As a proponent of low-rent conceptualism in all walks of pop music, I'm easily taken with even the faintest efforts made by bands to infuse their works with something more thoughtful than factory song production. I still hold an embarrassing affinity for bloated, pretentious concept albums, am occasionally way too forgiving of shticks, applaud even the most titanic failures, and laud inscrutability as the highest form of musical genius. Fact is, the less I clearly understand something, the more likely I am to equate it with historical significance--and in that sense, the Dirty Projectors' soon-to-be released The Getty Address may very well be the most important record I've ever heard. Whatever that means.

The brainchild of 23-year-old, on-again, off-again Yale student (and occasional Portland resident) Dave Longstreth, four records have been released under the Dirty Projectors moniker since 2003. With a mix of barren acoustic simplicity and lush, elaborate orchestrations, the Dirty Projectors have been traditionally rooted (or rather, uprooted) in Longstreth's manic, hinge-less vibrato--a confident, soulful croon of dodgeball trajectory that's not so much tuneless as it is eternally listless. With the release of the Getty Address, Longstreth's voice has finally found a playground befitting it--an endlessly complicated glitch opera that pledges to finally unite such disparate themes as the plight of the Aztecs at the hands of the Spanish Conquistadors, the cost of American Imperialism, love, the "virtualization of wilderness on a completely circumscribed globe," and, most importantly, Don Henley. After studying the record's 10-page press release--complete with schematic, song-by-song synopsis, and a letter of explanation to Don Henley--I feel considerably less qualified to explain Getty's intent. I can tell you that the music--was initially composed for wind septet, cello octet, and women's choir singing Longstreth's own "transliterated gibberish." Longstreth later decided to deconstruct the initial recordings of these compositions and reconfigure them into a sort of musique concrete remix of the whole piece--all of which results in a beautiful, beguiling, and thoroughly exhausting mess that's the closest thing to a modern update of Van Dyke Parks' Song Cycle I've ever heard. Which is to say that it's at once reaching, dense, impossible, and probably more "important" than anything you'll hear all year.

Dirty Projectors play Wed March 16 at Dunes, 1905 NE MLK.