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Heralded as genius and derided as unlistenable in equal measure, New York’s Dirty Projectors are an acquired taste. Harkening back to an era when the depravity of the downtown scene freely intermingled with the art-school set, songwriter Dave Longstreth’s project consistently stretches the limits of plausibility and its audience’s patience. The band’s knotty reinterpretations of Black Flag songs on 2007’s Rise Above were purportedly recorded based entirely upon Longstreth’s memory, while the 2005 “glitch opera” The Getty Address involves a suicidal protagonist named Don Henley. The band’s latest left turn was last year’s easily digestible, pop(ish) album Bitte Orca, which included the single “Stillness Is the Move,” a surprisingly tuneful (and relatively straight-faced) homage to ’90s R&B. Not ones to bask in their swelling popularity, the Dirty Projectors are touring in support of a new EP called Mount Wittenberg Orca, a collaboration with Björk—who else?—that follows a whale family that band members say they spotted on the northern coast of California.
THE DIRTY PROJECTORS PERFORM WITH OWEN PALLETT AT 7 P.M. AT THE 9:30 CLUB, 815 V ST. NW. $20. (202) 265-0930.