My Marfa Experience With Dirty Projectors & Wye Oak

With more show pics and a review coming later this week from their Austin show, I’m going to focus more on my overall Marfa experience culminating with the Dirty Projectors show at the Crowley Theatre.  I’ll be as brief as I can since the Marfa experience is really something best witnessed first hand and not by an amature blogger who happens to love a great show.  Follow the jump for my thoughts and some photos by contributor Mair.Heard.

Let’s get it out of the way early that I am in no way cool or hip enough to be a permanent Marfa resident.  The recent influx of young individuals to this town over the last 5-10 years are comprised of the hippest of hipsters with everyone working in some sort of creative job.  Wether it be hand made boots at Cobra Rock Boots, the numerous art studios, or the forward thinking Marfa Ballroom, this town is a perfect creative outlet for many a young person.  If you want some Frosted Flakes at the grocery store, well you better look elsewhere…

Upon our arrival in Marfa after a beautiful drive on the outskirts of Big Bend, we discovered from a local that most businesses are closed on Sunday through Tuesday with some only open on weekends.  Needless to say, on a planned Sunday-Tuesday trip, this posed some obstacles for finding places to eat and hang out.  We did however manage to sample the excellent Mexican food at Mando’s and even happened upon an all Austin show at Padre’s on Sunday night featuring Matt the Electrician.

Anyone traveling to Marfa should definitely check out the surrounding areas at Balmorhea State Park, Ft. Davis, and McDonald Observatory.  The views at McDonald Observatory can’t be matched in Texas and Balmorhea State Park is like a gigantic Barton Springs with less murky water and above cold as hell temps.  I’d highly recommend day trips to both.

On to the show…

The Magnificent Crowley Theatre was easily our highlight of the trip to Marfa.  Think the old ACL taping theater on campus with the standing room moved out and the stands pushed into their place.  Said to hold only 170+, it really did feel like a special treat to see two growing bands in such an intimate venue.

Wye Oak’s set was great as always, but cut way too short for the fans in attendance.  I suppose that’s how it goes when you decide to play the opener role.  New song “Spiral” sounded much better live than I thought it would.

Dirty Projectors absolutely killed it.  The new songs packed a lot more of a punch live than expected and lead singer David Longstreth really surprised with the power behind his voice.  Most of the set focused on recent release Swing Lo Magellan with a few shaky versions of songs from Bitte Orca.  Older tune “Stillness is the Move” seemed much less polished than original live performances, but I guess that’s what happens with a constant member rotation.  Longstreth summed it up best when he commented mid show that it felt like an episode of “Story Tellers”.  I couldn’t agree more.  This show experience was one of my favorites in recent memory and I doubt it will be re-created anytime soon.  Definitely see both bands at Emo’s East tonight if you get the chance.

Photos are provided by Mair.Heard.  With little to no light, pictures turned out a bit dark.  Many thanks.


  • Awesome, great review of the music and the town! We just bought 14 acres right on the Texas Mountain Trail in Fort Davis so it’s nice to know we will still get to hear some great live music as well as star gaze, swim, hike etc!! Hopefully more bands will come play there with exposure like this! Thanks Mair and Nathan!!

  • awesome pics. words do no justice to that second shot from the road. the sky. wow.

  • @Brett. Yeah man, the drive off I-10 into Marfa was beautiful the whole way.

    @Sub Pop Grl. This is a RayRay article, not Nathan… hmph! But yes you are very lucky to have some land out there. The place I mentioned in the article Padres was actually just bought out by a guy who used to run sound at Hole in the Wall and The ND so expect some great things in the future there. Let us know how it goes!

  • RayRay -dang,sorry for the miss. hey thanks for the info, wow its really fantastic news about Padres being in such capable hands. When we get built out there we’d like to host ATH and some bands. Will keep you posted, this site is the BEST in the nation, so ahead of the curve. Greatly loved and appreciated from here in Houston.

  • Hey thanks for the kind words. We love hearing that people appreciate the hard work we put in.

    YES to a an ATH show in Marfa. Padres would be a nice spot for it.

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