In this edition of hallucinatory music news, Father John Misty gets visited by dead Lou Reed, who tells him he has to cover Ryan Adams covering Taylor Swift.
FUCK YEAH LOU REED IS AWESOME.
Some backstory: alt-folk rocker/focker Ryan Adams had recently announced plans to cover Taylor Swift‘s entire 1989 album, which is strange, but not as strange as the fact that my constant years of disregarding her as a serious musician is now an unpopular opinion in America (I don’t care if she writes her own stuff, guys. She sucks. NOT SORRY.) Hostility aside, Adams’ cover album is now out on Spotify and Youtube, and everywhere else with a ‘play’ button. It’s composed in the stylings of Bruce Springsteen and The Smiths – though to me, it’s got more of a U2-losing-their-1980s-steam drudge to it. It’s an album my parents would probably listen to on one of their creepy, traumatizing date nights, but people seem to like it because people are sheep.
Just take this quote from tasteful acapella group, Pentatonix:
— Pentatonix (@PTXofficial) September 23, 2015
This makes my brain cry, but tut that’s probably why Father John Misty‘s response to all the hubbub was unfathomably genius. FJM (or J. Tillman if you like it all laid out for you) released two of his own covers, covering Ryan Adams’ covers of Taylor Swift’s songs. Coverception 2015, if you will.
Here’s one of those covers, “Blank Space,” now!
Yes, it’s in the style of the Velvet Undergound, and yes, it’s brimming in satire. Be still my sardonic heart.
The songs both premiered on SoundCloud, but Father John Misty took them down hours after uploading them. He them promptly released an official statement explaining his decision to cover Ryan Adams covering Taylor Swift, and folks, I just can’t even.
I had a very strange dream that I abruptly woke up from around 3am early this morning. I was crab-walking around a neighborhood in New Orleans that, though it does not exist, is a recurring location in my dreams. My childhood friend Brian Kawamura was was telling me I still owed the tennis rental place $7000 when the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan was suddenly standing over me, saying over and over, “The only thing crazier than a peasant who believes he is King, is a King who believes he is a King.” He put one of those birthday Burger King crowns on my head and out of the clouds a sort of “Switched on Bach” version of “Ode To Joy” began to play. A crowd which had formed around me began to sing along, with tears streaming down their faces. The crowd was obviously hypnotized and I assumed if I crept away discreetly no one would notice. The earth become a sort of treadmill, and though the locations (The Great Wall of China, a McDonald’s where I had my 3rd birthday, the town from Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon, Vignola’s restaurant in Rockville, Md.), “Ode To Joy” and the crowd remained all around me.
All of a sudden it was time to soundcheck, which I was late for, and Barack Obama offered to give me a ride on Air Force One. He told me he needed urgent advice regarding some important policy decisions, and we spent the day in Hawaii playing basketball, petting his dogs, golfing and the like when I, gripped with anxiety, told him I really needed to get to soundcheck so we needed to discuss the ruling of the free world. By this time he had turned into an obscene visage of my Father and said, “I have one injunction for you, son: That you enjoy life. It is by this mandate that all is ruled. It is the true tyranny; the equalizing force that binds us all.” I jumped out of Air Force One and landed on top of this massive pink, sparkly, glowing blob that stretched for miles beyond miles, covering entire cities, and I had to keep gulping down chlorophyll because the thing was emitting insane levels of EMF’s, so my mouth and hands were stained dark green.
Down inside the blob I could see thousands of familiar faces and one of them was Lou Reed on a catwalk hand-cuffed to supermodels who had adopted babies handcuffed to them and Lou said, “Delete those tracks, don’t summon the dead, I am not your plaything. The collection of souls is an expensive pastime.” Then I woke up.
WHAT. THE. EFF.
Normally, I’d chalk this all up to a really long acid trip, but this particular music hiccup involves a bunch of random people that I thought would never associate. Is FJM’s dream a thing that really happened? Is it another added step in making fun of Adams and Swift? Am I overthinking? Are we all being trolled here?
My opinion? FJM is probably a little insane but I love it. Ryan Adams is weird for even thinking this was a cool idea, and Taylor Swift is somewhere out there jerking it because we can’t stop talking about her.
What do you think? Publicity? Hoax? Genuine artistry here? Have at it in the comments.