Yet another day party, this one at Club Midway sponsored by V2 Records, The L Magazine and Haystack Media. After catching The Blow at the Fader storefront, stopping by the Gothamist House for a really good bloody mary, I made it just in time to catch Dirty on Purpose who were playing their fourth show in 24 hours!
Full disclosure: I am friendly with the band (some of them even know my name!), and have seen DoP a dozen times in the last two years. But this is the first time I’ve ever seen them purely as a four-piece. Ever since Erica Forster left the group to focus on her other musical endeavor, they have been playing shows with guest female vocalists filling in her parts. Ever since their show at last year’s CMJ (shortly after Forster’s departure), it has been my opinion that they should just ditch those songs and move on without a replacement.
And this show cemented those feelings. Dirty on Purpose have become a real powerhouse in the last year, combining noise, melody and inventiveness. George Wilson is one of those insanely creative guitarists who is still doing new things with his instrument without going into atonal noise territory. He was going absolutely apeshit on his guitar during the band’s opening instrumental number, scraping it across the mike stand, banging it against amps, the floor, any other surface he thought might make an interesting noise. He’s also got a bank of special-made pedals that would impress Kevin Shields or Doug Martsch. The rest of the band are no slouches either — the all contribute to the songwriting — framing some of the noisier elements in within strong songcraft.
While everyone except bassist DJ Boudreau sings lead on at least one song,
you’d wouldn’t call any of them strong singers (drummer Doug
Marvin is the closest to that) However, they’ve come a long way since last year, sounding quite good on Saturday. Joe Jurewicz in particular sounds more confident than he ever has, though I’d love to hear him drop the falsetto and try singing in a normal register. Just once. I’ve quibbled about Club Midway’s sound before, but I thought it was clear — and loud — in this instance.
The band played for around 40 minutes, hitting most the highlights of this year’s excellent Hallelujah Sirens, with a crescendo of the full-on shoegaze number "Marfa Lights" which just killed. I am a friend, but at times like this I am merely a fan.
Photo swiped from extrawack’s Flickr photostream.