If you only buy one CD next Tuesday, buy two: Winter Women and Holy Ghost Language School, the 2-disc set from the Fiery Furnaces' dude half, Matthew Friedberger. Take these two songs, about...I don't know, something about stockbrokers, a Portuguese widow, the Rifle Brigade with a famous one-armed Col, and the enterprising enlisted man, Little Bill Crib, and his Ladies of the Desert.
Right. Well, the important thing is, nobody, and I mean nobody, can make two adjacent piano keys sound as good as Friedberger can. Here's the school of thought: lay down some massive hemmorhaging beats, or an infectious bass line, and play something random on top of it. Be generous with that most primal form of dissonance - adjacent whole or half-notes. Garnish with some train-of-thought, and voila. Simultaneously Hitchcockian and groovy.
From Winter Women (mp3s):
Big Bill Crib and His Ladies of the Desert
Servant in Distress
From Holy Ghost Language School (mp3):