Thursday, November 19, 2009
[pitchfork.com] Harry Patch was the last surviving British World War I veteran. Radiohead wrote a song about him earlier this year.
Harry Partch was an experimental music composer who worked with microtonal scales. The Fiery Furnaces' Matt Friedberger thought Radiohead wrote a song about him and got pissed about it ("How's the song? Is it 48 notes to the octave?" he scoffed), igniting one of the more confusing (and pretty dumb) band beefs in recent memory. Radiohead did not respond.
Friedberger tried to cover his fuck up with a statement that said: "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."
Now, Beck seems to actually be responding. He's putting up a new song called "Harry Partch" on Beck.com later today. According to a post on the site, the track "employs Partch's 43 tone scale, which expands conventional tonality into a broader variation of frequencies and resonances." It isn't clear yet if the song is directly related to Friedberger's remarks, or just one hell of a coincidence.
In other awesome Beck news, he's currently honoring the 10th anniversary of the still-great Midnite Vultures album by posting all the videos from the record on his website, including the absolutely essential "Sexx Laws" clip, which is embedded below.
And he co-stars with Charlotte Gainsbourg in one of the best videos of the year, for their duet "Heaven Can Wait", which we just posted [also below]. A banner day for all things Beck.
Posted by Dan Goldin at 12:23 AM