Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Father John Misty- Happy Xmas (War is Over)  (John Lennon cover)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Father John Misty- Only Son of the Ladies’ Man (live on Letterman 2012)

I like this a lot, but I think Josh is still figuring out what to do when he’s not holding a guitar.  I think right here he’s aiming for a folky Tom Jones.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Josh has cut his hair and shaved?  I have female friends who will be disappointed…

Edit: Based on feedback from said females, Josh’s allure remains undiminished.  So you got that going for you, man.

Thursday, February 16, 2012
Album art for Fear Fun, Subpop debut LP from Father John Misty (aka J. Tillman).

Album art for Fear Fun, Subpop debut LP from Father John Misty (aka J. Tillman).

Father John Misty- O I Long To Feel Your Arms Around Me  

Hey, look!  It’s a new project from Josh Tillman, under the new pseudonym of Father John Misty.  It’s coming this spring on Subpop.  Tillman is an established, if obscure, solo artist outside of his work as drummer for Fleet Foxes.  He’s left the Foxes, it seems, to, as he puts it, return to “the gaping maw of obscurity”.  As a lifetime resident, I say welcome back, Josh.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

J. Tillman- World on a String

Someone who’s relationship to music is solely listening to it may have a hard time understanding the impetus for “covering”, and I can understand why someone could see it as unnecessary/narcissistic, but, to me, performing and recording a song yourself can lend a whole new perspective into why you love it. I view [it] as a natural extension.

Where does Josh Tillman find the time?  He’s still a young guy, but he’s got several albums out, including last year’s incredible Singing Ax.  And he’s done two albums with Fleet Foxes now, and a few EPs thrown in.  There’s a fantastic demo cassette floating around the internet, as well as his cover album of Neil Young’s Tonight’s the Night, from which this track is taken.

In a way, I guess he’s a bit like Neil Young himself, who put out an extraordinary number of albums and collaborative projects, especially in his younger days.  Both men have uncanny melodic talents in songwriting, and they share the ability to play sparse solo works and full band arrangements well.  What’s more impressive is that they both possess the sort of voices that are so distinctive, beautiful, and dynamic that their work never gets monotonous or predictable.

Obviously, Tillman is aware of Neil Young, but is Neil Young aware of Tillman?  I’m inclined to think so, since he’s always taken so much interest in the younger generations of musicians.

I’ve posted this link before, but hey, I’ll do it again:  Get your own copy of the cover album here.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Strand of Oaks- Alex Kona

A friend gave me a couple of Strand of Oaks CDs this week, and I am blown away.  It’s shades of J. Tillman and Mark Kozelek.  This track is pretty folky, but there’s also plenty of heavy fuzz going on in other tracks.  It’s intense music with an impossible serenity to it.  I wish I’d managed to catch his gig with Sharon Van Etten last week in Philadelphia.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

J. Tillman- Though I Have Wronged You/Barter Blues

Remember when Neil Young kicked Robert Plant’s ass and took over Led Zeppelin for an evening?  And forced them to stop recording songs about hobbits, and instead record a folk rock epic?  Except he decided to sing like Mark Kozelek?

Neither do I, but apparently Josh Tillman does.  This is the first track of his Daytrotter session from last year.  I’ve been listening to the Iron & Wine session today, and it just so happens that “J. Tillman” follows that alphabetically in my Daytrotter playlist.  I hadn’t listened to it in a little while, and this song overwhelmed the room.  It’s a long one, at over 12 minutes, but at least it’s not about hobbits.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

J. Tillman- Tonight’s the Night

One of the reasons I love J. Tillman is that he does things that I would do, if I only had talent and ambition— like covering the entirety of Neil Young’s classic Tonight’s the Night just for fun, and giving away the demos online.  Actually, this is exactly the sort of thing I do all the time.  But my results are never so beautiful or affecting.  Check out the whole album here.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

J. Tillman- Mere Ornaments

The new album, Singing Ax, is somehow even more intense than his previous album.  It’s up there with Minor Works.  Though it’s not like he’s made a weak album.

It reminds me of a conversation I had about Elliott Smith’s Figure 8.  I told a friend of mine it was my favorite Elliott record, and he said it was maybe his 4th-best favorite.  But, he added, that means it’s a 9-out-of-10.

Anyway, enjoy.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

J. Tillman- Queen of Swing

For a long time, this was the only J. Tillman song I owned.  It’s an old demo I picked up years ago on a mix somewhere, and I think I’ve listened to it a billion times exactly.  Funny thing is, I don’t think I’d say it’s my favorite of his.  And it’s hard to play this for people—  it’s so quiet and slow, and the hushed vocals aren’t really intended for mixed-company listening.

Friday, June 4, 2010

For me, J. Tillman was the artist of the year last year— whatever the hell that even means.  For 4 years, I’ve been teaching myself guitar and building my voice, trying to write the sort of songs I’d really like to hear.   Then I put on a Josh Tillman record, and here was this guy with the same guitar, same attitude toward music and melody, and infinitely more talent at everything than I have.  Sigh.