Annette Brown, Lifetime The story of June Carter Cash comes to life in the…
- Posted on Apr 14th 2008 2:00PM by Anton Hochheim
From 2007's 'Rise Above'
Dave Longstreth, multi-instrumentalist and mastermind behind Brooklyn-based experimental rock group the Dirty Projectors, is the kind of songwriter whose head is so saturated and wrought with musical ideas it's a wonder he can keep it squarely on his shoulders. This is in part due to his seemingly insatiable appetite for sound, encompassing a myriad of musical genres that would make even an ethnomusicologist's head spin. Elements of afro-pop, chamber music, Appalachian folk and dubstep all manifest in schizophrenic bursts throughout Longstreth's latest musical endeavor, 'Rise Above.'
After stumbling across an old cassette of Black Flag's album 'Damaged' while cleaning out his parent's garage, Longstreth sought out to create a song-by-song re-imagining of the record, relying only on the strength of his own memory for reference. The result bears likeness to the original only in lyrical content. In the song 'Spray Paint,' Greg Ginn's pummeling guitar is replaced by gentle, melodious finger picking, Henry Rollin's defiant screaming substituted for angelic female-provided counterpoint. While Longstreth throws his voice around with all the poise and bravado of an antiquated troubadour, the precise thumping of afro-cuban rhythms manages to keep the song from bursting at the seams. Just when it seems that a standardized verse chorus formula begins to discern itself, a gospel-like falsetto-laden motif breaks the mold, a move not even Andre 3000 could've executed more perfectly. If 'Rise Above' is the result of Longstreth's habit of ingesting more music than he can effectively assimilate, I hope -- for our sake -- that the Pepto-Bismol stays just out of arm's reach.
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