or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
More Buying Choices
MISTER MO Add to Basket
6.42
Amazon Add to Basket
7.46
Includes (What's this?)
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Available to Download Now
 
Buy the MP3 album for 7.99
 
 
 
 
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Colour:
Image not available

 

Rehearsing My Choir [CD]

The Fiery Furnaces Audio CD
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 3.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 15 left in stock.
Sold by mrtopseller and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it tomorrow, 23 Aug.? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details
Buy the MP3 album for 7.99 at the Amazon Digital Music Store.


Amazon's The Fiery Furnaces Store

Music

Image of album by The Fiery Furnaces

Photos

Image of The Fiery Furnaces

Biography

I’m Going Away is the Fiery Furnaces’ Eighth album. It was recorded by and mixed with Jason Loewenstein at the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 in New York City. Jason also played bass and Robert D’Amico played drums. All songs were written together by Eleanor and Matthew Friedberger, except for the title track, which is “trad. Arranged by.” Eleanor wrote ... Read more in Amazon's The Fiery Furnaces Store

Visit Amazon's The Fiery Furnaces Store
for 17 albums, photos, discussions, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

Rehearsing My Choir + Gallowsbird's Bark + Blueberry Boat
Price For All Three: 30.31

Buy the selected items together
  • Gallowsbird's Bark 16.29
  • Blueberry Boat 11.02

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Jan 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Rough Trade Records
  • ASIN: B000BCHJLK
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,415 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

Amazon.co.uk

For Rehearsing My Choir, Illinois siblings Matthew and Eleanor Friedberger have recruited a new member for their band – their 83 year old grandmother. This isn’t a mercenary ploy to make the olds pay their way after retirement, mind: the venerable, 83-year old Olga Sarantos used to work as choir director at a Greek Orthodox church, and it’s her croaked reminiscences that form the backbone to this peculiar, piecemeal storybook of an album.

"The Wayward Grandaughter" is about as conventional as this record gets, Eleanor’s hushed spoken-word tales set to a St Etienne-style disco pulse. However, the deeper you get, the weirder and more abstract things become. "A Candymaker’s Knife In My Handbag" drifts through passages of baroque piano, warped electronics, ramshackle drumming, Eleanor and Olga reciting dream-like poetry about zombies, meringues, and other surrealistic weirdness. Indeed, what could be a truly bewildering sixty minutes is rescued by the pair’s clear family chemistry and intriguing vocal interplay: "Sometimes, memories are better off sung," decides Olga, before joining her granddaughter in a gentle vocal waltz. --Louis Pattison

