Hail Mary (Father John Misty, Pure Comedy review)

Unforgettable. That’s what many of us wish to be. But if we’re all important, then none of us are.

And that’s quite the joke.

 

Father John Misty – Pure Comedy
released April 7, 2017
********* 9/10

Joshua Michael “Josh” Tillman, sometimes known as J. Tillman, and especially in this case, as Father John Misty, is an American singer/songwriter and instrumentalist. He’s been making albums since 2003, with the first eight being under the moniker of J. Tillman. This is the third outing of Father John Misty, preceded by the album I Love You, Honeybear; an affecting and self-dissecting grand gesture that is both smart and heart.

So it makes sense that Pure Comedy would simply raise the up stakes and let us walk on through into themes like post-apocalyptic landscapes, religion, pop culture, and politics. And it does. Hard. Hardcore even.

And maybe it’s my undying love of 90s bands like Harvey Danger, The Presidents of the United States of America, Weezer, Tonic, Jimmy Eat World, Semisonic, Everclear and Third Eye Blind, but doesn’t this guy sound like he could fit right in with those blokes? Without sounding like he was doing the recording itself in the 90s of course. But maybe it’s the confessional nature that really draws me in and makes me want to sit down and pray with him.

With a runtime at about 80 minutes, it’s almost impossible to sit through this in one go (read:meditating for the win), and even more difficult to break it up into separate ideas, though I am going to give it a shot.

Tillman is not alone in his criticisms of world views, namely the problems with our planet and the people that inhabit it, but his dark humour calls back to comedians of the 1970s like Peter Sellers and Monty Python. He wants to be seen as a patron saint of satire, but he is willing to self-efface to earn that mantel. At it’s centre point is the dark and sometimes funny Leaving L.A. It isn’t the best song on the album, but it definitely serves the purpose. The comedy of errors that we call life.

I can personally appreciate the health mix of existential though dashed into this record, because Tillman is no stranger to exploring themes within Pure Comedy. Both an epitaph to the process of art and a lover letter to making music, there is way to much complexity going on here to digest in my ever-so-brief review of it. Take a look at the album artwork for instance, a shining example of the detail involved in a life lived full.  We will likely never experience all of the same things as another person, but that doesn’t mean Birdie can’t try to describe utopia for us.

A criticism without judgment, Pure Comedy is a sermon Father John Misty should be proud to share.

theories Summarized

In listening to this record, I cannot help but think of The Comedian from the graphic novel Watchmen. Toward the end of his days The Comedian unravelled a global plot to change the world. One which would involved the slaughter of millions so that billions could united together against a common, if not fake, threat. It’s all a joke he said, just before he was murdered.

The real joke is that Josh Tillman hasn’t even begun his decline yet – this might just be pure gold.

Tim!

Mama’s Boy, and Girl (Mother Mother, No Culture review)

We gotta cut the strings sometime baby. We can’t rely on our mothers to coddle us forever, growing up just won’t happen otherwise.

This week’s album review salutes those movers of culture.

Mother Mother – No Culture
released February 10, 2017
******** 8/10

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Mother Mother are a Canadian rock group from Vancouver Canada. Yay for Canadian content! Founded by Ryan Guldemond and sister Molly Guldemond when Ryan was in the midst of music school and yearning to start a vocal-driven band that focused on pop. They have released a total of six studio-length albums to-date, four of them with the Last Gang imprint, with the fifth album Very Good Bad Thing and the sixth album No Culture on Universal Music Canada.

I’ve been a fan of Mother Mother since I first saw them live back in 2013 during Sonic Boom at Northlands. They were busy promoting The Sticks, and Infinitesimal was a hot summer track that I loved.

Then came Very Good Bad Thing and more success for the quintet – at this point they were able to climb even higher on the Canadian charts.

If I were to hazard a guess, I would say that No Culture just might be the album that lands them a no. 1 album in Canada and does some breakout work in the American markets. But now I’ll have to back that up with some insights into the the record, I guess. Well, let’s start with the themes explored. This is the first album that Ryan wrote all on his lonesome with the intent of injecting himself into the mix rather than a persona or general ideas. In fact, it was a solution to his own battle with drugs and alcohol, written while he carved up some time in a cabin in the woods fighting his way back to sobriety.

The album has a strong mix of flow-state songs and anxiety inducing numbers. But it’s incredibly emotionally honest, vulnerable and allows the listener the opportunity to interpret what is being presented as they would like. An exploration of how identity often feels very different in isolation then it does when we are out in the public eye OR rather when we presenting ourselves to the world.

