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Day Laborers and Petty Intellectuals is a five-piece folk-apocalypse band from Seattle, WA. Born in a tiny cabin on the shores of Lake Washington as the solo project of songwriter-singer-guitarist Robert Anderson, DL&PI has grown to include piccolo, trumpet, cello/violin, bucket drumming, and six-part harmonies, not to mention heartfelt songs about love, life, and the end of the world. DL&PI has been bringing their cacophonous blend of indie rock, folk, punk, country, and jazz to the barrooms and bedrooms of the Puget Sound since 2012.
The project’s name was lifted from the Prison Notebooks of Antonio Gramsci, who wrote of two classes of “subversives”: the drunken, good-for-nothing day laborer, and the petty bourgeois intellectual, neither of whom seems to make any real contribution to society. For aspiring subversive songwriters such as we, the name embodies the split personality of the young American good-for-nothing: half day laborer, toiling in the fields for little to no pay and drinking away her wages come evening, and half petty intellectual, debating contemporary social and economic issues and theorizing grandly about the coming revolution. You might find fragments of this philosophical grounding in the lyrics of the songs. Or you might prefer to ignore them and just dance.