Father John Misty — „Off~Key In Hamburg“ (March 23, 2020)
• Chesterton napsal: „Pohádky neříkají dětem, že existují draci. Děti vědí, že draci existují. Říkají, že draka lze zabít.“ Včasná připomínka síly a krásy opravdu dobrého koncertu.
Born: 3 May, 1981
Genre: Indie Rock, Singer~Songwriter
Location: Rockville, MD ~ Los Angeles, California
Album release: March 23, 2020
Record Label: Sub Pop / Bella Union
01. Hangout At The Gallows 4:51
02. Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings 3:22
03. Mr. Tillman 3:30
04. Disappointing Diamonds Are The Rarest of Them All 2:30
05. The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apt. 3:35
06. Strange Encounter 4:19
07. Total Entertainment Forever 2:47
08. Things It Would’ve Been Helpful To Know Before The Revolution 4:24
09. Ballad Of The Dying Man 5:03
10. A Bigger Paper Bag 4:34
11. I Went To The Store One Day 4:31
12. Nancy From Now On 3:52
13. Chateau Lobby #4 (In C For Two Virgins) 3:03
14. Please Don’t Die 3:30
15. The Palace 4:12
16. God’s Favorite Customer 5:35
17. Pure Comedy 6:22
18. Holy Shit 4:05
19. I Love You, Honeybear 6:04
20. Leaving LA 12:28
• Recorded Live at the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie on August 8, 2019 with the Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt.
• Daniel Bailey — Drums
• Chris Dixie Darley — Guitars, Keytar, Vocals
• Kyle Flynn — Keyboards
• Corey Lareau — Tenor Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet
• Kelly Pratt — Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Flute, Alto Saxophone
• Eli Thomson — Bass, Synth Bass
• Jon Titterington — Piano
• David Vandervelde — Guitars, Keys, Vocals
• David Beeman — Backline Technician
• Tom Carlson — Tour Manager
• Ryan Doordan — Monitor Engineer / Wine Boy
• Jacob Feinberg — Production Manager / FOH Engineer
• Joel Graves — Stage Manager
• Bailey Griffith — Backline Technician
• Carly Hoskins — Assistant Tour Manager
• Peter Zellan — Lighting Designer
• Detlef Schweizer — Band Bus Driver
• Fritz Bruan — Crew Bus Driver
• Graham Waller — Truck Driver
Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt:
• Astrid Brachtendorf — Trompete
• Norbert Porth — Posaune
• Ralf Hübner — Violine 1a
• Anna~Maria Barth — Violine 1b
• Carlos Cota Lopez — Violine 2a
• Esther Owusu — Violine 2b
• Julia Mangelsdorf — Violine 3a
• Sabina Bogus — Violine 3b
• Pilar Carvajal — Viola 1a
• Olga Hübner — Viola 1b
• Camila Munoz — Viola 2a
• Roland Kleinschmidt — Viola 2b
• Astrid Naegele — Cello 1a
• Ruben Jeyasundaram — Cello 1b
• Mixed by Trevor Spencer at Way Out Studios
• Mastered by Joe Visciano at Studio 112
• Cover Photo: John Ferreira
• Cover Design: Sasha Barr & Josh Tillman
• All songs written by Josh Tillman
• Cripple Creek Ferries (ASCAP)
• Admin by Kobalt Songs Music Publishing
By Leonie Cooper ⌊23rd March 2020⌋ Score: ★★★★
• We’ve all by now accepted that we won’t be going anywhere for a bit, unless it’s to do a socially distant big shop or to glumly run around the park staying the full height of one Peter Crouch away from any other equally glum joggers. Lamentably, one thing we definitely won’t be doing for the foreseeable is going to a gig or festival.
• In these times of recreational and artistic need many artists have been livestreaming shows — last night (March 23) everyone’s favourite cowboy Orville Peck was the latest to join the ranks with a solo Instagram set — but the man also known as Joshua Tillman has instead delved into his archive to entertain the housebound masses (as well as to raise money for the MusiCares COVID~19 Relief Fund, to which the proceeds of this $10 Bandcamp~sold record will go).
• Recorded live at the shiny new Hamburg Elbphilharmonie concert hall on August 8 2019 and with accompaniment not just from Father John Misty’s eight~piece band, but the acclaimed Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt orchestra, ‘Off Key In Hamburg’ is a high~end luxury offering. With no glitchy livestream to contend with or the logistical nightmare that would entail getting a full orchestra together at short notice — not to mention the fact that even an orchestra playing to an empty room would count as a verboten mass gathering — this instead is a sumptuous reminder of those big budget blow~out shows that will happen again one day, but not any time soon.
• A lavish, 20~song banquet with a 90 minute run~time — well, you’ve got the time now, haven’t you? — the album gracefully tracks Misty’s near decade long career progression from sassy folk hero with a one~liner always on hand to simmering philosophical showman and arch cultural commentator.
• Thanks to the sterling work of the Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt, everything here is scattered with a liberal amount of magic dust, elevating it from your normal gig into a swish, Sinatra~style outing. With trilling woodwind and perky brass, ‘Nancy From Now On’ bears more resemblance to a Disney soundtrack than it does the strum~along acoustic BDSM ballad of 2012’s debut ‘Fear Fun’. The grungy stomp of ‘Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings’ now shimmers with the added help of a full string section.
