music you should know: dirty projectors’ bitte orca

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Friday, June 19th, 2009

music you should know: dirty projectors’ bitte orca

this is yet another piece of a new(ish), ongoing series of posts called music you should know. this is a chance for me to talk about some of the music i’ve discovered that may not be that well known, but is definitely worth being made well known. now, i’m not claiming all this music will be obscure, as i’m sure many of you might possibly know this stuff, but it’s stuff that isn’t hyped all the time in the mainstream and known by the average music listener.

in this series, i hope to keep it brief by showing the album cover (or at least a piece of it—see above) and giving three reasons you’ll like it. short and sweet (in theory…). ok, here we go.

eight days i ago, the only thing the words dirty projectors meant to me was the thing covered in spider webs we used to use to put lyrics on the wall in youth group, but now, over the last week, my new current music obsession, bitte orca, has given new meaning to the words. the projectors have put together an amazing album that’s definitely high on my best of 2009 list in progress.

here’s the reasons you should know this music:

1. there’s something for everyone on this album. in fact, it’s very difficult to categorize the music. sure, you can call it—broadly—indie, but there’s bits of rock, pop, orchestral music, r&b influence and then just plain ol’ weird scratch your head kind of stuff. in other words, you can’t not find something you like. i’m not suggesting that everyone’s going to love everything, but i certainly think that it’s hard to walk away with a complete distaste for the album.

2. speaking of “just plain ol’ weird scratch your head kind of stuff”, there’s a certain bit of unpredictability, if you will, that makes the album engaging and interesting from start to finish. with a lot of albums, you can listen to the first 2 or 3 tracks and have a pretty good sense of what every single track will sound like. with bitte orca, you have to listen start to finish to get a complete view of what the projectors are trying to accomplish. that’s not to say that you can’t enjoy random tracks pulled from the context of the album, but it just won’t give a fully complete idea of the spectrum of their musical direction.

3. ok, last one; very important. there’s two things going on in music right now. on one hand, there’s a certain leveling of music. what i mean is that as the internet (and touring to a lesser extent) becomes the driving force of music—rather than big music labels—smaller indie bands/labels have the same “crack” at gaining the attention of music fans. an experimental indie band like the projectors would have had little chance to gain any kind of recognition or momentum 10 or 15 years ago, but now the internet has leveled the playing field a great deal. on the other hand, though, radio has become so incredibly homogenous. crappy pop rules the airwaves. experimentation and creativity are frowned upon. so…if people begin to branch out and give a band like the projectors a listen, it will help to foster a more creative music community and gain a little footing in the bigger market.

so, take a listen. it’s incredibly difficult to pick a single track. while other tracks are probably musically better and are growing on me, this is the first track that really jumped out to me and found itself on repeat a million times.

stillness is the move

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