 

The album features ten tracks which all have that strong vocal-based sensibility, but in particular my personal favourites are Luck Stuck, Baby Boy, No Culture, and Everything Is Happening.

Opener track Free is notable for its strong percussion and anthemic like qualities. Quickly followed up by Love Stuck (the second single) and The Drugs (the first single) which both maintain that stadium quality, very upbeat with sharp hooks and strong vocals.

When we head into the rest of the album it doesn’t maintain this pace, but the intensity shows up in other ways – Back In School is an ode to pop punk, Mouth of the Devil plays with some dark tones and unified vocals, while Family is a sentimental power ballad.

Also title track No Culture is kind of brilliant.

It focuses on the problems which all artists that work against within the realm of pop music face, the challenge of all style-no substance. And the track makes a lot of allusions to scavengers/predators, while exaggerating how Mother Mothers critics view them. It’s definitely a highlight of the album, which makes up for weaker tracks like Letter and Worry. And I say that knowing that Mother Mother are capable of making slower tracks work for them, Everything Is Happening is one of my favourite songs remember? And how could it not be? They make a reference to the cyclical nature of music and David Bowie.

As a means of praise, and in the style of repetition, I’ll simply write this – keep on, keeping on.

 

 

 

As I close up this review, I recall something my first LT partner used to say to me on occasion when she was upset with my decisions, and which I now can see for the gas-lighting techniques that they are, that I made said decisions just to please my mom. She believed that I had no culture of my own, but that’s just not true, and Mother Mother it’s not that way for you. Either.

This Is The Best, Bedtime Story, Ever (USS Concert)

I’m going to tell you a story about a concert. Okay dear readers?

Once upon a time, a handsome, gallant, and thoughtful young(ish) man decided to take the lady he was courting to see a merry band of musicians from a far away land.

For to woo her and make her upper and nether regions pulse with warm feelings. For he cared deeply for her, but feared to show it. For she was very wise, poetic, and beautiful to behold. But lo, the musicians were to playing in the centre of the shaw, an extravagant building on a hilltop, which looking into the heart of the river and it’s valley.

This meant for the young(ish) man that he would have to take his belle on a futuristic and magical steel vessel which floated on a endless pair of steel beams, many times the length of a spear. Unfortunately the lady was ill prepared for the cold chill of winter, and much to the chagrin of the gentle man, they had to warm her legs over a magical fibre of heat and light in house of hewn stone while they waited for the steel vessel.

But the vessel was not for too long, and surely within less than a moment, the beauteous couple was on their way to see the band known as Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker.

 

At the centre of the shaw many woody folk had arrived thither, and so the pair left their coats with some servants of the house and set about to sample some wares which were for sale in the great halls.16709705_10154238916951932_1154610129_o

It was a mere stipend to acquire the merchandise but the memories the two young lovers were sharing were far more valuable than some silk and cotton mixed together. A couple of fools were there too from a local chamber of commerce, but the braggarts were blocking the privy and the young lady had to give them the highest of fives to get around and find relief.

Once inside the main hall, they were surprised by the size of the space and that all the lords and ladies of the court were in full regal and bouncing at the opportunity to sup on ale while the youth waited behind the gates.

The young lord and lady even entertained a couple of squires from the castle of McMurray, as they downed their ales.

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Then the show was ready to begin – they headed towards the throne and stood in awe as harps, lutes and rebecs, and these odd bowls capped with cowhide which were hit with sticks to produce sounds. The music was moving, lifting, and pushing the crowd of people all around. Smiles were on all faces and the main event had not even graced the crowd with it’s presence.

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The queen of the evening was from a smaller band of musicians known as Repartee, and she kept singing of this duke, someone she must have missed back home. All were quite sorrowful for this golden-haired queen.

But that did not last for long.

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Then the sun shone brighter than it ever has in night, and all were blinded with truth. The Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker’s had finally came on, it was as if the horns of heaven had resounded, men, women and children of all ages came together and sang for which seemed to be all eve, but the morrow never came, it only felt full of time for the music was deep and uplifting.

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Once all was said and done, the two young lovers, more amourous than ever, bid their dues to the crowd, took in a special goodbye with the lady from Repartee, signing contracts of friendship, and made their cold walk home into the winds of winter.

The end.

