Are the Fiery Furnaces really six albums deep into their bro ‘n’ sis psychedelic Patti Smith-on-Broadway bacchanalia? Man, time flies when you’re writing a conceptual album starring grandma! Widow City, the Friedberger’s follow-up to last year’s Bitter Tea is just around the corner, so for the non-leakers out there (you know who you are), take a listen to the snake-sacrificing “Ex-Guru,” a bouncy pastoral bit that surfaces at the tail-end of a conjoined domestic triad with “Duplexes Of The Dead” and “Automatic Husband.”
The Fiery Furnaces – “Ex-Guru” (MP3)
At the band’s Thrill Jockey page, it’s noted “the loud guitar-drums-and-Chamberlin ‘thunderstorm’ part towards the end … indicates the thunderstorm brought about by the jilted ex-guru.” Good, the sleazy lady deserved it. While we’re looking for explanations, there’s also a note on how Widow City’s lyrics were written:
By means of a method derived from the Baccalieri children’s use of a Ouija board in season four of The Sopranos, and, further, a mention of [James Merrill’s book] Scripts For The Pageant in an article in the Windy City Times … Between seven and eight in the morning the brother in the band would pretend to ask a Ouija board what his sister would like to sing about. He would then pretend that the Ouija board gave him various answers. After this was accomplished he would pretend to write the answers down.
None of this makes sense? Peep the Furnaces’ behind-the-scenes WC promo video. Jason Loewenstein shows up on there talking about the Blues Brothers. OK, that wasn’t very helpful. How about we just move on to the Eleanor-friendly album art/tracklist, then?
Widow City is out 10/9 on Thrill Jockey.