Category Archives: Audio

“…And Star Power” Streaming Now at NPR

A day before pre-order downloads are released, NPR’s First Listen has started streaming Foxygen’s new album “…And Star Power.” They have a short writeup as well:

When LPs and cassettes gave way to compact discs in the late ’80s and early ’90s, many bands seized on the format’s 80-minute time limit as a challenge: If a disc can hold that much music, the thought process went, then why shouldn’t it? This led to some legendarily bloated albums, as well as an increased tendency to tuck in tossed-off bonus tracks after 20- and 30-minute blocks of silence, until cooler heads and quality control (mostly) prevailed. Now, as more and more music is released digitally — theoretically untethering future albums from any restriction on length at all — new releases have, for the most part, become geared toward ever-shorter attention spans.

All of which helps make … And Star Power, at an overstuffed and at times seemingly unedited 82 minutes, feel like a throwback in every way. For all its title’s talk of star power, the real subject here is excess in all its forms: the unhinged vocal performances, the worship of ’70s power pop, the way experiments are both embraced and quickly, unceremoniously discarded. Renowned for its shambolic early live shows, Foxygen‘s Sam France and Jonathan Rado know how to keep one foot on each side of the line separating barely contained genius from undisciplined indulgence.

Visit NPR to read the rest of the writeup and listen to the new album.

 

 

Studio Version of Cosmic Vibrations Released

Tim Heidecker (of all people) broke the news this morning that the studio version of Cosmic Vibrations has been released — listen to it below:

Fun to hear how this one has evolved over the past year+, as it’s had the most varied history of any of the songs from their live set that are going to be on the new album. The oldest version was created in a 1-hour studio session in the fall of 2012:

That was followed by my favorite rendition, played at the 3voor12 session in December of 2012 (starts at the 7:09 mark):

And in June of 2013, they played an acoustic version at the tail end of an interview Studio 360:

KEXP Posts Audio From July 30 Studio Appearance. First Recording of “Hang”?

KEXP has posted the audio from Foxygen’s July 30 appearance in studio. The 18-minute session only appears to be available in streaming Windows Media, but they’ll likely post the video to their YouTube page in the next few days as well. (Update: watch it here)

Song list is below — this is the highest quality recording yet of their new material (outside of the studio version of How Can You Really that’s been released), and I’m also pretty sure it’s the first recording of Hang to go around:

  • How Can You Really
  • Coulda Been My Love
  • Cannibal Holocaust
  • Hang

Jonathan Rado Solo Album Coming In September

Jonathan Rado found some time to record a solo album during some of the band’s recent time off the road. “Law And Order” Is due out on September 3 — here’s the lead single, “Faces”:

Whoever wrote the press release did a great job of making the album sound interesting:

On his debut solo album, “Law and Order,” the San Fernando Valley and the Lower East Side flirt over muddy coffee, get married over corned beef, and give birth to a Motown drum beat – but something is amiss. For example, there is no bass line on LA-psychedel-dance-jam “Seven Horses,” and not a single hand clap satisfies the droning singer’s gently repetitive request, “If you feel it all, clap your hands.” “Hand In Mine” sounds like an idea Johnny Cash had while sleepwalking through a fever dream. June is awakened by a frenzy of crashing symbols and revelatory mumbling as Johnny, pajama’d, arranges equipment atop the bed and holds out an urgently affectionate hand, beckoning her to sing. She complies without ever removing her silken, floral eye-shade.

The zonked-out guitarist settles back to warm Christmas sleep but dreams only of synthesizers. “Looking 4a Girl Like U” is an opium den, and there in the running shower Prince stands, sultry. He kaleidoscopically unbuttons his soaked, sequined shirt for six consecutive minutes, screaming baaaaaby and ego-dancing until “I Wood,” a folk spasm of paranoid schizophrenia in which Rado’s Bob Dylan vowels pile so heavily upon a White Fence-minor progression that Tim Presley actually materializes on “Faces” to turn the water and steamy distortion off. “All The Lights Went Out In Georgia” is a self-loathing diary entry thrown into a fire and “Pot of Gold” gets too drunk, freaks out, and starts hitting on everybody. So Rado wraps up the album and apologizes to everyone, promising not to invite that guy over anymore.

Live at Non-COMM, including Teenage Alien Blues

WXPN released a recording of Foxygen’s full 30-minute set from Non-COMM, which includes the first known recording of Teenage Alien Blues that we’ve seen this year. The full concert can be streamed at their website.

Here’s the setlist:

  1. Make It Known
  2. On Blue Mountain
  3. Shuggie
  4. We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic
  5. Teenage Alien Blues

Foxygen live: Epitonic saki Session

This is a great find — Epitonic recorded a Foxygen show right before their LP was released, so this probably places the recording in December or early January. It’s standard songs from their set, but the audio quality is fantastic. Definitely one of the best live recordings of No Destruction that I’ve heard.

Stream or download the songs at the Epitonic website.

  1. In The Darkness
  2. Make It Known
  3. Shuggie
  4. San Francisco
  5. We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic
  6. No Destruction

From Justin Sinkovich, who did the recording:

I hope that everyone will get to witness is a Foxygen show like this one at our Epitonic saki Session right before We Are The 21st Century… was released. In doing my normal research before engineering a session, I listened to their 2012 EP Take The Kids Off Broadway, and found it to be enjoyable, but not great. Within a few minutes of Foxygen’s session set, I was immediately enamoured with the new LP material and the recklessness and playfulness of France in particular, and how he interacted with the crowd and performed. Face to face with our audience in more of a loft or basement style setting, you can hear by the six tracks here are performed with a sense of spirited chaos mixed with an undeniable eccentric ear for pop. Foxygen’s set with us was a ton of fun, and real treasure for the audience at saki and with these six excellent renditions of some of their best songs, four from the new album, a track from last year’s EP, and the “Shuggie” single.

Recorded by Matt Irizarry and Justin Sinkovich
Mixed and mastered by Justin Sinkovich