Some Grammy winners who had to miss the ceremony in New York on Sunday might have felt that their opportunity to use the occasion to make a political statement had slipped by. Not Father John Misty — aka Josh Tillman — whose “Divine Comedy” album picked up a win for best recording package. He was touring overseas when the Grammys were held, but took advantage of a show in Sydney to belatedly deliver the speech he would have, if his booking agent had only anticipated the triumph.
Unlike some socially-conscious Grammy winners, Misty did not have “Time’s Up” or DACA on his mind, but the alternative folk-rocker clearly does have some pressing concerns about the earth itself.
“Uh, well, thanks. I don’t have a whole lot of time,” Misty told the Sydney crowd, at one point miming holding a Grammy, in a mock speech captured by a YouTuber. “But, God, f—, I just want to say f— society. I want to say that this government is a criminal organization.” He stammered for his next thought. “FlatEarth.com, please go check that out! And, you know, when I was growing up everyone told me — whether it’s like mommy, daddy, the church, schoolteachers, whoever — everybody was always saying that it’s what’s on the inside that matters, you know, and I think that this is really evidence of the fact that it’s what’s outside that matters.”
In case anyone doubts that the “Divine Comedy” creator was actually doing some comedy, the website Flatearth.com does not seem to exist at the moment. (But if Misty were serious, he wouldn’t be alone; the rapper B.o.B has repeatedly tweeted about his belief that the world is flat and even started a GoFundMe to raise money for anti-spherical research, seemingly with a straight face.)
Humor about the name and nature of the category would appear to be endemic to most of the nominees. Jonathan Coulton was also up for that award for “Solid State,” an album he released on Aimee Mann’s label, Superego. They shared the stage at a gig in Cleveland this week and bantered about their wins and losses (Mann won for best folk album).
“Did you tell the people that you were nominated for a Grammy for your package?” Mann asked her labelmate, according to Cleveland.com. “His package was fantastic. I don’t know if you’ve seen it. I was heavily involved with it.”
“Well, you had a lot of advice about my package when we were working on it,” Coulton answered. “I’m very happy with my package. It’s an honor just to be nominated. As it turns out…”
“People liked Father John Misty’s package a little better than yours,” Mann interrupted.
“Father John Misty has a better package than I do,” Coulton acceded. “I knew that going in.”
The award for recording package was actually a tie, with Misty’s design getting exactly the same number of votes as an album by Magin Diaz, a 95-year-old Columbian musician who does not appear to have weighed in so far on the world or his package.