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By Amber Taufen
By Jon Solomon
By Tom Murphy
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By Stephanie March
By Tom Murphy
Fear Fun suggests Tillman's intent to appeal to a wider audience. "What I perceive to be an effective song is something that straddles that line between a sentiment that's universal and also deeply personal," he goes on. In effect, "Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings" strikes a perfect balance between the two. The idea for the song came from a romantic encounter at the famous graveyard, which took place just after Tillman returned to L.A. from his grandfather's funeral in Baltimore.
The actual sentiment of the song, however, is much more universal. "What I was doing with this girl was more of a dignified memorial to his life than anything that had happened at this funeral — something that everyone has to go through. It's weird to mention your grandpa and a girl coming in the same song, because people are conditioned to separate those experiences."
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Tillman is constantly seeking to balance his sense of humor with weighty topics, both in his music and in conversation. With his first release as Father John Misty, we see him finally bringing the two into harmony. After learning the literal meaning behind "Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings," it's difficult not to laugh when I hear it on public radio weeks later. All I can hear in the back of my head is Tillman laughing wickedly and exclaiming, "I'll bet the thing my grandfather loved most about life was fucking my grandmother. At least I would hope so."
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