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Father John Misty’s New Song ‘The Memo’, And This Time It Is Not A Cover


Father John Misty


John Father Misty had quite a week, mocking Ryan Adams’ covers of Taylor Swift, receiving direct orders from Lou Reed beyond the grave,…then just today comedy website Funny Or Die has accused him of copying one of their videos for his latest video ‘The night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apartment’… I have been talking about Josh Tillman all-week long, and I will not stop there because the ironic fool has released a new song and this time it is not a cover, but an original one, called ‘The Memo’. It’s a pleasant lo-fi country ballad, but of course, the lyrics take all the attention here! You can read the whole text below, courtesy of Father John Misty himself.

The first two paragraphs are direct critics of the current music industry and what can pass for art in general and I wonder why ironic and smart Tillman needed to remind his fans that boy bands were a fraud? Isn’t it a fact in Father John Misty world? He attacks modern art (‘the cultural low water mark’) and the internet (‘Narcissus would have had a field day if he could have got online’) but isn’t this pretty common place? Ha, may be Tillman had some bad time on Twitter who knows? And his social commentary goes on for a while — I guess he needed to rant a bit about some bad online shopping experience — and if I generally enjoy his satirical twist on existential malaise, this time his irony may be a bit too direct: ‘I’m gonna take five young dudes/From white families/Gonna mount em on a billboard/In the middle of the country/I’m gonna tell everybody they sing like angels with whiter teeth’…

Did he believe we needed his enlightenment to see the truth behind the current state of pop/internet/sport culture? May be I am too harsh, may be Josh Tillman had no other agenda than to get all this out of his chest.

Here are the lyrics:

‘I’m gonna steal some bedsheets
From an amputee
I’m gonna mount em on a canvas
In the middle of the gallery
I’m gonna tell everybody it was painted by a chimpanzee
But just between you me
Here at the cultural low water mark
If it’s fraud or art
They’ll pay you to believe

I’m gonna take five young dudes
From white families
Gonna mount em on a billboard
In the middle of the country
I’m gonna tell everybody they sing like angels with whiter teeth
But just between you and me
They’re just like the ones before
With their standards lower
Every concert goer will pay you to believe

Caffeine in the morning, alcohol at night
Cameras to record you and mirrors to recognize
And as the world is getting smaller
Small things take up all your time
Narcissus would have had a field day if he could have got online
And friends it’s not self-love that kills you
It’s when those who hate you are allowed
To sell you that you’re a glorious shit the entire world revolves around
And that you’re the eater, and not the eaten
But that your hunger will only cease
If you come binge on radiant blandness at the disposable feast

Just quickly how would you rate yourself
In terms of sex appeal and cultural significance
Do you usually listen to music like this
We can recommend some similar artists
Are you feeling depressed?
But your feedback’s important
To us

Gonna buy myself a sports team
And put em in a pit
Gonna wage the old crusade
Against consciousness
All I need is a couple winners to get every loser to fight in it
You keep the golden calf
I just need the bullshit
They won’t just sell themselves into slavery
They’ll get on their knees and pay you to believe’


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