Click here to stream Animal Joy by Shearwater in it’s entirety.
February 14 is a day for love, and what better way to ring in the holiday then by picking up a copy of Shearwater’s new record Animal Joy, now available for your purchasing pleasure. The band also has a new video for the album’s lead single, “Breaking the Yearlings” which you can watch above. The video was directed Branan Edgens.
Jonathan Meiburg spoke with RollingStone.com, who premiered the video on their site yesterday, and had this to say:
Branan Edgens (the filmmaker) might be best known for his great ad for David Lynch Coffee, but in our college days he used to use me as a guinea pig for some of his experimental makeup effects. Did you know that movie-grade fake blood is made from strawberries? “You can eat this stuff,” he assured me, as he pumped gouts of it through artfully-concealed tubes around the edges of my mouth. " But it doesn’t taste as good as you’d like it to."
For the video for “Breaking the Yearlings”, I wanted to figure out a way to make use of some of the amazing footage Branan’s shot over the years from around the world – especially beautiful scenes of animals and landscapes from Namibia, Thailand, and Alaska – and we hit on the idea of using the American Museum of Natural History as a sort of gateway into these places, like the wood between the worlds in The Magician’s Nephew, my favorite of the Narnia books. But then Branan, with a gleam in his eye, suggested that by interacting with the (stuffed) animals, my character might enter more into their world than I’d bargained for. I think he might have just been looking for a reason to cover me in alginate and plaster again for old time’s sake. When I’ve described this video to my friends, they’ve invariably said the same thing – “So it’s like Night at the Museum”?" Yes. No.
Shearwater is currently on the road opening a slew of dates for Sharon Van Etten, with more shows to be announced soon. See below for a full list of dates, and for more information on Shearwater please visit: www.subpop.com/artists/shearwater
Feb 10 Johnny Brenda’s, Philadelphia, PA w/Sharon Van Etten
Feb 11 Black Cat, Washington, DC w/Sharon Van Etten
Feb 12 Cats Cradle, Carrboro, NC w/Sharon Van Etten
Feb 14 Wexner Center, Columbus, OH w/Sharon Van Etten
Feb 15 Ladies Literary Club, Grand Rapids, MI w/Sharon Van Etten
Feb 16 Lincoln Hall (IL), Chicago, IL w/Sharon Van Etten
Feb 17 Lincoln Hall (IL), Chicago, IL w/Sharon Van Etten
Feb 18 Cedar Cultural Centre, Minneapolis, MN w/Sharon Van Etten
Feb 21 Lee’s Palace, Toronto, Canada w/Sharon Van Etten
Feb 22 Il Motore, Montreal, QC w/Sharon Van Etten
Feb 23 Paradise (MA), Boston, MA w/Sharon Van Etten
Feb 24 Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY w/Sharon Van Etten
Feb 25 Bowery Ballroom, The, New York City, NY w/Sharon Van Etten
Feb 26 Club Helsinki, Hudson, NY
Feb 28 Evening Muse, Charlotte, NC
Feb 29 The Earl, Atlanta, GA
Mar 01 Bottle Tree, Birmingham, AL
Mar 02 Spanish Moon, Baton Rouge, LA
Mar 03 Fitzgeralds (TX), Houston, TX
Mar 04 Antone’s, Austin, TX
Mar 28 Bitterzoet (NL), Amsterdam, Netherlands
Mar 29 Botanique, Brussels, Belgium
Mar 30 Haunt (UK), Brighton , United Kingdom
Mar 31 Deaf Institute, Manchester, United Kingdom
Apr 01 Stereo, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Apr 03 Scala, London, United Kingdom
Apr 04 Le Grand Mix (F), Tourcoing, France
Apr 05 La Maroquinerie, Paris, France
Apr 06 Bad Bonn, Duedingen, Switzerland
Apr 08 Palace (CH), Gallen, Switzerland
Apr 09 Bloom , Milano, Italy
Apr 10 Circolo Degli Artisti, Rome, Italy
Apr 11 Bronson, Ravenna, Italy
Apr 12 Menza pri koritu (SL), Lubijana, Slovenia
Apr 16 GrooveStation, Dresden, Germany
Apr 17 Prinzenbar, Hamburg, Germany
Apr 18 Comet (DE), Berlin, Germany
Apr 19 Babylon (TR), Istanbul , Turkey
Apr 21 AN Club, Athens , Greece
On May 1st we are releasing the debut effort from Father John Misty. You can watch the new video for the track “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” starring Aubrey Plaza of NBC’s Parks and Recreation, Sundance Film Festival Hit “Safety Not Guaranteed” and the upcoming “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III” by clicking here. The video was directed by Noel Paul.
Like what you hear & see? You can chat with frontman Josh Tillman talk about his music, live today at 3 pm PST.
Feb 29 – new parish – oakland
March 3 grass valley – center for the arts
March 4 santa cruz – crepe place
Read About Fear Fun
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.”
