Born Michael James Owen Pallett-Plowright, Owen Pallett is a singer/violinist from Toronto known for his early solo recordings as Final Fantasy. Classically trained from an early age, at 15 he started playing solo violin shows.
As his musical interests shifted to indie pop, Pallett collaborated with a multitude of indie artists, including Jim Guthrie, Royal City, the Hidden Cameras, the Vinyl Cafe, Gentleman Reg, and Arcade Fire. As well as touring in various string sections in the mid-2000s, he was an active composer, writing arrangements for Arcade Fire’s groundbreaking Funeral and Neon Bible, along with albums for Fucked Up, Beirut, and the Last Shadow Puppets.
Owen Pallett | Song For Five & Six
Despite being the go-to violinist for other artists and an avid remixer, Pallett’s primary focus remained his own work as Final Fantasy. In 2005, he released Has a Good Home, which he followed up with 2006’s He Poos Clouds, the latter winning Canada’s top artistic album prize, the Polaris.
In 2009, Pallett announced that he would no longer be using Final Fantasy as his moniker, to avoid confusion with Square Enix’s popular video game series by the same name. Plans were made to repackage his Final Fantasy back catalog, and in January of 2010, Owen Pallett released Heartland under his own name.
Owen Pallett | The Riverbed
Owen Pallett’s new album “In Conflict” is full of love songs – more specifically, songs about liminal states and our loved ones locked in battle with them. “The record is meant to approach ‘insanity’ in a positive way,” Owen says – emphasis on the ironizing scare quotes around singular notions of insanity.
“Depression, addiction, gender trouble, and the creative state are presented as positive, loveable, empathetic ways of being. Not preferable, per se, but all as equal, valid positions that we experience, which make us human.”
Owen Pallett | In Conflict Trailer
Xiu Xiu was born on a dance floor, arriving alone at the club and going home alone from the club. That night the first Xiu Xiu song, Jennifer Lopez, was recorded. Its line, “is it tough to watch, Friday after Friday!?,” began what Xiu Xiu was going to try to say.
The songs would always be about specific events in the personal lives of the band, the people close to them, and about the social and economic politics that effect and deform subjugated life from everywhere in this wobbling, wreck of a solar system.
Xiu Xiu | Jennifer Lopez
Over the course of 15 7″s, five EPs, six collaboration albums and eight full lengths Xiu Xiu has never shied away from any topic that is honest and meaningful to them. Their songs are about gender dysphoria, suicide, loneliness, going insane, child soldiers, the tsunami in Indonesia.
Hideous sex, the Sanrio character Pandapple, abortion politics, incest, cats, queer life, being raped by the police and the individual responsibility of U.S. military personnel for the families they murder. Somehow within all of this, cuteness attempts to find a way to embrace death and horrible emotion.
Xiu Xiu | Hi
The music is drawn from British post punk and synth pop, modern Western classical, noise and experimental musics, Asian percussion musics, American folk, torch singers, house, techno, 1950s rock n roll and this second’s top 40.
Starting in isolation in San Jose, California in 2002, Xiu Xiu has relentlessly toured all over the world since. San Jose is a rotten place to be, so relentless touring was a way to get AWAY!
Xiu Xiu | Honeysuckle
There have been a total of seven line-ups, all led by Jamie Stewart. Xiu Xiu have been called “self flagellating”, “harsh”, “brutal”, “shocking” and “perverse” but also “genius”, “brilliant”, “unique”, “imaginative” and “luminous.”
Owen Pallett & Xiu Xiu
Sunday, 25th May 2014 | 20:00 CET
Volksbühne | Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz | 10178 Berlin/Mitte