Unfortunately, I have no live-action documentation to please your eyes with because I left the digital camera at home sitting on top of my dresser. I was down earlier today and decided to go dig through the thousands of clearance albums at Amoeba. Free therapy, I like to think. On my way home, I heard drums, then piano and then a voice that I recognized. I turned the corner and stepped onto the UC Berkeley campus to see: The Fiery Furnaces!
They had a simple black platform set up as a stage and were performing live [and free!] in front of the Zellerbach Auditorium. For those of you who think this band is just a trainwreck, I won’t disagree with you. These kids are my favorite trainwreck, though. Their last album, Bitter Tea, was a car crash, but I still listened to it. And even have a few favorite songs off of it. They crank out these weird, disjointed, sometime wholly disorganized tunes with such grace and intention. I think they know they sound bizarre and they love it.
It was only a bit of a sight to see. There were students gathered around the makeshift stage where brother-and-sister duo, Matthew and Eleanor, were joined by a drummer and bassist. They played songs from their latest release, Widow City, as well as some off their past albums.
I particularly liked their rendition of “Black-Hearted Boy” which was listenable on the album but very likeable live. I noticed that most of their music sounds much, much better when it’s played live. “Single Again” was a fun, lively song that got a lot of the crowd excited. The only song off the new album that I recognized was “Duplexes of the Dead.”
Here are a couple tracks off of their last release Bitter Tea:
I’m In No Mood – Fiery Furnaces
Black-Hearted Boy – Fiery Furnaces