Tag Archives: Father John Misty


Joseph Campbell and the Rolling Stones couldn’t give me a myth
So I had to write my own.

It’s hard to remember how self-serious everything was back in in 2012. Even parody was so far up its own ass, sites like Hipster Runoff made it impossible to distinguish sincerity from sarcasm. Into this world, snoozy sad sack Joshua Tillman created Father John Misty, a fun-loving maniac hellbent on going wherever his body led him, banging women in cemeteries, drinking greyhounds, doing a little too much ayahuasca, smoking everything in sight, until his organs screamed “Slow down, man!” This was different. It was fun! In a world that had been taught to fear fun.

The backstory was preposterous and hilarious. Dude takes some drugs, gets naked and climbs a tree and realizes he’s been wasting his life being boring and miserable so he moves from the pretentious and uptight pacific northwest to a place where milk and honey flow, just a couple states below in sunny Los Angeles.

His performance of “Only Son of a Ladies Man” on Letterman blew minds. There was an independent rock band actually putting on a show. Being funny. Having fun. Performing!

Continue reading FJM in GRAP-MI

New Father John Misty video: Buddy’s Rendezvous

Video: Father John Misty – “Buddy’s Rendezvous”

Directed by Emma Elizabeth Tillman. From Chloë and The Next 20th Century, out now on Sub Pop.

Has Emma Elizabeth Tillman directed a video for her spouse before? They co-directed the one for “Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)” but that’s a throwaway that they made “on an iPad on [their] wedding anniversary” while eating pancakes. This one’s considerably more ambitious.

The director says, “‘Buddy’s Rendezvous’ is a world unto itself. It is a place out of time. My dream for the video is that it would surrender itself to the power of the song. An unnamed man (played by Craig Stark), fresh out of jail and down on his luck makes his way across the fractured landscape of Los Angeles to meet his daughter (played by Arrow De Wilde). All the while he is beset by memories of a more innocent time. Despite her hesitance, his daughter and her boyfriend (played by Gilbert Trejo) agree to meet her father and find moments of sadness and sparks of tenderness in the connection made. Although the video and the song can be considered love letters to Los Angeles, the themes are universal. Disappointments, regrets, forgiveness, tenderness, perseverance, and love. The incredible performances by Arrow, Craig, Gilbert, and David Haley all coalesce to bring this vision to life. Cinematography by James Wall on 16mm evokes the down and out feeling of LA, merging past and present.”

I don’t think they need that “old-timey film spool” filter that everybody uses these days to signify authenticity. Nevertheless, it’s a pretty song about a dad hoping to catch up with his kid, and the video is effective.

Father John Misty: web, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Father John Misty video: Buddy’s Rendezvous

New Father John Misty video: Goodbye Mr. Blue

Video: Father John Misty – “Goodbye Mr. Blue”

Directed by Noel Paul. From Chloë and The Next 20th Century, out April 8 on Sub Pop.

This guy. He makes it so easy to hate him. But then he releases a song about his damn cat dying that sounds like it could’ve been an album track from a 1969 Glen Campbell record, and you’re sucked right back in.

That Turkish Angora’s about the only thing left of me and you
And early this morning he started making sounds that say
Don’t the last time come too soon.

The video is kind of annoying because the dialog and sound effects are too loud in the mix. But whatever. It’s still touching. Sincerely. Which isn’t a vibe something this artist usually goes for.

Father John Misty: web, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.


Glorious Noise turns 20 and my have things changed. 

Twenty years is a long time, especially in the Information Age where time bends and flips unto itself in meta ways. Digital Culture is not measured in years but memes…in Scaramuccis. To think back on twenty years of Glorious Noise is more than my feeble Gen X mind can even really do or bring any sense to. Still, I must try because it’s the only reason to even participate online anymore.

