William Blake wrote, in "Auguries of Innocence", about mankind's potential 'To see a World in a grain of sand/ And a Heaven in a Wild Flower/ Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand/ And Eternity in an hour.' To be fair, I haven't got a clue what he was on about. If I had to speculate, I would say that it was something about the rare capacity to distillate the life's vast unfathomableness into poignant and relevant lines. Father John Misty's "Pure Comedy" doesn't quite crystallise eternity in its hour and fourteen minutes, but it demystifies our 21st Century omnishambles in no uncertain terms.
An American telling us life sucks? Didn't Holden Caulfield get in there 66 years ago? He did, but he moaned about others being phoneys, when it was clear that he was the biggest turd in the sewer. Here, our self-loathing narrator includes himself as part of society's demise, also citing the mass media, social media, organised religion, conspicuous consumerism and politics as toxic dehumanisers. When America has the DTs and dystopian literature has been re-labelled 'non-fiction', "Pure Comedy" is a timely digest of all that we must question about ourselves.
The album opens with the title track, and 'The comedy of man starts like this,/ Our brains are way too big for our mothers' hips'. Nature's compromise is that 'we emerge half-formed' and forlornly hope that whoever is on the other side 'is kind enough to fill us in'. "Ballad of the Dying Man" unfortunately suggests that we will be purely in the hands of 'Idiots, dilettantes and fools', meaning that 'we leave as clueless as we came'. The titular dying man is no hero, himself suitably enfeebled that he 'checks his news feed to see what he's about to miss' immediately before expiring. Our apathetic televisual stupefaction is exposed in "Total Entertainment Forever" with the image of historians finding us 'in our homes,/ Plugged into our hubs,/ Skin and bones.' It commences with a typically sh*t-stirring Josh Tillman line about bedding Taylor Swift - the resultant media kerfuffle somewhat proving the song's point.
Continue reading: Father John Misty - Pure Comedy Album Review
The Dorset festival returns with a varied mix of americana, folk, indie and psychedelia.
The first acts have been announced for this year's End Of The Road Festival in Dorset. The end of summer bash will host headliners Father John Misty and Mac De Marco, who top an eclectic bill which includes the multi-Grammy award winning singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams, indie troupers Real Estate, Scottish rockers The Jesus And Mary Chain, Malian husband and wife duo Amadou & Mariam, glam rock protégés The Lemon Twigs, and much more.
Mac De Marco's slot will be his only UK festival appearance this year, while Father John Misty is set to make his UK festival headline debut at the event. Both acts are set to release new material this year, with Father John Misty's Pure Comedy set for release in April, and De Marco's This Old Dog due to come out in May. The final headliner is yet to be announced. Last year saw Joanna Newsom, Cat Power and Animal Collective head the event.
Continue reading: First Acts Announced For End Of The Road Festival 2017
Ben Walton picks out ten of his favourite albums of 2015
10. Metz - II
Toronto's Metz returned with their obviously titled second outing this year, offering up a relentless 30 minute blitzkrieg of feedback riddled guitars and pounding drums. They didn't make any huge changes to their usual formula, but II adds some impressive new tunes to the bands back catalogue, including the unhinged opener Acetate, the aggressive dirge of Spit You Out and the blistering I.O.U. Metz are an incredible force and are fast cementing themselves as, if not the best guitar band on the planet right now, then certainly the noisiest.
9. Ringo Deathstarr - Pure Mood
For a few years now, Ringo Deathstarr have plied their trade as a solid, if fairly unremarkable shoegaze act, but on Pure Mood - their third album in four years - their time spent touring with The Smashing Pumpkins has rubbed off, and the grunge dial has been turned all the way around to 10. There's big riffs aplenty splashed all over Heavy Metal Suicide and guitar histrionics in Guilt. This album is a huge step forward for Ringo Deathstarr.
