November 13, 2009 Playlist

"Bitter Tea" by The Fiery Furnaces (2006)
The Fiery Furnaces  "Bitter Tea"  2006 (USA)
The Fiery Furnaces are playing in town tonight, and I'm a-gonna be there.  As this decade winds to a close, I'd have to put Fiery Furnaces in my list of the top 5 or so bands of the past ten years.  As is often the case in this post-modern age, their influences can be readily seen -- they are essentially a "90's indie rock" band whose riffs are inspired by "70's prog rock" -- but they manage to spin a sound that is wholly their own, and vary it with each release.  (They are also absurdly prolific, having released eight studio albums and a double-live CD in just seven years -- I just found out about their latest release today!)  The group's driving forces are brother and sister Matthew and Eleanor Friedberger, who provide the group's distinctive compositions/arrangements and vocals respectively.  Another key member is bassist Jason Lowenstein, formerly of Sebadoh.  Bitter Tea was the Furnaces fifth album, and is their most blatantly "psychedelic" record to date, featuring a particularly disorienting mix and oodles of backwards vocal and instrument tracks.  It's one of my favorites by the band, along with the follow up Widow City, which has more of a "70's classic rock" vibe.
Here are some video clips of the Friedberger siblings playing unplugged:  "Police Sweater Blood Vow" is from Bitter Tea and "Japanese Slippers" is from Widow City.  Next here's the full band in concert playing "Duplexes of the Dead", plus a couple of their more pop-oriented music videos:  "Ex-Guru" is another one from their fine 2007 album Widow City, and "Tropical Ice-Land" was one of their first singles from 2004.
(N) = New Release
Artist Song Album Year (label) Country
Atomic Rooster Friday The 13th Atomic Rooster 1970 UK
Iron Butterfly Best Years Of Our Life Metamorphosis 1970 USA
Stray Sister Mary Saturday Morning Pictures 1972 UK
Jade Warrior Obedience Last Autumn's Dream 1972 UK
Neil Young Cough Up The Bucks Fork In The Road (N) 2009 (Reprise/WB) Canada
The Fiery Furnaces I'm Going Away I'm Going Away (N)
2009 (Thrill Jockey) USA
The Fiery Furnaces Teddy's On Kent "B-side" (N - The End Is Near CD single)
2009 (Thrill Jockey) USA
The Fiery Furnaces Blueberry Boat Blueberry Boat 2004 USA
The Fiery Furnaces Benton Harbor Blues Bitter Tea
2006 USA
Mission of Burma Forget Yourself The Sound The Speed The Light (N) 2009 (Matador) USA
Mission of Burma After The Rain The Sound The Speed The Light (N) 2009 (Matador) USA
His & Her Vanities Hits Like Hail The Mighty Lunge (N)
2009 (Science of Sound) USA
Birds Of Avalon
Eyesore Uncanny Valley (N) 2009 (Volcom) USA
Golden Silvers Shakes True Romance (N) 2009 (XL) UK
Upsilon Acrux Landscape With Gun And Chandelier Radian Futura (N) 2009 (Cuneiform) USA
Times New Viking Move To California Born Again Revisited (N) 2009 (Matador) USA
The Flaming Lips
Worm Mountain Embyonic (N) 2009 (Warner Bros) USA
Laminated Cat Kosmoknot Umbrella Weather (N) 2009 (Garden Gate) USA
Träd, Gräs och Stenar Hemlösa Katter - Till Vankelmodets Lov (Homeless Cats - Praises Of The Inconstancy) Homeless Cats (N) 2009 (Gashud/
Subliminal Sounds)
Nommo Ogo A Call To Cats On The mMoon Across Time And Space (N) 2009 (Record Label Records) USA
Blues Control Good Morning Local Flavor (N) 2009 (Siltbreeze) USA
Psychic Ills Fingernail Tea Mirror Eye (N) 2008 (The Social Registry) USA
Om Meditation Is The Practice Of Death God Is Good (N) 2009 (Drag City) USA
Wooden Shjips
For So Long Dos (N) 2009 (Holy Mountain) USA
Os Mutantes
Querida Querida (Dear Beloved) Haih . . . Or Amortecedor (N) 2009 (ANTI-) Brazil
Climb Up On My Music Coming From Reality (N - reissue) rec. 1971 (2009 Light In The Attic) USA
Wand Dark Is Bending Hard Knox (N) 2009 (Ecstatic Peace!) USA
Kurt Vile Heart Attack Childish Prodigy (N) 2009 (Matador) USA
Califone Buñuel All My Friends Are Funeral Singers (N) 2009 (Dead Oceans) USA
National Beekeeper's Society
Suburbanite Pawn Shop Etiquette (N) 2008 (self release) USA
Miriodor Réveille-Matin (Shadow of the Alarm Clock) Avanti! (N) 2009 (Cuneiform) Canada (Quebec)
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