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Baker's Dozen

The Passions: Owen Pallett's Favourite Albums
Luke Turner , May 29th, 2014 09:25

Owen Pallett's new album helpfully gives us the title for our latest Baker's Dozen, as he talks Luke Turner through selections including Tori Amos, Throbbing Gristle, Jean Luc Ponty, Dean Blunt, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Total Freedom and Diamanda Galas

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Photograph courtesy of Peter Juhl

Smart, canny lyrics of sex, death, wit and existential quivering, glorious arrangements on songs that flit elegantly between his pop and leftfield sensibilities, a distinctive, multi-role voice... Owen Pallett's new album In Conflict is undoubtedly his finest work to date. Intriguingly, he's decided to shape his Baker's Dozen around albums that he's only heard in the past few years while working on the new record - a few of them are new discoveries from during that time. To an extent, Pallett says, this is because he was determined to avoid nostalgia, to keep himself moving forward: "Part of the reason I moved from Toronto to Montreal this past year was because I felt that, having been in that one city for so many happy years, I was not able to form superior memories to the ones that I formed in my 20s. 'I will never stay out all night getting wasted and dancing my ass off to records'."

However, Pallett denies that he's moving to Montreal to don slippers and up pipe."I can't say it's a hard and fast rule for everybody, some people just launch themselves into home ownership and childrearing really easily, but me, I still love partying and dancing just as much as I love having dinner parties with older friends, staying in and listening to Ornette Coleman or whatever - that sounds pretty adult to me! But living in another city, you don't have to compare it to experiences when you were living in a younger, more supple body."

Aging, responsibility, indulgence, and accepting or denying all of the above, are some of the concerns that filter into the lyrics of 'I Am Not Afraid', the opening track of In Conflict. And, intriguingly, they seem to reflect Pallett's choices - much like his own music, a mixture of the cerebral and the emotionally stirring. Click the picture of Owen Pallett below to begin the run-through.


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May 29, 2014 5:48pm

Oh please. Can you get more interesting artists to give their lists? This is like a list from a 19-year-old, i.e., someone who doesn't have a wide range from which to choose.

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Daveid P
May 29, 2014 6:38pm

In reply to :

yeah, Tori Amos and Throbbing Gristle are almost exactly the same right?

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May 29, 2014 7:00pm

And oh so many people are just rushing to put a Boiler Room set, probably the least well regarded Electrelane album, and Ustvolskaya on their lists. LE YAWN, amirite?

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Manic Inventor
May 29, 2014 8:21pm

I may not agree with some of the records on this list, but at least this is an honest, wide-ranging collection that breathes enthusiasm and first-time wonder. And I hope that for the rest of my life I retain a 19-year-old's sense of wonder and urgency, with that drug-like rush of getting to know new music. And one more thing: why should everyone on Baker's Dozen like exactly the same cool and interesting records that you like, because you are so damn' knowledgeable? I pity all you haters.

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May 30, 2014 1:48am

Thanks for this great list. Can't wait to check them out,

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May 30, 2014 8:37am

In reply to Manic Inventor:

My thoughts exactly. If you like something you don’t need confirmation from other people that they like it too, right. To each his own.

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May 30, 2014 10:04am

I think the first anonymous guy was taking the piss. If he/she wasn't then they really are an obscurist goon, because that list is anything but obvious.

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May 30, 2014 5:56pm

I can see a "19-Year-Old" releasing an album called "He Poos Clouds." But it sure as hell wouldn't sound anything like "He Poos Clouds" does. Knock the dust out of your ears, old-timer.

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May 31, 2014 1:10pm

I think everyone should have exactly the same conversation after every single Baker's Dozen.

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