Monday, October 29, 2007

final fantasy @ the troubadour

The fact that I went to a concert last night came up in conversation twice at work today. "Who'd you see?" "Final Fantasy. He's a gay Canadian violinist with distortion pedals." "...oh...." It's when I begin describing the musicians I see that conversations tend to veer back towards job tickets and the proper hex code for broadcast white. I didn't even bother to explain the overhead projector.

The would-be hipsters first discovered Final Fantasy, nee Owen Pallet, through a couple of visiting Swedish friends who dragged us to the outskirts of the downtown LA arts district last year to a tiny bar with a stuffed polar bear looming over the bartenders. Underlit with red bulbs, a small blond man with a violin proceeded to blow us away with his ability not only to play amazingly, but to sample himself, create amazing, lush loops, and turn his violin into everything from a percussive instrument to a ukulele to a cello, all while singing and screaming some of the most absurd, whimsical, and heart-wrenching lyrics. Oh, and the boy clearly has daddy issues.

He has since graduated to the Troubadour, where he was granted access to a keyboard and an overhead projector. The almost-piano synthesizer serves not only as a stand for the bottle of red shared between Pallet and his projectionist, but as a wonderful counterpart to the violin; he manages to accompany himself by pressing buttons in his mess of pedals and cords with his socked feet. With his pirate-striped shirt too long in the back and the hole in the right sock and his nervous energy, it's almost like watching a 12-year-old cousin's violin recital in your aunt's living room. If, of course, your cousin happens to be made of awesome and tour with Arcade Fire and record with Beirut.

Last night's set opened with the glorious "He Poos Clouds" and a sheet of construction paper with the words "Final Fantasy's 8 Schools of Magic" cut from it was placed on the overhead projector. Thus began the epic evening of quirky cutouts, psychedelic drawings, magic theory, D&D references, and "intimate songs":

"Everywhere else people have been asking for the Mariah Carey cover, but here in LA, everyone's requesting the real intimate songs. You need to stop watching YouTube and find some intimacy. Not from me, of course...." He knows LA hipsters so well. So, um, here's a video.

Lots of amazing new stuff was played as well, and we're looking forward to the soon-to-come album. Whatever it may be called. Whenever it may be released. Check out Tomlab for updates and old albums.

It should also be stated that there were two openers. I have little to say about them except:
· Nifty started out intriguing, but ended with me needing a drink and at least one other would-be hipster contemplating suicide1.
· Cadence Weapon was a clean cut Canadian rapper, and his DJ is a psychotic little man, and they like to scream about selling real estate. Cadence Weapon joined Owen onstage for a song. We think it was a cover. But they hadn't rehearsed, and it fell apart spectacularly, so much so that no one's sure what song it was. We've got some truly amazing, easily recognizable covers to share, though.

1. Note From LMS: 5 stages of opener dissatisfaction: Curiosity, Confusion, Frustration, Anger, Desire to drink and/or box the ears of the person next to you.

mp3: "Fantasy" covered by Final Fantasy (originally performed by Mariah Carey)
mp3: "Peach Plum Pear" covered by Final Fantasy (original by Joanna Newsom)


Suesjoy said...

Well that was an interesting video.
This young man wins the prize for best song/album title - hands down!
I like him...and I did listen to He Poos Clouds on Rhapsody.
Figures he's GAY.
Another one bites the dust, ay?
oh well.
there's still plenty of cute straight indie men out there...

I love the swede mp3 blog, btw!

I hope my hair looks like the gal's in the photo below soon!
(I forget the band's name).

do you like the lashes?
they're fun. i'm wondering if you introduced them to us or if it's a sujoy find.

Cayla said...

People should read this.