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Eleanor Friedberger, Out of the Fiery Furnaces

Brother-sister act Fiery Furnaces has spent the past ten years earning a reputation as one of the most prolific and confounding acts in indie rock. Their songs, written mostly by Matthew Friedberger, pair classic-rock instrumentation with deliberately irritating sounds — weird synths, voiceovers from Friedberger’s grandmother, basically anything. The music changes directions constantly, reluctant to provide anything like a groove or a hook. In the middle of all this is the voice of Matthew’s sister, Eleanor Friedberger, who has a conversational, girl-next-door way of singing in even the most nonsensical arrangements.

So when Fiery Furnaces took a break last year and the siblings produced solo work, few were surprised when Matthew took the opportunity to put out six vinyl-only full-length records of experimental music while Eleanor released something closer to a 1970s-style singer-songwriter record. That’s speaking relatively, of course. You could easily sing along with the lovely piano-driven chorus to “I Won’t Fall Apart on You Tonight,” but just try that with the psychedelic morass that is “Inn of the Seventh Ray.”

And then there are the in-between songs such as “Owl’s Head Park,” which pairs synthpop with lyrics such as, “I heard they got used bicycle parts out on Coney Island.” Not even Cole Porter could have fit those words to a pretty melody, but Eleanor’s cooing voice cushions the jagged syllables. She sounds like she’s just talking to you but can’t help but make everything she says sound like a song.

Or maybe not. The Friedbergers are not for everyone. But Eleanor almost makes it seem like they could be.

Dominant Legs also performs.

ELEANOR FRIEDBERGER: The Casbah, Thursday, February 2, 8:30 p.m. 619-232-4355. $12.

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Brother-sister act Fiery Furnaces has spent the past ten years earning a reputation as one of the most prolific and confounding acts in indie rock. Their songs, written mostly by Matthew Friedberger, pair classic-rock instrumentation with deliberately irritating sounds — weird synths, voiceovers from Friedberger’s grandmother, basically anything. The music changes directions constantly, reluctant to provide anything like a groove or a hook. In the middle of all this is the voice of Matthew’s sister, Eleanor Friedberger, who has a conversational, girl-next-door way of singing in even the most nonsensical arrangements.

So when Fiery Furnaces took a break last year and the siblings produced solo work, few were surprised when Matthew took the opportunity to put out six vinyl-only full-length records of experimental music while Eleanor released something closer to a 1970s-style singer-songwriter record. That’s speaking relatively, of course. You could easily sing along with the lovely piano-driven chorus to “I Won’t Fall Apart on You Tonight,” but just try that with the psychedelic morass that is “Inn of the Seventh Ray.”

And then there are the in-between songs such as “Owl’s Head Park,” which pairs synthpop with lyrics such as, “I heard they got used bicycle parts out on Coney Island.” Not even Cole Porter could have fit those words to a pretty melody, but Eleanor’s cooing voice cushions the jagged syllables. She sounds like she’s just talking to you but can’t help but make everything she says sound like a song.

Or maybe not. The Friedbergers are not for everyone. But Eleanor almost makes it seem like they could be.

Dominant Legs also performs.

ELEANOR FRIEDBERGER: The Casbah, Thursday, February 2, 8:30 p.m. 619-232-4355. $12.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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