Dirty Projectors Rise Above

As far as mnemonic exercises go, things don’t get as weirdly successful as the Dirty Projectors’ attempt to reproduce select songs from Black Flag’s 1981 landmark Damaged without referencing the source. In truth, David Longstreth was familiar with the album; he just hadn’t heard it since middle school and tackled these songs strictly from memory. It’s a humorous, if not slightly gimmicky, concept that yields some fascinating results, but Flag fans shouldn’t be rushing to record stores. As a psychological experiment on himself, Longstreth builds upon kernels of what he recalls about songs like "No More,” "Six Pack” and "Police Story” and then sends them through a dreamlike spiral of re-composition and reinterpretation. The idea of Rise Above is not the presentation of faithful covers but to refer to Damaged as a point of cultural importance, and its eccentricities are endearing. That said, "TV Party” was omitted. Evidently Longstreth forgot about it. (Dead Oceans)