Show Review: Father John Misty 08/23 (ACL Taping)

Another week, another trip to the Moody Theater for me. Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way– when it comes to touring acts, there really is no better venue in this town to catch a big name. Tuesday night, a rather large name, or perhaps a man with a rather large mouth, came to our city to tape an episode of Austin City Limits. With all the buzz around Father John Misty and his latest album, Pure Comedy, I was interested to see what the character that Josh Tillman plays would have in store for a taping. What we got was a dialed in performance from a personae.

Read past the jump to get my full thoughts on the show.

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Enjoy a New Gambles Tune

Since I stumbled upon Gambles way back when, I’ve always been drawn to his songs. Sometimes they’re pretty stark, much like this new tune he just put up; it only moves beyond vocals and light guitar strums at the 2 minute mark. When you hit that mark, the production swirls filling in the space with choral vocals and added layers that build the song beyond a mere folk ballad. Thereare hints of a new release, as his work is always prolific and ever-changing (he claims these are love songs). A certain Joshua Tillman behind the production board could hint at a certified hit coming our way very soon.

The ATH Top 50 Albums of 2015

Albums ListYear-end lists are everywhere…and I can see why they’re important to people. But, seeing as we generally walk off the beaten path more often than not, our list of the Top 50 Albums of 2015 is in no particular order, save alphabetically. It seems pointless to rank one piece of art higher than another, especially when the four of us at ATH all have varying tastes. We just put this list together of the albums we loved the most this year. Are we saying they’re better than records by Grimes or Kendrick Lamar? No, we’re just saying that these are the records we loved more than others. So, you can read on for what we thought was hot.

Also…put links to individual stores where you can buy the albums from the bands…as that’s how we all survive in this music world.
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Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear

father

Rating: ★★★★ ·

Josh Tillman, or rather Father John Misty, has garnered a notorious reputation over the years, and this reputation has only grown as of recent—there’s no point in denying that. Whether it was launching his faux-stripped of artistry-midi version of this album, or performing new tracks around New York City with a karaoke machine, he’s developed a sarcastic and cynical side to his infamous hip shaking and suave performance style. I Love You, Honeybear is the musical counterpart to this performative transformation, and our reaction mirrors that of our reaction to his publicity shenanigan; that is to say we are simultaneously with and against Father John Misty in his battle with sincerity versus cynicism in the 21st century.

It was the best of times, it was the not so best of times: the tracks on here range a great deal in their merit as they traverse the genre of pop folk with hyper clear production. In some of the numbers on here, Father John Misty’s lyrics are apt and brilliant, describing the perilous plight he faces with quick quips and with colloquially deep storytelling. These lyrics, the heart of the album, are often accompanied by sweeping musical arrangements that will make your skin crawl with goosebumps. The strings are often the perfect counterpart to his words, demonstrating his talent for creating drama and emotionally moving pop music.

But on a few tracks on this album, things don’t quite add together as eloquently and neatly as the rest of I Love You, Honeybear. Particularly numbers like “True Affection,” or “The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apartment” seem to be flattened by the production, the very soul of the music stamped out by the desire to maintain an ironical distance between artist and substance.

These, of course, are overwhelmingly overpowered by those completely wonderful songs, of which I could go on about for days. There’s each of the singles that we were tantalized with before the rest of the songs were revealed, like hitting-the-nail-on-the-head “Bored In The USA,” or the title track, which comes equipped with lines like “The future can’t be real/ I barely know how long a moment is/ unless we’re naked, getting high.” Then you have some completely surprise numbers that take you by storm. “Ideal Husband,” is the most rambunctious tune you’ll find on the album, with a full on melt down from our fearless blasé leader. But Father John is at his best with “Holy Shit,” which feels stripped and sincere, as he weighs love with a long list of the things that make up our own absurd reality: “Oh and no one ever knows the real you and life is brief/ So I’ve heard, but what’s that gotta do with this atom bomb and me?” It is the moments like this number that make me want to give this album 5 stars.

On first listen of this album, I was completely enamored with what Father John Misty had crafted, and with good reason: musically, it’s easy on the ears with its lush and gorgeous sound. However, after several rounds through, some of the tracks simply don’t have the same amount of sweeping power that the majority of the tracks do. Perhaps these other songs’ staying enchantment will kick in over time, but for now I Love You, Honeybear is a rather valiant effort at depicting love in our modern times in which the highs outweigh the lows.

 

Father John Misty Nails It

Father John MistyI’m aware that many of you heard the buzz about this track towards the end of last week, but I’d regret not posting such a beautiful and innovative tune on our site.  Coming your way from J. Tillman, a.k.a Father John Misty, is this glorious new single “Bored in the USA”.  It’s a tough one to pin down; the joint is clearly a singer songwriter track at its core with some ironic and “white people problems” lyrics that will easily speak to a guy like me.  Call it or define it however you will, I think it will easily be one of my tracks of the year.  Be patient, listen close, and enjoy the shear beauty.

Lots of folks online are also buzzing about the recent Letterman performance of this track so I’ll link that right here.  Definitely want to check that out if you have the time.

Let’s all mark our calendars for February 10th and the release of new album I Love You, Honeybear on Sub Pop Records.

Show Pics: Father John Misty @ The Mohawk (5/26)

The day after Ty and Suckers, I “had to” go to The Mohawk to see Father John Misty with Har Mar Superstar and Dana Falconberry.

It was a very contrasting set of bands. Dana Falconberry‘s solemn folk melody gave way to Har Mar‘s jams and cock buffet invites led to J. Tillman’s mix of the two. To PYAITK, Father John Misty is J Tillman‘s project after leaving Fleet Foxes. He also played drums for Har Mar during their run out on the road.

It was a strange evening. And I got a decent Har Mar headstand pic, finally…

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Show Preview: Father John Misty @ Mohawk (5/26)

Date 5/26/12
Location Mohawk
Doors 8pm
Tickets $12 @ Frontgate

Mr. J Tillman has spent many years making a name for himself with his various projects with Fleet Foxes, as a solo musician, and now with his project going by Father John Misty.  The veteran and his new band will be in town this Saturday for a sure to be sold out show going down at the Mohawk.  Joining the very talented song writer on stage are L.A. based Har Mar Superstar and our very own talented lady Dana Falconberry.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Father-John-Misty-Nancy-From-Now-On.mp3]

Download: Father John Misty – Nancy From Now On [MP3]

New Tune From Father John Misty

I’m sure many of you know this, but let’s at least do our due diligence and note that Father John Misty is the official solo/side project of J. Tillman.  I get a bit hesitant to call it the guys first solo album, as some will do, but I just don’t see how a guy with a slew of recorded material under his own name will ever have a “debut” LP.  This is the first LP under the FJM name however, which goes by the name Fear Fun, and comes out May 1st on Sub Pop Records.  The songs within the album will give you a somewhat more upbeat feel from Tillman as opposed to his more recent solo work.  Until the release date, check out this new song “Nancy From Now On” and let us know what ya think.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Father-John-Misty-Nancy-From-Now-On.mp3]

Download: Father John Misty – Nancy From Now On [MP3]