Fiery Furnaces’ Matthew Friedberger announces eight solo LPs, because you said he couldn’t and now you owe him money

Fiery Furnaces' Matthew Friedberger announces eight solo LPs, because you said he couldn't and now you owe him money

Don’t ever make a bet with Matthew Friedberger. Here’s why: You (yeah, all of you!) were hanging around with Mr. Fiery Furnaces, just talking and kicking back some brews. The conversation lulled and, all of a sudden, Friedberger just spat out, “Hey, I’m going to release eight solo albums next year!” Of course, you were skeptical and had every right to be — I mean, eight solo albums is a lot of solo albums — so rather than letting it slide or laughing it off like you normally do, you just had to get all up in his face and yell “Malarkey! I bet you a million dollars you won’t do it!”

Well, bad news: Friedberger actually went and made those eight albums. With the help of Thrill Jockey, Friedberger is releasing all eight albums through a $50 subscription service, starting with the release of Napoleonette on January 25. Every two months, a new record in the series will be delivered, until the sixth installment is released. “Six? But I bet him he couldn’t make eight records,” you say. “I don’t owe him any money!” Sorry, buddy, but that sixth record is actually coming with two additional records. And if you were wondering where subscribers are going to put these eight records, an old-timey “Tip On” LP box with a hand-mounted photo comes with each set.

The whole thing already sounds pretty crazy, but wait’ll you learn about the series’ uniting concept. Each album focuses very strictly on a single instrument. As in, Friedberger plays only that instrument (though not necessarily the same exact instrument — e.g., different guitars may be played on the guitar-focused record) throughout the whole record. Where the aforementioned Napoleonette will feature piano, the as-yet-untitled second album in the series will feature guitar. The purpose here is to illustrate a Cretan-Lacedaemonian principle in which every group of instruments is against every other group of instruments; every instrument is against every other instrument; and, finally, every instrument is against itself.

If you’re not particularly familiar with Cretan-Lacedaemonian principles, well, that makes two of us. Perhaps Friedberger’s LP series will clear things up, but we’d better make sure to actually subscribe: the records will only be available on vinyl — no digital or CD releases are planned. Very small numbers of the individual records will be available in stores, as well as through Amoeba, Experimedia, Aquarius, and Other Music (for the UK and Europe: Norman Records, Rough Trade East, Boomkat, and Monorail). Considering that only 700 of each record is being made, those numbers will truly be very small. Not that it matters to you; all your money’s going to paying the guy back anyway.

Check out “Shirley” from Napoleonette at the Chocolate Grinder.

• Matthew Friedberger:
• Thrill Jockey:

Mario Speedwagon’s News Round Up: Akron/Family new LP, Vincent Moon and Efterklang movie, The Dears new LP, Steve Mason of The Beta Band tour US

Oh hey guys, remember me? Yeah I’ve been off the radar for about… oh, a year. It wasn’t supposed to be that long, but I’m back now, bitches.

Akron/Family will release their fourth LP on February 8, 2011 (March 14 across the pond) via Dead Oceans. It’s called S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT, which also could be the name of a Kung Fu movie.

• Vincent Moon and Efterklang have made a movie (not a Kung Fu movie) called An Island, which was filmed on (wait for it)… an island, somewhere in Denmark. Shot in four days, the film features performances by the band, “musical experiments,” and collaborations with over 200 local musicians (and they kids and they wives). Efterklang will be touring all over Europe for most of the rest of the year. You can check out dates and a trailer for An Island on the 4AD website.

• Montreal’s The Dears are releasing their fifth LP entitled Degeneration Street on February 15, 2011 via Dangerbird Records. Check out the first track “Omega Dog” live from their Mexico City show.

Steve Mason, formerly of The Beta Band, is hitting the road in support of his latest release Boys Outside, out now Double Six Records. Here are the dates:

12.15.10 - Philadelphia, PA - M Room
12.16.10 - Brooklyn, NY - Knitting Factory
12.17.10 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
12.18.10 - Cambridge, MA - Great Scott
12.19.10 - Montreal, QC - Il Motore
12.20.10 - Toronto, ON - Wrongbar

Radiohead new album? “Not yet,” says Jonny Greenwood (but not in those words)

Rolling Stone Italia reported recently that Radiohead’s new album is “almost finished” and that there would be a “big tour” to support it. Lives were forever changed, etc. Unfortunately, the quotes, supposedly deriving from an interview with multi-instrumentalist Jonny Greenwood, were denied today by Mr. Greenwood himself on Radiohead’s official website:

I think this italian writer (referred to here) has, either thorough over-enthusiasm, or frustration at all my non-committal answers, mistranslated me a little….in fact we haven’t quite finished the album - in the studio at the moment - nor have we yet considered any touring. The plan is to have no plan until the record is finished….hope that’s a little clearer!

