The Fiery Furnaces to release Rehearsing My Choir
The Fiery Furnaces' fourth US release, "Rehearsing My Choir" is based, with liberal heaps of poetic license, around the recollections of Matt and Eleanor Friedberger's grandmother, 83-year-old Olga Sarantos. As Eleanor and Mrs. Sarantos trade off on vocals, signaling quick shifts in time and perspective, the music barrels along at their heels, the Furnaces changing up instruments and arrangements to match the action.
Artist: The Fiery Furnaces
Title: Rehearsing My Choir
Release date: 10/25/05
Label: Rough Trade
The Fiery Furnaces
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As much musical theater as concept album, the story arc of "Rehearsing My Choir" largely takes place in mid-20th century Chicago. The lyrics matter-of-factly recount our heroine's adventures from a half-century ago, and so reflect how the average person's aspirations and experiences were different enough then to seem almost alien now. But it's no period piece, no nostalgia or attempts at "authenticity" in evidence, and Mrs. Saranatos' dry, unsparing treatment on tracks like "Candymaker's Knife in My Handbag" is the furthest thing from sentimental.
"Rehearsing My Choir" was written and produced by Matt and recorded in separate stages: Vocals engineered by John McEntire At Soma EMS in Chicago over November/December '04, the musical backing tracks recorded that November by Bill Skibbe at Key Club Recording Company in Benton Harbor, MI, and mixing done with Rafter Roberts at San Diego's Singing Serpent, in Feb. 2005.
Originally from Oak Park, IL, siblings Matt and Eleanor Friedberger formed the Fiery Furnaces in 2001, after each had made the separate decision to move to New York City. Neither had been in a working band before, but once they started playing regularly in NYC the Furnaces made up for lost time – most successful bands have less to show for their lifetimes than the Fiery Furnaces have packed into the span of two years.
Since recording "Gallowsbird's Bark", (released by Rough Trade in 2003), the band has spent most of its time in the studio or touring. By the time of "Gallowsbird's" release, the band was already finishing up its 76-minute follow-up, "Blueberry Boat," released later in 2004. "EP," a full-length record consisting of B-sides and UK singles, was released in early 2005 and was as different in intent and execution from "Blueberry Boat" as that record was to "Gallowsbird's Bark."
With the Shins, Franz Ferdinand, Wilco and others along for the ride, the Furnaces spent the remainder of 2003-2005 trekking around Europe, Australia, Japan and the USA. During this time the band also established its unorthodox method of recreating its songs live - running through the set list all at once, breaking the songs into fragments and threading the bits amongst each other, not stopping for breath til the end.
The Fiery Furnaces have just finished their next record, "Bitter Tea," which is tentatively scheduled for release in the early 2006.
Rehearsing My Choir Tracklisting
1. The Garfield El
2. The Wayward Granddaughter
3. A Candymaker’s Knife in my Bag
4. We Wrote Letters Everyday
5. Forty-Eight Twenty-Three Twenty-Second Street
6. Guns Under The Counter
7. Seven Silver Curses
8. Though Let’s Be Fair
9. Slavin’ Away
10. Rehearsing My Choir
11. Does It Remind You of When?
"Rehearsing My Choir" by The Fiery Furnaces - release date: 10/25/05..