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Preview: Eleanor Friedberger at House of Blues

The singer/songwriter plays House of Blues April 21



New York is many things to Eleanor Friedberger: adopted home, adult playground, several states of mind. Escaping the city on New View (Frenchkiss) — she decamped upstate to write and record this third solo LP — the former Fiery Furnace uses the rural rest of New York as so many other artists have: for breathing room and some necessary isolation to stoke near-extinguished coals. There's a weariness here that can be read either as a contrast to or an inevitable outcome of her recent jauntiness. Last Summer and Personal Record both felt breathless and impervious to their own pain, even on deep cuts like "I Won't Fall Apart on You Tonight" and "I'll Never Be Happy Again." Alone in the silence, she lets it bleed: pleading, "Sweet girl with the broken heart / Stop crying so I won't start"; swearing, "Even if you have a twin / I wouldn't notice her or him"; imploring, "Listen to my old songs / Two versions of tomorrow." Her archness as her brother's muse in the Fiery Furnaces has melted, her status as a pedestaled Venus — first to Spoon's Britt Daniel ("Anything You Want"), then to Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos ("Eleanor Put Your Boots On") — at once downgraded and elevated by the intimacy of human revelation. "Why would you want to take it slow / Hold me till I let you go / Or treat me like a tennis pro?" she teases, before filling in the blanks with her song's repeating, titular hook: "Because I Asked You." Har Mar Superstar and Icewater open. Tickets $13.

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