FATHER JOHN MISTY: Chloe and the Next 20th Century (Sub Pop/Bella Union) — Father John Misty, aka Joshua Tillman, started out as the drummer for the Fleet Foxes. Chloe and the Next 20th Century is his fifth solo record. Some of you may remember his aggressively caustic approach to, well, everything, but I think maybe the man has … mellowed? Perhaps? This record is an odd fusion of lounge music and country, or, more accurately, “both kinds, country AND western”. At one point during “Goodbye Mr. Blue” I thought “You could draw a mostly-straight line from Hank Williams to here.”
The videos are like little movies, too, which I always enjoy. Though in a characteristic act of perversity he has chosen the song with the aggressively dissonant interlude (“The Next 20th Century”) as the first single. I haven’t been to a Father John Misty show in years but I did used to enjoy them, because he is (or was) a sarcastic asshole but he can also sing.
I’ll confess I prefer the old(er) stuff, with more teeth (heavier bass lines and little bit of fuzz), like “Hollywood Forever Cemetery” which is about, uh, banging a stranger in a graveyard:
Also “Only Son of the Ladiesman,” which is just a magnificent poisonous gem of a song:
Recent concert, Dallas 14 August 2022: