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Archive for the ‘Father John Misty’ Category

[ATTENDED: July 22-24, 2016] XPN Fest

2016-07-24 15.34.58Even though I go to a lot of shows, I don’t really love Festivals.  I actually enjoy concerts too much to enjoy Festivals.  Which sounds dumb, but I’d rather see a band I like on their own play for a full set than for 30 minutes with a bunch of people who don’t really want to see them.

I’ve been to a few festivals over the years, and I have thought about going to other ones, but since I typically don’t want to spend a few days in the sun (and a few hundred dollars), I don’t go.

But the past two years we have seen some great headlining acts at XPN Fest.  And we thought it would be fun to go for the day, bring the kids and just have a fun day outside with music and vendors.  We bought tickets before the lineup was even announced.

WXPN members get half-priced tickets (which is cheaper than some of the regular shows I’ve been to) and kids’ tickets are $15 for the three days.  Perfect.

In the past, I have loved most of the headliners, but this year I didn’t really like any of them. The three day pass includes lawn seats to the headliners, but we wound up not using them at all. (more…)

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harpjuneSOUNDTRACK: FATHER JOHN MISTY-“Bored in the U.S.A.” (2014).

 boredNot a cover of the Clash song (“I’m So Bored with the U.S.A”) this is a piano dirge about the materialism of American culture.

I loved Father John Misty’s debut, and the way it addressed serious topics but with beautiful songs and Misty’s wonderful voice.  But this song is a dark and dreary tale of life in contemporary America.  Father John laments about, well, just about everything:

I’ve got all morning to obsessively accrue
A small nation of meaningful objects
And they’ve got to represent me too

or

Now I’ve got a lifetime to consider all the ways
I’ve grown more disappointing to you
As my beauty warps and fades

with the staggering next line

I suspect you feel the same

Te melody is pretty, but solemn (there’s no ironic poppy chord structure for this lament).  Rather, it’s a slow minor key piano melody with Misty’s beautiful aching voice drifting over the chords: “Save me white Jesus.”

By the next verse, while the melody and singing stay at the same pace, he adds a laugh track to his life: “They gave me a useless education / A subprime loan, Craftsman home / Keep my prescriptions filled / Now I can’t get off, but I can kind of deal / Oh, with being Bored in the USA.”

If this is the single, what can the album have in store?

 Save me President Jesus.

[READ: November 17, 2014] “Long in the Tooth”

This is a Czech story (translated by Stacey Knecht) written by Hrabal (who died in 1997).  I don’t know anything about him except that he wrote “many novels.”

But this story I find quite puzzling.  It’s not hard or complicated, indeed, it is quite a straightforward piece.  I’m just puzzled by why he wrote it (unless the conceit of false teeth was so novel that it needed to be written down).

In this story, the main character (who is a woman although that isn’t revealed until quite late in the story) is marveling at how she (and her husband) have aged without them realizing it.  She says that suddenly she was sixty and then sixty-five when she contracted paradentosis (which can cause massive tooth loss). (more…)

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10SOUNDTRACK: FATHER JOHN MISTY-Fear Fun (2012).

fjmI can’t get over how much I’ve been enjoying this album for the last two years.  Father John Misty is J Tillman from Fleet Foxes.

This disc is a gentle folk album with vaguely country leanings.  The arrangements are spare and yet the verses and choruses are so great to sing along to. “Funtimes in Babylon” has this infectious chorus: “I would like to abuse my lungs, smoke everything in sight with every girl I’ve ever loved.  Ride around the wreckage on a horse knee deep in mud.  Look out, Hollywood, here I come.”  “Nancy from Now On” has a great propulsive chorus with oohs and tinkling bells and pianos and Misty’s engaging falsetto.

I was introduced to this album by “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” which opens with the super catchy line, “Jeeeeesus Christ, girl.”  I love the big crashing drum sound he has here.  “I’m Writing a Novel” is a fun romp, with the great line “I’m writing a novel because it’s never been done before.”  “O I Long to Feel Your Arms Around Me” introduces a great organ sound.  It’s a full song at only 2 and a half minutes.

“Misty’s Nightmares 1 & 2” opens with a slide guitar and turns into a stomping song with more Ooohs and a great chorus.  “Only Son of the Ladiesman” has a great chorus with the fun couple: “I’m a steady hand, I’m a Dodgers fan.”  “This is Sally Hatchet” has cool guitar blasts and a great bridge.

