Rock & Pop

Father John Misty

When: Wed., Sept. 26, 8 p.m. and Fri., Sept. 28, 9 p.m. 2012

Over the years it's become increasingly difficult to judge a band by its recordings. With the ability to digitally manipulate and massage everything from snare hits to voice pitch, you can never know if a band can actually perform the way it sounds on tape. Father John Misty, the project of former Fleet Foxes drummer J. Tillman, is one of those bands that's actually more impressive in person. Not to say that its debut album, Fear Fun -- a twangy folk album with a warm, ear-candyish sheen -- isn't appealing on its own. But live, Tillman's eccentric personality electrifies the music. He was one of the most engaging performers at this year's Outside Lands festival, and it doesn't hurt that he seems to be perpetually on some psychedelics. Being entertaining can make up for shortfalls in the music, but in this case, the compensation isn't necessary. At The Independent (628 Divisadero St., San Francisco) on Wednesday, Sept. 26 (8 p.m., sold out) and Friday, Sept. 28 (9 p.m., $15), and on Lower Sproul Plaza (UC Berkeley campus) on Friday, Sept. 28 (5 p.m., free). or

Kathleen Richards

Price: $15

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