Tag Archives: Father John Misty

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Har Mar Superstar Hosts Holiday Show Tonight

December 17th, 2013

More than a decade ago, Sean Tillmann decided to leave behind indie guitar rock for a more crowd-pleasing, sex-charged version of R&B. And performing, often shirtless, as the dynamic Har Mar Superstar, he found a newer, bigger audience. Since then, he’s moved from Minnesota to New York City and hit the road with bands like the Strokes, Father John Misty and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Har Mar Superstar (above, doing one of the year’s top singles, “Lady You Shot Me”) put out his most acclaimed album, Bye Bye 17 (stream it below), this past spring, and after performing across Europe, he returns home to host the Obnoxiously Non-Denominational Holiday Party tonight at The Bowery Ballroom. And since it is a fiesta, Har Mar has guests: Lizzo, Computer Magic, See Through and DJ Jenny Eliscu.

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Father John Misty Plays a Pair of Weekend Solo Shows

October 16th, 2013

Chances are that prior to last year you either knew of Joshua Tillman as the drummer for Fleet Foxes or as the solo artist J. Tillman. But things blew up for him in 2012 with the release of the Jonathan Wilson–produced Fear Fun (stream it below) under the name Father John Misty. Playing a freak folk smoothed out with a little bit of California sunshine—no doubt a direct result of leaving Seattle for L.A.’s Laurel Canyon (“Look out, Hollywood, here I come,” he sings in “Funtimes in Babylon”)—Tillman enjoyed the best reviews of his career, invoking heady comparisons to Gram Parsons and Harry Nilsson, in making the kind of music the Consequence of Sound says provides “an aural parallel to a drug and whiskey afterglow.” Since debuting at Mercury Lounge last May, Father John Misty (above, performing “Hollywood Forever Cemetery” for Minnesota Public Radio) has steadily grown in popularity. And now he’s back in town for two solo shows, bringing his hip-shaking, pelvic-thrusting good times to Town Hall on Friday night and Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday night.

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Father John Misty Dazzles Terminal 5

July 25th, 2013

Father John Misty/Wild Nothing – Terminal 5 – July 24, 2013


Quite a crowd gathered in the vastness of Terminal 5 last night to see a double bill of indie-rock/dream-pop band Wild Nothing and folk maestro Father John Misty. And we weren’t disappointed. Both acts managed to fill the caverns of one of New York City’s larger music venues with excellent music. Wild Nothing frontman Jack Tatum sauntered onstage with his four-person band to deliver a dreamy set filled with the crowd’s favorite songs. His lyrics are distinctly straightforward and he gracefully pairs the words with floating synth-filled instrumentation. Wild Nothing’s music, like the venue it filled last night, is very spacious. The set was a luxurious listening experience complete with material from all across Tatum’s extensive repertoire.

The stage was transformed into a psychedelic playground for Josh Tillman, the man behind Father John Misty. He entered in his signature mercurial manner, clad in a white suit and sunglasses with a cigarette in his hand and a wide grin on his face. Backed by five bandmates, Tillman kicked off the set with an up-tempo version of “Funtimes in Babylon,” followed by “Only Son of the Ladiesman,” during which he got into some crowd-pleasing microphone acrobatics. The audience swayed happily to Tillman’s bittersweet ballad “Nancy from Now On” and cheered for the honky-tonk aura he assumed during “I’m Writing a Novel” and “Misty’s Nightmares 1 & 2.”

The music turned pleasantly melancholic on “This Is Sally Hatchet,” “Well, You Can Do It Without Me” and “Now I’m Learning to Love the War.” And Tillman kept up the witty banter to the crowd’s happy satisfaction. Renditions of  “Tee Pees 1-12” and “Everyman Needs a Companion” followed, and “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” had everyone singing along exuberantly. The audience was drawn to Tillman like bugs to a shining light on a summer night. The band left the stage briefly, clearly expecting cheers. Father John Misty and Co. returned for a short encore, with the frontman requesting that the disco ball be switched on. They finished with a cover of the Beatles’ “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” and a new tune, “I Love You, Honey Bear.” Tillman graciously exited the stage, assuring us he would be back soon. I, for one, look forward to it. —Schuyler Rooth

Photos courtesy of Jeremy Ross | jeremypross.com

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Catch Father John Misty Tomorrow Night at Terminal 5

