Brain Lingerie - The Fiery Furnaces

In discussing male-female interaction, re: sports, with a friend this weekend. We stumbled upon a metaphor that works surprisingly well. To the sports-minded fellow, a potential paramour with knowledge of football, baseball, hockey, basketball, soccer, etc., is a woman in possession of "brain lingerie". This does not mean to imply that other aspects of a woman's intellectual capacity are less valuable. I'd ardently argue the opposite. But, there is always something impressive, and appealing about watching football with a lady and having her point out a 4 - 3 defense, read a blitzing safety, or note an offense in trips formation. Understanding a line change in hockey. Picking out a zone in basketball. Not that these are things every man would find attractive. And by no means would I end or begin a relationship based solely on this knowledge. "Brain lingerie" is, however, an interesting concept... and one that applies to subjects of interest beyond sports.

When I've spoken to male friends about lingerie, the most often cited reason for liking it is that it shows something, but not everything... garnering an air of mystery. Mysteries are sexy. Consider Humphrey Bogart, not a traditionally attractive man, especially by today's standards, who was always considered a leading man and a symbol of male-ness. Reason: mystery. You never knew exactly where he stood in his films, he was rugged and un-obvious. "Brain lingerie" does the same thing, piquing the interest, showing a little bit of something that could raise some interest. Perhaps the concept is just a pointless dressing up of the idea that having a wide breadth of knowledge is innately attractive. But it seems to have worked. With a handful of my female friends. Bridging the gender gap.

On a completely unrelated note: The Fiery Furnaces! I've only recently become acquainted with the band, after having heard of them for years. This is an incredibly excellent band, both for its wildly arranged lyrics, and its intentionally dissonant sound. Brother and sister duo, Matt and Eleanor Friedberger write the music, he plays keys, guitar, and she sings. The sound is refreshing, full, but also clattering in the right measures.

Their first, Gallowsbird's Bark is the most consumable. The album holds on to indie conventions and has a clatter that is more of an accent than a dialect. Catchy riffs and solid melodies make it an easy first listen that grows on you with time. Eleanor's speak-singing is especially endearing as it invokes Blondie and other early rap-esque works.

Bitter Tea is from 2006, and is experimental, noisy and uneven. It's a great listen once you've grown accustomed to the style, but initially it is coarse and lacking the easy to enjoy indie rock standards of the earlier album. There is one from 2004, Blueberry Boat, that is held in high critical regard that I have not picked up yet, but I intend to immediately.

Other than a live album in 2008, 2007's Widow City is their most recent release. It's the first one I listened to, and remains my favorite. The album has a lot of the experimentation present on Bitter Tea, but a healthy dose of the riffing that makes Gallowsbird's Bark so listenable. Tracks like "My Egyptian Grammar" and "Ex-Guru" are examples of excellent storytelling as well as songwriting, and the bracing "Clear Signal From Cairo" calls back to The Supremes with a compelling chorus.

What I'm saying here is check out The Fiery Furnaces.

1 comment:

  1. I would like to see more articles on ankle injuries. Thank you.