Thursday, September 23, 2010
OWEN PALLETT @ the Horn Gallery, 9/22/10
So while we're talking about live music, I got to see Owen Pallett the other night at the Horn Gallery, which is undeniably the most happenin' musical venue out here in middle-of-nowhere Gambier, Ohio (COLLEGE). It's this intimate little room, I think the performer's setup takes up about a third of the room while the audience occupies the other two thirds. Which was perfect for this show, and here's why:
Owen Pallett, formerly known as Final Fantasy, is a whiz kid violinist, composer (with a degree from the University of Toronto), and arranger, and his live show is just him, his violin, a bunch of loop pedals, and sometimes a keyboard and/or a backup guitarist/drummer. And as you can tell from the video, it's AWESOME to be able to watch from seven feet away. I didn't get to stay for the whole show (goddamn acapella rehearsal) but I caught 45 minutes, and they were BEAUTIFUL. His voice is AWESOME live; on the records it can be a bit frail or underproduced, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but live it's so much more HIS show.
He's probably known most for the string orchestrations he did for Arcade Fire's first two albums, Funeral and Neon Bible. But since I just got Funeral today (having never put any effort into listening to Arcade Fire for some reason), I always just knew this guy as the dude with the violin and the loop pedal with serious indie cred.
Then last week I got his most recent album, Heartland, which is this brilliantly orchestrated, lyrically deep indie/chamber-pop record about a farmer named Lewis, residing in the fictional land of Spectrum, which is ruled over by a deity named Owen Pallett. Awesome. Lewis starts out doing Owen's bidding, then rebels against him and kills him. Which I think is fucking awesome. Here's the song where he plays the upstart, probably the most accessible on the album:
Lewis Takes Off His Shirt - Owen Pallett
It's really not the kind of record you really "get" on the first listen, or at least that's not how it went for me. But after trial 1, give it another go with the lyrics in hand, it really pays off. There's a bit of mythological context that his 2008 Spectrum, 14th Century EP helps to establish, but it's not impossibly dense. That said, the dude is a master of detail both lyrically and musically, and thus the record took me a couple tries before I really fell in love with it. MORE MUSIC:
Keep The Dog Quiet - Owen Pallett
Also from Heartland. Love this song. He utterly killed this live.
The Butcher - Final Fantasy
From the Spectrum, 14th Century EP. This song is a monologue by Owen Pallett, aka the deity who rules over Spectrum. Also it's awesome.
This is the Dream (Of Win and Regine) - Final Fantasy
From the first Final Fantasy album, Has A Good Home. Much less well-produced than the stuff on Heartland, but still a fantastic song. It's what he's playing in the video above.
Song Song Song - Final Fantasy
From Final Fantasy's second album, the exceptionally-titled He Poos Clouds. Apparently it's a concept album about the eight schools of magic in Dungeons & Dragons, which gains him instant points in my book. This song is supposedly about the school of evocation, hence lyrics like "fill my stomach with your singing." Also it's awesome.
SUPPORT THIS MOTHAFUCKA. It's all on iTunes, I know you all know what that is.. If you hear something you like, buy the album it's from! Or go see him live, that's not an act to be missed!! The dude deserves money, don't be a dick and just go pirate all the albums after being teased by these free samples. Just because a party host serves nifty hors d'ourves doesn't mean you should go rob the restaurant that made them. Or some other fitting metaphor telling you to be conscious about downloading free music.
Lobster out. I like how this last rapport of posts has given patkins a chance to post more beat stuff and let me have a little indie interlude. Refreshing, isn't it? See, we really are two crustaceans of diverse tastes.