Posted by Jason Diamond
Welcome to the first installment of Band Booking, a series where we ask some of our favorite musicians to talk about books.
To start things off, we asked Owen Pallett. His most recent album, Heartland, was easily one of our favorites of 2010. For those who don’t know more about Pallett, he is the composer, violinist, keyboardist and songwriter also responsible for the 2006 Polaris Music Prize album He Poos Clouds; as well as the person behind the string arrangements for some of the most important musicians of the last decade from Arcade Fire to The Mountain Goats and Beirut.
Have you read any recently published books that you liked?
I never got into sci-fi as a kid, not really, but I’ve been reading a lot of it the last couple of year. I read Cryptonomicon and a bunch of other Neal Stephenson stuff, a bunch of Philip K. Dick. My favourite favourite, though, really, the best sci-fi I’ve ever read, is a short story collection by Ted Chiang, Stories Of Your Life And Others.
After The Banquet and Nip The Buds, Shoot The Kids have always been my favourites, by Mishima and Oe respectively. That post-war period of Japanese fiction really resonated with me, the way both those authors– and others– were able to turn human activity into something both deeply political and also very graceful in a Classical sort of way. I also like how those two authors represent opposing political viewpoints, it’s like their novels are mocking each other.