Audio: Dirty Projectors, “Rise Above”

August 30, 2007


Dirty Projectors posted some new jams from their upcoming Black Flag inspired Rise Above. To celebrate, we're streaming "Rise Above" and you can hit up their Myspace to hear the title track or go here to download the mp3. Also check Caroline McCloskey's Gen F from FADER 47 after the jump.

Vision Quest

Have Dirty Projectors finally figured it out?

By Caroline McCloskey

Until recently, the Dirty Projectors haven’t been a band so much as one man’s ongoing backroom musical experiment. Seesawing between lo-fi acoustic harmonies and big, lush orchestral arrangements—and messing with all kinds of nutso guitar action, oddball time signatures and electronic scribbling in between—the Projectors’ one constant has been Dave Longstreth. The band has been defined by his nimble, evasive-persuasive voice, backward-slung guitar and ability to go superdeep into any of the jams that strike his fancy.

Longstreth started the project in Portland, Oregon in 2002, but relocated to New York. There he became a favorite of Brooklyn show promoter and scenesmith Todd P, who in a recent edition of his pervasive email blasts called the Dirty Projectors, “Easily the best band in NYC right now.”

With the Projectors’ latest incarnation, the musical baby boy seems to be all growed up. “I put together like five different bands in three years,“ Longstreth says. “With this new one I think I figured out what I want. This band is going to stick.” His current coconspirators—guitarist Amber Coffman, bassist Angel Deradoorian and drummer Brian McOmber—are more than happy to let him man the controls. “It’s quite a relief to work with someone who’s clear on what they want,” says Deradoorian. “I think we all believe in Dave’s vision, so in the end it feels mutual,” adds Coffman. “Yeah, it’s pretty much me calling the shots,” says Longstreth. “Talking, discussing—we try to avoid that.”

On Rise Above, co-produced by Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor and due later this summer, “Dave’s vision” is in full effect. “I wrote the songs for the new album in about a week,” explains Longstreth. “My parents were moving to California from the East Coast, so I had to go up there and help them. It was a big pain in the butt. In the closet I found a box of tapes I’d been super into when I was growing up, like Run DMC’s first album, Ten by Pearl Jam, Incesticide by Nirvana, Dirtby Alice in Chains, probably a Temple of the Dog album. There was a tape case of a Black Flag album called Damaged, which I loved when I was in seventh grade. It was my jam, probably the first music I ever got into. I found the tape case with no tape in it and basically, I decided to try to rewrite the album from memory, without listening to it or looking at the lyrics or anything.”

So how’d that work out? “Well, we listened to [Damaged] in the car recently,” Longstreth says, “and our record is pretty different. My memory isn’t very good, I guess.”

Posted: August 30, 2007
Audio: Dirty Projectors, “Rise Above”