By Julia Reidy
Dirty Projectors arrived late, during Atlas Sound’s set
on The EARL’s welcoming stage. They’d driven straight to Atlanta from Louisiana,
they told us, and more than one band member was sick. In a gesture of goodwill,
the audience agreed to put out cigarettes for their benefit.
Bradford Cox’s set as Atlas Sound had been a glowing one. Backed by Herb Harris,
Jason Harris and Tommy Chung of The Selmanaires, he gigglingly played a handful
of tracks from the forthcoming Logos for
his hometown crowd. It was the first Atlas Sound show I’ve seen where he had a
backing band — one that learned the songs in two days, no less — rather than just a
microphone and a sampling board at his fingertips. Cox will take The Selmanaires
on tour with him when he hits the road this October.
almost the entirety of this year’s Bitte Orca, it opened with “Two Doves,” just vocalist Angel
Deradoorian singing and band leader Dave Longstreth on guitar. It was a sweet,
captivating way to start, and ensured the audience’s undivided attention. The
set was peppered with moments that would make us stare equally as rapturously.
Standout moments included the rocking unison “bitte orca” refrain in “Useful
Chamber” and the guitar riff and handclap backing in “No Intention.” Longstreth
almost never strums his guitar, always finger picking these frantic, stuttering
melodies and looking ecstatic the whole time. Deradoorian, Haley Dekle and Amber
Coffman’s voices ping-pong-ed off each other’s in such a way that it was
seamless, and difficult to believe it was human anatomy and not an electronic
device producing the sound (most startlingly in “Remade Horizon”).
“Stillness Is The Move” to Deradoorian after the whole crowd sang “Happy
Birthday” to her after midnight. The song features vocals that take more than a
lesson or two from top-40 pop stylings, all three females singing unaccompanied
by Longstreth. What’s impressive is the way these references blended happily
into the band’s overall compositional weirdness — the crooning doesn’t contradict
the strange song structure, it complements it. Without the cigarette smoke, the
only thing engulfing us was the Dirty Projectors.
Category: Live Reviews