KCRW presents... A Show for Mayla
A Show for Mayla: FATHER JOHN MISTY and many more...
Daniel Lanois, Inara George (cancelled), Becky Stark, Great Northern
2220 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90057
Doors 7:00PM / Show 9:00PM
This event is 17 and over
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."
One of the most distinctive and celebrated producers of his time, Daniel Lanois was also a gifted composer and solo artist; whether performing his own material or helming records for the likes of U2, Bob Dylan and Peter Gabriel, the hallmarks of his singular aesthetic remained the same -- noted for his unparalleled atmospheric sensibilities, Lanois pursued emotional honesty over technical perfection, relying on vintage equipment and unorthodox studio methods to achieve a signature sound both viscerally powerful and intricately beautiful. He was born September 19, 1951 in Hull, Quebec; his French-Canadian family was firmly rooted in music, with his mother a singer and both his father and grandfather noted for their prowess on the violin. Following his parents' 1963 separation, Lanois and his mother moved to the English-speaking suburbs of Hamilton, Ontario; there he learned to play guitar, and with his brother Robert began making primitive home recordings on a cheap cassette player. In 1970, the siblings purchased a four-track machine, setting up a recording studio in the laundry room of their home and offering their services to local bands for a $60 fee.
Inara George (cancelled)
Singer/songwriter Inara George is the daughter of Little Feat's Lowell George. At a young age, she was surrounded by the music of his father and his peers--Jackson Browne, Terry Allen and Van Dyke Parks--but George never intended to follow in her late father's footsteps. Theater was her forte; George's younger years were spent performing Shakespeare in her native Topanga Canyon, a community in the Santa Monica mountains. By college age, she studied classical theater acting in Boston. While home one summer, she and some high school friends started a band as something to do. They called themselves Lode and to their surprise, they landed a deal with Geffen. They lasted long enough to release an EP, 1996's Legs and Arms. Before the decade's end, George joined Bryony Atkinson to form Merrick. The indie rock duo released two albums before breaking up in 2002. Three years later, George issued her solo debut on Everloving. All Rise was produced by Michael Andrews (Donnie Darko, Freaks and Geeks).--MacKenzie Wilson--allmusic.com
Becky Stark is an artist, singer, songwriter and entertainer from Los Angeles, California. She is the voice of the band Lavender Diamond. In an article about Stark in the New York Times called "North American Songbird," Zoe Wolf wrote "Picture Lucille Ball and Tinkerbell engaged in a duet and you have an apt metaphor for the neo-folk singer Becky Stark, who suggests an impish fairy from a faraway land. "
“It’s like being intimate with total strangers.” That is how Rachel Stolte of Great Northern describes the feeling of performing live and creating a connection with her audience. Given the ease with which Bixler and Stolte foster an immediate intimacy with their audience, listeners new and old are certain to not only relate but to join in on the journey from the darkness, back to the light.
"Houses", "Story", "Snakes", and "Mountain", approximate the sound of Madonna fronting a group of stylishly dark, beat-minded rockers” – Pitchfork
“Mountains" is propelled by big, cascading drums while "Snakes" arrives on Flaming Lips-ish strings and rides an attractively loping, buzzy guitar line” – Pitchfork
"The Stevie Nicks-con-juring rock and roll songs couldn't be better!" - Los Angeles Magazine
“Houses”, a shoegazey marvel of four sharp chords, femme angst vocals and a divebombing My Bloody Valentine guitar motif” - Magnet Magazine
“Intimate, piano-led dream-pop duets” – SPIN
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