This July, The Fillmore hosts a rather unlikely but complimentary duo of performers: the happy, poppy tunes of The Dirty Projectors, and the darker, headier pop of Deerhunter. As a quick housekeeping note, this show was originally scheduled to be at The Masonic and was moved to Fillmore, so don’t go showing up on California Street.
Last year, The Dirty Projectors released their latest charming pop album Lamp Lit Prose, to the delight from critics and fans. The album features guests like HAIM, Amber Mark, and The Internet’s Syd. The video for “Break-Thru” is a perfect visual representation of the bright and happy songs on Lamp Lit Prose. It’s bright and colorful, a little silly, fully of birds dancing and has a backbone that’s hard to get out of your head.
Speaking of prose, many of these songs tell a story or have a little message; they are full of references to folks like Fellini and Archimedes. Overall, the album has a Vampire Weekend feel but with more folksy, Baroque influenced guitar work. At times songs like “That’s A Lifestyle” are a little over-plumped with auto-tuned vocals–which feels like a waste for front man David Longstreth’s even-keeled vocals. Tunes like “I Feel Energy” (feat. Amber Mark) have a house-meets-disco feel and all in all, it’s an upbeat album that will certainly be fun to see live.
So. Deerhunter. What can we say? They’re a legend, even if frontman Bradford Cox essentially calls himself that. We get it, you’re heavily influenced and mildly obsessed with David Bowie. But hey, he does a great job of bringing those influences to life, and for that, we can be nothing but grateful. Their latest album, Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared? is folk and pop and darkness and humor. It’s depressing but inspiring and of course it’s beautifully produced and mastered.
The album is co-produced by Cate Le Bon, if that tells you anything (who by the by, released her album earlier this year and me oh my, that’s a delight). Other than the occasional deep, deep song (okay, “Détournement”) the collection is fine and fascinating pop with jazz influences (that song “Futurism” is an oh yes of a song) and lots of hooks and melodies to latch onto. The song “What Happens to People” is a beautiful, catchy mindfuck of a song with lots of percussive magic laced with synth. We know Cox thinks of himself as the next David Bowie, and we certainly won’t go that far, but at least he’s not all huff n puff. The man has a touch of the freaky genius and he’s very worth seeing live.
Photo Credit: Jason Frank Rothenberg