Burn this - Page 2

Fiery Furnaces, REM, Immigrant, Swervedriver, and more
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The Brooklyn twosome decided to record their songs in 2002, he recalls, and "then we thought, well, we'd better try to be good."

"It's no accident we have the same taste," he explains, though they aren't the type of sibs who were "giving each other supportive hugs all the time." "That's because our taste was formed by the same things, given to the extent she heard all the records that I listened to when I was a teenager. She's younger than me, so she heard them at the same time, whether she wanted to or not, because I played them loudly. Even more than that, we understand each other — the things we refer to when thinking of what's meant to be good in rock."

For the FF, that means making songs with the scraps of ephemera found in audience members' pockets, otherwise known as their "Democ-Rock" project, launched in honor of the 2008 election season, which the ever-prolific band will record in the near future, and a funk companion album to last year's '70s-rock-esque Widow City (Thrill Jockey). It's all grist for the mill, agrees Matthew, although Remember will stand as the document he feels the most emotional about. "It's the story of my life in the last few years," he says, laughing. "It sounds like me trying to work hard and do something nice." *

THE FIERY FURNACES

Thurs/29, 9 p.m., $15

Great American Music Hall

859 O'Farrell, SF

www.gamh.com

WINKING AT REM

REM's Peter Buck was a proto-indie-rock guru of sorts back in the late '80s day — thanks to his impeccable taste and his way of shining a light on then-unsung predecessors like the Velvet Underground. So it wrecked my head to hear back in 2001 that he was charged in an air-rage incident with allegedly assaulting flight attendants and smashing up a first-class British Airways cabin, all of which he was later cleared of. Anger, however, has its uses, as his band has found on their new, energized CD, Accelerate (Warner Bros), a recording that tackles the tension between REM and its enraging world, rather than creating an otherworldly realm for the listener à la their early works. "I think it's kind of hard to live where we live, at the time we live, and not be a little frustrated with the way the world is and the way our country is run," Buck says with a sigh, from his Seattle home. "I have to say, I don't really trust people who aren't angry about life in general or particular issues."

REM

May 31, 6 p.m.; June 1, 5 p.m.

$39.50–$89.50

Greek Theatre

UC Berkeley, Berk.

www.apeconcerts.com

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