Dirty Projectors at El Rey Theater

Reviews, Live Shows

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180614 Dirty Projectors at El Rey Theater

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Welcome. Stay and think.

Dirty Projectors at El Rey Theater

Yahoo!  This was one of the best shows we've seen in a long time.  In delightful contrast to the gimicky opening band (Still Woozy), Dirty Projectors came full musical force, with six solid musicians (Nat Baldwin, Felicia Douglass, Maia Friedman, Mike Johnson, Kristin Slipp, and Dave Longstreth) busily playing both new and classic Projectors pieces.  No Intention has long been one of my favorites and was probably my favorite piece of the show, but there were so many times I was moved by Longstreth's and the three female vocalists' singing.  The new pieces were great, including a preview of It's A Lifestyle that releases tomorrow.  Felicia Douglass singing Cool Your Heart doesn't quite have DAWN's swagger (from the music video), but she more than made up for that playing tricky percussion and keyboards while singing crazy Dirty Projectors melodies.  Boy would I love to be in this band!

If I dared to make any suggestion it would be to find another moment or two in the set for single instruments and sparse voice to be featured.  There were a few of these moments that perfectly contrast the fullness of the other music... there could be more.  The quick transition into Remade Horizon didn't quite work (perhaps skip the intro, or use Temecula Sunrise instead?).  And the bass acoustics felt a little muddy sometimes; limitations of the house subs, I assumed.

The takeaways for me as a musician.

1) Be careful with triggered sounds.  Why did Still Woozy fail at it and Dirty Projectors succeed?
2) To understand why the quirky Dirty Projectors rhythms work so well, I need to learn to play them.
3) I need to be an artistic force like Longstreth... with a strong voice/perspective, able to build all the parts, and pull the team together.

Thank you Dirty Projectors!  We've come away inspired!