowing obscure foreign bands from dead genres is some sort of sad commentary on the resentful post-internet era we live in.  Who knows?  Maybe he just wanted a more stylized name?  If that’s the case… they should have totally went with ▲DDIIVVEE▲ instead.  Or maybe he realized “Dive” was un-google-able?

Somewhat ironically, I’d like to use this opportunity to announce the launch of the MII SCIIL LIIST iPhone app (get it here)  It launches TODAY, and it’s 100% free.  Now you’ll be able to access our buzz list right on your phone, buy tickets to shows, find shows near you (via current location), and text them to your friends.  Really, there’s no better app for tracking buzzworthy shows in the city despite my INTENSE bias.

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The Most Blogged About Shows This Week

Refused

I’m dreading the day where I’ll have to announce a holographic show.  By now you’re well aware of the meme that is holographic 2Pac.  If you’re not, check the blog post below.  And while I hate to contribute to the memeification of the internet… this one is pretty relevant here.

Because… it’s probably coming.

Detox?  Fuck, Dr. Dre wasn’t hauled up for the past decade working on rap’s version of Chinese Democracy.  He was potentially ushering in the next era in the live music.  Or… I hope not.  It’s a multi-pronged problem.  Is the era of holographic concerts upon us?  Will artists need to tour anymore?  Will we see a series of bastardized “revivals” or “resurrections” as musicians and record labels attempt to cash in on this hyper-futuristic, post-modern craze?

Cost is a big factor; the holographic 2Pac reportedly cost Dre and Snoop a cool four-hundred grand, so us indie-minded individuals are probably safe.  I don’t think Matador has the cash (or desire/questionable ethics) to book a Jay Reatard hologram tour, but how far away are we from Kurt Cobain fronting a Nirvana show with Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic?  Will Peter Hook try to go on tour with a holographic Ian Curtis in a big “fuck you” to the rest of New Order?  I’m unquestionably bordering on paranoia here – especially with Cobain (Hook is more likely, see the Unknown Pleasures and Closer tours), but hey, anything can happen.  I just hope Courtney Love doesn’t get any wild ideas.

I think I’ll jump off this slippery slope for now and dive into the MOST BLOGGED shows this week.  Refused’s own RESURECTION at Terminal 5 is our most blogged show, and not surprisingly, is sold out.  Ceremony open for the Swedish hardcore-punk legends on Monday, and if you’re sans-ticket, you can stay downtown and catch Ceremony over at Mercury Lounge later in the night.

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The Most Blogged About Shows This Week

Mastodon

It’s really hard for me to write this today.  I haven’t been in the best of moods since Rick Santorum decided to drop out of the race.  It’s just so fresh.  The initial shock has worn off, yes, but it’s a pretty deep cut, and I’m just starting to feel it.  So yeah, I apologize in advance if I’m not my usual chipper self.  I’m sure most of you can relate.  Oh well.  Time to get a head start on #Santorum2016.  Maybe some shows will make me feel better until then…

This week’s MOST BUZZED SHOW is definitely Santorum-approved: Mastadon, Opeth and Ghost: TONIGHT at the Roseland Ballroom.  Apologies to all you Brooklyn metal-heads; this one is sold out.

The (recently) late great John Chamberlain’s abstract expressionist sculpture exhibit Choices has been on display since February at the Guggenheim.  I haven’t had the chance to check it out yet, but I’m kind of glad I haven’t because Friday night is going to be the best time to see it.  This week’s EDITOR’S PICK is the first night of a three-part live music and art series at the Guggenheim, Divine Ricochet, which is inspired by Chamberlain’s 1991 sculpture.  Nothing against Zola Jesus or Cold Cave, who play the other two nights of the series: this is the night to see this exhibit.  Grouper AND Juliana Barwick are on hand for what promises to be a pair of captivating sets that are well-suited for this kind of event.

“Divine Ricochet takes its thematic cue from the poetic fusion, chaotic riffing, explosive color and sublime assemblage that characterized Chamberlain’s work.”

I can think of few musicians whose work better accompanies the work of John Chamberlain than Grouper.  She’s no stranger to experimental performances; just last year she composed a live score for Weston Currie’s visually stunning feature film, The Perception of Moving Targets.   And hey, Barwick’s ambient folk is nothing to scoff at either.

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The Most Blogged About Shows This Week

Osekre & the Lucky Bastards - Photo by Chris Mather

This past weekend was an absolutely unreal weekend for music, fueled by our very own Aputumpu music festival.  I just want to say thanks to everyone who was able to make it out.  If you did, maybe we got to chat for a bit in between sets; I was there three of the four nights.

I had to miss Japanther on Sunday.  Sorry guys.  Word to the wise… don’t ever eat a pancake wrap for brunch.  Sure, an omelet with sausage, ham, bacon and pepper jack cheese wrapped in a buttermilk pancake, doused in syrup SOUNDS awesome (and to be fair, it TASTED awesome), but it doesn’t mix too well with a stomach that just got done processing a lot of PBR and vodka clubs.  I’ll spare you guys the details.  But hey, I did manage to make it out to the other nights.  SOME HIGHLIGHTS:

Osekre and the Lucky Bastards, who booked Aputumpu, stole the show Thursday night at Shea. My man Osekre knows how to get a crowd pumped up, no doubt.

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The Most Blogged About Shows This Week

The Black Keys

I gotta be honest.

The “Most Blogged About Shows” this week seems to be a bit… thin.  That doesn’t mean there aren’t some really good options for you, if you happen to be “hangin’ round these parts” this week.  But if you’re like a lot of the bands we normally feature here… you WON’T be “hangin’ round these parts” this week.  You’ll be down in Austin for SXSW.  Oh, and my usage of “hangin’ round these parts” in a paragraph about Austin, Texas, is purely coincidental.  I assure you.

Anyway, I digress.  I will be here for the week.  And I’ve got some shows that will make you and I both feel A LITTLE better about being in Brooklyn, while everyone else sweats their asses off at “south by.”

Our most blogged about show this week is SOLD OUT (as is GENERALLY the case), and it’s a big one – The Black Keys and Arctic Monkeys at Madison Square Garden.  It’s kind of crazy how HUGE The Black Keys have gotten, but I guess it makes sense; they’re talented and have a pretty “inoffensive” sound.  I gotta be honest.  Again.  I’ve never personally been able to get into either of these bands, but hey, if you got a ticket, enjoy.

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