Beck Records Song About Composer Harry Partch | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Beck Records Song About Composer Harry Partch

Fiery Furnaces' Matthew Friedberger Probably Won't Like It

Nov 18, 2009 Beck
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Beck might get the award for best entrance into a indie-rock feud. Earlier this year, Radiohead recorded and released a song about British World War One veteran Harry Patch, “Harry Patch (In Memory Of).” Mistaking the soldier for experimental composer Harry Partch, experimental musican Matthew Friedberger from The Fiery Furnaces scoffed at Radiohead’s apparent grab for his left-of-center audience. When realizing his mistake, Friedberger issued the following non-apology:

“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.”

Today, the Charlotte Gainsbourg-collaborating Beck passively struck back, issuing the following statement on his website:

“We have a new Beck song that we’ll be putting up later today called ‘Harry Partch.’ It’s a tribute to the composer and his desire to make the body and music unified into what he termed ‘Corporeality.’ The song employs Partch’s 43 tone scale, which expands conventional tonality into a broader variation of frequencies and resonances.”

Coincidence? Or the most awesome passive-aggressive answer to a one-sided schoolyard fight ever? Of course, the song has yet to be posted on Beck’s site, so this could also be his idea of a joke. Update: The song is now streaming over at Beck’s website, looks like he wasn’t joking after all.

(via Pitchfork)



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