July 23rd, 2013

Chances are that prior to last year you either knew of Joshua Tillman as the drummer for Fleet Foxes or as the solo artist J. Tillman. But things blew up for him in 2012 with the release of the Jonathan Wilson–produced Fear Fun (stream it below) under the name Father John Misty. Playing a freak folk smoothed out with a little bit of California sunshine—no doubt a direct result of leaving Seattle for L.A.’s Laurel Canyon (“Look out, Hollywood, here I come,” he sings in “Funtimes in Babylon”)—Tillman enjoyed the best reviews of his career, invoking heady comparisons to Gram Parsons and Harry Nilsson, in making music the Consequence of Sound says provides “an aural parallel to a drug and whiskey afterglow.” Since debuting at Mercury Lounge last May, Father John Misty (above, performing “Nancy from Now On” on Conan, and, below, covering the Flaming Lips’ “Do You Realize” for the A.V. Club) has played a bigger venue upon each subsequent New York City visit: Music Hall of Williamsburg and The Bowery Ballroom and then Webster Hall. And now he’s back in town, bringing his hip-shaking, pelvic-thrusting good time to Terminal 5 tomorrow night.

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Jenny O. Plays Mercury Lounge Tomorrow Night

July 1st, 2013

She hails from Long Island, but singer-songwriter Jenny O. began making a name for herself in her adopted hometown, Los Angeles (“I feel a lot freer in California to make what I want to make”), sometimes playing solo acoustic shows and also performing with a full backing band. Her first EP, Home, filled with charming, personal tunes, began to introduce her to a wider audience—as did last year’s tour with Father John Misty. Now she’s crisscrossing the country in support of her debut album, Automechanic (stream it below), released earlier this year and produced by the talented Jonathan Wilson (a House List favorite). Fortunately for us, her current tour brings Jenny O. (above, playing “Well OK Honey” for Jam in the Van) to Mercury Lounge tomorrow night. Go check her out.

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Five Questions … with Har Mar Superstar

March 29th, 2013

More than a decade ago, Sean Tillmann decided to leave behind indie guitar rock for a more crowd-pleasing, sex-charged version of R&B. And performing, often shirtless, as the dynamic Har Mar Superstar, he found a newer, bigger audience. Since then, he’s moved from Minnesota to New York City and hit the road with bands like the Strokes, Father John Misty and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Har Mar Superstar (above, performing “EZ Pass”) has a new album, Bye Bye 17, out next month, and ahead of his show on Monday at The Bowery Ballroom with the Virgins, he exchanged e-mails with The House List while on a long drive through the Midwest where he revealed himself to be a fan of Deniece Williams“Let’s Hear It for the Boy” (“Footloose, bro”) and Philly rockers Free Energy, plus he answered Five Questions.

What’s the best part of playing New York City?
I love taking a taxi home from the show. It gives me whole new levels of partying possibilities. The show always benefits from that luxury.

Living in NYC, is there any special relevance to playing The Bowery Ballroom?
The Bowery Ballroom is one my favorite places to see shows. It’s a classic. It feels like homecoming playing there mid-tour. People are always impressed when you tell them you’re playing there.

Your fifth Har Mar album, Bye Bye 17, comes out next month. When you release new music is there some sense of relief that it’s done, or is it really just the beginning and you’re excited to play the new tunes live?
This is definitely just the beginning. I love playing live, and new songs make it so much more exciting. Bye Bye 17 is particularly exciting because the response has been huge and immediate. The songs make people pay attention.

After all these years on the road, what have you learned to make touring easier?
Touring with your friends makes everything easier. Stay at hotels with free breakfast.
Get stoned.

Do you have to be depressed to write a sad song? Do you have to be in love to write a love song? Is a song better when it really happened to you?
Love songs are best when they’re sad. Real-life experience helps you channel the emotions. Next time someone tears your heart out, write a love song. It feels good. —R. Zizmor

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Father John Misty Delivers the Fun

January 15th, 2013

Father John Misty – Webster Hall – January 14, 2013


You may know of him as J. Tillman or as the drummer of Fleet Foxes, but today he goes by the more papal moniker Father John Misty. And while Father John Misty may not have any formal ties to the Catholic Church, he came to Webster Hall on a dreary Monday night in the dead of winter ready to preach the fine virtues of some damn fine folksy blues. In the months he’s been on tour since the release of his debut Father John Misty album, Fear Fun, last April (he’s recorded several other solo albums as J. Tillman), his songs have taken on a life beyond their recorded versions. “I’m Writing a Novel” has developed into a knee-slapping romper with that classic-rock drive behind it. His pleas of “Jesus Christ, girl!” alongside the soul-melting guitar riffs at the start of “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” had enough power behind them to bring observers to their knees.

