Dirty Projectors – Rise Above
Dead Oceans, 2007
Acquired: Love Garden, New, 2007
Upon learning that some band was re-making Black Flag’s Damaged from memory, I kind of flipped my shit. I remember this distinctly, and I don’t think I’ve ever been as excited for a record since. It’s kind of funny that it took covering Black Flag to push Dirty Projectors into the realm of “their next album is going to be a fucking masterpiece” territory. It’s something that I knew in 2007 and as soon as I heard Bitte Orca I knew I was right because goddamn, that record might just be my favorite album of 2009. Somehow, the songs on Rise Above sound like sex jams. I don’t know why, but I distinctly remember having sex to this album numerous times after I got it. It suddenly became my go-to record to bang to, and really, I don’t know how this happened. It’s experimental indie-rock covers/reworkings of punk rock songs that kind of sounds like R&B. I think the album’s greatest strength is that it completely manages to avoid being a novelty and instead comes off as the most original covers record of all time (in my head, at least). There’s something amazing about their version of “Six Pack” that I can’t really explain. Also with Dave Longstreth delivering the opening lines of “Police Story (“This fucking city is run by pigs”) with such conviction that it somehow, I don’t know how, makes me like this version of the song better than the original (although I belong to the camp that thinks Rollins (despite my adoration of the man) kinda ruined Black Flag). Ok, I don’t like it as much as the original. BUT IT’S REAL GOOD!