Dirty Projectors at El Rey Theater

Reviews, Live Shows

220213 Breathing Forests by Gabriella Smith (world premier)

Sobbing beneath our masks

211203 "Seven Pillars" premier at Emerald City Music

Inspiring composition, mind-blowing performance

210911 Sylvan Esso at The Greek

Standard production, amazing music

210911 Tune Yards at Ford Amphitheater

Low expectations, high reward!

210129 Cinematic Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall livestream

Monochromatic, but enjoyable.

201201 Sylvan Esso "With Love" streaming

Heartfelt performance by one of my favorites

201010 NDT2: Dare to Say

Proving that streamed dance performances can move

201010 NDT: Endlessly Free

The Other You is my favorite choreography ever.

201010 Kaoru Watanabe: Haruka and Akira

"Kibou no Hikari" made me cry

200411 Arugakki at JCCC Montreal

First steps: shaky, exciting

200322 Nederlans Dans Theater at Place des Artes

Vladimir is mind-blowing

200221 DRUM Tao at Jorgensen Center

pina colada cotton candy

191116 Sylvan Esso at Walt Disney Concert Hall

Moving music, delightful dancing, incredible sound

191115 Ohmme at Teragram Ballroom

Fantastically quirky

191025 Hiatus Kaiyote at Novo

Amazing music, over my head

191023 Frances Cone and Delta Rae at Bootleg

Introspective, thoughtful music vs showboating

191017 Cosmo Sheldrake at Echoplex

Great samples, less-inspiring looping

191013 Oregon Symphony premier of Andy Akiho Percussion Concerto

My new favorite piece of classical music.

191009 GoGo Penguin's Koyaanisqatsi at Regent Theater

A worthwhile addition to an iconic movie

190925 Cornelius at Echoplex

Bright lights, big music.

190726 New Original Works Festival 2019 at REDCAT

Craving a "composition"

190717 Mitski at Hollywood Palladium

How to make pop songs performative?

190614 Imogen Heap at Greek Theatre

Hide and Seek and not much else

190601 Snarky Puppy at Orpheum

So Snarky!

190319 Monterey Symphony: Sound Waves Concert IV

A drifting concert. Water Concerto anchored by Chris Lamb

190316 Miyamoto is Black Enough, at Wallis

Holy shit this was a good show!

190127 Hidaka at International Dinner 2019

Go Hidaka Taiko!

190116 Third Coast Percussion with Hubbard Street Dance

Unsure why I was unmoved

181120 Dermot Kennedy at Fonda

Solid show to adoring fans

181108 Birdtalker at Hotel Cafe

A special band, early in their career

180623 Olafur Arnalds at Cathedral Sanctuary

The power of sweet/sad melody!

180614 Dirty Projectors at El Rey Theater

Amazing quirk-pop!

180310 Miyake x UnitOne

UnitOne shines!

180224 Batare at La Mirada Theater

Laudably ambitious but scattered.

180223 QuiltCon 2018

Inspiring works, inspiring community.

180131 Kagami Kai at Asian Art Museum

Amazing mochi-making skills, frustrating calligraphy, and take-home encouragement

170416 Sigur Rós with LA Phil

Amazing concert with a few missed opportunities.

170115 A Seed: Ichi-Ryu Manbai

Overwrought concept, thin music, tragic flowers

160927 Sigur Rós at Hollywood Bowl

Amazing sound needs mixed set-list

160918 Road to Kumano: Taiko Project with Chieko Kojima

Ambitious new work!

160409 Locations and Dislocations: An Ecomusicological Conversation

thought-provoking, inspiring, exhausting

130514 Stuck Elevator was fantastic

Powerfully uneventful ending

081012 Byron's Bottled Water Operas

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!