Tag Archives: father john misty

New Music of March & April

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The second of six installments focusing on the new music of 2017 and only a month late, which means I’m regressing!

My favorite album for the months of March and April was Spoon’s Hot Thoughts.  I am a believer that everyone has a band or singer they don’t listen to because of the lead singer’s voice.  I have heard this about Pearl Jam, Radiohead, LIVE, Cloud Nothings, etc.  For me that band has been Spoon.  Whenever I heard a Spoon song on the radio, I always dug what they were doing musically, just not Britt Daniel’s voice.  I have never been able to nail down what it is about his voice that does not resonate with my ears.

With Hot Thoughts I told myself I had to give it a listen, my first full length listen of a Spoon album.  I came to realize just how unique Spoon is; in all of my music listening I have not heard a band quite like them.  Their ability to shift from one sound to another within the context of their album is unlike anyone else in rock right now.  With each listen of this album I find something new to dig my teeth into.  I look forward to delving into the rest of their catalog.

Other albums that have sonically crossed through my earway in March and April:

  • Electric Guest – Plural – Los Angeles duo putting forth their own unique blend of pop, rock, disco, and soul. The singles I have heard of theirs on WEQX have always got my foot tapping, which includes lead single from this album Back For Me.  For some reason though, this album just didn’t do it for me.  While the album sounds great, the songs just don’t strike a chord with these ears of mine.
  • Father John Misty – Pure Comedy – the third album from the provocateur singer/songwriter in which he fully lays out the state of the world, both ours and his, in a surprisingly unnoticeable hour and fourteen minutes. Misty’s previous album, I Love You, Honeybear, was my favorite album of 2015 and I was very interested to see what Father John would come up with this time around.  Much like the new Japandroids album, I am not sure that I like this one better than his previous release, but it feels like the right album for him to release at the right time.  While previous albums had a more tongue in cheek, biographical feel, this album comes from a more melancholy place as Father John steps back and takes a look at the world around him.
  • The Feelies – In Between – I came across this album on a new release list and mistook their name for another band I had heard of, The Weepies. However, I am pleased with this mental lapse of mine.  The Feelies have a long and deep history in rock that I never knew of.  If you are an influence on R.E.M. you are a-okay in my book.  I have yet to explore their discography that starts in 1980, but am very much looking forward to it.  Due to a band hiatus, this is only their sixth studio release.  This is a very solid album with a laid back feel that encourages the listener to come closer and enjoy the intricacies of the music and the band that is closing in on forty years together.
  • Grandaddy – Last Place – I had never heard of Grandaddy until a friend mentioned that I should check out their new album, their first in a decade. I have no idea how these guys never appeared on my music radar, I feel like I really missed something.  Awash in lo-fi sounds, the album moves from a rocking beginning to a more melancholy, subdued sound.  Though I am late to the Grandaddy party, I am just glad that I was still able to get in.
  • Karen Elson – Double Roses – seven years removed from her debut, former model turned singer/songwriter Karen Elson returns with her sophomore album. Jack White, Elson’s ex-husband, had a hand in producing her first album as producer and engineer, along with enlisting his bandmates from his various ventures to help on the debut.  On this record it is hard not to listen and hear references to White throughout.  Elson’s heartbreak shines through as she laments over a love and opportunities lost.  I thoroughly enjoyed Elson’s debut album, as I do most albums touched by Jack White, so I wasn’t sure what to expect or what direction Elson might go in on this release.  I was pleasantly surprised that songwriting and production sound as precise as the first album.  Elson enlisted the help of Patrick Carney (the Black Keys & Jack White nemesis), Josh Tillman (aka Father John Misty), Pat Sansone (Wilco), and Laura Marling.  What really sets this album apart from its predecessor, for me at least, is the emotion in Elson’s lyrics and voice.  It hits a nerve that the listener cannot ignore and you can’t help but feel the pain seep through the speakers.
  • Nelly Furtado – The Ride – Furtado is back with her sixth studio album and her first in five years. I was a big fan of her first two albums, especially the second Folklore.  Admittedly, I was a little disappointed with her shift towards straight pop music, but I will never fault an artist for wanting to try something new.  On this new album, Furtado seems to be shooting to meld her two different musical styles and for the most part it pays off.  Though there might not be anything as catchy or popular as Promiscuous, there are still songs that stick in your earhole after listening, such as Sticks and Stones.
  • Pallbearer – Heartless – I don’t typically listen to a lot of metal, but when I do, I really like it when it sounds like Pallbearer. This the third album from the Little Rock, Arkansas quartet is an hour long epic over seven songs of persistently attacking riffs, thunderous drums and bass, and lead singer Brett Campbell’s captivating voice.  If you are any type of fan of metal, put this album at the top of your must listen list and Pallbearer is a band to keep an eye on in the future.
  • Pontiak – Dialectic of Ignorance – ninth studio album from Van, Jennings, and Lain, the Carney brothers from Virginia. Offering up their blend of heavy, melodic psych rock.  On this endeavor, the shortest song comes in a shade under four minutes and thirty seconds, as the brothers take the listener on an eight song voyage through the sludge, and I mean that in the most complimentary way, of their sound, with three part harmony guiding the way.  For any hard/psych rock aficionados this band is a must listen.
  • Priests – Nothing Feels Natural – first full length album from the Washington DC quartet known for their post punk raucous sound. I was told to check this band out by the proprietor of Pint Sized (go visit their shops!) and I am glad I did.  Though not familiar with their first EP to see how the music has differed, if at all, I was drawn in by the rowdiness of the songs and their ability to shift gears and dynamics.  Listening to this album reminds me of Sonic Youth in their heyday.

