Union Transfer


Father John Misty

WXPN 88.5 Welcomes ...

Father John Misty

King Tuff

Wed, April 1, 2015

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Union Transfer

Philadelphia, PA

Sold Out

This event is all ages

Father John Misty
Father John Misty
When discussing 'Father John Misty', Tillman paraphrases Philip Roth: 'It's all of me and none of me, if you can't see that, you won't get it'. What I call it is totally arbitrary, but I like the name. You've got to have a name. I never got to choose mine."

He goes on, "'People who make records are afforded this assumption by the culture that their music is coming from an exclusively personal place, but more often than not what you hear are actually the affectations of an 'alter-ego' or a cartoon of an emotionally heightened persona," says Josh Tillman, who has been recording/releasing solo albums since 2003 and who recently left Seattle's Fleet Foxes after playing drums from 2008-2011. "That kind of emotional quotient isn't sustainable if your concern is portraying a human-being made up of more than just chest-beating pathos. I see a lot of rampant, sexless, male-fantasy everywhere in the music around me. I didn't want any alter-egos, any vagaries, fantasy, escapism, any over-wrought sentimentality. I like humor and sex and mischief. So when you think about it, it's kind of mischievous to write about yourself in a plain-spoken, kind of explicitly obvious way and call it something like 'Misty'. I mean, I may as well have called it 'Steve'".

Musically, Fear Fun consists of such disparate elements as Waylon Jennings, Harry Nilsson, Arthur Russell, "All Things Must Pass," and "Physical Graffiti," often within the same song. Tillman's voice has never been better and often sounds like Roy Orbison, "The Caruso of Rock", at his most joyous, while the music maintains a dark, mysterious and yet conversely playful, almost Dionysian quality. Lyrically, his absurdist fever dreams of pain and pleasure elicit, in equal measures, the blunt descriptive power of Bukowski or Brautigan, the hedonist-philosophy of Oscar Wilde and the dried-out wit of Loudon Wainwright III.

The album began gestating during what Tillman describes as an "immobilizing period of depression", in his former Seattle home. "Songwriting for me had always only been interesting and necessary because I saw it as this vehicle for truth, but I had this realization that all I had really done with it was lick my wounds for years and years, and become more and more isolated from people and experiences. I don't even like wound-licking music, I want to listen to someone rip their arm off and beat themselves with it. I don't believe that until now I've ever put anything at risk in my music. I was hell-bent on putting my preciousness at stake in order to find something worth singing about."

He continues, "I lost all interest in writing music, or identifying as a 'songwriter'. I got into my van with enough mushrooms to choke a horse and started driving down the coast with nowhere to go. After a few weeks, I was writing a novel, which is where I finally found my narrative voice. The voice that is actually useful.

"It was a while before that voice started manifesting in a musical way, but once I settled in the Laurel Canyon spider-shack where I'm living now, I spent months demoing all these weird-ass songs about weird-ass experiences almost in real-time, and kind of had this musical 'Oh-there-I-am' moment, identical to how I felt when I was writing the book. It was unbelievably liberating. I knew there was never any going back to the place I was writing from before, which was a huge relief. The monkey got banished off my back."

Tillman brought the demos to LA producer/songwriter/pal Jonathan Wilson, and in February 2011 began recording at his home-studio in Echo Park. "Initially, the idea was to just kind of recreate the demos with me playing everything, since they were pretty fleshed out and sounded cool, but a place like LA affords you a different wealth of talent, potential, etc than just about anywhere else. I realized what was possible between Jonathan's abilities, and the caliber of musicians that are just hanging around LA, pretty quickly. People were coming in and out of the studio all day sometimes, and other days, it would just be Jonathan and I holed up, getting stoned, and doing everything.

"I was honest with myself about what music actually excites my joy-glands when I was considering the arrangements and instrumentation," says Tillman. "As opposed to what's been enjoyable to me in the past – namely, alienating people or making choices based on what I think people won't like or understand. Pretty narcissistic stuff."

