Buried Treasures and Opinions on Fiery Furnaces

Buried Treasures: Jim and Greg dig up another set of underground musical gems. Plus, they review the latest album from The Fiery Furnaces.

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Second only to file sharing, Apple has been the biggest force driving digital music distribution. It’s the culprit killing CDs, but now they are trying to make nice with the record labels. First they raised prices, and now they have set a plan to expand album downloads. iTunes is mostly all about the singles, but they are helping labels entice people to download multi-song packages with lots of extras– liner notes, pictures, video, etc. Gregis not sure we can blame digital music entirely for the death of the album. He also wonders if quality has something to do with it.

Jimand Greg have been reporting on the proposed merger between Ticketmasterand Live Nation for months, and now our lawmakers are urging for an accelerated investigation. Wisconsin Senator Herb Kohl, chair of the Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee, is calling for closer scrutiny of the deal and questions how it will benefit consumers. Fifty members of the U.S. House of Representatives have also signed a letter to the Justice Department expressing concern about the deal.

Jackson Browne and John McCain make for strange bedfellows. But that didn’t stop the Republican candidate from using the famous lefty’s song Running on Empty in a campaign web video. Browne subsequently sued, and now a settlement has been reached. There are no details on how much money was exchanged, but McCain apologized and stressed his respect for intellectual property.

Buried Treasures

A few times a year Jim and Greg like to shed light on talent that deserves more notice. Here is the latest crop of musical gems they’ve dug up.

I’m Going Away The Fiery Furnaces

I’m Going Away (Bonus Track Version)

In just six years the brother-sister duo The Fiery Furnaces have released eight albums. But, as Jim points out, being prolific doesn’t make you infallible. He admires lead singer Eleanor Friedberger’s Lou Reed singing style, but otherwise was put off by their newest album I’m Going Away. Its hyper-literary and overly orchestrated songs gave Jim a headache, and therefore prompted a Trash It rating. Greg couldn’t disagree more. He calls I’m Going Away one of the great pop albums of the summer. He admits that much of their previous work was a little obtuse, but he thinks The Fiery Furnaces have channeled their energy into a less frantic, more melodic record. Greg calls it art rock on a budget and gives it a Buy It.

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