You should have warned us that the Dirty Projectors are awful hipster bullshit

You hide the music section’s Paxil, and we reward you with a Payback Time T-shirt and two tickets to a Live Nation club show of your choosing. Here’s this week’s winning whinge.

Dear Payback Time: Like every good Vancouverite, I rely on Facebook and the Straight ’s music section to alert me to what shows to see and what shows to avoid. I am disappointed that neither the Straight nor Gregory Adams included a disclaimer warning concertgoers that the Dirty Projectors are such awful hipster bullshit.

I had not heard much of the Dirty Projectors’ music prior to this concert, and after forking over $35 I was ready to see a band that warrants the price of a professional act. Once the gear was set up for a 10:30 start-time, the band proceeded to make concertgoers wait an extra 23 minutes before going on-stage. Not a good start. Oh, but the bandleader did make a point of telling us all how much more beautiful we were than people in his hometown. Thanks for that ego pump.

Now perhaps I just didn’t understand the performance, and someone can clear up a few things. Why bring all those projectors if you are only going to show the same three slides with random Chinese characters? Why was everybody singing out of tune? Why did everybody look so bored? Do they have band practices? I did think it was ingenious how they were able to cut their set down to just 55 minutes by writing songs without any verses.

> Nimish Parekh

Gregory Adams responds: Dearest Nimish—If your immediate quibble with Dirty Projectors’ set is that it didn’t start on the stroke of 10:30, then it’s not surprising that the group’s affinity for imperfection wasn’t your cup of tea. Anally retentive clock-watchers aren’t going to appreciate this band’s more than occasional imperfections. I mean, let’s get serious: as bizarrely beautiful as I think Dave Longstreth’s off-key cries are, he sounds like a tanked-up, plastic-soul-loving Barney Gumble. But that’s what makes him unique.

True, certain songs seemed to fall apart at the seams. But highlights included the angelic and perfectly syncopated three-part harmonies of Amber Coffman, Haley Dekle, and Olga Bell on the way-off-Broadway musical piece “Beautiful Mother”, the shred solos on “Useful Chamber” being a close second.

As for the group’s energy levels, Dekle, for one, managed to hop and grind the whole set through. Or did you mean the crowd looked bored? Because the horndog couple beside me on the balcony were licking each other’s mugs like mutts on a floor covered in gravy-soaked table scraps during “Stillness Is the Move”. Maybe you’re right, though, and most of us couldn’t see through these emperors’ clothes the way you did. I’ll admit it, Longstreth kind of blindsided me with that “beautiful” crack. Finally, considering your on-the-nose complaints, I suggest you don’t blow your free Payback Time tickets on the upcoming Grizzly Bear or Animal Collective concerts. The former is absolutely ursine-less, and the only thing beastly about Animal Collective is its new “Today’s Supernatural” single.

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