Dirty Projectors Slay ‘About to Die’ in Lavish ‘Letterman’ Performance
New EP's title track and 'Swing Lo Magellan' standout gets a string-bedecked late-night airing
Dirty Projectors are scheduled to play New York City’s Carnegie Hall on January 11, and their accomplished performance on Late Show With David Letterman last night demonstrates the Brooklyn band is no mere token hipster pick. David Longstreth sang the title track from the group’s new About to Die EP (originally from SPIN Essential-stamped album Swing Lo Magellan) backed by an outsize bevy of instruments, including pizzicato-flavored strings. The song is playful, cerebral, and hip-swiveling all at once, so in a way this ornately impeccable rendition was well-suited for Letterman’s show, where it was bookended by a reference to yesterday’s most-mocked New York restaurant and a sudden cameo by a bare-chested man. In hindsight, Mumford & Sons’ messianic earnestness was a weird fit for this setting. On the other hand, we think they require shirts at Carnegie Hall.
Don’t miss our feature R.I.P., Brooklyn: How Grizzly Bear, Animal Collective, and Dirty Projectors Changed Pop.