Pitchfork Music Festival News Roundup

Lots of coverage from the Pitchfork Music Festival — see below for a roundup of various items.

Positive coverage from Vita.mn’s blurb on their performance:

Foxygen channels Jim Morrison, kind of pull it off. This is a band that’s already been under such hyper scrutiny, so there’s always the fear that their live performance won’t stack up. But Sam France & Co. came through in the most entertaining way, bantering their way through technical difficulties, doling out compliments to the audience and death-growling the verses to certain songs. They had character, and they sounded strong.

Chicagoist also liked what they saw:

After seeing a lackluster Foxygen set at Lincoln Hall this spring—just prior to their SXSW meltdown—I was excited to see what this young California psych rock band could do. Luckily, this was the set we hoped for and knew they could deliver. Frontman Sam France was all over the stage, climbing the rafters, over his drummer and on and off the front of the stage. It was controlled chaos, wild and fun. They opened with “On Blue Mountain”—a catchy tune, and one of my favorites (though every time they get to the chorus, I can’t not hear “Suspicious Minds” instead.) Alternating between a deep ’70s vocal style and a lighter California-flecked singing voice, France and crew moved through a high-powered half hour set. There was some lighthearted banter from France and his keys player, including a shout out to the Chicago Bulls that moved into talk about the ’90s movie Space Jam. That’s when France responded, “You’re talking about Space Jam, let’s talk about songs,” as they launched into another one. That’s what we’re talking about. After seeing their music suffer at that Lincoln Hall show, it was nice to see this group delivering the goods as they should be heard. —Michelle Meywes

Minnesota Daily’s Spenser Doar enjoyed the performance:

[D]uring Foxygen’s freewheeling performance, it was all goofiness. Since they were in M.J.’s home city, Rado took a moment to mention how much he loves “Space Jam,” asking audience members with smartphones to check out how the original website hasn’t changed since the release of the film in 1996.

It really hasn’t.

Over the course of the 40 minutes, they took time to thank ATMs, ESPN, President Barack Obama, AOL, Red Bull, Batman, The Roots and Wilco.

With all the nonsense during the set, some would slam Foxygen as immature.

But then you see them take the time to chill on the grass with reporters and fans alike, signing autographs, answering questions and smoking cigarettes in the afternoon heat when they don’t have to.

Foxygen: they’re still amazed by their success and inexperienced with being known offstage.

Not everyone was so positive. Here’s Greg Kot’s recap for the Chicago Tribune:

Hyperactive Foxygen vocalist Sam France climbs the lighting trellace on the side of the stage. He quickly descends, smacks himself in the head and surfs atop an amplifier before striking drum cymbals with his bare hand. Meanwhile, his band is one song into its performance. Where does Foxygen go from here? Nowhere memorable. Cramming late 60s psychedelic, glam and baroque pop cliches into songs and twisting them with garage-rock edginess and spontaneous combustion, the throwback collective resembles a nightmare parody of the Doors on their worst night. Clad in thin paisley trousers, the wiry France embraces the role of Jim Morrison, replicating many of the latter’s juvenile look-at-me antics and inane banter. He strives to convey elements of weirdness and humor, the equivalent of the kid in class that will stop at nothing to get attention and draw laughs. Yet France’s cartoonish behavior is about as authentic as Foxygen’s originality. It may be designed to conjure bipolar disorder or a vicious acid trip, but the acting is transparent. At its best, the California group qualifies as carnival-level entertainment–something meant to distract the audience from tedium until the main act goes on. Mostly, however, it is pathetic farce, a band designed to incite reactions no matter how idiotic the cost. (BG)

Click here to watch several videos from Foxygen’s Pitchfork Music Festival performance.


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