July 12, 2010
Last year, we experienced one of those crazy, only-in-New-York moments. And when I say ‘experienced,’ I mean more that we heard about it happening and then totally regretted not attending in person. That’s how we roll. I think there was a Mad Men marathon on or something. That Don Draper…
Back to the point, last April—a little over a year after they compiled their tribute to Björk, Enjoyed (which you can still and should download ASAP)— Stereogum‘s own Brandon Stosuy brought together Björk and the Dirty Projectors (who were featured on the tribute) to put on a benefit for NYC’s Housing Works. For those who don’t know, Housing Works is a noble organization dedicated to “ending the twin crises of AIDS and homelessness.” Stosuy happens to be a board member at Housing Works and, after hearing of the mutual admiration Björk and the Projectors had for each other, he worked to put together the one-night event to raise awareness, raise funds, and…excuse the easy out…raise the roof. I know. I know. What can you do? It’s a blog, not The New Yorker. Read more about the event here. (Haley Joel Osment was there!)
Fast forward a little over a year, which brings us to the end of last month and the release of Mount Wittenberg Orca, the seven-songs written by DP’s David Longstreth for the benefit. When they originally performed the songs, Longstreth introduced them with this:
“We’ve never played it in front of anyone before, and we are just incredibly honored to sing this music with Björk….It is about a day three weeks ago that Amber Coffman (of the Projectors) was in Northern California watching whales from a mountain called Mount Wittenberg. The…songs are imagining the moment Amber saw this whale, and the whale saw her. I think it is called Mount Wittenberg Orca.”
That it is. And, following on the original concept, the EP is being sold electronically to benefit another noble organization—this time, the National Geographic Society. Again, as they put it:
“We’ve decided to give away all the money that Wittenberg generates to the project of creating international marine protected areas. Only 1% of the oceans are protected in any way and this is a huge problem. We’re working with the National Geographic Society to create areas of sustainability, so the oceans don’t end up like a giant poisonous corpse hugging the continents.”
If you know the artists involved at all, the EP is about what you would expect—lush, glimmering, glitchily beautiful, and featuring near-acrobatic harmonies. We crazy-highly recommend you DOWNLOAD THE SONGS NOW at whatever donation level you feel appropriate. The music’s excellent, as is the tradition of philanthropy that follows it. Take a listen to “When the World Comes to an End”, this week’s Song of the Week, and then promptly give the waters that surround us all (and your ears) a much-deserved gift.
Photo: From Stereogum‘s coverage of the benefit.