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Dirty Projectors

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  • Dirty Projectors

  • Dirty Projectors

  • Dirty Projectors


Biography All Music GuideWikipedia

Group Members: Larkin Grimm, Nat Baldwin, Adam Forkner, Dave Longstreth

All Music Guide:

Dirty Projectors are the project of Dave Longstreth, a former Yale student who left college to become one of the most prolific and unique indie singer/songwriters of the early 2000s. In early 2002 Longstreth released his first album, The Graceful Fallen Mango, under his own name on the This Heart Plays Records imprint. Largely recorded on four-track with the help of friends in like-minded projects such as Wolf Colonel and Dear Nora, the album introduced Longstreth's distinctive crooning voice and equally unique approach to arrangements and both lo-fi and hi-fi production. As he continued to record, Longstreth played shows with contemporaries like the Microphones, Bobby Birdman, and [[[[VVRSSNN]]]] (aka Yume Bitsu's Adam Forkner). Forkner helped record his next album, The Glad Fact, which was the first to bear the Dirty Projectors name and arrived on Western Vinyl in fall 2003.

This was followed quickly by Morning Better Last!, an album culled from three triple albums he recorded in 2001 and 2002; it was an Internet-only release on States Rights. Slaves' Graves & Ballads, which Longstreth described as "a song-journey for me singing with a ten-piece chamber group called the Orchestral Society for the Preservation of the Orchestra," arrived in early 2004 as a split release on Western Vinyl and Happy Happy Birthday to Me Records. The 2005 album The Getty Address was a Don Henley-themed concept album that was followed a year later by the New Attitude EP. Rise Above from 2007 reinterpreted songs from Black Flag's classic hardcore punk album Damaged, and then Bitte Orca appeared in 2009 with some of the band's most accessible songs to date. In 2010 the group collaborated with Björk on Mount Wittenberg Orca, an EP that benefitted the National Geographic Society Oceans Project; it was available only digitally for a year, then received a physical release on CD and vinyl in 2011. Their next proper full-length, Swing Lo Magellan, arrived in in the summer of 2012.


Dave LongstrethAmber CoffmanDirty Projectors performing in 2008

Dirty Projectors are an American musical group, consisting of David Longstreth (vocals, guitar), Amber Coffman (vocals, guitar), Haley Dekle (vocals), Nat Baldwin (bass), Olga Bell (vocals, keyboards), and Michael Johnson (drums). They have released seven full-length albums.


History1.1 Early years and Rise Above (2002–07)1.2 Domino Records, Bitte Orca, and Mount Wittenberg Orca (2008-11)1.3 Swing Lo Magellan (2012–present)


Early years and Rise Above (2002–07)[edit]

Longstreth's first album, The Graceful Fallen Mango, was released in 2002 under his own name and introduced his distinctive use of song arrangements and his combination of lo-fi and hi-fi production. The album was a project that Longstreth began as a freshman while studying at Yale University. With the help of Adam Forkner of Yume Bitsu, Longstreth recorded and released The Glad Fact on the Western Vinyl label under the name "The Dirty Projectors." In 2005, the band released The Getty Address, a concept album about musician Don Henley that features extensive orchestral and choral accompaniment. The diverse, stripped-down New Attitude EP followed in 2006 and featured inklings of the band's later vocal interplay and guitar work.

In 2007, the band released Rise Above, an album of Black Flag songs as re-imagined from memory. The album introduced the band's distinctive contrast between Longstreth's vocals and the harmonies of Amber Coffman and Susanna Waiche, who was later replaced by Angel Deradoorian. In support of the album, the band performed songs for a Take-Away Show acoustic video session shot by Vincent Moon.

Domino Records, Bitte Orca, and Mount Wittenberg Orca (2008-11)[edit]

In April 2008, Dirty Projectors signed with Domino Records, and the label announced the release of their fifth full-length album, Bitte Orca, for June 9, 2009. That year, the band also collaborated with David Byrne on the song "Knotty Pine" for the compilation album Dark Was the Night produced by the Red Hot Organization. Byrne joined the Dirty Projectors onstage to perform this song, along with "Ambulance Man," another collaborative track not included on the compilation, at the "Dark Was the Night Live" concert at New York City's Radio City Music Hall on May 3, 2009.

“Stillness Is the Move” was the first single released from Bitte Orca, a West African - R&B influenced hybrid, sung by Coffman and inspired by the Wim Wenders film Wings of Desire. Bitte Orca was met with positive reviews, including Rolling Stone magazine rating the album as number 6 on their best 25 albums of 2009.

Dirty Projectors were to release a new EP in September 2009 titled Temecula Sunrise. While the EP was never released, two of its tracks, "Ascending Melody" and "Emblem of the World," were instead offered for free download on the Dirty Projectors website in early 2010.

On May 8, 2009, members of Dirty Projectors collaborated with Björk to perform an original composition by Longstreth, written for five voices and acoustic guitar, as part of a charity concert to benefit Housing Works, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing shelter for homeless men, women, and children suffering from AIDS. The concert was held at the Housing Works Bookstore & Café in downtown New York City. On June 30, 2010, Dirty Projectors announced the release of Mount Wittenberg Orca, a digital-only EP with Björk based on the artists' collaboration. Mount Wittenberg Orca was released physically by Domino Records in 2011.

Swing Lo Magellan (2012–present)[edit]

On March 30, 2012, Dirty Projectors released the first single from their upcoming album, Swing Lo Magellan, "Gun Has No Trigger". The album was released on July 10 in the United States and on July 9 internationally.

