Foxygen: . . . and Star Power (Jagjaguwar)

 |   |  1 min read

Foxygen: Talk
Foxygen: . . . and Star Power (Jagjaguwar)

There are such a lot of borrowed clothes being donned by this LA duo of Jonathan Rado and Sam France -- plus the various star power pals from Of Montreal, Flaming Lips and others -- that you either laugh at the sheer psychedelic gall of it all.

Or play Spot the Source Material.

Across two mostly groovy, tripped-out and casually delivered discs Foxygen -- who construct this as a four-part conception with an eight-minute Star Power Suite -- offer a kind of Zappa audio-interruptus collection of songs which refer to George Harrison's Blue Jay Way (Cosmic Vibrations), Todd Rundgren blue-eyed soul (How Can You Really), Seventies singer-songwriters (the pretty, strung-out lo-fi ballads), prog-rock (that parodic suite, one "movement" of which had its vocals recorded in Room 78 of the Chateau Marmont), pure pop (What Are We Good For in the suite) . . .

And so it goes. That's just the first third.

There are some faux-Brian Wilson bits, allusions to mid-period Captain Beefheart, industrial noise of no fixed product, hippie humour (I Just Can't Contextualize My Mind), garageband rock . . . 

It is shapeless, not as funny or clever as it thinks, but does have a certain "I don't know" quality (as the French say).

Just as well they did this on the cheap -- about $200 would be my guess, they probably spent more on room service at the Marmont -- because otherwise some record company person would be saying, "But I just can't hear a single in this, guys". 

In a recent essay one of my more cynical students wrote of New Zealand avant-garde music in the Eighties, "This is what you get when a bunch of stoned musicians hang out".

He couldn't have been more wrong about that, but it certainly seems to apply here. 

Take it as you find it. Smoke 'em if you got 'em.

Otherwise it's . . . "Watch the wall my darling while the gentleman go by". 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Boz Scaggs: Speak Low (Decca)

Boz Scaggs: Speak Low (Decca)

With his classic blue-eyed pop-soul albums of the mid and late 70s -- Silk Degrees and Down Two Then Left -- Scaggs brought a slippery rhythmic sensibility to his singing and, with famed jazz and... > Read more

Fat Freddy's Drop: Bays (Rhythmethod)

Fat Freddy's Drop: Bays (Rhythmethod)

  There are concept albums and live albums, but this new album from a band which has juggled studio and live releases sound pleasingly close to a studio-created concept of a live album. It... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

SHANI.O PICKS HER BEST EPs OF 2016

SHANI.O PICKS HER BEST EPs OF 2016

What a year it has been for EP releases. Following the semi-regular EP review columns that have been posted on Elsewhere throughout the year, here are five top picks from 2016:1. Shakes -... > Read more

Son of Dave: '02' (Kartel/Rhythmethod)

Son of Dave: '02' (Kartel/Rhythmethod)

In the last couple of years this UK-based Canadian-born singer-songwriter (aka Ben Darvill, formerly of Crash Test Dummies) has conjured up the spirit and sound of old bluesmen punctuated with raw... > Read more