• Even songs that were originally recorded with a more orchestral backing, such as the symphonic title track from 2017’s ‘Pure Comedy’, benefit from the extra~added finesse and man power. The stripped~back final line of “I hate to say it / But each other’s all we’ve got” might have you feeling a touch weepy in the current climate, especially if the last time you saw your mates was via Houseparty rather than in real life.
• The 12 meditative minutes of ‘Leaving LA’ close out the album in bittersweet fashion. As sweeping, sombre strings bed down under Tillman’s acoustic guitar and rolling take~down of his own art, it’s the last lyrics which stand out the most. “I’ve never seen Sunset this abandoned / Reminds me predictably of the world’s end,” he sighs, singing of a deserted Sunset Boulevard in the early hours of New Year’s Day, though he could just as easily be predicting the locked~down street scenes of COVID~19.
• Here’s to experiencing gigs that sound as immaculate as this one in the flesh again just as soon as it’s safe to.
Written by Alyson Camus | March 24, 2020 20:54 pm |
⊕⇒ Father John Misty’s new album, ‘Off~Key In Hamburg’ features 20 songs recorded live at the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie in August 2019 with the Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt and a large band of 8 musicians. The digital album is currently on sale on Misty’s Bandcamp page for the modest sum of $10, while all proceeds are donated to the MusiCares COVID~19 Relief Fund, an organization providing assistance to people in the music industry affected by the current pandemic. It is a highly~needed cause and if you are a fan, there’s no reason to not buy ‘Off Keyin Hamburg.’
⊕⇒ I have seen Father John Misty a few times in concert, and he repeatedly put on a great show, with over~the~top theatrical visuals and stage antics, which are obviously missing in an audio recording, but there’s still plenty to appreciate in this new album, plus I am sure you can find bits of this same concert on YouTube.
⊕⇒ Father John Misty browses his catalog with cuts from all his four albums as I don’t think he has ever revisited anything he did under his real name Josh Tillman. So we get 2 songs from his 2012 ‘Fear Fun’, many more off his 2015 ‘I Love You, Honeybear,’ — probably the one I am the most familiar with — as well as songs from his 2017 ‘Pure Comedy,’ and his 2018 ‘God’s Favorite Customer.’ Tillman doesn’t even try covers on this one, but if you look at his statistics on setlist.fm, he has nevertheless done a few, from Patti Smith’s ‘Because the Night,’ to Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson’s ‘Laid Back Country Picker,’ or Harry Nilsson’s ‘Jump Into the Fire,’ or even songs by Lady Gaga, The Flaming Lips, Tom Petty, Leonard Cohen, Nirvana, John Lennon… ‘Off Keys’ is 100% pure Misty whereas he has made sure to establish himself as the eclectic singer~songwriter who can do anything in a sort of Laurel Canyon bohemian folk style.
⊕⇒ Even without being very familiar with all the songs, the melodies are always there with FJM’s vocals often soaring to a falsetto above a large symphonic ensemble. You can tell there’s a lot of people on stage, as abundant layers of instrumentation with multiple guitars, keys, horns, and vocal harmonies flesh the songs to their fullest, and because of their frequent instrumental parts, and Lennon~esque inspirations, FJM’s songs fit very well this philharmonic scene.
⊕⇒ After each song, you can hear the clapping from the crowd, but there’s hardly anything else that will remind you this was recorded live, didn’t Josh say anything to the crowd that night that could have matched the social satire and cynicism of his lyrics? A live performance never brings the listener to an over~analysis of the songs, it’s rather an occasion to hear something different and if the songs are obviously enhanced by the grandiose orchestration matching Tillman’s usual ambition, his charismatic presence is not too palpable without the visuals. Still, the show sounds definitively beautiful and all the songs sparkle with a new coat of bright enthusiasm, while the 20~track run reaches some epic moments thanks to the overblown orchestration and the perfect execution of the music.
⊕⇒ The highlights of the show may vary according to the listener, I would probably pick the songs I am the most familiar with, such as ‘I Went to the Store One Day’ because of its emotional strings and delicate acoustic guitar, or ‘Chateau Lobby #4’ because of its triumphant mariachi trumpets which give to the show its most upbeat and glorious moment. From the sad keys and vibrating strings of ‘The Palace’ to the buoyant and cinematic balladery of ‘God’s Favorite Customer,’ the A~Day~In~the~Life~style cacophony of ‘Holy Shit,’ the epic ‘I Love You, Honeybear’ and the heartfelt ‘Leaving LA,’ there are plenty of moments to relish.
⊕⇒ None of Father John Misty’s over~the~top charisma, sarcastic social commentaries, or grand philosophical statements are at the center of this 90~minute live album, you will not even find any trace of his falsely pretentious character or deconstruction of his too self~aware image, the music is the star and the album is a significant achievement made to comfort people during these highly uncomfortable times. ‘Off~Key in Hamburg’ could well be the emotional and sweeping soundtrack for the angsty movie that our lives have transformed into.