"When somebody's like 'I'm going to get a rock band, and there's going to be eight people in it and there's going to be a violin and a cello and an accordion' then I'm kinda like, it's got to be f*cking mind-blowing because I'm not going to have the patience for your process because your process is kind of obvious. But when somebody says 'I'm going to only use broken instruments to try to arrange a beautiful symphony' then if there's even one moment of beautiful clarity then I'm totally satisfied."
So says Owen Pallett (Final Fantasy) in conversation with You Ain't No Picasso (via), and so splits my own brain in two. There's the part of me that's cheering along with the truth of locating the one moment of beauty in the big mess of artistic honesty, and there's the other part of me that instinctively bristles at the snobby insiderness of statements like that. The whole broken instruments aesthetic can be just as obvious as the kind of indie band with precious orchestration he's maligning. (And, ahem, isn't the Arcade Fire, with whom he's most famously worked, pretty much the very definition of obvious and boring indie band with strings and accordion? I mean, even if you're the Arcade Fire's biggest fan and grant that their process is one of the "fucking mind-blowing" exceptions, it's nevertheless gotta be pretty difficult to deny.) I fall down a little bit harder on the side of bristling in this particular instance, mostly because he has the temerity to talk trash about Bjork's string arrangements in the same interview. This guy is clearly way too smart for his own good, but whether that turns out to be too smart for our own good still remains to be seen. For what it's worth, his cover of Bloc Party's This Modern Love is so gorgeous it nearly brought me to tears. Final Fantasy's much-blogged about He Poos Clouds is being released this summer, though I haven't been able to successfully determine if it's May 9 or June 13 (I've seen both dates listed variously around the intarweb).
Did anyone have any luck scoring Radiohead tickets this weekend? I felt pretty rotten about striking out until I read that even the proprietor of Stereogum got screwed.
Other music news and downloady goodness:
*Check out the jangly adrenaline rush of Fire Island, AK, a leaked track from the new Long Winters album (via)
*Neil Hannon's lush orchestrations and tea-dappled melodies sound more effortless than ever on these two leaked Divine Comedy tunes, "To Die a Virgin" and "Lady Diva," both from his forthcoming album. It's also good to hear him get back to using, in "To Die a Virgin," one of those archly British dialogue samples from some obscure English movie (provenance unknown) over the song's introductory notes
*Yeah, Beirut's Postcards from Italy really is that good
*If the Rappers Delight Club (via) doesn't string a crooked and twinkling smile across your face like a strand of dollar-store lights on a snow-encrusted Christmas tree, then you've probably grown up a little too much
Happy birthday to Mikow (5-5), my sister (5-6), and Nick (today!). Wish y'all could have made it out to celebrate with me and my little choir of amber-colored prescription bottles this weekend.