I don’t know about you guys, but it sounds like Jonny is trying to say that the new album is finished and will be released as early as December 2010! THIS IS EXCITING NEWS!!

• Radiohead:

Somebody somewhere’s really rich — this year’s SXSW raked in big bucks

113 million is the lucky number of 2010. In October, an anonymous Briton won £113 million in the lottery, and just this week, South by Southwest announced its earnings for this year’s festival — yep, you guessed it: $113 million. To put that into context, SXSW only made $99 million last year. Or, better: that’s enough to buy the most expensive Upper West Side penthouse in the New York Times real estate pages — almost three times!

This year, more people attended SXSW than ever. That means you have to go next year, before everybody goes and it becomes as uncool as a public school prom. Who wants to start a pool for bets on 2011’s income?


The Walkmen mosey on down for a Southeast tour

Every time I read something about The Walkmen’s live show, there’s always some mention of how intense these guys are, or how visceral their performances are, or something of that ilk. That’s all well and good for developing a live reputation, but you can’t judge a man (or group of men, as the case may be) by performance intensity. Perhaps The Walkmen like to take it easy offstage, enjoying the simple pleasures of a good mosey. From what I hear, the group is, in fact, moseying on down to the Southeast for the early parts of 2011 to promote their new one on Fat Possum, Lisbon (TMT Review). They will then proceed to seethe with that live intensity you’ve heard so much about.

Walkmen dates:

12.02.10 - New York, NY - Terminal 5 *
12.03.10 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club %
01.12.11 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle
01.13.11 - Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse
01.14.11 - Asheville, NC - Grey Eagle
01.15.11 - Nashville, TN - Exit/In
03.02.11 - New Orleans, LA - One Eyed Jack’s
03.03.11 - Houston, TX - Fitzgerald’s
03.04.11 - Austin, TX - Subb’s Bar-B-Que
03.05.11 - Dallas, TX - Granada Theater

* School of Seven Bells
% Tennis

• The Walkmen:
• Fat Possum:

Just when you finished saving enough money for his shoes, Panda Bear announces new single in December

Remember a few weeks ago when you thought that Panda Bear’s signature shoes were going to be the best ones from any of the AC guys because Panda Bear is all humble and sensitive and cool and fatherly, but then it turned out that they were easily the most phoned-in and lame? (Oh come on, they totally were.) Well, old boy is making up for it by announcing the release of his third single in the ongoing series leading up to the forthcoming full-length Tomboy.

This handy stocking-stuffer, which is being released as a 7-inch on December 21 by former AC label FatCat, is titled “Last Night at the Jetty” and will be backed by a song named “Drone” as the B-side. Take it away, FatCat publicity:

The lead track, ‘Last Night At The Jetty’ sees Noah’s beautifully layered, honeyed vocal harmonies morphing across a fairly simple grid of wobbly guitar, a whip-crack metronome-beat and a scattering of electronic sounds and effects. Taking an uncluttered, less-is-more approach, the treatment allows Noah’s voice to carry the song through a series of shifting melodies. On the flipside, ‘Drone’ takes an even more reductive, minimalist approach, jettisoning the beat altogether with Noah’s long-held vocals hovering over a step-sequence of synthesized tone-blocks, a kind of computer-music chorale.

If those words have your saliva glands weeping uncontrollably right now, you can listen to snippets and pre-order your copy now over at FatCat’s page or via good old Insound. But beware, kids: the 7-inch release is limited to a scant 3,000 copies. So I hope you’re not still reading this sentence that I’m currently typing out right now in an intentionally long and rambly manner to increase the comedic value of the idea that taking the time necessary to read this sentence is potentially going to be the deciding factor as to whether or not you lock-in your pre-order before the last of them runs out… because if you are, your time has probably run out. By the way, I already ordered mine. Well, bye.

• Panda Bear:
• Fat Cat: