Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Foxygen, or, I Like Pizza

So, XMU and WRAS have both been playing the shit out of Foxygen lately and I am really, really enjoying it.  I thought I might be just really late to the party, but their recent release, We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic, was only released two months ago, so I guess it's still topical.  What is wrong with me that if I enjoy something that everyone else is enjoying I have to get all skeptical about it?  Well, I'll tell you. 

Would you find a blog post entitled "I Like Pizza" really interesting?  How about "Puppies Are Soft"?

The first song that caught my ear was "Shuggie."  I love this song!  The entire album is incredibly stylized to sound like an old piece of vinyl you pulled out from behind your couch and said, "Oh hey, I bought this album in 1972 and forgot about it."  Yet, with lyrics from the modern era, and with a wide sampling of sub-genres from the 60's and 70's, they are definitely providing a very unmistakeably modern take on the classic sounds.  "Shuggie" initially sounded to me like something I've never heard before, and as a whole that holds true, but the song transitions are comfortably familiar.  The comfort to me is primarily because it reminds me of Supergrass (whom I LOVE) and their various retrospectives from the 90's of tunes from the 70's, but way more lo-fi.  Yep, that's right.

Awesome video too!  (BUT - shame on you for rhyming "house" with "house"!)

Foxygen is comprised of two small children, one from each coast.  They are actually 22 year old men named Sam France and Jonathan Rado, but I am bitter because I am advancing in age.  SO ARE YOU.  They met in Los Angeles, where apparently no one has anything better to do than to play music and make love and frolic in the sunshine and look fabulous doing it.  I tried to get a sense of what kind of gear they use in recording and on stage, but you know what's weird?  Reviews never talk much about gear.  Rado plays a Fender and France sometimes is seen with an acoustic guitar and other times behind a Roland keyboard.  I read a cool interview they did for delicious audio in which they talk a bit about gear, but mainly seem to say that they like playing with vintage audio toys of different types.  Go figure.

The next song that I stalker-dialed WRAS about was "On Blue Mountain."  I seriously have WRAS on speed dial on the bluetooth system in my Hyundai.  I don't see how a college education could be worth what I put those kids through, frankly.  This one has great lyrics, plus it has that togetherness vibe that I love.  Plus who doesn't love the mountains?  Not you I hope.  It also has multiple sections and a bit of a hippie freakout at the end, which to me is the hallmark of a great song.  The other singles that seem to be shaping up as such from this album are "San Francisco" and "No Destruction."  "San Francisco" nails it - the pop sound of the 60's (Mamas & Papas maybe?  Velvet Underground with a better singing Nico?) and the glamorization of San Francisco.  By the way, if you ever go to Singapore, they only call that city "Frisco."  But I digress.  "No Destruction" sounds like a cross between Lou Reed and Bob Dylan.  Yeah, that's my least favorite on the album, but it's still good.  Throughout the album, I keep hearing the Stones, the Beatles, the Doors, half the British Invasion, and even a hanful of people from Motown.  Then I had to let go, because ultimately it's more fun to just drown myself in Foxygen and not worry about their ancestors.

It was totally, compeltely worth the $6.99 for the mp3 download on Amazon, and it comes with a pdf of the liner notes, which is a lovely courtesy.  Seven thumbs up!  No, I haven't come up with a rating system yet.


  1. You made me curious enough to give them a listen. how can I go wrong if they are reminiscent of everyone but Jackie Wilson and George Jones.

  2. Thank you Nancy for catapulting our new blog into the "highly influential" category!!!

  3. dude- the wikipedia links to the 60's, 70's, and 90's threaten to rob me of the last half hour of my life before I have to leave for work. (note from last week)

    FINALLY watched the foxygen video! the video is cool-engaging- i like when they eat the box.

    man they sound like that band elope http://www.myspace.com/elope - they were on my mixtape (from the era during pharmacy school where i never dispensed any copies) during the long term care rotation (i named it LTC so i would never forget that era and those jams). anyway they sound like elope- ill have to share to you so you can get more foxygen like sounds. i wanna hear their album in its entirety- did you get it?

    i also could stand to hear some supergrass- you always mention them but i never heard them really- only,like, of them.

    thanks for reminding me of my advancing age. time stops for no one, dawg. i think about it all the time. its fascinating and horrifying all at once. thanks again.

    i like their album cover.

    they are not very cute are they? unfortch. perhaps if they grew their hair more, and beards, yeah....

    i love that you link to all the cities' municipal websites. fuck that shit! only you give a shit about that- you gov't IT nerd!! im heading straight for wikipedia for that shit!

    blue mountain is a nice track- i dunno if i would call that a hippie freak out- BUT- that OTHER hippy freakout is the shit! what? described as: "...this clip of an authentic LSD Hippie acid trip! Who knows where it will take you? Sunshine, tambourine, those lights....Faces melting, the love, free, just be free! Lots more psychedelic craziness ..." all that making out! wheres my jean jacket and a pile of leaves?!

    where the fuck did you even find that shit? what you googled?!

    you are welcome to use and/or modify my rating system i have scientifically developed, but not yet tested or trademarked. :-)

  4. Time stops for no man, dawg, but when this chick wins the mega millions i'll be wearing my ass right up under my chin like all the teenage bimbos. I figure I can get at least ten years back some kinda way.

    Yes - I bought the album and we have to add listening party to our long list of coming adventures. I also have the whole Supergrass catalog, and I adore them, but I am betting you will find them too polished, we shall see.

    They are not very cute because they are like twelve and I can't get into that any more. A, it's illegal, and B, I think I just grew out of it. Finally. Tweens of the world rejoice.

    You totally called it on my soft spot for municipal government websites. God bless them, every one. I'll try to mix it up.

    I searched "hippie freak out" on google videos. This is what happens when you are an IT nerd.

    Thanks Dawg! Our blog is ruling!

    1. hell fuck yes our blog is ruling so fucking hard. I need to get some kinda outerspace laser treatments to turn back the hands of time. or at the very least slow the progression. and yeah man, im totally not into the kids anymore. its horrifying. i find myself scopin' the "olds". like grey haired dudes and shit. im glad im not a pedophile, but growing older is still weird because everyone is still just a kid inside and you can look into their eyes and see it, and its not like it was when you were actually a kid and everyone just looked hardened and big and had funky breath and was totally OLD. now they are totally old but only physically and you see how retarded everyone is and its FOREVER. im not into ozzy-aged dudes yet tho, PTL. but some of those old burned out stoner rock dudes from the sleep documentary are totally doin it for me. we gotta watch that shit together soon.