Music 2015

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There are so many people that have helped influence and shape the different types of music I listen to.  I like to think that I give every genre a fair listen and then decide if it is for me or not.  I try my best to not have any preconceived notions about a band or style of music and how it will make me feel or what emotions it might elicit.

It all starts with my parents, growing up my Mom listened to country music such as Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, etc. and female pop singers such as Madonna and Whitney Houston.  In the meantime my Dad introduced me to classic rock groups Queen, The Who, and Alice Cooper.  I can still remember being enamored with my parents’ 8-Track collection and thumbing through what they owned and thinking that all of these bands and singers were larger than life.

At the same time, my uncles, who I revered so much because they were only five and six years older than I, were into the hair metal that was so prominent at the time.  Fortunately neither of them had the hair to prove their merit in the scene.  Not that there was any type of scene in Newcomb in the 1980’s.  From them I was introduced to Poison, Whitesnake, Bon Jovi, and Motley Crue.

As I moved up through Newcomb Central School I was fortunate to have teachers who had a strong love of music and wanted to share it with their students.  Mr. Stengrevics, the music teacher and conductor of the stage band, played all sorts of music for us that deviated from what was popular at the time.  From him I gained an appreciation, though it would be years before I realized it, for classical, big band, and jazz music.

Mr. Duggan, the business teacher, was a huge Beatles fan who would show us their music and even pull out the guitar to play us a song or two every once in a while.  Mr. Wight, the shop teacher, would let us listen to whatever cassettes he had in his room during his architectural drawing class.  These cassettes contained different songs from Elvis Presley, Three Dog Night, Tommy James & The Shondells, etc.  This gave me an appreciation for genres that I had completely dismissed as a know-it-all teenager.

I like to think that everyone I have come across in this life has helped shape where I am at as a music listener.  I am open to all sorts of suggestions, so if you have one, never be afraid to let me know.

As for the year in music, there were a slew of great albums out there to listen to; I had trouble trying to narrow down my favorite.  Modest Mouse finally returned with their first album in eight years.  My Morning Jacket had a very solid album with The Waterfall.  Alabama Shakes, Courtney Barnett, EL VY and Tame Impala all had albums that I considered my favorite for a spell.  But my favorite album of the year was the sophomore effort from Father John Misty, I Love You, Honeybear.  I have decided that my criteria for picking my favorite album consists of how many different songs I think could be my favorite off of the album.  And on this album, almost every song was up for consideration as being my favorite.

When I try to describe Father John Misty to people I am not exactly sure how to go about it.  It usually ends up with me describing him as an acid folk, lounge singer and I know that that description doesn’t do it justice.  I Love You, Honeybear is such a raw and emotive album that bares his life and soul to the listener.  As someone who went to school for English, I am particularly drawn to him as a lyricist.  I enjoy that he is unabashed in his word choices and doesn’t try to censor himself for any reason.  Each song on the album is unique and offers a different musical avenue to take your ears down.

Other albums from 2014 that have tickled my eardrum (along with a link to a Spotify playlist with a song from each album that stood out):

Perry’s Playlist 2015

  • Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color
  • The Arcs – Yours, Dreamily
  • Beach House – Depression Cherry
  • Beach House – Thank Your Lucky Stars
  • Bully – Feels Like
  • Cage The Elephant – Tell Me I’m Pretty
  • Calexico – Edge of the Sun
  • CHVRCHES – Every Open Eye
  • Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit…
  • The Dead Weather – Dodge and Burn
  • Drenge – Undertow
  • Eagles of Death Metal – Zipper Down
  • EL VY – Return To The Moon
  • Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear
  • Florence + The Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
  • Hanni El Khatib – Moonlight
  • Houndstooth – No News From Home
  • Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free
  • Justin Townes Earl – Absent Fathers
  • Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly
  • Kurt Vile – b’lieve i’m going down…
  • Lana Del Rey – Honeymoon
  • Langhorne Slim – The Spirit Moves
  • Leon Bridges – Coming Home
  • Lieutenant – If I Kill This Thing We’re All Going To Eat For A Week
  • Low – Ones and Sixes
  • Mac Demarco – Another One
  • The Maccabees – Marks To Prove It
  • Marian Hill – Sway
  • Mikal Cronin – MCIII
  • Modest Mouse – Strangers to Ourselves
  • MS MR – How Does It Feel
  • My Morning Jacket – The Waterfall
  • Natalie Prass – Natalie Prass
  • Neon Indian – Vegas Intl. Night School
  • Pile – You’re Better Than This
  • Pops Staples – Don’t Lose This
  • Pond – Man It Feels Like Space Again
  • Seasick Steve – Sonic Soul Surfer
  • Speedy Ortiz – Foil Deer
  • Tame Impala – Currents
  • Tanlines – Highlights
  • Turbo Fruits – No Control
  • Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Multi-Love
  • Wilco – Star Wars
  • Will Butler – Policy
  • Wolf Alice – My Love Is Cool