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Beck's "Harry Partch" Adds To Fiery Furnaces/Radiohead Beef

In one of the weirder Radiohead news stories of the year (topped only by Miley Cyrus telling the band she’d “ruin them”), the Fiery Furnaces’ Matt Friedberger started beef with Yorke and company over what he thought was a “bogus” tribute to experimental music composer Harry Partch. Actually, Radiohead had released a song about the death of Harry Patch, the last British World War I veteran, but this didn’t make Friedberger change his tune. Instead, the Fiery Furnaces released the following statement:


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.

Radiohead didn’t respond to the put down, but Beck sure did. Yesterday, he launched an appropriately avant garde track titled “Harry Partch” on his website. In just over ten minutes, it covers minimalism, pitch-shifting, George Crumb-esque instrumentation, serialism, and pretty much every genre you've ever heard or heard of. It was posted with the following description:

A thruway from the external to the internal, in tribute to California bred composer Harry Partch's concept of 'Corporeality'--- the integration of the body with all art forms. The song uses a 43 tone scale in reference to Partch's innovations with alternate tonalities. A peregrination across disparate territory to ascertain an unassumed frame of reference.

There’s no direct reference to the Partch/Patch controversy on, but it sure does seem like the best recording diss ever. Maybe Friedberger will be a little more cautious next time he tries to mess with Nigel Godrich’s cronies.


Beck: "Harry Partch" (MP3)


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The Fiery Furnaces

You say there is no direct reference to The Fiery Furnaces on, but if you listen to the song, you will hear that he mumbles some Fiery Furnaces lyrics.
Quite a "heated" debate, yes!



Matt must think this whole thing is a hoot. Anyone who has met him, or seen/read an interview with him, will know that he clearly WAS joking around about this Harry Patch/Partch thing. It was clearly for the purposes of a joke. Matt jokes around. A lot. As the man himself said: "This is what they used to call, in some bohemian and advertising circles, 'riffing' or fooling around.”

/site_media/uploads/images/users/nick/461770063_f6a8d92e3a_s.jpg nick

more people should take potshots @'s one of the better things that Beck's done in quite some time.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/tinnitus_photography/profile.jpg tinnitus_photography

he still sounds like a twat nick and i utubed his band their jokes

don't really care for radiohead either in case ur coming at me with that rabid fan sht i listen to garage and whatever

rip harry patch the last tommy

u wot u wot

If it takes an off-hand potshot at Beck in the press to get him to write his most interesting song in years then good work Matt Friedberger!


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I completely agree. I know Matt a bit, and it seems to me that he would think Beck's response to be hilarious.
If anyone has ever read an interview with Matthew they'd realize that messing around with the press is something he does all the time. He's not trying to get attention, he's trying, for his own amusement, to see how people would react.
I don't think this is a "jab" by Beck. It sounds more like a tribute to me.


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