clap clap blog: we have moved

Monday, October 17, 2005
Hello there New York Times readers.

My Blueberry Boat pieces can be found at the following links:

Intro What the series will be about.
one "Quay Cur"
two "Straight Street"
three "Blueberry Boat"
four "Chris Michaels"
five "Paw Paw Tree"
six "I Lost My Dog"
seven "Mason City"
eight "Chief Inspector Blancheflower"
nine "Spainolated"

As you can tell, I've never actually finished the series, which at this point I'm going to write off as a reflection of the album itself and its deliberately unclosed nature. Alternately, I am lazy. If you want to try a summary, though, you could always go with The High Hat.

ADDENDUM: For the record, Choir seems notable to me for the ways in which it avoids the narrative obfuscation of Blueberry Boat. Letting the vocals roll in free verse instead of rhyming couplets (as was generally the case with BB) allows much more of the story to come, and since the presumption here is that it's a reflection of an individual's life rather than a delibrately constructed epic story (of a sort), the kind of linkages that proved so fruitful with BB will probably be less notable on Choir, at least from the lyrics I've seen. [NOTE: I know somebody has helpfully transcribed some of the songs, but I can't figure out who. Anyone?] Still, there's lots more we could do with BB itself, really: The Face Knife himself recently pointed out that the refrain from "Straight Street" is actually a quote from the Hitchcock film The Lady Vanishes.

I can't lie: I haven't spent that much time with the album. So all of this could well prove wrong. If you're interested, you could also ask Matos and James Rabbit what they think. Also, one regular clap clap reader says she likes it better than Blueberry Boat. So there you go.

I've been meaning but unable to put up a tripartate live show report, but since we're talking about the Town Hall show anyway, let me just say that the new album parts reflected the Furnaces' tendency to drop the goodness level in the middle of their sets; I noticed myself drifting off at roughly the same chronological point in the Choir medley that I did in the megamix that dominated the last tour. It was very well played, but too loud to hear the lyrics and too samey to let the hooks come through. The rest of the show, though, was full of geekboy delights: "Quay Cur" all the way through! Blancheflower and Blueberry Boat with just Matt on the keys and Eleanor singing! Etc. etc. It was interesting to see them with the new rhythm section, especially the way Bob was playing the basslines for the new songs much the same way I remember Toshi playing them for the old songs; apparently that's just the way Matt likes his bassists to play. The Furnaces are a fun band to get geeky about because they really reward that; I would have enjoyed hearing this version of "Blancheflower" even if it was my first Furnaces show, but knowing how they'd done it before made it especially enjoyable.

Finally: woo, Bitter Tea!