Product Description

THE FIERY FURNACES Rehearsing My Choir (2005 UK Rough Trade 11-track CD album - the Friedberger siblings have once again made a beautiful thought provoking record; a labour of love a family document and a treat to listen to. Housed in a jewel case picture sleeve which is still factory sealed! RTRADCD234)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Challenging is the word 26 Mar 2009
Format:Audio CD
This is an album that requires proper attention, it definitely gets easier with repeated listens.
I'm not sure its an album that would become a favourite but I admire the effort that has been put into it. Its great to hear people trying to do something different. Some may call it pretentious, but if you don't get people trying new stuff you end up with the X Factor.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sing it 22 Feb 2006
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
You have to admit, not every band would make a concept album about their grandmother's life. But the Fiery Furnaces do that for their grandmother, octogenarian Olga Sarantos. And with granny's own help, too.
Their third full-length album, "Rehearsing My Choir," is a truly weird album full of reminiscences of Sarantos' life and thoughts. It's not musical in the usual sense.... so if you want to enjoy it, don't think of it as music. Think of it as an offbeat biographical piece of musical theatre.
It opens with a relentless piano melody, with Sarantos herself speaking in a smooth, deep voice about fudge, hammers, thumbtacks, lost loves and other offbeat stuff. Her granddaughter Eleanor Friedberger dips in occasionally, singing behind her grandmother's spoken word monologue.
This continues throughout the album, with Eleanor singing sweetly behind Olga's deep vocals, and sometimes talking for herself. "Once upon a time, there were two Kevins..."/"You mean two jerks!" they interrupt each other, before Eleanor starts off on a sweet ditty about her ex-boyfriends.
"Rehearsing My Choir" is probably the Furnaces' weakest work thus far, with its jumps in time and location. And if you don't know that it's all about, it will be completely confusing. And not in an fun indiepop-opera manner either.
Fortunately for Furnaces fans, even the weakest of their music is still pretty dang good. It's full of bright, affectionate, humorous anecdotes and a warm-hearted look on a very cool-sounding lady's life. The brother-sister duo (and Olga) manage to maintain a level of weirdness on par with their prior work.
In the lyrics, Olga's life is given a true Furnaces-style makeover, sort of a nightmare poetry spin.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
7 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
You'd be forgiven for thinking that this new communique from The Fiery Furnaces is proof positive (if any were needed) that Matt Friedberger suffers from the musical equivalent of Tourette's. The album starts off in suitably Furnace-mode: relatively restrained even by their standards, almost as if he's trying to stop himself from spewing out a new melody every three seconds, but by the third song, the brakes are off, the dizzy-ing genre, tempo and mood shifts kick in and all hell breaks loose. That's before you've even begun to factor in Granny's voice. Yup, a Friedberger Granny. Her voice is mellifluous to be sure, and underscores just how in tune the whole clan is with each other. Talk about a family affair. The problem is one of obtuseness. Unlike Dylan, for example, who used his musical backing to fore-ground his lyrics and therefore opted for melodies that were often repetitive, the Friedbergers head off in a diametrically opposite direction. The music is subservient to the words to the extent that EACH word or sentence requires a wholly different texture, melody and rhythm. Hence the feeling of sea-sickness on listening to this new album. I applaud their creativity and adherence to their inner muse as much as I decry their willfulness and refusal to pander to any coherent musical agenda.
Hence my title. The diagnosis is acute Tourette's combined with ADD. The prognosis? Unclear in the extreme.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pretentious nonsense 8 Jun 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I may well have stumbled on the most annoying pile of pretentious garbage I have yet had the misfortune of purchasing. Not one "song" on the entire album. By the end I was fast-forwarding through tracks to see if there ever came a time when they stopped messing about.

Imagine turning up to see a band perform only for them to spend the entire set tuning their instruments before wandering off without playing a single tune and that's pretty much how I felt after listening to this.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  35 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very challenging and a true departure from earlier efforts, but a wonderfully unique album 22 Jun 2006
By Robert Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I'm not going to pretend that this is consistently easy listening. That doesn't necessarily point to a vice. Captain Beefheart makes for difficult listening; Perry Como does not. Which performer would you like a CD by? This is challenging music, but challenging in a good way, and along the way there are hosts of wonderfully poetic moments. I will concede at this is not the Friedberger siblings best album, but one can love GALLOWSBIRD'S BARK and BLUEBERRY BOAT and enjoy this one as well.

As the editorial reviews indicate and as many fans already know, the guts of this album were supplied by the brother and sister's act grandmother, Olga Sarantos. Whether you love or hate this album, this is pretty much beyond doubt the greatest contribution ever to a rock album by anyone's grandmother. Her reflections on events from earlier decades are proclaimed by her in a surprisingly firm and expressive voice. This ain't your average grandma. The pieces (it is hard to call them songs) are marvelously evocative and always feel like expressions of actual, lived experiences. Nothing rote or hackneyed here. Many of the lyrics have a stream-of-consciousness feel and you will either find that moving or off putting. I lean towards the former.

I'm not usually a fan of albums driven by synthesized keyboards, with the obvious exception of Brian Eno, but I find this musically compelling. They've obviously ingested a lot of Beefheart, Eno, Zappa, Can, and others, though with a bit more of a pop feel than all of those except the early Eno.

REHEARSING MY CHOIR, as many reviewers have noted, was one of two albums of 2005 that focused heavily on Chicago in its subject matter. Sufjan Stevens's ILLINOISE was the more popular and more lavishly praised of the two, and I concur with that. But purely as an album about Chicago (leaving all musical questions aside), this one is much more successful. Stevens's album is a great one, but the songs seem a tad aloof from the actual Chicago. (I don't know if Stevens will actually complete all or even much of his proposed album-cycle about the United States, with one album dedicated to each of the nation's fifty states, but I wonder if and when he gets around to my home state of Arkansas--Illinois is merely my adopted state--whether I will recognize the place of my childhood.) The Chicago if ILLINOISE feels to me like those travel guides written by someone who barely knows a place, hitting all the high points familiar to tourists, but not the places especially familiar to residents. But the Chicago of REHEARSING THE CHOIR feels concrete and actual, even if the concreteness belongs to another decade.

