One Track Mind: David Byrne & Dirty Projectors – “Knotty Pine”


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MP3: David Byrne & Dirty Projectors – Knotty Pine

Time-honored new wave icon David Byrne (Talking Heads) joins forces with contemporary experimentalist Dave Longstreth, also known as Dirty Projectors, to release the recording “Knotty Pine” for The Red Hot Organization’s Dark Was The Night.

Wrapping up their 20th annual compilation, Red Hot hopes to raise funding and awareness for HIV and AIDS world-wide through media events and pop culture. Byrne and Longstreth will accompany other independent pioneers providing exclusive tracks, including Grizzly Bear, Sufjan Stevens, Conor Oberst and Beirut. (Look for a bonus track by Baltimore natives Beach House available on iTunes only)

The influence of both Byrne and Longstreth is unmistakable on the collaborative single.  The track opens with a dominant lead piano and bursts of accelerando, traces of Byrne that keep the beat with an approvingly tapped foot.

Now working as a solo artist, David Byrne (who had a brief stint at MICA) recently completed his second project with Brian Eno, the well-received album Everything That Happens Will Happen Today. He has previously teamed up with DJs such as Thievery Corporation and Fatboy Slim, so it should come as no surprise that the seasoned singer-songwriter has now caught the freak folk bug that Dirty Projectors seems to suffer from so incredibly.

Brooklyn-bound Dave Longstreth uses elements of tribal and electronic that bring to mind flashes of Yeasayer and Deerhunter- that sound you can’t quite put your finger on but know you want to continue subjecting yourself to.

In 2007, he released Rise Above, which has been described as a re-imagining of Black Flag’s Damaged by transforming the album into something much more than punk by fleshing out the 80′s classic with diverse melodies and erratic movement.  Essentially, Black Flag post-millenium.

On “Knotty Pine,” Dirty Projectors manages to reveal Longstreth’s personal style of eccentric and offbeat male/ female melodies coming together with lively keys to deliver a surprisingly good indie-pop track.  David Byrne agrees in his blog. “The tune is as oddly structured as any of their (Dirty Projectors) pieces”, he writes, “but you sort of don’t notice because it is really catchy and it all flows as if nothing untoward is going on whatsoever.”  Byrne and Longstreth turn a simple 10 verses into something bouncy and intricate, and a much denser composition than one might assume at first listen.

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5 Responses to “One Track Mind: David Byrne & Dirty Projectors – “Knotty Pine””

  1. Sarah says:

    Dirty Projectors will be playing the “Rufustival”. Metro Gallery’s 2 year anniversary Outdoor Celebration festival. =)

  2. Alex Mudge says:

    Nice Sarah! I heard about this a while back, and now I don’t have to feel like I’m keeping someone’s awesome birthday present secret anymore.

    Is the rest of the line-up officially announced? This event is in June, no?

  3. Sarah says:

    June 6th. Official line-up will be announced by the end of this month. YES!!

  4. i am so excited for this.

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