Tuesday, September 19, 2006

He Really Does Poo Clouds
Okay I admit that I am on record as saying that Final Fantasy's cd, He Poos Clouds, is weird. And I certainly don't take that back. It is bloody weird! But as Hilary has already posted, it was the winner of the inaugural Polaris Prize yesterday. And even though I probably would have personally ranked it at number 7 of the 10 nominees, I still applaud awarding this prize to this particular cd and this particular musician.
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Final Fantasy (which is the one-man band that is Owen Pallett) had an initial idea for this cd which began with this list:
1. A set of songs that attempt to modernize each of the eight D&D schools of magic
(I admit that I know nothing about Dungeons and Dragons, so I couldn't say if he accomplished this)
2. Every song will be written for string quartet and voice
(yes that apppears to be happening)
3. Nobody who listens to it will ever again entertain thoughts of suicide
(I'm not so sure - a couple of songs made me feel like slitting my wrists initially, but they have grown on me)
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And then he made the cd for $8,000.
I really have to admire Pallett's stated plans for the $20,000 prize. He wants to assist other, even more obscure, musicians in getting their music produced. Awww, he's so Canadian! He has got to be the most adorable son of two entomologists,video game-obsessed, violin-playing wee oddball you could encounter. Bless his funny little heart.
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I spent quite a lot of time listening to He Poos Clouds today, and the odd beauty of it is starting to become apparent to me. Awarding the Polaris prize to this unusual effort is actually of particular importance in demonstrating that the concept behind this prize - awarding the best, not the best-seller - is being honoured. It is significant that an experimental work like He Poos Clouds can garner this prize, and it makes me hopeful for the future of Canadian indie music.
This is my favourite song so far - This Lamb Sells Condos (except I first read it as This Lamb Sells Condoms haha). What do you think of it?



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23 comments:

Ben said...

I like it Barbara. It's quaint, unusual, and the Piano playing is interesting. I think this award is very similar to the Mercurys and I'm all for that.

Barbara said...

Thank you for that background. I was a D&D player and I did not know that. I once saw the lead singer Gus for Me Mom & Morgentaler play D&D, but I never imagined any band would turn the game into a CD. Now that is a 2nd level magic spell...

Neil said...

I figured from his name that he was a video gamer. Final Fantasy games were my favorite!

I'm going to listen to that song you posted now.

Neil said...

fuck. didn't even finish the song. annoying. God that was annoying.

Sorry, Barbara!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

The award is based on the Mercury, Ben, and I think it is long overdue in this country. So, as a Canadian who is sick of the Juno acts, I thank you and your countrymen.

I have no idea what you just said, Barbara W, but I am assuming that is a good thing? I'm afraid I don't speak D&D.

No need to apologize, Neil. I had a similar reaction the first time I listened to the cd as well, and some of it is still incomprehensible to me, but I have started to like that song (and a few others). It is different, no question.

Allison said...

After reading your post, I was expecting to hate the song, but I actually rather like it. I've listened three times now. Can't really hear a lick of what he's saying, I need my lyrics in front of me! I like the backup vocals near the end and piano, makes me twirl my wrists back and forth.
Something tells me finding more songs is going to be hard...although if he just won the prize, perhaps not.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I'm liking this song more and more all the time, Allison and quite a few of the others on the cd now as well.

The piano and the backing vocals were what first appealed to me as well, although you seem to be having a much more physical response than I. I am picturing you twirling your wrists, awww, it's so cute.

Allison said...

Officially in love with this sound.
I just searched his last record, Has a Good Home and there is a song called, "The Chronicles of Sarnia", which I found amusing. However, I can only find little snipits of the songs...you might have to post some more :P My search continues.

Allison said...

a-ha, much more luck when you just search 'owen pallett' instead of 'final fantasy'. a lot less anime with that one.
alright, now i can stop taking up comment space :)

John Mutford said...

I liked it (didn't love it). It was different anyway. Though I must say "This Lamb Sells Condoms" could have made for a much more interesting song.

Will said...

I confess to not knowing about Final Fantasy before seeing the nominees for the award ... but I will certainly check it out, as I like awards of this nature.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Allison - The Chronicles of Sarnia - oh that's clever! I'll need to check that out, if simply for the wordplay.
Oh yeah, I made the mistake of googling Final Fantasy as well. Owen Pallett it is.

This Lamb Sells Condoms didn't strike me as being anything out of the ordinary on a disc called He Poos Clouds. I think it's a better name as well, John.

I am really keen on this type of award too, Will. We were long overdue for something to rival the mundane and oversold Junos. Yay for quality awards!

kees said...

Hmmm, I very much like all the piano. I'm not a huge fan of his voice and I really don't like the creepy children singing towards the end. BUT it could certainly grow on me (except the children - there's no excusing that). Thanks for posting!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

There is never any excuse for creepy children, Kees! Not meaning to offend, but have you ever noticed whenever there are creepy children in horror movies, they are always creepier when they have British accents? In our house, this is known as the creepy little English kid syndrome.

You must admit that Owen Pallett is a cutie, though, or does his being clean-shaven eliminate him?

hilary m. said...

I like This Lamb Sells Condos.

Reminds me of Christmas in Indieland.

hilary m. said...

*make that Charlie Brown's Christmas in Indieland.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Charlie Brown's Christmas in indieland! Awww, that's just adorable, Hilary. Would Owen be Schroeder then, or would he be lying on top of the doghouse?

mellowlee said...

Ok, I only listened to half that song, cause Dev is looking at me with one eyebrow raised, which is never a good thing. LOL But what I heard of it, I adored! How old is this guy? That song made me smile. I will have to go to bolt to favorite it for later :)

Barbara Bruederlin said...

He's in his 20s, Mel. Not Dev's cup of tea, eh?

You have very adventurous tastes in music. I'll add another one of his songs to one of your discs.

mellowlee said...

Kewl :) Different is good! Thanks Barbara.

kees said...

You're so right! There's nothing worse than a creepy little English kid. Actually there is, a creepy little mEnglish whispering kid. Yuck. Whispering in songs is another big no no.

SO I couldn't really tell from the pic whether he was a cutie or not. I did an image search and actually found a pic of him with a beard. But even with a beard he still looks a little, I don't know, too well-groomed. But he's surely a cutie in as much as I'd like to take him home and give him a cup of tea and a biscuit.

Green Tea - Iced Tea said...

This is the lamb who sells condos:

http://www.torontocondos.com/

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I'm choosing the track as we speak, Mel!

Whispering creepy little English kids, now that is stuff of nightmares, Kees! I think I need a cup and tea and a biscuit now too.

That lamb has been shorn, green tea iced tea!