Last Night Dirty Projectors @ Chop Suey
posted by April 18 at 12:35 PMon
Someday, I will use better video equipment than a point-and-shoot digital camera. I wish I had better gear last night, because this clip doesn’t represent the effect of Dave Longstreth and his tremendous band—and it certainly didn’t catch the countless people looking at each other between songs with massive grins. I too fell in line, exposing my teeth end-to-end for half of show, even after having seen the Dirty Projectors a few times already. Their sets feel like something new every time—Longstreth attacks his guitar in nearly Jandek-ian fashion, hitting what seems like any note he pleases, between eruptions of high-pitched three-part harmony and careful, instrumental swells. But there’s nothing random about these arrangements, made obvious later in the set when he and his fellow guitarist played the same, seemingly random lead guitar part with perhaps a quarter-second difference in time—far more jarring than an effects pedal trying to duplicate the same thing.
I saw Longstreth play solo at a years-ago SXSW, stuck in a lonely cafe’s back room with an audience of 13 people, as he leapt around a massive stage and squealed while a DVD of crudely animated swans flew around on the screen behind him. I kinda wish he still did the freakish solo bit, but his current band, together for a least a year now, has transformed from an awkward addition to his songwriting to a damn near imperative part of his sound. Lord help Dave if the singing female duo ever ditches him to start their own band.