You may have noticed the slightly humorous news yesterday that Matthew Friedberger of The Fiery Furnaces took issue with Radiohead. Specifically that made moves so they'd look cool...
In an interview with Spinner.co.uk Freidberger said:
"Oh, please listen to our new song about Harry Patch. Fuck you! You brand yourself by brazenly and arbitrarily associating yourself with things that you know people consider cool."
Friedberger, it seemed, was talking about the WWI veteran, Harry Patch, who Radiohead DID write their song about. Then, it turns out, he was talking about Harry Partch, an American composer and musical innovator. That is not the last twist in an increasingly tedious, but still-quite-funny tale. It emerges now that Friedberger was having a bit of laugh at himself, Radiohead and, well...us.
A statement was released which said:
"Like most creative musicians, Matt Friedberger is not a fan of Radiohead and most of their chart busters. Of course, Matt and all the Fiery Furnaces family are great fans of all Tommys living or dead, so much so that lots of the Fiery Furnaces' work is, because of the pun, dedicated to imitating the Who's Tommy.
"Back in the fall of 1996 or whenever that interview was conducted, the interviewer asked what Matt thought of the Radiohead song celebrating a WWI veteran. Matt naturally thought it would be interesting to pretend that they wrote a song about the celebrated American composer of a similar sounding name, hence his joking in the interview about Radiohead composing a song with something like 48 notes to an octave. It was easy and amusing to imagine Radiohead's attempt to colonize that relatively arcane bit of our musical lifeworld. This is what they used to call, in some bohemian and advertising circles, 'riffing' or fooling around.
Oh, he was playing PRETEND!
"Matt has not heard the Radiohead song about Harry Patch, but if he did, he is sure he wouldn't like it. No doubt Radiohead and their fans can ignore his opinion of this matter and continue with their triumphant artistic interventions. Matt would have much preferred to insult Beck but he is too afraid of Scientologists."
That's a bit closed minded. At least try it first!
So. Do we have a really elaborate joke being played on us all, or is Friedberger just covering his back? Or is he covering his back in pretending to cover his back...I dunno, but this sure as hell is a little confusing. Does anyone even care?
We must, however, point out that the OTHER Fiery Furnace, Eleanor, has little to do with this, just so you know.