Sophisticated Urban Living (Contemporary Conveniences Edition) collects eleven unreleased and rare Double Dagger recordings from 2008 on a new digital-format album. Captured a year after the smart fury of Ragged Rubble (Stationary (Heart) Recordings) and a year before the more expansive and introspective MORE (Thrill Jockey), these songs reveal the band in an urgent and intensely creative period.
Recorded on a cassette 4-track in Double Dagger's Baltimore practice space in the Copycat Building, the album’s first nine tracks reverberate with the raw noise and energy of a DIY punk show as well as the freshness of the then-newly-written music. With vocals tracked while the lyrical ink was still wet on the paper, these recordings document the band’s songwriting process and include the first-recorded versions of many songs that would later appear on the MORE LP and the Masks EP. Despite, or perhaps because of, the rawness of the 4-track format, Double Dagger’s excitement about the then-new material shines through loud and clear. As proof of their power, these demo recordings were instrumental in Thrill Jockey's decision to sign the band.
Three tracks from this recording session appeared on Double Dagger’s Sophisticated Urban Living 7-inch EP (Terra Firma Records 2008), highlighted by “Luxury Condos for the Poor (extended version),” the definitive recording of this anti-gentrification, class-war anthem — which appeared just in time for (and perhaps anticipated) the 2008 housing market collapse. Along with the first taping of "No Allies” and the noise-track “Artmachine,” this marks the first digital release of these recordings.
The album’s last two live tracks come from a particularly rowdy show in the studio of University of Maryland’s WMUC on the long-running Third Rail Radio program, and captures one of the first performances of “The Lie/The Truth” that would later appear on MORE.
Almost exactly ten years after their final show, Double Dagger are reuniting for two consecutive nights in Baltimore. Bruce, Denny, and Nolen take the stage at The Ottobar on Friday, October 15, and Current Space on Saturday, October 16, 2021.
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