Tag Archives: Michael Gira

Ep. #156: Owen Pallett

Owen Pallett is a tremendously gifted multi-instrumentalist, composer, and singer who currently lives in Montreal. Pallett was initially acclaimed for his string arrangements for artists like Jim Guthrie, Arcade Fire, Fucked Up, and many others and, particularly when he lived there, he was viewed as a true leader and champion of Toronto’s underground arts community. Since releasing his own music, Pallett’s profile has risen considerably. He won the inaugural Polaris Music Prize and has been nominated for each of his subsequent solo records; he was nominated for an Academy Award for his work scoring the film Her; and his fourth and latest album, In Conflict, has appeared on many best of 2014 critics’ lists. He is a sharp, clever, outspoken young man and he’s playing the Hillside Inside festival on Saturday Feb. 7 at 3 PM with Jennifer Castle. Here, Owen and I discuss living in Montreal, the year that was, musicians managing this particular age of media consumption, seeing the content of private Facebook posts go viral, playing with Arcade Fire during the backlash about their latest record, maybe people don’t like aging rock and pop bands, provocative extracurricular activities don’t necessarily lead to bigger box office sales, turning down a CBC Radio hosting gig, having sex with men, Pitchfork, Slim Twig is a wise person, Win knows best, some people should quit, why we make things, the trajectory of creative lives, people keep talking to me about Blink 182, why Michael Gira might have reformed Swans or Kathleen Edwards might have opened up a coffee shop, playing Hillside during a torrential rain storm that shortened the set, befriending Buffy Sainte-Marie, fortunate Owen, the plan to make a new, dense acoustic record that sounds electronic, Jennifer Castle’s “Sparta,” and that was it.   

Related links: owenpalletteternal.com hillsidefestival.ca vishkhanna.com

Owen_Pallett_by Peter Juhl_HIGHRES-5 low res

Listen, subscribe, rate/review on iTunes.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ep. #143: Cold Specks

Cold Specks is Al Spx, a talented and fearless singer, musician, and songwriter who calls Montreal home. Originally from a Toronto suburb called Etobicoke, Spx has garnered international attention for her powerful voice, dark-hued lyrics, and post-punk aesthetic, which is all the more unique given the rather folk-oriented feel of her 2012 debut album, I Predict a Graceful Expulsion. In late August, Arts & Crafts and Mute co-released its follow-up, a decidedly more forceful and sinister record called Neuroplasticity. Beginning November 5 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Cold Specks is on tour across the world for the foreseeable future but we connected for a candid conversation at the Halifax Pop Explosion last month. The discussion covered topics like living in Montreal and visiting Halifax, Loel Campbell and Tim D’Eon of WIntersleep, living in England, the concept of neuroplasticity and how it might apply to Cold Specks, getting bored, trying to perform songs from I Predict a Graceful Expulsion, destruction of melody and subtle aggression, London and Glastonbury, hills and pagans, corporate witchtowns, no socks, sonic goblin, wearing capes and goth people, the trumpet of Ambrose Akinmusire and the voice of Swans’ Michael Gira, growing up in Etobicoke with her Somali parents, Rob and Doug and the Ford family, not quite apolitical, Al’s oud-playing, soul-singing dad ‘Dr. Love,’ the late, popular Somali singer Saado Ali Warsame, Swans, Bill Callahan, the Strokes, Tom Waits, and Nick Cave, the Strokes on Letterman and emerging after 9/11, the Backstreet Boys have come up on two straight episodes now, having a persona, creative pursuits, loving True Detective, Vince Vaughn, Colin Farrell, and Rachel McAdams, Band of Brothers, shooting a cannon at The Nutcracker, meeting Joni Mitchell who is awesome, the art of the interview, yelling at a Q guest host and other bad journalists, why I talk to people, being and not being a diva, touring a lot behind a record that came out kind of quietly, the Hotel2Tango and Howard Bilerman, why Montreal is good, not wanting to interact with anybody, the song “Absisto,” a nervous breakdown, and then the exit plan.

Related links: coldspecks.com halifaxpopexplosion.com vishkhanna.com

coldspecks

Listen, subscribe, rate/review on iTunes.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,