Father John Misty wins our unofficial NYE 2015 photo contest

Father John Misty

Known for some of the best stage banter in the business and his classic improv-snark, which includes his 1989 antics just a few months ago, Father John Misty was back at it on New Year’s Eve, deadpanning in true FJM fashion.

In what’s become an ongoing series of Instagram photos (now up to a total of 10) that shows our No. 4 favorite live music act of 2015 glued to his phone, whether he’s playing air hockey, doing a television interview or performing live, Tillman made us laugh — as he often does — with his latest offering on NYE, sitting by himself with a drink in hand while checking his phone in a decked-out hotel room full of colorful balloons at the famed Chateau Marmont, one of his favorite spots in Los Angeles.

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Around this time last year, we asked if “Father John Misty is playing a character”, and while we still don’t have a definitive answer to that question (and who knows if we ever will), we admittedly just can’t get enough of the FJM persona, whether partially manufactured or not.

We can only assume that Tillman was hanging out with LA-based pop artist Alia Penner since she was tagged in the photo (serving, presumably, as a photo credit) and due to the fact that she documented the scene sans Tillman with her own Instagram photo shortly thereafter, but based on what we saw via social media from across the music industry Thursday night, “Mr. Honeybear” undoubtedly won our unofficial NYE 2015 photo contest before the ball dropped on 2016.

Father John Misty

Chateau Marmont’s French synths light up Richmond District

Chateau-MarmontPhotos by Mike Frash // Written by Kevin Quandt //

As funky, synthed-out disco poured onto an increasingly desolate Clement Street, passers-by could only stop and gaze quizzically up to the second floor of the newest venue in the City, Neck of the Woods. Should we go in to check it out? What is this catchy cacophony blasting through the Inner Richmond? Well, those brave enough to venture into this rarely-visited part of town were rewarded with masterful playing and serious grooves. Chateau Marmont put on a blistering live show that featured both their tremendous original songs and some improvised dance jams that got the sparse crowd moving.

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Ronald Kaufman, who performs under the name Kauf, is a name you are likely to see more of as 2013 comes to a close. This one-man show captivated the fans who could be described as “in the know”, as Kauf’s superb production coupled with live vocals generated something totally genuine. Tracks like “Relocate”, off his latest EP release titled As Much Again, displayed the artist’s knack for building loops while tastefully manipulating his delicate vocals. With a handful of dates opening for Cut Copy on Kauf’s upcoming schedule, it’s a very good likelihood that more exposure is sure to gain the attention this solo act deserves.

A few more bodies trickled in to see these underrated Frenchmen tackle a set heavy with new tunes from their newest release, The Maze. For an act that hasn’t been touring much in the past year, Chateau Marmont came out firing on all cylinders. Synthesizers, modulators and keyboards flanked the sides of the stage as the rhythm section held court in the middle, a setup that lent very well to their ‘jam’ style dance sections sandwiched between tracks. Banner songs like “Wind Blows” display a preternatural understanding of electrified pop-music, similar to the sound that aided to Miike Snow’s success years ago. For all intensive reasons, Chateau Marmont are on their way up the ladder to larger audiences, and the group showed their potential to receive international radio air-play.

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One aspect that was difficult to overlook, while the band was deep in groove, was both the use of non-traditional synth frequencies while simultaneously using said instruments to create leads that were akin to that of a lead guitar. This combination made it seem as though this act could very easily be a crossover act, enjoyed by fans of live-tronica jambands like Lotus, Particle or the New Deal. Expect to see a fair amount of stage time from these guys as they ramp things up behind the new release, so catch ‘em while they are still relatively unknown.

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WIN TICKETS: Chateau Marmont at Neck of the Woods in SF 10/10

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Enter your name and email address below for the chance to win.

An exciting night of French synth-pop is approaching this Thursday at the Richmond’s newest venue, Neck of the Woods. Chateau Marmont isn’t a new band, but they certainly have been garnering serious attention in past years with high profile remixes of artists such as Royksopp, La Roux and Peter, Bjorn & John, as well as producing their own stellar releases. Invisible Eye is the latest EP from this trio, an incredibly catchy soundscape built on spacey themes and brilliant use of the vocoder. Their debut full-length album is slated for an early 2014 release and is sure to catapult this act to larger stages and more fans in no time. Do yourself a favor and catch Chateau Marmont in an intimate setting before it’s too late.


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