I thought I was predisposed to not like Father John Misty given Josh Tillman's previous solo work and his tenure with Fleet Foxes. Sad-sack folk tends to lull me to sleep. Trading in the drab chill of Seattle for the warmer climes of the historically musically rich Laurel Canyon of Los Angeles, Tillman reemerged playing pop songs that capture the spirit of LA excess and depravity that's been glorified for decades. This reinvention from backwoods folkie to '60s pop-cult leader works for Father John Misty. And the music benefits greatly, both in the arrangements and the fact that the lyrics are fun and strange. Whether it's sincere or not doesn't even matter—Tillman paints a wonderful picture. MARK LORE
128 NE Russell, Portland, OR 97212
Hours: Ballroom open for events only, Cafe open: Tues-Sat 5 pm-"late"