All in all I find this a deeply effecting and moving album. If you want easier listening definitely go elsewhere. Even go to the two earlier Fiery Furnaces albums or their eponymous EP. But if you are in the mood for an utterly unique album that will leave you both moved and challenged, please give this a try.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sing it 22 Feb 2006
By E. A Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
You have to admit, not every band would make a concept album about their grandmother's life. But the Fiery Furnaces do that for their grandmother, octogenarian Olga Sarantos. And with granny's own help, too.

Their third full-length album, "Rehearsing My Choir," is a truly weird album full of reminiscences of Sarantos' life and thoughts. It's not musical in the usual sense.... so if you want to enjoy it, don't think of it as music. Think of it as an offbeat biographical piece of musical theatre.

It opens with a relentless piano melody, with Sarantos herself speaking in a smooth, deep voice about fudge, hammers, thumbtacks, lost loves and other offbeat stuff. Her granddaughter Eleanor Friedberger dips in occasionally, singing behind her grandmother's spoken word monologue.

This continues throughout the album, with Eleanor singing sweetly behind Olga's deep vocals, and sometimes talking for herself. "Once upon a time, there were two Kevins..."/"You mean two jerks!" they interrupt each other, before Eleanor starts off on a sweet ditty about her ex-boyfriends.

"Rehearsing My Choir" is probably the Furnaces' weakest work thus far, with its jumps in time and location. And if you don't know that it's all about, it will be completely confusing. And not in an fun indiepop-opera manner either.

Fortunately for Furnaces fans, even the weakest of their music is still pretty dang good. It's full of bright, affectionate, humorous anecdotes and a warm-hearted look on a very cool-sounding lady's life. The brother-sister duo (and Olga) manage to maintain a level of weirdness on par with their prior work.

In the lyrics, Olga's life is given a true Furnaces-style makeover, sort of a nightmare poetry spin. This IS the band that wrote a whole song about a dog taking a religious turn. "Zapped by the zombie! Zapped by the zombie!/Zapped by the zombie in the two-door Dodge/Twice baked brioche and Danish pastry pockets/And lock it's two-door Dodge," Olga and Eleanor sing, after an extended noodling session. Gypsies, night schools, weddings, boyfriends and family love are all woven into the songs.

And they also maintain the musical peculiarities, with sprawling melodies that spill over with synth, organ, piano, and splatterings of electric guitar, Latin flavour, computer blips and bursts of electric guitar. It's Jackson Pollock music. It's by no means their tightest work, but it is plenty of fun. Even if you don't listen to the vocals, the music is worth it alone.

While "Rehearsing My Choir" is probably the weakest work the Fiery Furnaces have done, the offbeat melodies and quirky lyrics prove that they still have what it takes.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed but not the mess they're saying 14 Dec 2005
By anonymous - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Critics and fans both hate when an artist turns their back on them, and The Fiery Furnaces have done it again, polarizing both groups with this album like nothing I've seen in ages. Nobody likes to be surprised, and the Furnace's radical shift on this cd has given the middle finger to people's expectations and had them coughing up blood since word of the concept leaked out. Truth is, this album isn't all that different from Blueberry Boat. It doesn't reach quite the same heights (or with such frequency) as Blueberry Boat or match its epic scope, but their collage of dissociated genres is intact. In fact, if not for one factor, many of those who derided Blueberry Boat as a bloated, patchy and overreaching mess would have probably embraced its more compact song and total length as a tighter collection of songs that combines Blueberry Boats blender effect with the terse and sharp dynamics of Gallowbird's Bark.

That one factor is Olga Sarantos. Critics have come up with a lot of cosmic pedantic reasons as to why this album is a failure, mostly derivatives of it being an esoteric exercise with no regards to music craft, or the telling of the story to be an exercise in literary narcissism. But the truth is Sarantos just creeps them out, plain an simple. People can't take her creepy voice disrupting these songs, especially when Eleanor's never sounded better, and come up with other explanations that won't disturb the illusion that music criticism is an artcraft (it's not). And it's true that this is a significant factor that robs the album of some of its greatness (many of these songs certainly sounded better when the Furnaces performed them live this fall without Olga). But that doesn't make the album a wreck like the fans and critics who expected something made for them would have you believe. The hard truth is that they can't stand that the Furnaces sound like they've made something for themselves without regards to pleasing anyone else. This in fact, is where the best art comes from. It still has the craft, grace and beauty we've come to expect from them. Perhaps the new form takes getting used to, because like Blueberry Boat, Choir demands repeated listenings to truely appreciate, but too many people are giving up because they can't get past grandma's voice.