“Well You Can Do It Without Me” is a countrified 2 minute stomper.  “Tee Pees 1-12” is a big stompin’ honkey tonk song with fiddles and slide guitar.  The disc ends with “Everyman Needs a Companion” a slow ballad with a great piano melody and a fun to sing along with verse and chorus.

I love the lyrics on this album, especially the song “Now I’m Learning to Love the War” a slow ballad with a great story:

Try not to think so much about
The truly staggering amount of oil that it takes to make a record
All the shipping, the vinyl, the cellophane lining, the high gloss
The tape and the gear

Try not to become too consumed
With what’s a criminal volume of oil that it takes to paint a portrait
The acrylic, the varnish, aluminum tubes filled with latex
The solvents and dye

Lets just call this what it is
The gentler side of mankind’s death wish
When it’s my time to go
Gonna leave behind things that won’t decompose

In addition to all of the great music on here, the CD packaging is fantastic with that great cover, done in a cardboard gatefold sleeve including two huge books full of words and drawings and lyrics and everything.  I’m really looking forward to his next release.

[READ: September 14, 2014] Grantland #10

Despite my being in the middle of reading several other things, I was looking for a short article to read the other night and grabbed my Grantland 10.  And, of course, once I started, I couldn’t stop. I put everything else on hold and blasted through this issue.

And so all of my loves and hates are the same with this issue.  I never know how anything they talk about nearly a year ago turned out, which stinks.  And yet I get so wrapped up in the writing that I don’t care.  I’m not sure what it is about the writing for Grantland that i enjoy so much.  It is casual but knowledgeable.  Often funny but not obnoxiously silly. And I suppose that now I feel like I’m in on all of the secret stuff they talk about so I’m part of the club.  I fear that if I were to ever go to the website I would get sucked into a black hole and never emerge.

I often wonder how they choose what goes into the book.  This issue has some new writers and the surprising absence of some regulars.  I wonder what went on there.  And as always, the book could use some editing and maybe actually listing the urls of the links that were once in the online version.  But I think I’m talking to deaf ears on that one.

This issue covers October-December 2013 (that’s ten-twelve months ago!  Some of this stuff feels ancient!)

(more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: FATHER JOHN MISTY-“Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” (2012).

This song is also on the list of NPR’s Top 50 songs of the year (so far).  It comes so far out of left field in terms of who the guy is and the way the music sounds that I can’t believe it made it to  their list.

Father John Misty is comprised of former Fleet Foxes dude J. Tillman.  I was bummed that the Foxes were not the original lineup anymore (although Tillman says he didn’t really want to be part of someone else’s vision, so that’s cool).  And if this is Tillman’s vision that  makes sense.

This is a simple guitar and drums kind of song;  There’s a ton of reverb (on the vocals, the guitars and especially the drums).  It has an incredibly retro feel.  It reminds me of someone like Pugwash, although it sounds nothing like them, really.  It feels like an older song (aside from the reverb, the guitar sounds very clean) and then the lyrics kick in: “Jesus Christ girl, what are people going to think”  And the song is all about death and cemeteries (“Someone’s gotta help me dig”).

I wasn’t sure about the song when I first listened, but then I couldn’t stop replaying it.  Yes the song is very simple–chord structures are pretty basic, but it feels so raw that it’s hard to stop listening–especially when the song starts to pick up more…instruments, and vocals, before it ends.

There’s a video for the song (in which Aubrey Plaza (from Parks and Rec) goes batshit crazy).  And the video version is a bit longer (a lengthy coda is added on).  Well, hell, here it is:

I will definitely have to hear more from this album.

[READ: June 23, 2012] “In Space No One Can Hear You Slay”

As I mentioned yesterday, The Guild was backed with a Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic for Free Comic Book Day.  I loved Buffy the show.  I loved Buffy the comics.  I loved the idea that Joss was keeping the series alive in the comic books.  And then somehow I fell behind in the series.  I haven’t really read much of Season 8 (some day…some day). So there was a little bit of a context issue for me here (very minor, but still there).

True context is kind of unnecessary here (except that I don’t know what Spike and Buffy are doing together–their past relationships are so complex, who knows where they may wind up).  Anyhow, as I said context is irrelevant because this issue takes place in…outer space.  That’s right, Spike suggest that Buffy go on a space vacation to see a nebula explode (what?).  Massive cerebral cortex confusion aside, this one-off does indeed see Buffy on a spaceship.  (more…)

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