When we started Jake had to jigger a light hack to even allow comments. The Internet promised to democratize information, but to even have two-way conversations required some level of technical ability most normies didn’t have. So at first, it was still us broadcasting to you. It was our turn to be the gatekeepers and tell you what was cool out there, and more often than not what wasn’t cool. It was fun and basically what my friends and I did at every party we ruined in Chicago. We got loud and debated the legitimacy of the host’s music collection. Now that everyone streams, can we even do that anymore? Where’s the fun?

For a while the site made some money, which kept us online and allowed us to throw parties and launch a record label. You know all this because we mention some version of the site’s history each year at this time. I mention it now because nobody makes money online anymore. Even porn is free. So we don’t throw any parties anymore and we don’t put out our friends’ records. 

I don’t write this as a whine, but to list a few more examples of how things have changed. We didn’t launch the site to make any money and now we’re back to the beginning. We do it now for the same reason we started: because we like to talk about music. Maybe not as much as we used to, but still…

So happy birthday, GLONO. I am pretty proud that this site has been running for twenty years. We’ve found and shared a lot of really cool music in those twenty years and my one true hope is that somewhere along the way, that music changed your life.

New Father John Misty video: Date Night

Video: Father John Misty – “Date Night”

Directed by Chad VanGaalen. From God’s Favorite Customer, out now on Sub Pop.

This video from Strand of Oaks freaked me the fuck out when we posted it last year. In the best possible way, of course. But freaky just the same. To say animator Chad VanGaalen has a way with imagery is to say it’s crackers to slip a rozzer the dropsy in snide, unless you put one grunch (but the eggplant) over there.

“Date Night” is my favorite track off of Father John Misty’s new album, God’s Favorite Customer. It’s two and a half minutes of free association mumbo jumbo that turns me on. The accompanying video is just as kooky and two times more colorful. There’s a cat licking its butthole.

I love the acoustic guitar tone and the “woo hoos” that make it sound as if this were done in three takes, max. It’s not over-thought. It’s not slick. But it’s such a great little stew of the things I love about FJM that it gives me hope that he hasn’t completely lost his humor. Or his mojo.

Father John Misty: web, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Father John Misty video: God’s Favorite Customer

Video: Father John Misty – “God’s Favorite Customer”

Directed by Emma Tillman. From God’s Favorite Customer, out now on Sub Pop.

Another bummer from Papa John Misery.

I’m out here testing the maxim
That all good things have to stop
The bar closes at 5
But the big man is just opening shop

Once again, Tillman’s voice sounds great and the song is pretty but the lyrics are lamenting a period when he was “all bug-eyed and babbling” and separated from the woman he loves. Or, as it’s stated in the press release, “being caught between the vertigo of heartbreak and the manic throes of freedom.”

Of course, he’s reflecting on that experience with disgust. Which is not fun. Why does Tillman fear fun now? He might as well drop the “Misty” persona and resume recording as “J. Tillman” if he’s going to be this humorless and self-lacerating…

Maybe it’s time for a change. Maybe the “Misty” thing has peaked anyway. Look at his first-week sales history:

Fear Fun: 4,000 sold (May 2012)
Honeybear: 28,000 sold (February 2015)
Pure Comedy: 33,000 pure album sales (35,000 equivalent album units) (April 2017)
Customer: 19,000 sold (22,000 equivalent album units) (June 2018)

Maybe he’s overdue to gobble up some mushrooms, climb a tree, and contemplate the absurdity of his life again. It worked last time. Stop being so serious. Time to drown old Neil down on the beach one more time.

Father John Misty: web, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Father John Misty video: Please Don’t Die

Video: Father John Misty – “Please Don’t Die”

Directed by Chris Hopewell. From God’s Favorite Customer, out today on Sub Pop.

In which our hero descends into the depths of depravity, desolation, and self-destruction only to be ultimately rescued by his angelic wife. The end.

One more cryptic message thinking that I might end it
Oh God, you must have woken up to me saying that it’s all too much
I’ll take it easy with the morbid stuff

Please do. Somebody take away this guy’s piano. We’ve had enough piano ballads. More like Elton John Misty. (I just made that up and I was super proud of myself until I googled it and realized a bunch of people on twitter have already thought of it. Oh well.)

