By Julie Lawrence Special to Published Oct 10, 2007 at 8:33 AM

It's funny that Brooklyn-based brother and sister duo The Fiery Furnaces used to be compared to the White Stripes when it debuted in 2003 with "Gallosbird's Bark."

Sure, the Furnaces possessed elements of bluesy garage -- as was popular at the time with New York bands -- but most likely the comparison was based on the male-female, brother-sister dynamic, of which, it turned out, the White Stripes had none.

It also turned out that when it came to plausible musical similarities between the two bands, there were next to none, as well. While the White Stripes stripped down its rock to a gritty twang, The Fiery Furnaces expanded its grip to encompass all that "quirk" has to offer.

Matthew and Eleanor Friedberger started to find their unique stride in 2004 with "Blueberry Boat" and quickly followed suit with the super eclectic "EP" in 2005.

Now harboring a reputation for one of indie rock's more original and unpredictable bands, The Fiery Furnaces just released -- yesterday, actually -- "Widow City" on Thrill Jockey Records, an incredibly infectious and strangely compelling album that confirms the band's status in the land of the odd and beautiful.

The 16-song musical journal trots along for an addicting hour -- but not in the way most albums or songs are addicting. Although the mood is decidedly poppy, rarely is there a repeated pop hook, catchy song-a-long chorus or memorably, snappy lyrics waxing on about the usual suspects In fact, you have to listen quite intently to decipher any semblance of a story line within songs, a practice that usually results in giggles, thanks to Eleanor's literary mad genius.

Sound good? Then you're in luck because The Fiery Furnaces are here in Milwaukee today, Oct. 10, to play a show at Shank Hall. Pit Er Pat and Drug Rug open the 8 p.m. show. Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door.

Julie Lawrence Special to staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.

As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”