Tuesday, March 01, 2005


Owen, Take A Bow

Owen Pallett is ungoogleable violin-looped happiness (Thanks to Kathryn Yu for the photo) Listen to Final Fantasy: This is The Dream of Win and Regine (Go! Buy the Rekkid!) Listen to Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire: Candy Shop (Go! Buy the Rekkid!) Listen to The Toy Dolls: The Devil Went Down to Scunthorpe (Go! Buy the Rekkid!) (Much love to the Charlie Daniels Band) Hey y'all. I'm back from the San Fran with plenty of excellent grape and some new stories to tell. Couldn't get to the Ted Leo Show last week (boo!) but I did spend some time while I was gone listening to the very talented Owen (Final Fantasy) Pallett. His record (Has a good home!!!!!!!!!! available through the Blocks Recording Club) got me thinking about the uneasy truce between the violin and rock and roll. Because -- let's face it -- violin bow = wankery. Don't believe me? Think of it Jimmy Page, Nigel Tuffnel or even Sigur Ros. Wan-ker-ee! And yet, this track comes off as heartfelt, measured and intimate. Maybe it's because Owen uses his bow to saw a violin (admittedly through a bunch of samplers and effects peddles) and not a Fender. I do have one quibble, though (and I admit that it might be the marketing geek in me) but do you really have to name your musical act after a videogame AND a movie? Don't you want to be found on internet searches even a little? Why not just name your band "Star Wars" or something? Ok, I'm done ranting. Andrew Bird is probably not a mystery to most hipsters, but he can handle a violin like no one I've ever seen. Though he's headed off in a different direction with recent albums, his third full length (1998's Oh, the grandeur on Ryko) is my favourite of his efforts. It sounds like the soundtrack to a Mary Pickford film; lots of swooning and melodrama. And The Toy Dolls . . . they're here because they make me laugh. You can order a copy of Final Fantasy's Has a Good Home!!!!!!! through Blocks. Oh the Grandeur can be ordered directly from Mr. Bird. You should also think about picking up a Toy Dolls record. The Devil Went Down to Scunthorpe is on One More Megabite. In case you're wondering, Scunthorpe is a mill town in northern England.
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