Part Four of our tribute to the album Long May You Run, J. Tillman – had enough yet? I hope not as we have a great frickin’ post today.
Something I have thought of a few times is the change from “J. Tillman” to “Father John Misty” – it isn’t just the style of music but the persona. I mean FJM is larger than life, self aware and (mostly) tongue in cheek with his strong satire. You would never get that impression from listening to this album. An album is not a person though. In early live recordings you can hear Josh mocking himself for giving himself a stage name of “J. Tillman” and joking about “playing the song that rocks”. So maybe this new FJM person we have today is in fact the evolved J. Tillman. Or I don’t know anything and how would I? This brings me to the below…
Today’s first cover is the song Fireworks and it comes from Portland musician Al James of Dolorean. This is not only special because Al James/Dolorean are a personal favourite for me in general, but Al has provided a bit of insight on Tillman from from a tour back in 2004. While I ramble above, read what Al has to say about Josh Tillman, the person, below;
In the Fall of 2004 Dolorean was the opener for a Damien Jurado / Richard Buckner co-headline tour across the U.S. Damien brought along Josh as his drummer. He was still occasionally playing with the post-rock noise outfit Saxon Shore, but was now starting to write and sing his own songs with guitar. For Dolorean, we asked him to sit in and play bass, while I did the same for Damien’s set. A few shows into the tour we all decided that we’d have Josh warm up the crowd and he always did an incredible job. He’d usually just play 3 or 4 songs and people just loved his playing and singing right off the bat. He sold through all the CDRs that he had immediately. I remember then after the tour, all of the sudden lots and lots of CDRs and albums started pouring out. Every time I saw him, he’d give me another one and they all possessed some really great songs.
I may be in the minority on your blog, but I feel like FJM is a purer, more mature version of Josh. If you know him personally and have spent a lot of time touring with him, he’s one of the funniest, most outrageous people you’ll ever meet. I feel like his music as FJM taps into this part of him that his previous stuff as J. Tillman never did. Either way, I’m a huge fan of him as a person and artist. I know of very few people with the guts to walk away from a drumming gig with a band like Fleet Foxes and he did it without looking back, knowing he had his own art to commit to.
Much love to him always.
Thanks to Al James for providing us with the intro(duction) to the song and possibly Josh Tillman himself.
It turns out that today’s post is also the first post that includes songs that we have already had covered by other artists. The song is Before We Retire and this time we hear a great version from Field Report. FR released one of my favourite albums from last year in their self titled debut and if you loved that as much as I did, this cover will only solidify that love for the Milwaukee crew.
Now we have Dallas singer-songwriter Nicholas Altobelli with J. Tillman’s My Waking Days. Altobelli has just released an album called Without A Home (info & purchase) that is aiming to solidify him in the Texas scene. This song has something that those familiar with Altobelli might even find new – molasses slow synth! Yes, you heard it here first folks.
Please note: today you can find more J. Tillman covers from this project premiering over at Cover Lay Down. Read what Joshua has to say about the album, the project and dig into some more music. I dare say his post includes my favourite cover from this project…so be sure to visit CLD around 11:15am EST today!
So remember, all covers to date can be found here: Long May You Run, J. Tillman Revisited Page
You can find the original J. Tillman album via iTunes: iTunes
A reprint on CD can be found via Fargo Records in France: Fargo Records Store
More covers continue through Friday. All week, all Tillman.