Fear Fun is available May 1, 2012 from Sub Pop and Bella Union, in the US and UK/EU respectively.
Interviews by Richard Metzger and Casey Wescott
Written by Paula Zabrey, Jan. 2012
Today marks the Fear Fun record release and it just happens to also mark Father John Misty’s late night television debut as tonight, Tuesday, May 1st, (at 11:35pm ET/10:35pm CT) Father John Misty will perform “Only Son Of A Ladies Man” on The Late Show with David Letterman. Later this week, you’ll be able to find Father John Misty back on TV during a spotlight segment on Last Call with Carson Daly. Tune in to Carson’s show this Thursday, May 3 (@1:35am ET/ 12:35am CT) for performances of Fear Fun tracks, “Everyman Needs A Companion” and “I’m Writing a Novel”.
You’ll also get your chance to see a live Father John Misty show later this spring, with the North American tour beginning May 2nd. A full list of tour dates are listed below and can also be found on Father John Misty’s subpop.com artist page.
Father John Misty on Tour
May 02 San Diego, CA – The Casbah
May 04 Los Angeles, CA – Natural History Museum
May 05 San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill
May 07 – Seattle, WA – Neumos
May 08 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir
May 11 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry
May 12 – Chicago, IL – Schubas
May 14 – Toronto, ON – Horsehoe Tavern
May 15 – Montreal, QE – Petit Campus
May 16 – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
May 18 – New York, NY – Mercury Lounge
May 19 – Brooklyn, NY – Knitting Factory
May 20 – Washington, DC – Rock and Roll Hotel
May 22 – Atlanta, GA – Masquerade Music Park
May 23 – New Orleans, LA – One-Eyed Jacks
May 24 – Houston, TX – Fitzgeralds
May 25 – Dallas, TX – Sons of Hermann Hall
May 26 – Austin, TX – Mohawk
Jaill is a lot like other bands; they’ve slept on your floor, you’ve made fun of their pillow cases, they’re not nearly as good at Excitebike as they said they were and although they all say they’re cool with cats, no one’s excited about sleeping at the cat house. So it should come as no surprise that, as bands sometimes do, they’ve made a new record. And that record is Traps, their second for Sub Pop, but first to adopt the bold new marketing strategy of giving away a free pair of Nike cross-trainers to anyone who steals it on the internet. Take that, Radiohead. So, but, what is Traps? And what about it can best fill five paragraphs? Traps is pretty, it’s moody, it pops. It has the scrappy, vengeful enthusiasm of a puppy stuck under a blanket. It’s an adorably grumpy bear just awoken from his long winter’s slumber, with a mangy heart rarely found outside of the stuffed animal bin of a Salvation Army. It’s an album that expects to be taken seriously goddammit, even though it just puked on the bar.
Traps is also, and confidently, a Jaill record. It’s an acerbic exercise in both humility and aggression. Lyrically and melodically it portrays the malfunctioning universe inside a home, taking into account the myriad ways in which relationships and responsibilities can destroy a person’s mind. “Gave myself a good grade on barely losing my shit,” sings Vinnie Kircher on “While You Reload.” His resignation to the failed road ahead is all over Traps, from the sarcastic slap of the drum-machine snare in “Horrible Things (Make Pretty Songs),” to the recurring, sounding-like-a-broken-Slinky riff of album opener “Waste a Lot of Things.” In “House with Haunting” Kircher waxes philosophical on the pains of getting older, with a home still overrun with friends and houseguests. Yet on “I’m Home,” Kircher laments, “I have clown hands now, bowtie spins around,” whatever philosophies he had giving way to sardonic acquiescence.
But for Traps to sound like its subject matter was in a way inescapable, recorded as it was in Kircher’s crummy, poorly lit basement. Sacrificing most of 2011 to the album’s completion, with minimal gear and a control room of thrift store afghans, Jaill set out to create a record they thought would be worthy of appreciation, without much of a plan beyond that. This was a return to the in-home manufacturing process they honed back in the day, before big labels came along and started throwing their comically large bankrolls around. They started tracking in January, combing through well over a dozen songs, rerecording some, judiciously discarding others. The process became about self-awareness, scrutiny and a strong desire for inventiveness. By October, the band was in agreement: tracking for the lean, eleven-song album was finished. November brought them out to New York briefly, where Brooklyn’s most hilarious jokester, Nicolas Vernhes of Rare Book Room, mixed the band’s mangled masterpiece. He brought the ideas in line, keeping the sentiment true to its basement origins. Clownishly huge stacks of money were again thrown at various problems. High-fives were given, and deserved. Soon the album was mastered and aptly titled, Traps.
