Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Father John Misty 2013

Father John Misty + Kate Berlant | Corona Theatre

“starring Rico Suave, acoustic style”
Oct. 16, 2013 - The opening act for Father John Misty (henceforth referred to as FJM, for obvious reasons) was Kate Berlant, a righteously rad comedian. According to the extremely nice gentleman (from Austin, TX.) selling ‘merch’ (henceforth referred to as MM for ‘merch man’), FJM saw her perform live and asked her to go on tour with him. Can I do that too? I didn’t know we got to do that. Well, then I’m asking for a Bob Odenkirk/David Cross Mr. Show reunion on my tour! 

I missed Berlant’s act, but MM assured me that she is super funny, more so than Sarah Silverman. I looked her up and checked her out on you tube: she is phenomenal. She has also often performed her stand up with various, cool bands. Her comedy and brilliance ferociously complements live shows. 
I love vocabulary. I especially love when the universe allows me to use highly interrelated vocabulary that starts with the same letter and/or mimics each other orally. 
Are you ready? Here she goes: 
Berlant has her own splendid, silly, superfluid, super, succinct, short, snippy, snappy, sassy, sarcastic, scintillating, sophisticated, spry, special, savvy, smart style. 
As proclaimed by Bill Hicks, “…all stand up comedians started out by wanting to be a famous musician”. 
Shall we throw in another souls spirit quote (Hicks, 2009) while we’re at it?: “I do not believe making money in order to consume goods is mankind’s sole purpose on this planet. If you’re wondering what I believe our purpose on this planet is ♫♫♫♫ it has to do with creating and sharing”.  

A comedy stand up wasn’t the only originality encountered at the show. FJM had psychedelic sweatshirts and posters, bearing the same image, for sale. MM told me that FJM is very hands on and designs most of the ‘merch’ himself. He even had his own line of perfume/cologne (I never could figure out if it was supposed to be gender specific; neither the packaging nor the smell gave away any decided clues). 
Unless I am hopelessly behind the times, and having your own hipster, faux fragrance to sell at shows is now all the rage (like mullets, mustaches, animal butt refrigerator magnets became), then I think it was supposed to be a joke. And if it was, then it was a pretty clever, funny, ‘malin’ one because that perfume STANK! I even asked MM if it was for real and he said he didn’t know and that he’d never smelled it? There is definitely something fishy going on here. 
As I was difficultly ruminating on how to effectively put that smell into words, I had recourse to online dictionaries. Musk was my first linguistic instinct, but I needed to feel its connotation more clearly and make sure that its skankyness factor was sufficiently represented----you be the judge:
  • Webster – ‘a substance with a penetrating persistent odor obtained from a sac beneath the abdominal skin of the male musk deer and used as a perfume fixative; also: a similar substance from another animal or a synthetic substitute’
  • Oxford – ‘a substance secreted in a glandular sac under the skin of the abdomen of the male  HYPERLINK "http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/musk%20deer" musk deer, having a strong odor, and used in perfumery
  • Dictionary.com - a strong-smelling reddish-brown substance which is secreted by the male musk deer for scent-marking and is an important ingredient in perfumery
  • Thesaurus.com’s synonyms – smell, stench, stink, whiff, air, bouquet, effluvium, efflux, emanation, essence, exhalation, fragrance, pungency, redolence, snuff, tang, tincture, trail, pungence 
FJM’s psychedelic wares would have been super cooI, to the extent that I was honestly contemplating buying his for sale sweat shirt as our Montréal winter is gritting her teeth and baring down to her uncomfortably cold 2 degrees, frost covered mornings, encroachingly darker and earlier evenings, and the definitive eradication of what was a human condition that afforded being comfortable outside without layers and layers of clothing, vibrant festivals, sun, swimming…sniff, sniff. I didn’t buy it though because of the various images of nude women on it (on FJM’s behalf, the images were jam packed, small, and crazily, eccentrically decollaged all over the place).  
Did I miss something? Does a vintage vibe make using naked images, of the stereotypical, skinny woman, to visually represent your live music’s artistry, ‘cool or hip’? I must not have gotten the memo because I see male bands doing that all too often. Strangely though, there are never any naked vintage vibe images of the stereotypical, svelte male. Hmmm…    
Foxygen sold large posters of a naked woman with an eagle’s head, at their show. While touring, The Flaming Lips, tout au long du spectacle, had huge repeating images projected behind them that were 60’s era, psychedelic, what have you. The images varied, but there was at least one of a Hawaiian woman naked and shaking vigorously while dancing and then there were some 100 lbs. women in Jane Fonda exercise gear shaking vigorously. Were there any men naked with their dong out shaking about vigorously on the screen? 
Do men, and even worse, women, think that that the stereotypical, skinny, gyrating naked woman images are fine as long as they are vintage? I see a naked woman and no naked man is what I see and it’s not fair. So please, the next time your band is opting for the stereotypical vintage naked woman to artistically express yourselves live, show men instead or at least one man to every woman. 
I really don’t understand why nudity needs to be used as creative and artistic outlets to expression. You can expect Miley Cyrus (what a sad exploitative story she’s become), Madonna, Capitalist Gangsta’ Rappers to use female nudity as their visual, artistic representation, but bands that I love and cherish can do better. I wonder if I am the only person out there who feels the way I do about it now?   
And for those of you (women or men) who think I am over reacting and that it’s no big deal; WOMAN ONLY BECAME RECOGNIZED AS PEOPLE IN CANADA IN 1929! (what were they before, species progenitors ?)
If that doesn’t work, go to your local library and check out works by Angela Davis, Betty Friedan, Judith Butler, works about the history of the feminist movement; after which, I would love to see and or hear how using naked women on your merchandise or as part of your live show can be desired within a truly (non-man hating, but loving) feminist context. And also, why don’t bands use photos of naked men? I am not saying that it is a terribly horrible injustice, but it is gratuitous. Here is a tip male bands: when making your art or show effects, ask yourself, would Dead Prez use this image? Or Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, Jello Biafra, Bill Hicks, my dad…your dad ???
Live music time, YEAH! FJM has a really good, in tune, soaring melodic voice. I wouldsay he is probably a high bass. He played a miked acoustic guitar all on his own. Really, hats off, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, playing an entire show, much less an entire tour, solo is very daring ‘et non evident’. You’ve got to have a lot of confidence in what you are doing and in which direction you are going. It helps too that he is charismatic, down to earth, making jokes during and between songs and maintaining a jest like rapport with the audience. He has them in stitches, people are laughing right and left and I could be wrong, but it seems like girls are the driving force behind the head count and their boyfriends are there at their behest, but a good time was enjoyed by all. A big, random stuffed bunny head on stage the entire time, gross perfume, psychedelic sweatshirts didn’t match up to what I saw live or to the crowd. Maybe I missed an integral piece of the puzzle. 
He pointed out to the crowd that he had gotten a haircut, as he was tired of the long hair; he also mentioned he was getting old fat and ugly, which he clearly is not! It was these little asides and the amount of females in the audience that influenced my opinion about females being responsible for his critical mass. The song writing was light and mostly about the domain of the heart. Interspersed with jokes, a one on one connection with the crowd, an energy of ease and comfort on stage: his audience seemed to genuinely enjoy themselves, and at the end of the day, that is the highest compliment a live artist can be paid! 
 Sedaris, David. 1999. Me Talk Pretty One Day. Little Brown & Co : UK. 
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