BPP Jukebox: Dust Off the Dirty Projectors

We put a quarter in the BPP Jukebox, and out came this single from the Dirty Projectors, the band that reworked Black Flag's punk classic, Damaged.

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RACHEL MARTIN, host:

So today on the BPP, we are all about recovered musical memories.

MIKE PESCA, host:

Dave Longstreth, the leader of the band Dirty Projectors, found the empty cassette case for the Black Flag album, "Damaged," while he was cleaning out his old things from his childhood home. The cracked-plastic case got him thinking about that punk album. And he decided to reconstruct the record, song by song, from memory. What he came up with might not sound a lot like the Black Flag's original sound, but it put a classic album in a very new context for us.

MARTIN: Luckily, when we want to hear a classic BPP studio session, we don't have to entirely recreate it from memory. All we need is a quarter and the good old BPP jukebox.

(Soundbite of jukebox)

(Soundbite of song "Rise Above")

DIRTY PROJECTORS: (Singing) Jealous cowards try to control. They distort what we say, Try to stop what we do, When they can't do it themselves.

We are tired of your abuse. Try to stop us, but it's no use.

Society's arms think they're smart. I find satisfaction in what they're lacking 'cause We are born with a chance, And I'm gonna have my chance,

Rise above. Rise above. Rise above. Rise above.

We are tired of your abuse. Try to stop us, but it's no use.

Society's arms think they're smart. I find satisfaction in what they're lacking 'cause We are born with a chance, And I'm gonna have my chance.

Society's arms think they're smart. I find satisfaction in what they're lacking 'cause We are born with a chance, And I'm gonna have my chance.

Rise above. Rise above. Rise above. Rise above, rise above, rise above, rise above, rise above, rise above. Rise...

MARTIN: You can see Dirty Projectors perform that song at our website, npr.org/bryantpark. And that is it for this hour of the BPP, but we're always online at npr.org/bryantpark. I'm Rachel Martin.

PESCA: And I'm Mike Pesca. This is the Bryant Park Project from NPR News.

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Dirty Projectors Let Black Flag Fly

The Dirty Projectors' new CD, Rise Above, started when bandleader Dave Longstreth found an empty cassette case. It was for an old Black Flag album, Damaged. "I was kind of like, 'Whoa, there's that album,'" Longstreth says.

Longstreth decided to remake the 1990 punk record — from memory. "I just sort of began writing melodies, and then sort of distinct from the melodies I was making, thinking of the words as well as I could, and then just sort of pairing them as best I could," he says.

The result is more ethereal than thrash, intriguing and hard to catch, and yet true to the original.

The Dirty Projectors' members stop in for a taste of Rise Above.

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