Your copy of Dirty Projectors’ breakthrough 2009 album Bitte Orca, the one that’s contained on either one compact disc or one slab of vinyl, is no longer good enough. On September 28th, the band will release an expanded version of the album with “premium packaging” and a second disc featuring an acoustic in-store performance from Other Music, two songs they already released digitally earlier this year, two vinyl-only B-sides and a cover of Bob Dylan’s “As I Went Out One Morning.”
Now, I’ve got a lot of love for Dirty Projectors. I find frontman Dave Longstreth to be one of the most interesting figures currently working in our small but rapidly expanding world of indie rock, and I think Bitte Orca was very obviously one of the best records released last year. But that said, I can never really get behind these expanded special edition things. They seem to come along when a band has had more success than they saw coming and they’re trying to extend the life of an album ever further. Taylor Swift did it with Fearless, and I know Grizzly Bear did it with Veckatimest, right around the release of the high-profile New Moon soundtrack they were on. It always feels sort of desperate, and the bonus material never seems to be worth all that much. It feels silly complaining about stuff like this, because yes, I know, it’s increasingly difficult for bands to get paid, but it also feels strange to live in a world where Taylor Swift and Dirty Projectors subscribe to the same business practices. If it affords them a few more hours in the studio when it comes time to make a new record, though, I suppose it’s alright with me.