Sunday, April 17, 2005

What's Wrong With Fiery Furnaces?

For a band that showed so much promise and knocked me off the feet when they debuted in DC with Mission of Burma last year, I, like others, was under-underwhelmed by last week's headlining show at the 930 club.

I didn't hear any of the delicate yet forceful touch they displayed last year. The songs seemed rushed and they seem enamored with new toys. While I'm convinced (despite what others say) that Blueberry Boat was a step back from the easy going nature of Gallowsbird Bark (even putting up the worst tracks on Boat against the best of Bark and its a no-brainer to me - one was an A+ and the other is a C-), I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and plopped down my Hamilton for the show. I was up front and perhaps that isn't the sweet spot for the 930 club. I'm thinking that it is in the back on the credenza but even so, the band seemed listless, tense and (with the exception of the pre mental patient drummer) oblivious of the audience.

And while it's no business of my own and I'm the last person to make comments about people's exercise and diet regimen - Eleanor appears to have lost weight and despite fashion expert She's Bitter wowwing over her ensemble, I thought it made her look like an extra in a Charlie's Angel's nightclub scene. Her brother, sedentary for most of the show in front of his keyboards, appears to have put the pounds on that E. has lost. It's a sign of stress when people lose and gain weight (everyone's different in this regard, I guess).

My diagnosis (or is it prognosis?) is after Coachella for the band to take a vacation from each other - E. to rediscover the joy of cooking and Matt to start jogging... and then go find some isolated yet comfortable place where they can make a lot of racket, spend a few days or weeks just playing together for fun and work on those new songs (which sounded interesting at least what I could hear and discern of the lyrics from the crappy P.A. system).

an opposing opinion from a gig idiot
... UPDATED: My invective was not warrented as I was equating this gentleman with the young drunken man screaming in our ears through the beginning part of the set. Apologies.


At 12:32 AM, Blogger jwer said...

Oh, I have so arrived! Color me super-proud.

It's live music. It cannot be reviewed convincingly to anyone but yourself. Even the people I went with didn't agree with me.

If you would prefer validation of your own hipper-than-thou opinion, feel free to check out Yglesias' post on the matter, which I am too lazy to link. I guess he was standing near you being just as bored?

You guys are so cool. I wish I spent all my money going to shows I strongly expect I'm not going to enjoy, just so I can bitch about them later... "it was just as I expected!"

At 6:27 AM, Blogger Jim H said...

J-wer - I don't know about this person you call yglesias but I do know that there was a drunk kid near me screaming in my ear throughout the set calling out songs for the band to play.

If you had read my posting (not a review, more of a bitch about the current state of the band whom I still love for Gallowsbird Bark), I saw the Furnaces last year and they were about 3 times better (I'm trying to avoid hyperbole) so my expectations were high. But perhaps that's the problem - not low expectations but high expectations.

Still, thanks for providing the opposing view and stopping by.

At 8:47 PM, Blogger jwer said...

All righty then. Yglesias is Matt Yglesias, a pretty well-respected liberal political blogger; here is his post on the show.

I apologize for my strenuous anti-hipster comment; I was dimly aware of the FF going in, but was not particularly well versed with their music, nor with their hype. The concert was just what I was in the mood for from start to finish.

To my mind, as I mentioned in my own post, it was just a nice confluence of where I was and what they were doing, just like the first time I saw Stereolab. Cheers.


Post a Comment

<< Home