The Bowery Presents
Dirty Projectors

Dirty Projectors

Wye Oak, Purity Ring

Tue, July 10, 2012

Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 7:00 pm

BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival

Brooklyn, NY

$30

This event is all ages

Benefit concert to support free programming at Celebrate Brooklyn! a Performing Arts Program of BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn.

Rain or Shine

Dirty Projectors
Dirty Projectors
Beyond the aughts-era duality of retromania and neophilia, David Longstreth has found the beautiful, generous simplicity of the heart and soul. Same as it ever was. And this must be exactly the place where he’s planted the seeds for his band’s finest album to date.

“It’s an album of songs, an album of songwriting,” says Longstreth.

Another reinvention in a career defined by reinvention, "Swing Lo Magellan" does what no Dirty Projectors album has done before: It’s about songs. Few songwriters can pull off the challenge to write as simple and direct as possible, and fewer still can do it and be left with something that feels irreducibly personal and idiosyncratic. "Swing Lo Magellan" gives us 12 such songs, one after another.

The album contains some of the biggest choruses of the band’s career (the explosive and anthemic "Offspring Are Blank" and "Unto Caesar"), as well as some of simplest and most disarming (the closer "Irresponsible Tune"). "Gun Has No Trigger" is a fever dream of ecstatic paranoia, while "Dance for You" is a song of searching, spiritual depth (“in the language of Gyptian and Ligeti,” Longstreth suggests). The tender love declared in "Impregnable Question" would have resonated in any musical era of the last hundred years. The title track, "Swing Lo Magellan," is a gorgeous lament to the night sky. Amber Coffman’s solo turn on "The Socialites" adds a compelling new layer to her persona. Each of these songs is a world unto itself – one that can be explored endlessly. Indeed, "Swing Lo Magellan" feels so unique in the context of much of today’s music because it is more about its content than about its frame and reference. It’s more heart than sleeve.

Dirty Projectors was formed in 2003 by David Longstreth, using the moniker to release wildly imaginative albums spanning guitar-based experimental song, scored composition, electronic music, hardcore, and medieval vocal polyphony. The early years of the band featured an evolving cast of musicians, eventually solidifying around Longstreth (vocals & guitar), Amber Coffman (vocals & guitar), Nat Baldwin (bass), Angel Deradoorian (vocals and keyboard) and Brian McOmber (drums). Haley Dekle (vocals) joined in 2009. 2009’s Bitte Orca was Dirty Projectors’ breakout moment, landing them on almost every Album of the Year list in the country and bringing them to five continents over two years. 2009 saw the band collaborating with David Byrne and the Roots, appearing on "Late Show with David Letterman" and "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," as well as playing myriad club shows and international festivals. In 2010, the band collaborated with Björk on the "Mount Wittenberg Orca" EP, which generated more than $60,000 for a "National Geographic" endeavor to preserve wild ocean reefs. They also presented the 2005 album "The Getty Address" with 20-piece chamber ensemble Alarm Will Sound at Lincoln Center in New York, the Barbican in London and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA, as well as selling out New York’s 3,000-capacity Terminal 5. At the dawn of 2011, Longstreth began writing songs for the band’s next LP.

The songs of "Swing Lo Magellan" are culled from a sprawling 12 months of constant writing and recording in a weird house in Delaware County, N.Y. (four hours northwest of the city). Longstreth, who produced and mixed, wrote 70 new songs and beats. The band—Amber Coffman (vocals & guitar), Nat Baldwin (bass), Brian McOmber (drums) & Haley Dekle (vocals)—often joined him, rehearsing the new music more or less constantly in the house’s A-frame attic. (Vocalist Angel Deradoorian is on hiatus). The 12 songs of "Swing Lo Magellan" were winnowed down from about 40 finished demos. The finished recordings bear the impress of this informal working style: the album is a collection of moments: accidental, fortuitous, spontaneous. The performances feel warm and imperfect. Unguarded intimacy is somewhat of a new look for this band, and it turns out it’s a very good look.

The sound of this album is totally unique—with an aesthetic that explodes in two directions at once. The grain of the voices and live-in-the-room quality of the amps contrast the rich orchestral layering of Longstreth’s arrangements for contemporary ensemble yMusic, the warmth of the bass and the sheen and blast of the beat programming.

