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Beck Comes to Radiohead’s Defense Via Song, Sort Of

Of Radiohead’s many talents, their ability to garner top-rate haters is arguably the least appreciated: The list of those who have taken their shot at the throne of Yorke is as wonderfully eclectic as it is illustrious, highlighted by the Hold Steady, the Silver Jews, Kanye West, Miley Cyrus and, just this week, Spin Magazine. So you can forgive us if we initially ignored the anti-Radiohead rantings from Matthew Friedberger, of difficult indie-rock act the Fiery Furnaces; in the grand scheme of Radiohead hate, he just wasn’t important enough. But now we have to apologize — Friedberger’s attack is the only one that has incidentally led to a veiled dis-track response. From Beck.

Okay, allow us to explain: Friedberger was initially offended by Radiohead’s song "Harry Patch (In Memory Of),” mistakenly thinking it was name-checking similarly named avant-garde composer Harry Partch. (“Fuck you! You brand yourself by brazenly and arbitrarily associating yourself with things that you know people consider cool. That is bogus.”) Then, by way of cleaning up his screw-up, he dug himself deeper, releasing a statement saying "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."

Which leads us to today, and Beck’s mysterious release of the experimental ten-minute track “Harry Partch” on his website. Still confused? Okay, us too. Now just wait until you hear the song.

Beck records musical response to Fiery Furnaces feud
[Guardian UK]

Photo: Getty Images