Is The Joke On Us, Father John Misty?

SERvin’ Up – w/c April 10, 2017

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Father John Misty – Pure Comedy
Future Islands – The Far Field
Here Lies Man – Here Lies Man
Hauschka – What If
Arca – Arca
Sneaks – It’s A Myth
Arto Lindsay – Cuidado Madame
The New Pornographers – Whiteout Conditons
The Tall Grass – Down The Unmarked Road
Adam Gibson & The Ark-Ark Birds – Cities of Spinifex

Folk as social commentary is of course nothing new but while Bob Dylan these days is content to croon his way through the Great American Songbook and stay well away from the complexities of modern life, Father John Misty is diving right in with his new album, Pure Comedy. On Pure Comedy he is execrating in pointed and hilarious ways. He’s on the same level as Kanye West when it comes to telling us about what’s wrong with ourselves and our world – both our own little worlds and the world at large – and he’s very good at it. The difference between Father John Misty and Kanye West though is that while Pure Comedy is populated with a host of characters gorging blithely on the more grotesque acts of consumption and unknowingly plunging into bland but existential crisis, the perpetrator in West’s albums is himself. The niggling thing about Pure Comedy is the podium Father John Misty stands on throughout the duration, pointing our ills out to us from a safe distance. The joke, evidently, is on us. Still, the punchline is worth listening out for.

In my music nerd fantasies I have unashamedly dreamed of unlikely sonic pairings, thinking they could be either plain great or just plain funny. What would Morrissey sound like up front of Gang of Four, for example? I can’t claim Can Halen – check Soundcloud for someone’s brilliant imagining of David Lee Roth upfront of the legendary German rock experimentalists – but I’m not sure anyone’s thought of Jazz Sabbath. Yes, I have devoted time to thinking what the result could be like if some of the 1970s fusion era’s greatest minds came together to play Masters of Reality. Well, it turns out I’m not alone here and in fact somewhat vindicated thanks to Antibalas member Marcos Garcia and his new project, Here Lies Man. Of course Antibalas are one of the prime exponents of Afro-beat in the modern music landscape and Garcia has seemingly been wondering what it would be like if Black Sabbath got down the same way. Hence the self titled debut from Here Lies Man is heavy psych-rock in freaked out co-habitation with heavy percussive funk, dealt out with expert feels. If reality bites, then with Here Lies Man Marcos Garcia is the master of his own fantasy.

Arto Lindsay was in short-lived New York band DNA, feted by Brian Eno as one of the defining bands from that city’s No Wave movement that also spawned Sonic Youth. Since that time, Lindsay has worked with David Byrne, Animal Collective and Tom Waits, three acts whose work that can map the strange but wonderful co-ordinates Lindsay has mapped out with his own. DNA embraced the notion of punk rock by simultaneously rejecting it, injecting the interplay of jazz, funk and avant-garde music into disjointed noise assaults spat out with scattershot but intoxicating rhythms. Unusual time signatures remains a focus well into Arto Lindsay’s 60s, but in recent years has explored the sounds of his Brazilian heritage beautifully, if not purely, as shown on his latest album Cuidado Madame. The Brazilian pop fostered by the conic likes of Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso is the focus here, but recast and revised through Lindsay’s restless ways with electronica and experimental playfulness. The result is never less than singular and charming,

Also, new tunes from Jess Locke, Broken Social Scene and Astral Skulls.

Enjoy it all on 2SER,


Sunday 16th of April, 2017

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