In September 2012, Dave Longstreth released a short film called "Hi Custodian".

On November 6, 2012, Dirty Projectors released About to Die EP, a digital- and vinyl-release EP featuring several new tracks.

^ Heather Phares. "Dirty Projectors | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-05-24. ^ Sisario, Ben (June 7, 2009). "Report: The Experimental, Led by the Obsessive (New York, NY; 06/03/09)". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-02-12. ^ "Dirty Projectors: Bitte Orca | Album Reviews". Pitchfork. 2009-06-09. Retrieved 2014-05-24. ^ "Rolling Stone's 25 Best Albums of 2009". Albumoftheyear.org. Retrieved 2014-05-24. ^ Lindsay, Andrew (August 17, 2009). "Dirty Projectors to release new EP". stereokill.net. Retrieved 2012-06-07. ^ [1]^ Dombal, Ryan. "Report: Björk and Dirty Projectors (New York, NY; 05/08/09) - The avant-pop acts combine forces in a NYC bookstore.". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2009-05-11. ^ [2]^ Battan, Carrie (March 30, 2012). "Listen to a New Dirty Projectors Song, "Gun Has No Trigger"". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2012-06-07. ^ "Dirty Projectors Announce New Album". Pitchfork. April 2, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-07. ^ "Brooklyn based Music Blog: Video : Dirty Projectors – Hi Custodian (Experimental Pop Folk)". Still in Rock. 2004-02-26. Retrieved 2014-05-24. ^ "Dirty Projectors Share "About to Die" Video, Announce New EP With New Tracks | News". Pitchfork. 2012-09-20. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 

Musical style and aesthetics[edit]

While often associated with the late 2000s New York indie rock scene, critics have likened Dirty Projectors to musicians from many genres. For example, critics have compared them to new wave artists David Byrne and Squeeze, pop stars Beyoncé and Mariah Carey, and progressive rock musicians Frank Zappa and Yes. In a 2009 interview, Longstreth embraced some such comparisons but expressed a dislike for classic and progressive rock, commenting, "Steely Dan is a band I’m not that into," "I’m not a huge Yes guy," and "Frank Zappa I fucking hate."

^ O'Neal, Sean (November 10, 2009). "Dirty Projectors' David Longstreth doesn't think they sound like that". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2012-06-07. ^ Sisario, Ben (June 7, 2009). "The Experimental, Led by the Obsessive". The New York Times. 
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eMusic Features


Interview: Dirty Projectors

By Christina Lee, Contributor

"I wouldn't really describe myself as a singer-songwriter. I'm more of a business, man," says David Longstreth. "I'm joking. Sorry." But even in jest, Longstreth's nod to the famous Jay-Z verse speaks of his ambition. As the Dirty Projectors' frontman, he's orchestrated a glitch opera starring himself as Don Henley (The Getty Address) and a Beyoncé-inspired prog-rock album that reintroduced the term "hocketing" — a ping-ponging vocal technique originating from medieval times — into the… more »


eMusic Selects: Hands on Heads

By Frances May Morgan, Contributor

"Hands on heads!" That's what the teacher at my primary school would yell when our class got out of hand. The rallying cry was supposed to make us focus in on a single activity, to stop us from fooling around and hitting each other and, hopefully, shut us up for a second. It worked. Kind of. Thirty pairs of small hands would clasp to 30 overexcited heads and we'd hold in our giggles until it… more »


  • 05.08.15 Tickets are now on sale for @DavidLongstreth’s August 25 @meltdownfest solo show at Royal Festival Hall in London: http://t.co/boKkFmyfir
  • 02.04.15 RT @DavidLongstreth: I wrote something for @solangeknowles ' website about one of the best albums ever: http://t.co/soT4EEeUte
  • 01.25.15 RT @DavidLongstreth: Super fun workin on this track http://t.co/Xeewv1DZJk
  • 01.25.15 RT @stereogum: New Rihanna/Kanye/McCartney song also feat. @TyDollaSign & @DirtyProjectors' Dave Longstreth http://t.co/a2k042bZTN http://t…
  • 09.28.14 RT @caetanoveloso: Com @DavidLongstreth, líder do @DirtyProjectors, no backstage da 2a noite no #BAM, em #NYC. E alô Barreiras! Dia... http…
  • 05.23.14 Flashback! Dirty Projectors lineup in the fall of '06 #fbf http://t.co/dWynrcREtt
  • 04.25.14 RT @pitchforkmedia: Stream new albums from @DirtyProjectors members Nat Baldwin and Olga Bell (@bellinspace) via Pitchfork Advance http://t…
  • 04.22.14 RT @pitchforkmedia: Stream Dirty Projectors member Nat Baldwin's new album, In the Hollows, via Pitchfork Advance http://t.co/JzjWNTCqXE
  • 03.05.14 RT @JohnMayer: 'Dance For You' by Dirty Projectors is one of those rare songs that hasn't in any way been written before.
  • 03.05.14 RT @pitchforkmedia: "If there was one band that literally changed my life, it would definitely be @DirtyProjectors." — @MichaelAzerrad http…
  • 12.16.13 RT @soundcheck: Today, give yourself a gift -- download a live version of @DirtyProjectors song "Impregnable Question": http://t.co/eoGazIn…
  • 12.03.13 NY: We're seeking a studio assistant in G'point. Must know analog & software. Hit up DPz.studio.assistant@gmail.com w resume if interested