Continue reading: Ben Walton's Top Albums Of 2015
Andy Peterson's picks his top albums of 2015
10. King Midas Sound ft. Fennesz- Edition #1
Kevin Martin (AKA The Bug), poet Roger Robinson and singer Kiki Hitomi joined forces with Viennese avant garde composer Christian Fennesz to chart almost certainly the most enveloping travelogue of the year. The journey itself proved deep and magical.
9. Gengahr - A Dream Outside
One of the features on 21st century music is how 2nd and 3rd generation disciples of truly great bands - in this case golden oldies like the Beach Boys and Teenage Fanclub - are managing to make their inspirations sound so cool. London quartet Gehgahr replaced the now departed retro-future outfit Avi Buffalo in our hearts, to great effect.
Continue reading: Andy Peterson's Top 10 Albums Of 2015
Josh Tillman, better known as his cool, charismatic, sarcastic and relentlessly sexy alter-ego Father John Misty is currently embarking on his tour for his second album I Love You, Honeybear. Released in February of this year, it merges both the beautiful and brutal honesty of love in all its forms. It touches on the adoration of your loved one when by yourself with them, to the self-loathing and paranoia one may develop in relation to that and every funny minutiae of detail in between. It's lovely, melodramatic, truthful, heartfelt, meta and bloody hilarious. That's the condensed review of the album and description of its creator, so you can imagine how good it and he is. If you haven't listened to it yet make sure you rectify that immediately.
Father John Misty's music has the capacity to draw in an incredibly diverse crowd. His soaring and crooning vocals alongside the bands beautiful composition juxtaposed with his ridiculous, LasVegas-esque caricature and witticisms draws in those who take him more seriously than he would ever care anyone to, those who find him hilarious, couples who he resonates with both young and old, and fundamentally, people who either want to sleep with him or learn how to become him (mostly they desire both). That aside, everyone is there simply because this man, Father John Misty, Josh Tillman or otherwise, knows how to perform.
He was welcomed warmly to the stage as he broke into the title track I Love You, Honeybear while he spread across a stage which seemed frustratingly too small for him. Lifting the mic stand above and around his neck and dropping down to his knees and gyrating into the air there was little to do but be absolutely mesmerised by his captivating stage presence from the moment he sauntered into view. After a couple of songs he briefly talks about spending the day in Sheffield and describing it as "absolutely lovely" (as a first time visitor myself, that is the most apt description of the city), interestingly, it seemed as he let his guard down a little bit and somehow sprung more into his eccentricity by the time he performed When You're Smiling and Astride Me and instantly merging it with a Fear Fun favourite I'm Writing a Novel.
Continue reading: Father John Misty - Plug, Sheffield, 26th October 2015 Live Review
What's to look forward to with this year's Green Man?
Tickets for Green Man Festival 2015 are now totally sold-out, and looking at this year's stellar line-up so far, there's no surprise there. With just eleven weeks to go, Green Man continue to unveil more upcoming surprises, so we take a look at what we know so far.
There's already a ton of great acts listed to play at the Brecon Beacons event in Wales, with a bill headed by Oklahoma singer St. Vincent, London collective Hot Chip, who have just released their newest album 'Why Make Sense?', and local Welshmen Super Furry Animals.
Producer Emile Haynie teams up with Andrew Wyatt, Lana Del Rey, Brian Wilson and others.
Grammy winning record producer Emile Haynie makes a career turning point by unleashing his first album as a recording artist, 'We Fall', complete with collaborations with some of the biggest talent in the music industry today. But who exactly is he?
Emile Haynie releases debut album 'We Fall'
His name will be doubtlessly familiar to those fans of the rap world, having began his career in hip hop, but now he's set to make waves as a songwriter, enlisting some of the greatest vocalists and performers to work with him on his first release; an impressive feat for someone who started out working in a home studio in New York before dropping out of school. Luckily, it wasn't long before his work was picked up by Proof from D-12, who introduced him to Eminem, and the rest is history. He won a Grammy after producing Eminem's album 'Recovery', went on to discover Kid Cudi and worked with some of the world's greatest rappers including Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg to name but a few.
Continue reading: Who Is Emile Haynie? New Album 'We Fall' Features Some Impressive Guests