Friday, April 06, 2012

Father John Misty - "Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings"

This week's Friday Video presents an interesting dilemma: What do you do when you really like a song but really don't like its video?

Father John Misty is the recording name for Josh Tillman, who used to be the drummer for Fleet Foxes. "Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings" isn't very Fleet Foxes-y, though, which I consider a good thing. Not that there's anything inherently wrong with them, but as Tillman explained, "I don’t even like wound-licking music, I want to listen to someone rip their arm off and beat themselves with it."

"Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings" shouldn't be confused with death metal, but it's powerfully moody and insistent in a way that Fleet Foxes isn't. Anyway, I dig it. As for the video, well, it violates a few rules I have about the medium. First, its plot is way too complicated; it gets in the way of listening to the song, which has something of a plot itself. Then there's the problem of hiring the hip indie actress (in this case, Aubrey Plaza) to be your video's star. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it just seems like some sort of attempt on the artist's part to get an endorsement from a particular audience niche. So even if you hate the video, you might like the song. I hope you do, anyway.

And thanks to the invaluable KEXP for introducing me to "Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings" in the first place.