Father John Misty: web, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Father John Misty video: Mr. Tillman

Video: Father John Misty – “Mr. Tillman”

From God’s Favorite Customer, out June 1 on Sub Pop.

Apparently Josh Tillman was not satisfied with the fan-made videos for this song created after he posted the audio with some silly green screen footage. Now he’s gone and made a professional new video with special effects and everything! It’s appropriately ominous to match the disoriented tone of the song.

He’s also announced that “Mr. Tillman” is indeed from his fourth album, God’s Favorite Customer, due on June 1. Unlike with his previous records, there’s no rambling self-penned press release this time, just a standard one. It was produced by Tillman and recorded with Jonathan Rado, Dave Cerminara, and Trevor Spencer and was “written largely in New York between Summer 2016 and Winter 2017.” This is the first FJM LP that Jonathan Wilson did not produce. From the three songs released so far, there doesn’t seem to be too much of a sonic disparity from his prior work. Hear for yourself, below…

Father John Misty: web, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Father John Misty video: Mr. Tillman

New Father John Misty song: Mr. Tillman

Audio: Father John Misty – “Mr. Tillman”

Sub Pop did not respond to our inquiry about whether this was a standalone single, or if it is a preview of the fourth FJM album. So who knows? Not sure anybody even cares about albums anymore. Regardless: new Father John Misty.

“Mr. Tillman” is another entry in Mr. Tillman’s collection of self-referential, image hyperconscious, persona-mocking songs.

Mr. Tillman, good to see you again
There’s a few outstanding charges just before we check you in
Let’s see here, you left your passport in the mini fridge
And a message with the desk says here the picture isn’t his
And oh just a reminder about our policy
Don’t leave your mattress in the rain if you sleep on the balcony

I’m happy to see he’s being funny again. I prefer these kinds of themes over his “the world is stupid and I need to overcompensate for my lack of education” songs. Degenerate wastoids are far more entertaining than self-righteous street preachers.

Ordinarily, we haven’t been posting audio-only streams, and we probably wouldn’t have posted this one except that the final minute of this video features some hilarious green screen footage of Tillman bumbling around some stock photo stills. And if that isn’t enough for you he’s provided the uncut silent footage for you to remix your own video. Which several people already have…to varying degrees of imagination and artfulness.

Father John Misty: web, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Father John Misty song: Mr. Tillman

New Father John Misty video: Leaving LA

Video: Father John Misty – “Leaving LA”

From Pure Comedy, out now on Sub Pop.

I know I know I know, a thirteen-minute hymn to your own hyper-awareness (a “10 verse chorus-less diatribe”) is self-indulgent horseshit. It’s impossible to argue with that.

And yet…

Try to forget for a sec what a bloated self-righteous asshole Josh Tillman has become, and just listen to the song. Listen to the string arrangement by Gavin Bryars and think of “Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me” or “The Sinking of the Titanic” and just listen.

“Leaving LA” is arranged, performed, and recorded perfectly. It sounds great. It’s a beautiful song even if the sentiment is bitter.

Tillman claims to assume this song will cost him some fans. The “teenage rosebuds” and “college dudes” will “all jump ship” and think, “I used to like this guy but this new shit makes me want to die.” I dunno. Maybe. I’m a couple decades past being a college dude, and I’ll admit I prefer the manic hedonism of Fear Fun over the grumpy cynicism and misanthropy of the more recent stuff, but I’m guessing his core fanbase knows exactly what they’re getting into.

What I find fascinating about Father John Misty in general and this song in particular is Tillman’s quest to find some kind of balance between his onstage persona and his true self. I don’t think that’s a put on. I believe him. I think he honestly struggles with this dichotomy. Maybe everybody in showbiz does, but Tillman is unusually open about it.

Continue reading New Father John Misty video: Leaving LA