CMJ Music Marathon Part 3, 10/19/12

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I finished off my CMJ experience on Friday night. Mainly, I wanted to make sure I got to see Foxygen. Sampling some of their recorded music online, they were a band that I decided I must see live. So I headed to Bowery Ballroom to catch their set.

First up at Bowery that night though was Winter People, a fantastic 6-piece band from Australia. The band combined guitar, bass and drums with two violins and harmonizing male/female vocals. The sound quality was excellent; the band was tight and they had a slight Arcade Fire feel to them, which is always a good thing in my book. The band was charming, earnest and very excited to be playing in New York for the first time.

And finally, the band I was most eager to see, Foxygen, hit the stage. Let me just say that frontman Sam France is one unique guy. His voice ranges from impersonations of Mick Jagger (spot-on, mind you) to deep, evil growls and high-pitched screams. Donning multi-colored striped pants and a fur collared coat, he was clearly striving for a 60’s throwback vibe all around. Fully acknowledging their musical influences, the band took those influences, distorted them and collaged them together to create something entirely new. The ooh-la-la’s part of the Rolling Stones’ “She’s Like a Rainbow” is plugged into “Make It Known,” one of Foxygen’s best songs, which also has hints of The Doors, Lou Reed and Iggy Pop in it. The band’s bizarre rambling between songs also added a little more strangeness. Saying things like “Thank you for enjoying cookies with us tonight. The internet. Mixed cliques. John Lennon-brand ice cream,” all in one breath—I couldn’t figure out if the ramblings were drug-induced or just part of the persona the band puts on. It could have been both.

Foxygen was a great way to end the week—a week packed full of shows, panels, mixers and general insanity. I’m dead tired, but boy was it fun!

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