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LIVE REVIEW: FOXYGEN live at Crofoot Pontiac - Words/Jeff Howitt Photos/Sarah Cook

I must admit upfront that my girlfriend sent me a "First Listen" link on for the new FOXYGEN record a mere 24 hours before their performance. I wield that word tamely, as it was, truly something to behold.  I listened to Thurston Moore's new album, "The Best Day" first, which was sweet and what I hoped for after him playing with a doomier approach. Then I tackled the FOXYGEN record, "…And Star Power", which had me laughing at myself as I kept going back to my desk top to check if it were still them with all it's Sebadoh-ey lo-fi playfulness and classical Pysche-Pop ala Tommy James and The Shondells.


Before this evening, to some degree, the topic of, "Where are the Lux Interiors these days or Rocky Horror Picture Show? Where is my Good/Bad Taste?", had often become the conversation I found myself in. Bringing to mind something John Sinclair said years back in an interview with Michigan Journalist Jeff Milo. "Rock n Roll'll never die, man...'cuz it's like a zombie…". With that I have always waited for the MONSTERS.


I do have to give it up to those Labels and Artists who took Captain Beefheart's "10 Commandments for Guitar Players seriously"; like Burger Records, Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall and recent buzz babies King Tuff reminding EVERYONE that it is so much better to rock the FUCK out than overstate their role in a pre-set looped sample while bodily rocking so unnecessarily hard to a beat that they had no creation in beyond the choice of setting.





The following morning I read the headline on Pitchfork that "Foxygen Freak Out on Chicago Morning Show" just a mere twelve hours after they left little of the stage in Pontiac's Crofoot Ballroom. There have been regional crossroads such as these before, like when Tav Falco's Panther Burns played Marge Thrasher back in '79 when the squares didn't know what was happening. It really is a litmus test to produce something that you must deliberately pay attention to and not as a spectator but as an accomplice.






The duo of Sam France and Jonathan Rado led a band that totaled nine members, three of them high knees and kicking back up vocalists, through a rousing set that could be as gentle in balladry as if Boy george fronted Roxy Music then suddenly everyone had guitars snug in their guts like machine guns and were piling themselves on the drum riser like some pyramidal all seeing eye. Sonically slaying the entire crowd that minded not a bit when the squeal and moan of fuzz lasted minutes before the next shift of revelry.


Don't believe me? Not possible? Suck it up buttercup and go see what is causing all the smoke on the horizon next time you can. The MONSTER stirs...