And that’s not a theory, it’s a story, about something that really happened. So Mysticque and I.

Tim!

Bad Credit (Georg Rockall-Schmidt interview)

I’ve finally done it. I’ve raised my own credibility to such a high level that no one can ever knock me down again.

Wait what am I even saying… I’ve been doing this gig for just over two years and I’m finally starting to get some traction with it. It takes a lot of hard work to make it as a creative professional friends. I say these types of things over and over again, but you’re not going to just be handed things in life.

You have to hustle for them.

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Once you begin the process of the hustle, then you start to slowly see some gains as you invest more time, more effort, and more energy into the thing that you love. Which is why I am not a hero of the underworld, yet.

But I recently made friends with a gentleman that is working hard every day to become an internet darling. Not because he wants fame and fortune, but because he is an artists and he decided to take the ultimate risk and invest in himself. Which like no one does. Ever.

That’s right, he is creating his own reputation by setting aside a “rewarding career and fringe benefits”, slowly eating into his own savings, and eating rice and beans everyday. By living this lifestyle, he has been able to begin the process of generating some amazing video content, on a consistent basis and to the point where he is slowly building a following on YouTube.

I made the mistake of calling him a Professional YouTuber within the first few minutes of our interaction, and he quickly corrected me to say that he is an Early YouTuber, one who is using one of the most popular social media networks in the world to getting his writing out there.

I’ve said it once before already, but Georg Rockall-Schmidt is one of the most awesome people I’ve never met in real life.

And I’ve also already mentioned that Georg is a researcher, a writer and quite bright.

This is an interview about credibility, and it’s what this guy is all about. What resulted in an almost two hour conversation of the ills of Trump and Clinton, what happens when you become homeless, the genius of Channing Tatum, and the difference between nerds and hipsters, has been pared down for your viewing pleasure.

I present to you, with much aplomb, episode thirteen of timotheories interviews.

And as always, if you want to check out more timotheories interviews or the Cross Talk series please visit our YouTube channel.  And please, please, please share this post and of course subscribe to both the blog and channel!

Now let’s talk about connecting – Georg can be reached in a few different ways – YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. And if you really want to get to know him, he really will respond to messages.

Lastly my sincerest thanks to Georg for being genuine, glorious, gooey, and groovy. See you tomorrow with an album review by a starboy.

Tim!

Let’s Get Credible (Georg Rockall-Schmidt preview interview)

We can’t all have good credit scores. Some of us because of circumstances, a lot of us because we made bad decisions about what to buy, but did you know that there are factors you wouldn’t have considered? Your payment history, credit file age, diversity of accounts, and how often searches are pulled, for instance. You do know that a credit score and credibility go hand in hand according to banks, credit card companies, collection agencies, and governments, don’t you dear readers? Credibility is the quality of being trusted and believed in. Or to put it another way, it’s a quality of being convincing or believable.

Perception is reality after all.

You see friends, when people think you’ll keep your word, they are more likely to trust you and let you make decisions. This is something that all good leaders have, salespeople and business operators included. Now this is where you come in – You make art. You love to make art, but you need to be credible in order to sell said art.

And as the old adage goes, it’s easier to ask forgiveness then permission. Especially from someone who is credible.

Once you realize that your public image is just as important as the one that you internally hold up for yourself, you can begin to consider all of the options, just a little more closely. Heck, it even applies to US politics but you’ll see what I mean when you turn on the clip

Oh wait, I forgot to mention, that this is preview of my first ever international interview with Georg Rockall-Schmidt. Georg is one of the most awesome people that I’ve never met in real life. Georg is a full-time creator of YouTube videos. You can find his channel here, but effectively he creates videos about pop culture, history, parody, his personal thoughts on life, and a whole lot more. An English dude with an anti-establishment educations, he believes that credibility defines ideation, and it’s important to him to have self-awareness but to simply leave all of the unnecessary elements out of the equation.

And that’s just a teaser. I have a full-fledged interview coming up in the next week or so featuring more of his incredible insights. This is Just A Thought on all that is Georg Rockall-Schmidt. Sorry for stealing your tagline Georg!

Can you believe it dear readers? I’m out of theories for the night. But just because I’m out of theories for now, doesn’t mean you can’t read more of my own thoughts! Browse the website, leave some comments, subscribe, and share with your creative friends. Otherwise, you should have a fantastic night, because I’ll be back tomorrow with a new Dragonette album review.

Tim!