Archive for David Longstreth

Album Review: Dirty Projectors – “Bitte Orca”

Posted in Audio, Downloads, Music News, Music Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on Friday, June 12, 2009 by Erik Burg

bittee orca

Move over Veckatimist, there’s a new sheriff in town for second best album of the year (yes, of course Merriweather is first). It’s an album that’s slightly underrated, never hyped like the beasts that Veckatimist or Merriweather are, and often times dismissed because of The Dirty Projectors former albums. 

But Bitte Orca is so far from the solo David Longstreth era Dirty Projectors is nearly unrecognizable. Though Longstreth’s amazing guitar work remains, Bitte Orca is a more original, more polished, more enjoyable Rise Above. The album’s cover features two of the most talented women in the music business, Amber Coffman and Angel Deradoorian, vaunting the importance of the two on this album compared to former works. The pair make the album what it is, their vocals, used exclusively on certain tracks like the first single “Stillness is the Move” or used perfectly in conjunction with Longstreth on “Cannibal Resource” to create a sound that’s uniquely Dirty Projectors. And that’s why it rivals some of the best material out there, just like Animal Collective or Grizzly Bear define their genres or in essence create their own genres, The Dirty Projectors define what art-pop, or whatever you choose to call, is. 

Tracks like “Useful Chamber” exemplify exactly why The Dirty Projectors are in a class of their own. It starts with a slightly electro-infused bass line, something uncharacteristic yet still well placed. Longstreth’s undulating voice comes in, calm and whisper like. Deradoorian and Coffman follow, adding a melody that echos and swirls. The Dirty Projector’s constuct a song like it’s a painting. One thing builds onto another, parts overlap, it becomes a mess, but yet the goal remains clear, the meaning is clear. The song slows, it gathers itself for the album’s title, “Bitte Orca, Orca Bitte.” Longstreth absolutely whales on the guitar, plucking string after string in his own unique sound. It’s classic Dirty Projectors, and as Deradoorian and Coffman sing as loud as ever, the song comes to its crescendo. “Useful Chamber” continues on. There’s a small guitar solo, there’s more drums at the end of the track than on any other song. It’s masterful… and probably only the fifth best song on the album. 

MP3: The Dirty Projectors – “Useful Chamber”

Many of the songs on the album follow that same formula, the following track, “No Intention” is nearly the same way. Using Coffman and Deradoorian as compliments to Longstreth’s powerful vocals. “No Intention” shines thanks to the guitar once again, the way Longstreth plays the guitar, it sounds nothing like anything else out there. It’s perfection, it’s precision, it’s just plain fun to listen to. Each string has it’s own individual sound, and as he plays up and down the guitar, Longstreth is crafting the album of the year. whoo whoo whooo, if you read this far, and if you know how much I lOVED Merriweather you’re wondering what’s going on. Well readers (all 5 of you), after seeing The Dirty Projectors live earlier this year at the Walker Arts Center, playing nearly the entire album live before it’s release, and after listening to the album countless times already, I think it’s safe to say that Bitte Orca is THE album of the year so far. 

It just does everything so well, and so uniquely. Maybe it’s the timing, teaming the summer-ish feeling album with the summer, and maybe I’m just in a really good mood today, who knows, but as Bitte Orca plays in my ears yet again, it’s as enjoyable and as jaw-dropping as the first second I heard “Stillness is the Move” live months ago. The Dirty Projector’s have put themselves on the map as a band, not Longstreth making weird half-instrumental albums or re-creating Black Flag songs, but as a full-fledged force. Bitte Orca is a beautiful work of art. Exemplifying some of the best vocalization and guitar work on album in a long time, it’s time for Merriweather and Vecaktimist to move over, because Bitte Orca is only beginning to gain momentum. 

MP3: The Dirty Projectors – “Stillness is the Move” (A Cappella Version)

9.5/10  This album simply has to be heard, get it at one one of two places: Amie Street mp3s or Domino Records


Talk About a Concept Album

Posted in Music News with tags , , , , on Sunday, December 14, 2008 by Erik Burg


The Dirty Projectors, what is there to say about this band. Seemingly transforming from a one man act thanks to Dave Longstreth to a four piece band accompanied by his roommate from Yale and two rather beautiful women named Amber and Angel. Longstreth proclaims himself as the “musical director” on their myspace, but he is as active as ever in their musical performance. I saw them this summer at Pitchfork Music Festival and they played the tightest and most “studio-like” performance I saw all weekend, led front and center by Longstreth (and oh yeah, the beautiful girls too, haha). Last year the group released the critically praised “Rise Above” that turned the group from lo-fi one man act, to a band now designed around the entire group. Since then they have been quiet, but in the past week some information about a follow up album has been coming out. 

“The album is related to Plaxico Burress,” says Longstreth. Now there is a concept for an album, a man who shot himself in the leg. Do I have any suggestion as far as what the album will sound like? None at all, but I can only dream that it’ll sample some M.I.A. gunshots. In the past Dirty Projector albums have been based on The Black Flag, September 11th, and the Aztecs so what is next will hopefully come as a great surprise. Longstreth apparently wrote pages worth of words or phrases that had to do with his moods or thoughts and that’s what he started the album with. Most of what wrote deals with heartache, women, and loneliness, but how any of that relates to Plaxico Burress is beyond me. Obviously suggestive of pop-like lyrics hopefully the band will continue on its trend towards incorporating the women vocalists and creating a more pop sound compared to the older lo-fi rock that started with Longstreth. 

Okay so he’s probably fucking with all of us because the album was finished in September, well before any of this Plaxico Non-sense took place. So what to ultimately expect? I’m not quite sure, but I have high hopes because the Dirty Projectors have been evolving on each and every record, and in my opinion getting better and better. Look for the record in early to mid 2009, though no official date has been set (damnit).  Stay tuned for more news!