"Swing Lo Magellan" is an album that comes from the hearts of one of the most fearlessly cerebral bands of the last 10 years. The album has both the handmade intimacy of a love letter and the widescreen grandeur of a blockbuster, and if that sounds like a paradox—it’s because it was until now.
Wye Oak
Wye Oak
The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs—the triumphant fifth album by Wye Oak—begins with an explosion. For a few seconds, piano, drums, and a playful keyboard loop gather momentum; then, all at once, they burst, enormous bass flooding the elastic beat. “Suffering, I remember suffering,” sings Jenn Wasner, her voice stretched coolly across the tizzy. “Feeling heat and then the lack of it/But not so much what the difference is.” The moment declares the second coming of Wye Oak, a band that spent more than a decade preparing to write this record—its most gripping and powerful set of songs to date, built with melodies, movement, and emotions that transcend even the best of their catalogue.
Louder is the third record that Wasner and Andy Stack, who launched Wye Oak in Baltimore, have made while living in separate cities—she in Durham, North Carolina, he in Marfa, Texas. They flew to one another for a week or so at a time, hunkering in home studios to sort through and combine their separate song sketches. These shorter stints together produced less second-guessing and hesitation in their process, yielding an unabashed and unapologetic Wye Oak. They discarded past rules about using just guitar or keyboard to write a record, instead funneling all those experiences and experiments into perfectly unified statements. The result is the biggest, broadest, boldest music they’ve ever made. The title track is a coil of anxiety and exuberance, its verses and chorus sweeping into cascades of magnetic harmony. By the time the song ends, it feels like a real pop anthem, a spell to be shouted against the ills of our world.
Louder pursues a litany of modern malaises, each of its dozen tracks diligently addressing a new conflict and pinning it against walls of sound, with the song’s subject and shape inextricably and ingeniously linked. The rapturous “Lifer,” for instance, ponders perseverance and survival in times of profound struggle. It is, at first, hesitant and ponderous, Wasner wrestling with her own choices. But her ecstatic guitar solo leads into a chorus that feels like a triumph over doubt, or at least a reconciliation with it. “Over and Over” finds Wasner alone at home, watching clips of violence abroad on repeat, her outrage outstripped only by her ineffectiveness. Stack’s colossal circular rhythm and Wasner’s corroded harmonies conjure a digital hall of mirrors, a place where we can see all evil but do nothing. During the intoxicating “It Was Not Natural,” a tired walk through the woods unearths a discarded antler, a talisman that provokes deep questions about our work lives, social codes, and romantic mores. The music—a sophisticated tessellation of pounded piano and loping bass, scattered drums and chirping synthesizer—is as complex and ponderous as the issues themselves. “It Was Not Natural” is Wye Oak at their most sophisticated, navigating life’s difficulties with the nuance and power they demand.
For all the struggles Wye Oak confronts here, Louder ultimately reflects a hopeful radiance, with the parting sense that human connection and our own internal resolve can outweigh even our heaviest worries. The final two tracks are tandem testaments to weakness bowing to strength. Wasner first shuffles through her day during “Join,” beset by worry until she finds a way out. “I just want a clear head,” she realizes at the end, “the sun on my shoulder.” And during “I Know It’s Real,” over twinkling guitars and a drum beat that feels like a steadying pulse, she stumbles upon a necessary credo: “Still, I’m alive, stronger than energies riding on my back.”
The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs arrives at a time of immense doubt, when our personal problems are infinitely compounded by a world that seems in existential peril. But these dozen songs answer the challenge by radiating self-reflection and resolve, wielding hooks and musical intricacy as a shield against the madness of the moment. The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs is a powerful reminder to keep calling, to keep trying, no matter the peril it poses. Merge Records will release The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs TK TK, 2018.
Purity Ring
Purity Ring
After sixty-five fortnights, Purity Ring have returned with their super-tight second album Another Eternity. The pair ventured home to the frozen industrial landscapes of their birthplace Edmonton, Alberta to document much of what was to become the album. For the first time, vocalist Megan James and producer Corin Roddick were able to create a record in the same room.

Purity Ring’s first album Shrines was recorded separately in Montreal and Halifax, where Corin and Megan were respectively living at the time. Despite being a thousand kilometers apart and barely talking, Shrines was a cohesive, beguiling and wholly unique universe of what the band called ‘Future Pop’. At the center of the amniotic swirl of Shrines was an undeniable nucleus of crystalline pop which presciently suggested both indie and popular music to come. Critics were psyched: ‘Best New Music’ from Pitchfork and praise from The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and NPR, among others. They quickly amassed a rabid fanbase, toured relentlessly and sold out shows worldwide.

On Another Eternity, Purity Ring trade the gorgeously claustrophobic atmospheres of Shrines for wide-open, muscular vistas of sound and luminous, up-front vocals. Crafting a lyrical universe of “sweat and dreams” populated by seacastles, rattling spines, and weeping drawers, Megan James wields concrete imagery and metaphor with increasingly direct, startling resonance. Corin Roddick’s gifts for evocative melody remain intact, but his drum work and use of space have been completely reforged: immaculately built and focused in service of the song.

“begin again” rouses Purity Ring’s brooding balladry into a sky-reaching anthem while retaining its distinctive shape. “bodyache” is the kind of devastatingly infectious single that their previous work only gestured at. “stillness in woe” features a frozen, manipulated piano, dovetailing with Megan’s time suspending narrative. “repetition” finds surreal, love-lorn lyricism soaring over delicately woven synths. The emotional geography of Another Eternity is wider than ever: gloomy valleys and gleaming peaks in even measure.

Though they are now working at a higher resolution, Purity Ring remain hands-on with every aspect of their project. As usual, the band produced and recorded Another Eternity entirely themselves. The pair worked to develop an innovative new live performance, and Megan designed the band’s onstage and video fashion.

Another Eternity revels in its upfront melody, clarity, and confidence. With every step forward they take, Purity Ring actualize their vision while sounding utterly and undeniably like themselves.
Venue Information:
BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival
Prospect Park West and 9th St.
Brooklyn, NY, 11217
http://www.bricartsmedia.org/performing-arts/celebrate-brooklyn