Just before Christmas a “cover” of “Anarchy In The UK”/”Stand By Me” surfaced on the Internet. It was credited to Chances R, fronted by Dave Longstreth in one form or another. Yeah, it’s pretty clear it’s the Dirty Projectors’ frontman and friends in cheeky doo-wop mode, but it’s also helpful to get the story behind these sorts of things, so I dropped him a line and asked for the details. Read his thoughts and then take a listen.
chances R wasn’t my idea, it was my friend Noah Peffer’s joke/art project. He had the thought of a fake boy band that packaged the angst of punk for teenage consumption. At the time, it seemed like an outlandish extension of the premise of major label grunge … now, with all the ’00s between us, it seems shockingly self-evident!! Don’t u think?
He made all this fake merchandise and maybe some ads and album covers for Chances R, but he needed a song, so he asked me to write it. It was so fun. I was like 17 or something, and I’d never been to Roxbury, MA before. His friend was chain smoking cigarettes in a tiny apartment that was supposed to be a recording studio, and we went and wrote and recorded it in an afternoon. My friend Pat [Morrissey] did that awesome/bad spoken word.
I haven’t heard that song in so long!!
Chances r you haven’t either.
We found the track at Born to Be Nervous, which includes an interestingly angled writeup regarding what hearing Dave doing his thing at “17 or something” means for the legitimacy of his current project.