I should like the artsy indie folk rock of Dirty Projectors right? Clever instrumentation, quirky syncopation, amazing female harmonies, six NICE people on stage who compliment Vancouver’s Stanley Park for being so awesome? Yeah, I do. For the most part. “Swing Lo Magellan” is totally Ron Sexsmith, “Made to Love Her” is solid indie rock, “No Intention” is all fine. David Longstreth, you’re a good man. AND THAT BIT IN “Beautiful Mother” when Amber, Haley and Olga let rip and go all shrieky operatic and sort of blow everyone’s hair back? Yeah, that was awesome.
Yet sometimes (whispering, so no-one will hear) I just find Dirty Projectors to be a bit…TWEE. The harmonies too high-pitched, the la-la-la-las too dorky, the mathrock too mathy, the artsy too fartsy and the earnestness too…golly, too earnest. There’s something plunky about the Dirty Projector that turns an in-moments great band into a grating band. But no matter, everyone else there seemed to enjoy it. And in the end, I’m just one person…
….one person who LOVES openers Wye Oak, by the way.
Tonight, the first song is a new one, could be called “Better” might not be, “it’s just the new one”, said Andy Stack, drummer/keyboardist (yeah, he plays the drums AND keyboards. AT THE SAME TIME) later. It’s one of three new songs played tonight, including the awesomely dark groove of “Spiral”, which saw Andy add “bass player” to his list of Things To Do. “Spiral”, explained singer/guitarist Jenn Wasner by way of introduction, had been described the night before by a Seattle writer as a “cross between Nine Inch Nails and Steely Dan.” It sounds nothing of the sort but we all got a good chuckle outta that anyway.
And the rest? My fave, “Dog’s Eyes”, sounded lush, “Plains”, “Hot As Day”, “That I Do”, all fab. And last track “Civilian”? Perfect. Gods know why Wye seem to perpetually be the opener, when they’re quite frankly, a better closer. And tonight, I’m handing the win to Wye Oak. \m/