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Friday, July 07, 2006
  Matthew Friedberger's "non-double-LP" double LP.
The Fiery Furnaces, to me, have always made up an anomaly of sound. they defy barriers of custom, expectation, all conventionality, and most usually, what is considered "accessible." there are those people that hold Fiery Furnaces very dear to their hearts - Blueberry Boat, i would especially consider - and praise every piece, every musical twang, every blip and beep and sigh. (no, no, not thinking of PF at all.)

i, dear readers, am not one of those people.
i will tell you until i am blue in the face that yes - i respect what they accomplish; yes - i understand the genius in their complexity; yes - i know i'm a fool.
but i don't get it guys.

so when i listen to the solo work of Matthew Friedberger, Fiery Furnaces' main writer/instrumentalist, i expect more of the same. it must be the consequence of habit, of burning your hand on the stove too many times (or should i say furnace?). i am conditioned to be wary of brother sister duos, of experimental rock whose initials are F and F, of noise synthpop and complication.

sometimes i feel like, i am complicated enough. i do not need any more.

well, my expectations are only slightly dashed, and in a good way. to stray too much from the experimentation that makes up Matthew and Eleanor's musical image would be sort of a crime, and it's one that he doesn't commit. it's all still very much like Fiery Furnaces - only this time, he splits the two main characteristics of his song-writing, those that are normally integrated into one sound, into two separate sounds and onto two different albums.

Winter Women is by far the most accessible collection of tracks that i have yet heard by anything to do with Friedberger. he says so himself: it's a pop record. there is actual opportunity for songs to get stuck in your head, for the twangs and beeps to morph into something less difficult and more... catchy. yes, i'm saying catchy. it might be the closest they'll ever get.
::::see what i mean?
Matthew Friedberger - Under The Hood At The Paradise Garage
Matthew Friedberger - Ruth Versus Richard
Matthew Friedberger - Don't You Remember?

Holy Ghost Language School is, by contrast, one of the least accessible pieces i've ever heard. there is no putting this record on, sitting back with tea/coffee/beer, and lazily sifting through your Safari aggregator. you put this on and you're captivated - and if you're not, you're annoyed. it is, as Matthew Friedberger put it, the noise record. it reminds me somewhat of 2005's Rehearsing the Choir, sounding a little like a story-telling session: weird, difficult to sit through. i don't mind it, however; though some of it is a little grating, and it's certainly not an entertaining experience - it's more of an education into the possibilities of Friedberger's talents. it's a lesson, not a windows-down summer drive.
::::it was hard to choose the best examples...
Matthew Friedberger - Holy Ghost Language School
Matthew Friedberger - The Cross and the Switchblade
Matthew Friedberger - Do You Like Blondes?
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