Tillman makes it no secret that performing all this was great fun. His tall, lanky body, tangled-marionette dance moves and too-hot-for–Ed Sullivan hip gyrations make for a show all on their own. Such over-the-top stage moves make for the perfect complement to his playful songwriting. It’s also a hell of a lot easier to have fun in a crowd when the person singing onstage is unabashedly dancing his ass off. Having played through most of Fear Fun, Father John Misty went with a cover of Canned Heat’s “On the Road Again” as his encore. And now that he’s played a few shows in New York City, it might take a new album to bring back Father John Misty again. But maybe by then we’ll be calling him a saint. —Dan Rickershauser

Photos courtesy of Mike Benigno | mikebenigno.wordpress.com

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Petty Fest – Webster Hall – October 24, 2012

October 25th, 2012


Photos courtesy of Joe Papeo | www.irocktheshot.com

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Father John Misty Sells Out

October 25th, 2012

Father John Misty – The Bowery Ballroom – October 24, 2012


Known to many as the former Fleet Foxes drummer, Josh Tillman has successfully launched a solo career as Father John Misty. In an interview this spring on KCRW, he revealed the moniker was a red herring for his obvious creative shift. “The name was really just something that I could just live with because it doesn’t have any meaning. Meaning doesn’t age very well. Absurdity does in my mind, so I just wanted to go with something malleable and absurd and a name that could be manipulated,” he explained. And last night at a sold-out Bowery Ballroom, Tillman, certainly an eccentric, did not disappoint.

Tillman opened the evening with a diatribe about crowds often yelling, “Fire,” but at concerts it tends to be “Bruce Springsteen.” An odd tangent coming off playing Petty Fest at Webster Hall earlier in the evening. Tillman’s lithe frame was quickly on display as his gesticulations commanded the beginning of “Funtimes in Babylon,” with his head thrown back against the blue and purple lights. Between “Only Son of the Ladies’ Man” and “Nancy from Now On,” he ordered the disco ball to be turned on. And Tillman continued his unique dancing, including sequences of Freddie Mercury–like shimmying to the honky-tonk of “I’m Writing a Novel” and rag-doll flaying to “This Is Sally Hatchet.”

“If I wanna run this show off the rails, it’s my job,” exclaimed Tillman. Thankfully, it didn’t come to that. With the close of the show, the audience was completely engulfed in Tillman’s stage presence, joining along in dance and song for “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings.” Having already covered the bulk of his recent release, Fear Fun, the encore was a duo of covers: Bing Crosby’s “Nevertheless (I’m in Love with You)” and Canned Heat’s “On the Road Again.” Needless to say, the folks lucky enough to enjoy the show were not disappointed. —Sharlene Chiu

Photos courtesy of Mike Benigno | mikebenigno.wordpress.com

(Father John Misty plays Webster Hall on 1/14.)

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Cut Loose with the Music of Tom Petty Tonight at Webster Hall

October 24th, 2012

You know who has a million great songs you probably already know by heart? Tom Petty. The guy’s a legendary hitmaker who’s been making music to raucously sing along to since 1976. Blues, roots, rock, country. You name it, he’s done it. And tonight at Webster Hall, the Cabin Down Below Band—the same guys behind Dylan Fest and Stones Fest—are having a party to celebrate his music. And they won’t go it alone. Far from it! Expect guests galore, like Father John Misty, Andrew W.K., Justin Townes Earle, Delta Spirit, Karen Elson, Ryan Miller of Guster, Jody Porter of Fountains of Wayne, Caveman, Petter Ericson Stakee of Alberta Cross and lots, lots more. As an added bonus, 100 percent of ticket proceeds will benefit the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund and the Musicians Cancer Fund. And a word of advice: You might want to take a sick day tomorrow.

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Father John Misty – Mercury Lounge – May 18, 2012

May 21st, 2012


Photos courtesy of Chris Becker | www.artistsweetsbecker.us

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Jenny O/Father John Misty – Ace Hotel – May 18, 2012

May 21st, 2012


Photos courtesy of Chris Reddish