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Slain in the Spirit of Father John Misty

I don’t go to church as often as I used to, but I always attend Father John Misty’s services when he is in town.

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Image source: Lynn Lippert.
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Author screenshot of Capitol Theatre livestream.
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Fear Fun LP cover art.
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I Love You, Honeybear LP cover art.
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Pure Comedy LP cover art.

I think the way that I grew up really plays heavily into [Pure Comedy]. On the one hand, there is Ecclesiastes, which is my favorite book in the Bible and in that way a positive. And on the other, just the alienation and confusion that I experienced as a child growing up in this really Pentecostal environment. Every adult I knew was deeply suspect to me. And they were telling me just insane things. I grew up speaking in tongues and slain in the spirit — but also being told none of this is real. So, having to make these really non-intuitive decisions about life. When everything you are told is inverted in this way that nothing you can touch, see or feel is real. This is all just some sick joke, and we all go to heaven and sing forever, which sounded horrible to me. The idea of just singing all the time? No, I don’t want to do that. But I think I brought a lot of that perspective I felt growing up into this record.

Eventually the dying man takes his final breath
But first checks his news feed to see what he’s ’bout to miss
And it occurs to him a little late in the game
We leave as clueless as we came
From rented heavens to the shadows in the cave
We’ll all be wrong someday

Now compare the lyrics to Ecclesiastes, Chapter 1, verses 16–17:

I said to myself, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me; and my mind has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.” And I applied my mind to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a chasing after wind.

Their languages just serve to confuse them
Their confusion somehow makes them more sure
They build fortunes poisoning their offspring
And hand out prizes when someone patents the cure
Where did they find these goons they elected to rule them?
What makes these clowns they idolize so remarkable?

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Image source: Ryan Egan.
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Image source: Ryan Egan.
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Image source: Lynn Lippert.
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Author photo.

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Writer and pop culture lover.

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