New Live Fiery Furnaces – “Wicker Whatnots”

If you’ve seen two Fiery Furnaces concerts, odds are one left you totally blown away, and the other left you totally confused. The Friedbergers do not play the same show twice — not in song choice, and definitely not in song arrangement, each show bringing de novo interpretations of tunes’ structure, time signature, composition, etc. Often the only thread’s the lyrics. So where most live albums are basically documents of a band’s stage banter on a given tour, a Fiery Furnaces live record stands to be an aggressive, progressive Fiery Furnaces covers record — performed by the Fiery Furnaces. So, pretty cool that they’re releasing one.

Remember is a 51-track double record (triple LP), spanning the whole catalogue, from various performances dating back to 2005. The sample we’ve got for you here comes from last year’s Widow City. “Wicker Whatnots”‘ album version is all jagged shards of rhythm guitar and busy backbeat. It’s streamlined on Remember, and certainly reinvented: the verses coming with full on acid jazzy vamping, the chorus (Eleanor asking “How do you arrange a room around a baby grand piano…”) trading the original’s creepy duskiness for an uplifting major key shift, all winding organ tones and brief release. It’s a great take, and you may as well hear it now, because you’ll never hear it this way again.

The Fiery Furnaces – “Wicker Whatnots (Live)” (MP3)

That pic’s from their set at Bonnaroo this year, where they kicked a lot of ass, and had cardboard cutouts of Eleanor’s glam Converse photo shoot surf the crowd. The Friedbergers have one more show on their spring tour, and it’s this weekend at the Pemberton Music Festival up in Canada. We have a photographer on the grounds, so expect some photos from the fest soon.

Remember is out in late August via Thrill Jockey. Here’s the massive tracklist:

Disc 1
01 “Intro” 0:41
02 “Blueberry Boat” 8:27
03 “Single Again” 3:33
04 “Two Fat Feet” 2:28
05 “Don’t Dance Her Down” 3:26
06 “Single Again (Reprise)” 2:03
07 “Wicker Whatnots” 2:55
08 “Little Thatched Hut” 4:12
09 “I’m In No Mood” 2:59
10 “Black-Hearted Boy” 2:38
11 “Bitter Tea” 2:47
12 “Waiting To Know You” 1:34
13 “Vietnamese Telephone Ministry” 2:46
14 “Oh Sweet Woods” 2:31
15 “Borneo” 3:30
16 “Benton Harbor Blues” 1:41
17 “Japanese Slippers” 2:23
18 “Benton Harbor Blues (Reprise)” 1:03
19 “Whistle Rhapsody” 1:52
20 “Crystal Clear” 1:39
21 “Whistle Rhapsody (Reprise)” 1:15
22 “Teach Me Sweetheart” 3:41
23 “Evergreen” 1:37
24 “Bitter Tea (Reprise)” 1:30
(TT 1:03:12)

Disc 2
01 “Chris Michaels” 6:57
02 “Quay Cur” 8:17
03 “My Dog Was Lost But Now He’s Found” 2:52
04 “Spaniolated” 2:01
05 “Name Game” 2:27
06 “Birdie Brain” 2:28
07 “1917” 3:08
08 “Slavin’ Away (Intro)” 0:18
09 “Tropical Ice-land” 3:29
10 “Asthma Attack” 1:44
11 “Tropical Ice-land (Reprise)” 0:26
12 “The Wayward Granddaughter” 4:38
13 “The Garfield El” 1:48
14 “A Candymaker’s Knife In My Handbag” 1:08
15 “Forty-Eight Twenty-Three Twenty-Second St.” 2:40
16 “Slavin\’ Away” 2:58
17 “Seven Silver Curses” 1:40
18 “Clear Signal From Cairo” 1:37
19 “I’m Gonna Run” 2:26
20 “Here Comes The Summer” 3:15
21 “Chief Inspector Blancheflower” 2:31
22 “Automatic Husband” 1:38
23 “Ex-Guru” 2:34
24 “Clear Signal From Cairo (Reprise)” 1:39
25 “Philadelphia Grand Jury” 1:13
26 “Navy Nurse” 0:59
27 “Uncle Charlie” 2:17
(TT 1:09:13)