When asked about Laurel Canyon, where he eventually ended up living in the aforementioned tree-house with a family of spiders, Tillman says, "My attitude about it all is pretty explicit in the record. Given my fairly adversarial personal attitude about the music and aesthetic that comes from that place, it's kind of a huge joke that I live in a former hippie-fantasy land. I have a really morbid sense of humor."

Phil Ek (who everyone knows has worked with Built To Spill, Modest Mouse, Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes) heard the rough versions of the album in May 2011 and offered his services to mix. "Phil and I have known each other for a while by virtue of Fleet Foxes, so he was familiar with my music, but we had never discussed working together. I think he immediately recognized the shift in my writing and singing from a producer and friend's standpoint. His excitement is really evident in mixes, I think."
King Tuff
King Tuff
King Tuff’s new record is called Black Moon Spell.
It was produced and recorded by Bobby Harlow at Studio B in Los Angeles, California, in the hot winter of 2014.

No one involved was prepared to make a record, but an invisible hand pushed them to do it. Perhaps it was God or that special someone we all know and love called The Devil.

God and The Devil actually have very similar interests. They both love electric guitars and they both want you to listen to Black Moon Spell and freak the fuck out.

There were many strange occurrences during the recording session- Dracula landlords, flashes of mysterious light, haunted microphones, songs that mixed themselves, demonic vortexes swirling in coffee cups, etc.

Under the Black Moon Spell you may experience euphoria, demented visions, wet dreams, bouts of backwards laughter, and dazed confusion resulting in primordial dancing.

Fire played a very important role in the making of this album. King Tuff loves fire.

For some reason, no one can really explain how the Black Moon Spell came to be. It just appeared one day and demanded heavy rock music and meatball subs.

Backwards messages may be found on this record.

Los Angeles, full of its screaming coyotes and creeping helicopters, surely slathered its sexy, twisted, hairy, polluted spirit all over Black Moon Spell. The Sunset Strip shat itself when it heard all these guitar solos.

A lot of people always ask King Tuff when he’s gonna put out a new record. The answer is September 23, 2014.

Can you feel the Black Moon Spell creeping up the back of yr neck yet?

King Tuff would prefer not to tell you the full story of making this record because its long and crazy and you wouldn’t believe him anyway. Also, I am King Tuff.

Magic Jake, who played bass and is beautiful like sunshine, would like to take this moment to give you a hug and invite you to a tanning party on a beach of your choice.

Old Gary, who plays drums and has the most glorious cackle, would like to take this moment to crack a cold one with you and invite you to watch the old ballgame with him.

Old Gary was out watching the old ballgame, so a wild critter named Ty Segall played drums on the song “Black Moon Spell”. Ty enjoys speaking in a goblin voice in his spare time.

Night fell on Studio B. A Tarot card leapt from the deck and said, “No human judgement is of any value here.” King Tuff agreed.

Sub Pop first discovered King Tuff curled up in his palace in Vermont. It was basically a shit hut made of moss, mud, and glimmering stones hidden near the graveyard, and it was guarded by beautiful wild bullfrogs with silver fangs and baseball bats.

Punx, Squares, Skaters, Farmers, Bartenders, Grandparents, Stoners, Carpenters, Hobos, Heshers, Babes, Babies, Plumbers, Strippers, Art Teachers, Teenagers, Townies, Moms, Dads, Truck Drivers, and Witches will all love this record.

Every song on Black Moon Spell was written without giving a shining fuck about nothing.

Listen to Black Moon Spell, turn yr volume knob up to 666, put yr lover in a 69, and let yr inner grinagog rear it’s wicked, unwashed, smiling snake head.

Listen to Black Moon Spell and give yr ears what they’ve been begging for all year; a heavily weird, heavenly dark, hysterically magical Rock & Roll Sexperience.

ps. the only part of this story that isn’t true is the part about the shit hut. I actually was living at my parents house when i was discovered. Love, KT
Venue Information:
Union Transfer
1026 Spring Garden St.
Philadelphia, PA, 19123