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Dirty Projectors ‘Rise Above’ a Wintry Chill

BOSTON: The Brooklyn-based outfit bends ears of Cambridge's student population with their offbeat sonics.

The temperature in Boston was definitely below freezing last night(Dec. 5), but noise-rock oddities Dirty Projectors blasted their hot,raucous tunes to a packed audience at the Middle East club. Deer Tickwarmed things up at the start with a goosebump-inducing rendition ofthe Beatles’ “I’m So Tired.” From there, the New England-basedcollective offered a soothing retro vibe courtesy of singer JohnMcCauley’s, dusty, Dylan-like vocals, and War Elephant cut “Standing at the Threshold” was especially toasty with its aching riffs and sweeping percussion.

Asthe tight crowd of hoodie-sporting scenesters and unassuming bookishtypes whooped excitedly between songs, Dirty Projectors highlighted aninfectious selection of songs from their latest LP, Rise Above.On tunes such as the cacophonous “No More” and the funky, moreeardrum-friendly “Gimme Gimme Gimme,” vocalist Dave Longstreth’smelody-defiant vocals cracked and screeched across the scale, while thegirlish pop sheen of guitarist Amber Coffman and bassist AngelDeradoorian pushed the harmonious title track to the limit. On such awinter’s night, the Dirty Projectors’ maniacal blend of layered riffs,pounding drums, and calculated, disheveled vocals were strangelypleasant — definitely an aurally mystifying set.

We asked: Dirty Projectors’ latest release Rise Above has been described as a “reimagining” of Black Flag’s 1981 album, Damaged. If you could “reimagine” an album, what would it be and why?