My favorite piece of news in the past week is Beck’s musical response to that clueless buffoon from The Fiery Furnaces, who tried to insult Radiohead, blog-style, but missed the point completely. And in attempting to cover his ass retroactively, took a swipe at Beck. Well, Radiohead, in their lofty chairs of utter superiority, ignored the noise from the male half of a middling indie rock duo, but Beck took a measured swing and, of course, won handily.
As you may well be aware, Radiohead wrote and recorded a song a few months back as a tribute to Harry Patch, the last surviving UK veteran of World War I, who died at the age of 111. Well, dingus extraordinaire, Matthew Friedberger from the unlistenable duo The Fiery Furnaces, decided out of the clear blue to mock Radiohead for their tribute song. Except, he lambastes them for all the wrong reasons. See, Friedberger somehow mistakenly thought that Radiohead had paid tribute to Harry Partch, an American composer famous for his microtonal scales. He proceeded to trash Radiohead for their pretentiousness and calculated cultivation of cool. Except, whoops, wrong dude. Friedberger then released a confusing, self-mocking statement wherein he tried to make the whole thing sound like a deliberate joke. Never mind that it was awkward and, well, wrong. The last line of said statement is where it gets good: “Matt would have much preferred to insult Beck but he is too afraid of Scientologists.” So, ok, who doesn’t like a good Scientology joke? But the context of his snark just sounds like a desperate attempt to change the subject.
So, Beck quietly takes this all in and releases a tribute to Harry Partch, both defending Radiohead and dogging Friedberger in one fell swoop. Well played, sir.