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Father John Misty

When he isn't going into full social-media combat with hapless Pitchfork bloggers, former Fleet Foxes drummer Joshua Tillman reels out great lived-in, sturdy folk-rock as Father John Misty. You may remember his pre-Misty project, J. Tillman, as a somber, snowy affair not too far removed from the Foxes, whom he exited amicably earlier this year. Tillman's Misty persona is a tad sunnier and wryer than anything he has done so far, bringing to mind Loudon Wainwright III or Warren Zevon, those cunning songsmiths who made misery sound so rollicking. His debut album as Misty, Fear Fun, sports secretively psychotic lyrics with a great whip-crack pop sensitivity, as on the widescreen storytelling of "Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings" and "Now I'm Learning to Love the War." Live, Tillman adds plenty of banter in between songs to keep you entranced. He's a showman, dammit, and don't forget it.

 
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