When: Tue., Oct. 5, 8 p.m. 2010
There are, no doubt, a handful of arts purists scattered throughout the Triangle who question the recent democratization of Duke Performances. Aside from a still-stunning spate of classical music, Duke's programming under the direction of Aaron Greenwald has expanded to include doses of indie rock (both local and national), adventurous jazz and, especially in the last two years, soul music. As the aesthetic reach has grown, the audience has, too, opening inlets to the sort of university-based recreation that often excludes outsiders. Expect this show to be stuffed, then, with kids who never went to Duke.
But if any young indie rock act can convince the cognoscenti that the more inclusive move is the correct one, it's certainly Dirty Projectors. One of the most subversively innovative, integrative bands in memory, Dirty Projectors lace unexpected strings—West African guitars, baroque chamber arrangements, hip-hop rhythms, all-female harmonies that pull Philip Glass into the barbershop—into a strangely contagious whole. Live, they manage to make some of the most complex pop you've ever heard both intimate and energetic, as if it's as natural as singing a folk song. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $5–$26. —Grayson Currin