Fight Song (Show Them the Floor)
Label: New Amsterdam
Friedman spent a bit of his apprentice-composer youth playing keyboards with the indie band Shudder to Think. That group's frontman, Craig Wedren, took notice and has been collaborating with Friedman since. Their first album together is just what those who heard initial gigs in NYC were hoping for: hammering, post-minimal patterns ("Refuse to Die") that alternate with gorgeous, slowly developing tunes (like "Glacier," which has quite the climax). Wedren handles the love-and-pain focused lyrics, which work well atop the potent instrumental playing of American Contemporary Music Ensemble.