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 60â€™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-laâ€™s part of the Rolling Stonesâ€™ â€œSheâ€™s Like a Rainbowâ€ is plugged into â€œMake It Known,â€ one of Foxygenâ€™s best songs, which also has hints of The Doors, Lou Reed and Iggy Pop in it. The bandâ€™s bizarre rambling between songs also added a little more strangeness. Saying things like â€œThank you for enjoying cookies with us tonight. The internet. Mixed cliques. John Lennon-brand ice cream,â€ all in one breathâ€”I couldnâ€™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 weekâ€”a week packed full of shows, panels, mixers and general insanity. Iâ€™m dead tired, but boy was it fun!