Category: The Fiery Furnaces

The Fiery Furnaces – Blueberry Boat

ARTIST: The Fiery Furnaces 220px-The_Fiery_Furnaces_-_Blueberry_Boat
TITLE: Blueberry Boat
YEAR RELEASED: 2004
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: None
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Only on weirdo college radio
LINEUP: Eleanor Friedberger, Matthew Friedberger, David Muller, Samara Lubelski
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Tuneful weirdness from the brother-sister duo.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: For their second album, the Friedbergers decide that they weren’t weird enough, and so they play with instruments, tempos, dramatic changes, and long suites instead of short songs.

It is a success, though some tracks don’t work because it’s just too much going on all at once that contradict with each other. Also, five cuts time out at 7:52 or more – though the songs to me don’t seem that long those without patience may not dig it.

All in all, I like it. I’m not afraid of this weird – since it seems very song-based and contextual.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The song 1917 makes a reference to the year the White Sox last won the World Series when this was recorded. The next year, the White Sox WON the World Series. Coincidence?

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Nope.

GRADE: B+-: You may like it. You may love it. I think it’s really good for the most part, but they needed to edit a smidge.

The Fiery Furnaces – Gallowsbird’s Bark

ARTIST: The Fiery Furnaces220px-Gallowsbirds_Bark_album_cover
TITLE: Gallowsbird’s Bark
YEAR RELEASED: 2002
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Crystal Clear, Tropical Ice-Land
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: This music only gets on The Current (MN) or KEXP (Seattle) or other such stations.
LINEUP: Eleanor Friedberger, Matthew Friedberger, Ryan Sawyer
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Brother sister duo (with a hired drummer) construct an album of odd, off-kilter songs that borrow from post-punk, grunge, electronica, and Lord knows what else. It works!

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The Fiery Furnaces are at times too obtuse even for their fans. In this first album, though, they are pretty straight forward in their skewed musical universe.

Eleanor’s vocals and interesting (yeah, that’s the word) lyrics fit right over Matthew’s inventive, challenging and unique arrangements. A song like Don’t Dance Her Down has elements of funk, electro-pop and soul all blended together with a disjointed guitar.

Two Fat Feet was the song that turned me onto the Fiery Furnaces as anything more than just a weird novelty. The guitar in that song is strong, and the rhythm section chugs along (ok, Matthew mostly chugging along with himself). Then, there’s this piano that sounds like a nursery school piano!

NOTES & MINUTAE: Don’t Dance Her Down is loosely adapted from Big Jim’s in Town

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.

GRADE: A-: I love challenging music that’s also memorable. This fits that description.