Category Archives: Media

“…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.

 

 

Unboxing the “…And Star Power” Cassette

I managed to grab the cassette for “…And Star Power” at yesterday’s Cassette Store Day event, and while I still haven’t been able to find something to play it on, I did want to share some pics of the presentation. I certainly don’t remember tapes looking this cool when I was a kid:

The liner notes are fascinating — in addition to IDing where the guest starts appear, there are lots of interesting tidbits about making the album that are sprinkled throughout. Though I am looking forward to being able to read the notes a bit better when the larger-format releases arrive…

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: