Final Fantasy → Has a Good Home
Owen’s debut album Has a Good Home was recorded in six days and manufactured in eleven days. This took place after his tour on The Vinyl Cafe and prior to his tour with Arcade Fire. The songs were written for The Vinyl Cafe audience, whose taste differs from Owen’s own.
“On one hand when I listen to the record I say ‘oh man I could have done a better take here or a better mix here’, but on the other hand that’s what I like about it. Kind of like a Guided by Voices Alien Lanes type thing, with explosions of whatever I could come up with.” —Owen Pallett, 2005 [source]
“I don’t like [Has a Good Home] and neither does Patrick—ironically. I feel like every single thing I’ve recorded since then is miles better than anything on that record. I know people are still really drawn to the songs on it, and I am too: I think there are some very nice songs on it. But I find the recording to be not at all interesting in terms of what I want to create—for better or worse. It took a lot of practice and arranging for other people before I could arrive at a point where I felt able to record an album that would be considered by the same evaluative tools as records like Sufjan Stevens and Joanna Newsom. I only bring up those names because those are the comparisons I’m going to get, other than, say, Wolfmother. I’m not claiming alliance to either of those people.” —Owen Pallett, 2010 [source]
“I’ve been hearing constantly that the record doesn’t live up to the live show, and it’s like, well, it’s not like the live show is so great that no record is gonna live up to it, but there’s no record that I can make, there’s no record that Leon and I can make, that will live up to a live show. It’ll have to be a record with live drums and a big studio, like a rock record, you know what I mean?” —Owen Pallett, 2005 [source]
Art and packaging
“We didn’t get the discs done until after [Final Fantasy and Arcade Fire] had played two dates. We had to ship an entire box of them. The initial run was 500, which he got rid of on tour. Then we had to make another 1000 really fast. It was total insanity. It was rushing to make the record done. There was no album art at all, no idea of what the album art would be, and Owen left right away. The album art was made up and sent off. I drew that mushroom duck thing and we just slapped it on there.
“[The booklet] was cooked up generations later. If we had started from the booklet, we would have had ample things to put on the CD, hilarious things to put on the cover. It doesn’t make any sense. The booklet was originally photocopied for the next 1000, and he spent a long time making it when he got back from the Arcade Fire tour, so I don’t think they were even ready when we started shipping the second thousand. Things got so insane. Then we had to do a quick fill-in run because we were going to change the entire packaging as a whole to something more like what it became, but in the interim we had to press another 500 CDs with some weird stopgap packaging. Then Owen retraced and redrew the entire album cover.” —Steve Kado [source]