When Jaill nonchalantly stepped into the room with 2010’s That’s How We Burn, the group had already turned out a small catalog of self-recorded/released albums and EPs. Sub Pop first heard the band on an LP bought through the mail, the cover still hot from the Kinko’s copier. When it arrived covered in dog hair and finger smears they knew they were on to something. Here was a group of guys so focused on their metier; they couldn’t be bothered with the bullshit details like where not to set the can of La Croix. And as 2009’s There’s No Sky (Oh My My) (the above-mentioned, mail-ordered LP) demonstrated, Kircher is equally comfortable crafting songs that either amble up slyly, or tumble out pell mell, with lyrics that betray his English major background. That’s How We Burn only reinforced this. SPIN said of the album, “What elevates their debut beyond your average twee-punk rager is the gentle psych dabblings: extra delay on a guitar solo, an errant ‘ooh-ahh-ooh,’ a dubby Panda Bear flourish, and the swirling noise that murmurs through the background of the cheerful ‘Snake Shakes’.”
So in conclusion, even though you said you were ready to go like fifteen minutes ago, here is Jaill still ambling around the stage having loaded out barely any of their gear, and the merch is still sitting out everywhere. And although it would be great if they could just move it along a bit faster because, as you’ve mentioned more than a couple times already, you have to work in the morning, perhaps have work to do even now, you wait because you know deep down that you love these guys. It might take until three in the afternoon, and every last clean dish in the kitchen, but they will totally get you back the next day with some breakfast tacos and perhaps an LP. (At cost.) And besides, what else truly makes a house a home but having five vibrantly unwashed men sleeping on the floor of your living room? Traps comes out June 12th, 2012, on Sub Pop Records, not coincidentally six days following National Gardening Exercise Day. So cop a disc, get out there this summer and exercise with your plants!
It has already been announced and shared fairly far and wide but we’re here now to, all right, somewhat belatedly, but nonetheless enthusiastically, confirm that there will indeed be a Sub Pop Stage at Seattle’s Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival, which will be held September 1-3rd at The Seattle Center. This first-time Sub Pop co-curated stage will feature, not surprisingly, some Sub Pop bands, but also Hardly Art artists and number of other great bands from across the country. And what with our name being on a stage over there and all, they’ve given us this promo code — SubpopStage — to get Sub Pop fans into the festival at a special discounted rate. So what we’re saying is, go ahead and get those discounted tickets here now and then when the first weekend of September comes around, you’ll be able to head on over to the Sub Pop Stage and catch performances from acts such as Sera Cahoone, Blitzen Trapper, The Helio Sequence, Low, Mudhoney, Niki & The Dove, Seapony, Unnatural Helpers, The Vaselines and more. Sounds like a plan to us.
For more information on the weekend’s festivities, you can look to the Bumbershoot site for the Festival’s full line-up, schedule, and ticketing information , but be sure to remember to add in the special Sub Pop promo code — SubpopStage — if you wanna get the discounted $40 “Any Day” rate for the Festival.
Oh, and to help pass the time before the show Sub Pop and Hardly Art have created the following playlists for your listening and viewing pleasures. We’d hate for you to not be able to sing along at the shows, after all.
More Details on the Sub Pop Promo Code for Bumbershoot 2012 Tickets:
To purchase tickets with the Sub Pop promo discount, follow the link below and enter the promo code at checkout.
Go here for tickets: http://bumbershoot.strangertickets.com/
Enter promo code: SubpopStage (Password is NOT case sensitive)
Entering this Sub Pop promo code at ticketing checkout will get you an “AnyDay" Ticket for $40 — giving you flexibility and will saving you $15 vs. buying at the gate. NOTE: Limit Per Customer = 10 Any Day tickets @ $40 each
Traps, the follow up album to Jaill’s 2010 Sub Pop debut, That’s How We Burn, is a record which has quickly (and perhaps prematurely) become a summer favorite around here due in large part to the overwhelmingly seasonal nature of the jams contained therein. While Traps is similar to its predecessor in terms of being saturated with what we here at Sub Pop would (and do!) regard as amazing, seasonally-appropriate songs, it differs a bit in its subject matter. Take for example these song titles: "Everyone’s a Bitch” or “Horrible Things (Make Pretty Songs).” Fear not though, friends, while the lyrics have taken a darker turn, the band’s signature slack yet tightly wound musical style and self-deprecating humor retain all of their charms. June 12th is the date on which Jaill and Sub Pop are releasing this beast into the wilds, and to celebrate, we would like to offer you EVENMOREJAILL! Here’s what we’re proposing: if you pre-order the CD or LP by street date, we will send, at no extra cost, an exclusive 7”. Said single features two brand spanking new Jaill songs. Another thing of note is that if you pre-order Traps on LP from SubPop.com, you’ll receive the super limited, Loser Edition, colored-vinyl version of the record—in this case, your copy will be on green vinyl. Both of these limited edition things are (as the name implies) only available in very limited quantities, which is to say – order soon! Oh yeah, and as always, you’ll receive stickers. We’re forever giving you stickers.
Pick up ??Traps":http://www.subpop.com/artists/jaill