Finicky Ears

Dirty Projectors @ Jensen Recreation Center – 10/31/09, Echo Park, CA

Posted in Live Reviews by finickyears on November 3, 2009


I was a little nervous about spending my Halloween at a Dirty Projectors show. I had never seen them before, and from the listening I’ve done to their fantastic albums, Bitte Orca and Rise Above, I wasn’t quite sure it would be, well, fun. (Dirty Projectors don’t shy away from complicated melodies and difficult song structures – not the typical way to spend a wild Saturday night in costume hell.) But by the second song, the handclap-inducing “No Intention,” I realized Dirty Projectors were a perfect party band. Who would have thought?

The band didn’t go all out with their costumes, but Dave Longstreth sported a giant cowboy hat and Angel Deradoorian wore a knight’s get-up. What was most refreshing about the show, though, was the sheer quality of the sound. Dirty Projectors were not only tight with the material, they enhanced it live. Longstreth’s guitar work always sounded intricate on record, but seeing him perform reaffirmed the talent he possessed. As a boy, though, it was hard not to devote my attention to his supporting cast of ladies who killed the harmonies and shined in their lead opportunities. Of course, “Stillness Is the Move” was a standout. So often, a band’s single can seem overly rehearsed or overplayed, but Amber Coffman brought the song to life and went over the top with soul that is rarely embodied in a white woman. Other set standouts included “Cannibal Resource,” “Useful Chamber” and “Temecula Sunrise.”

And who would have thought the Jensen Rec Center could pull off such a cool show? For a venue I didn’t even know existed, I was truly impressed. The interior sported an open fireplace, couches and a big-enough standing space to accommodate the rather large crowd. I hope they have more shows here (or if they do have a lot of shows here, have shows I want to go to!).

If you didn’t have an opportunity to see the 7:00 and 9:30 p.m. shows Dirty Projectors put on this Halloween, they will be back in February at the Walt Disney Concert Hall with the L.A. Philharmonic.  Yeah, that will be as cool as it sounds.

I also wanted to send out my heartfelt thoughts to Kyle Field from Little Wings. I wasn’t able to catch much of their opening set, but my friend Jon Paul tried to remove a splinter from under his fingernail after the show. I hope you are OK, Kyle!

Enjoy some photos!

Stereogum was there, too!

So was this guy (check out the set list here).

Visit Dirty Projectors at MySpace.

Buy Bitte Orca here.


One Response

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  1. carol said, on November 26, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    You never cease to impress me. good job!!!

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