Live and Local | The Dirty Secrets of the Dirty Dirges | The Orphan Gallery | 3/20/13


By: Cassandra Chernin

I met up with the Dirty Dirges on a bitterly cold first day of spring at their latest show at the DIY venue, Orphan Gallery. Sipping from some Miller High Lifes, I tried to pick the brains of the self-proclaimed trash pan alley-esque group (and squeeze out some dirty secrets). The band consists of four members, David Scott on clarinet, Brian Sanderson on bass, Calvin Jory on guitar, mandolin, and kazoo and Patrick Collins as lead vocals, guitar, and banjo.  About a year ago, a close friend requested Patrick’s vocal prowess at a show, they played a few songs and voila – the Dirty Dirges were born.

But not really. It took quite sometime to think up a name. They played first as the uninspired Patrick and His Little Boys, traveled through My John Thompson, and stopped a little too long at Hollywood Tears when they made an EP called “A Lullaby and Two Dirty Dirges”. The name stuck, simply as The Dirty Dirges.Three of the members David, Patrick, and Calvin went to high school together at the Potomac School in Washington D.C but they weren’t exactly close buds.  Patrick remembers listening to David, whom fellow band members deem a child prodigy, playing clarinet.  “I remember falling asleep in the auditorium to him,” said Collins.

Patrick writes the songs by simply simply “fuck[ing] around on the guitar and banjo” and is inspired by rye whiskey, the old testament, pornography, and breathing in a plastic bag. Inspiration also comes from Tom Waits, old timey stuff, rhinestone country, and Andrew Bird’s Bowl of Fire.

So, it was only right as them being The Dirty Dirges, I needed to know their dirtiest secrets. And after some long awkward pauses, David began.

David Scott

“I was going to meet friends on a snow day and was driving. I couldn’t find them and for some reason I had to pee so badly that I just had to take the (cough wide) brimmed Nalgene bottle and peed into it. Just so happens there was a car in front of me. That I crashed into – while peeing.”

Once he started going, it wouldn’t stop.

“I once wore a tiny blue speedo to a party at a Mormon girl’s house. It was really cold. I was also drinking out of the same Nalgene bottle… I can’t remember if it was before or after.”

Calvin Jory

“I was a Boy Scout ‘til the rip old age of 18. One of the only kids I knew to be in it that long. I’ve also had sex in the library at BU.”

Patrick Collins

In the second grade Patrick stole his grandmother’s engagement ring to propose to a girl.  (Unison: Aww) He even wrote a poem for her. After proposing (I’m guessing she said yes?) he had to go get the ring back with his dad and the girl was laughing in the window with her friends.

Brian Sanderson looked like this in high school.


“Yeah, everyone was looking at me like, ‘Oh shit’, we got a badass on this high school choir trip.”

Not one for a lack of showmanship, Patrick donned a red onsie with a butt flap and joined his fellow band members in putting on a great show. The crowd ate up the foot stomping, feel good (songs about death) beats. During “Dusklight” a random man walked in and started playing a trombone with them.  Ending with the song “Nawlins”, they set the stage for a great new EP. The new EP is called “Kid Carrion” and should be out late April with five songs. It is about the creative and the destructive impulses in your head  – and filled with roaring vocals, the mandolin, the banjo, and sure to be a good ole time. In addition, they’ll be using found percussion (bits of scrap metal and wood that they beat the shit out of).

So the secret is out. The Dirty Dirges, hailing from an equally dirty Allston basement, have an eclectic style and musical skill that combined could easily cement themselves in Boston’s musical history.

Rose Rundown