Monday, August 6, 2012

Subversion Is The Move: Dirty Projectors/Wye Oak Live

28 JULY, 2012
Dirty Projectors and Wye Oak teamed up for one of the year's more satisfying shows, certainly in the value per dollar department.  Wye Oak, the duo of Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack, led off the proceedings by fearlessly plunging into a brand new song.  And that pretty much encapsulates everything you need to know about the band in one quick nutshell.  Over the past few years they've developed into one of the leading lights of whatever we call this Indie Rock Thing, ignoring fashion and flash, simply putting their heads down and working, keeping their own counsel, and always moving forward.

They swung quickly back into a double shot from last year's Civilian, before letting loose another new song, this one not a complete surprise, as it recently appeared online as part of the Adult Swim Singles Program.  "Spiral" found themselves moving towards Portishead territory, as Andy Stack stepped out from behind the drum kit to wield a bass.  Even after a lengthy set by opening band standards, Wye Oak left them wanting more.
Wye Oak

Dirty Projectors
Some bands might have wilted slightly following up a set like that, but it's a measure of how far the Dirty Projectors have come that they didn't miss a beat.  Opening up with the bucolic title track of their latest LP Swing Lo Magellan, they sequed into the album's opening track, "Offspring Are Blank", and when they hit the solo, it was a perfect Brian May fuzz tone that suggested the Dirty Projectors are hunting much bigger game these days.
The band is tighter, and more volitale these days, and the songs on the new LP are stripped down...well, songs!  What used to meander is now polished and gleaming, and the sheer power of "Gun Has No Trigger" suggested an alternate world James Bond theme.  "Maybe That Was It" was essayed in a stark and bluesy fashion, and one of the evening's highlights was the vocal showcase of "Beautiful Mother", from Mount Wittenberg Orca, their collaborative suite with Bjork, and it was rewarded with some of the strongest audience reaction to that point.
At this point, the Dirty Projectors sound has gelled to the point where they can cop just about anything, and remake it in their own image, suggesting that maybe the band and the Old Mainstream might not be so far apart after all.

Dirty Projectors Set List:
Swing Lo Magellan
Offspring Are Blank
About to Die
See What She Seeing
The Socialites
Cannibal Resource
Gun Has No Trigger
No Intention
Beautiful Mother
Maybe That Was It
Just From Chevron
Useful Chamber
Unto Caesar

Dance for You
Stillness Is the Move
Impregnable Question
Bonus: Make sure you follow the link to the Dirty Projector's website, to answer the question: "What's next..." in the form of a trailer for a short film directed by David Longstreth entitled: Hi Custodian.

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