4.29.2008

We Are Tired of Your Abuse


I never listened to the Dirty Projectors before. I don't know any other music they've written or (more accurately) performed. I wish I had and I plan on changing that. 
They recorded an album last year covering songs from the Black Flag album, "Damaged" (1981). 
As a second qualifying (or disqualifying) statement, I never had  the seminal punk phase. I never listened to Black Flag. 
The Dirty Projectors performed this song in a hot stuffy apartment in Park Slope last July. 
It sounds nothing like Black Flag, or what I think they sound like- loud, raw, abrasive, upset- yet in some ways I feel like I know Black Flag when I listen to this. I understand what kind of struggle they are threading through us, like a needle being forced through the cloth we hid behind.
I don't think it takes a background in DIY or FSU to feel the longing for change in this song. The power of this clip, I think, flows from the sincerity thrown into every melody. It's amazing the diversity in emotion you can find within the same sentiment: of needing social change and wanting it now. That Black Flag could be so upset and unconvinced and that The Dirty Projectors could be so optimistic and adulating. 
It reminds me of the type of change old Reggae artists asked for. They knew what they were asking for would alter their lives dramatically. And they went beyond accepting this, they worshiped this. 
It's so beautiful to them, and they take it as a fact of life that some people, fellow members of life, will not realize the need for change, the need for questioning, and above all the need to really live and not just live. To not just be dirt suspended in the stream flowing wherever (nowhere great), but to rise above the sediment, to swim to the top, to control your destiny and act and rise above and ACT.

2 comments:

Sam Schlinkert said...

beautiful

Tyler said...

you should listen to Black Flag. "Damaged" is maybe the ultimate party record. and it's some of the best guitar playing you'll ever hear.