Final Fantasy → Plays to Please EP
- “Horsetail Feathers”
- “Moodring Band”
- “I Saved a Junky Once”
- “Nun or a Bawd”
Release date: October 27, 2008
Label: □□□□□□ Recording Club
Plays to Please is an EP of covers of songs by Alex Lukashevsky and his band Deep Dark United. Owen Pallett conducted St. Kitts Orchestra for the recording.
While touring with Alex, Owen was inspired by Harry Nilsson’s Nilsson Sings Newman and Van Dyke Parks’ Song Cycle. Owen said, “Alex loves Louis Prima and all these old, slick recordings... but his records sound the opposite of that. So this was an attempt to reconcile the two. For me, it was my first time really recording a large ensemble like that; and I was really aiming to make a recording that sounded less like a classical recording, or more like a pop record.” [source]
“One of the things [Alex] said to me, what he explained to me while he was making music for Deep Dark United, was what he liked about making music was that it was just so dirty. I think I was talking to him, like, asking him why his records are so dirty, not that I was trying to convince him to make a slick record, and he’s just like ‘I like people who are kind of filthy,’ and I like that, you know? I kind of feel that’s the case. It’s perhaps my own personal taste, but when I put on a record and I hear a nice clean slick record, like an Outkast record or any record that’s being played on the radio, I hear hours and hours of studio time and money. I don’t hear passion or heart or anything like that.” [source]
“Play to Please” is the name of a song by Deep Dark United. A working title for the EP was Lukashevsky.
“I only recall four reviews. That record was really made for people who live in Toronto, people who have been able to experience the cult of Lukashevsky and the different contexts in which he presents his songs. [Toronto magazines] Eye and Now really loved the album, and so did [Montreal Mirror’s] Rupert Bottenberg. But pretty much every other non-Montreal/Toronto media outlet said something to the effect of: ‘…and fuck this record.’
“Which frustrated me, because I’m happy with Spectrum, but with Plays to Please I thought, ‘Wow, I can actually make records that sound like this!’ If you A/B it with Sinatra records—of course it’s not as good—but it works! It was meant to be influenced by Nelson Riddle arranging. I was so proud of it, and for people to see it as some kind of wet fart really upset me.
“Alex and I are really in the same boat. We’re both conscious of our appetite for self-sabotage, and the reasons we want to sabotage ourselves is rooted in a kind of egotism, in the frustration that the quality of our product and the quality of the experience that we provide our listeners does not match up with the depth of musical ability that we feel we have.” —Owen [source]