I like this album more each time I listen too it, and more people should give it a chance before swinging the ax with their final judgement.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sing it, "Choir" 29 Nov 2005
By E. A Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
You have to admit, not every band would make a concept album about their grandmother's life. But the Fiery Furnaces do that for their grandmother, octogenarian Olga Sarantos. And with granny's own help, too.

Their third full-length album, "Rehearsing My Choir," is a truly weird album full of reminiscences of Sarantos' life and thoughts. It's not musical in the usual sense.... so if you want to enjoy it, don't think of it as music. Think of it as an offbeat biographical piece of musical theatre.

It opens with a relentless piano melody, with Sarantos herself speaking in a smooth, deep voice about fudge, hammers, thumbtacks, lost loves and other offbeat stuff. Her granddaughter Eleanor Friedberger dips in occasionally, singing behind her grandmother's spoken word monologue.

This continues throughout the album, with Eleanor singing sweetly behind Olga's deep vocals, and sometimes talking for herself. "Once upon a time, there were two Kevins..."/"You mean two jerks!" they interrupt each other, before Eleanor starts off on a sweet ditty about her ex-boyfriends.

"Rehearsing My Choir" is probably the Furnaces' weakest work thus far, with its jumps in time and location. And if you don't know that it's all about, it will be completely confusing. And not in an fun indiepop-opera manner either.

Fortunately for Furnaces fans, even the weakest of their music is still pretty dang good. It's full of bright, affectionate, humorous anecdotes and a warm-hearted look on a very cool-sounding lady's life. The brother-sister duo (and Olga) manage to maintain a level of weirdness on par with their prior work.

In the lyrics, Olga's life is given a true Furnaces-style makeover, sort of a nightmare poetry spin. This IS the band that wrote a whole song about a dog taking a religious turn. "Zapped by the zombie! Zapped by the zombie!/Zapped by the zombie in the two-door Dodge/Twice baked brioche and Danish pastry pockets/And lock it's two-door Dodge," Olga and Eleanor sing, after an extended noodling session. Gypsies, night schools, weddings, boyfriends and family love are all woven into the songs.

And they also maintain the musical peculiarities, with sprawling melodies that spill over with synth, organ, piano, and splatterings of electric guitar, Latin flavour, computer blips and bursts of electric guitar. It's Jackson Pollock music. It's by no means their tightest work, but it is plenty of fun. Even if you don't listen to the vocals, the music is worth it alone.

While "Rehearsing My Choir" is not the tightest work the Fiery Furnaces have done, the offbeat melodies and quirky lyrics prove that they still have what it takes.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The latte of heaven 16 Oct 2007
By K. D. Kelly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I feel like I'm spying on a baggy relative during a particularly intimate and confusing moment. And somebody next door with lockjaw is sewing fluorescent lightbulbs into their teethgaps. This tilt-a-whirl needs tightening and my pantsleeves leave red welts the size, shape and scent of bedbugs on my ankles and crotchtop. The bedridden are obsessed with various forms of water. The wishing well is clogged up with cotton candy and artificial intelligence. This is Willy Wonka at the VFW, dribbling mothball nougat. William Hickey dueting with the Shangri-Las, and interruptions from Judge Reinhold clowning it up over at the pinball machine as usual. By the sixth minute of "Seven Silver Curses," I ate nine ten.

There is wizardry, a looking-glass wormhole, in the way Fiery Furnaces' bubblegum-prog ditties elevate the ramblings of Olga Sarantos, the siblings' grandmother, who, throughout "Rehearsing the Choir," offers up her strange take on a rather mundane life spent as a stodgy choir director/homemaker -- even down to mixing an organ solo with the sounds of somebody vacuuming. To their credit, Furnaces maintain a self-depreciating sense of humor throughout, a bit Flash Gordon on the archbishop's entrance, insults from Sarantos over her grandkids' singing, a doctor who apparently uses donut-making materials to perform surgery, and synapse-licking lines casually tossed out such as, "Uncle Sam in the back row" and "blackberry filling that came straight from Peter Pan's lunchbag."
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Look for similar items by category


Feedback