|Jonathan Rado (left) and Sam France (right)|
|Young Rado (left) and France (right), the only image|
associated with "The Jurrassic Exxplosion Phillipic"
|Album art for "Take the Kids Off Broadway"|
Full disclosure: due in part to a near-breakup of Foxygen in 2013, we get to see how Rado and France operate as independent musicians. Rado's "Law and Order" is aptly named, sounding frighteningly similar to Paul McCartney and Wings, offering a frozen form of the Foxygen sound: blockier and stabler, with little to no surprised. France's solo work was worked into their 2014 release "...and Star Power," and shows how much he relies on Rado to get things done. With wonky out of key parts, and repetitive and mildly interesting and best keyboard lines as the main driving force behind France's voice, France completely abandons recognizable song form and structure. For those who appreciate the method and madness of the two, the works are great windows into the chemistry of Foxygen, but I fear they may leave much to be desired from a casual listener.
|Album art for "We are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace an Magic"|
In 2013, Foxygen released an album written clearly within the tight grip of Rado, as he reigned France in to appeal to a more entry-level audience for psychedelic rock (if that is what it is to be called). The album is called "We are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic." Here we see the possible potential for the two, as they appear in music videos to be mildly quirky, fun loving 20-somethings. This is when things start to dissolve.
In the tour following the albums, many complaints surfaced. France was climbing stage equipment. France was getting in shouting matches with hecklers, losing emotional control. France was storming off the stage mid-set, never to return. In late July, during a show in Minneapolis, France broke his leg after falling off the stage during the first song of the set, and the show
|Album art for "...and Star Power"|
France, in his songs and his attitude, makes direct allusions to Mick Jagger, Black Sabbath, and the general trope of the mad-lead-singer attitude. Is France able to create the works that he does through a deeper understanding through madness, as hypothesized by Andreason, or is he simpy putting on an act? Some say the entire near-breakup of the band was only an act, part of the large-scale performance piece that is Foxygen. Is Sam France slowly slipping into madness, letting us experience it through his music, or is he creating a plot for us to follow? Perhaps only time will tell.
|Sam France, 2012|
|Sam France, 2014|
Foxygen Video Interview with KEXP
Interview Magazine with Foxygen
Portland Mercury on Young Foxygen
N. Andreasen (2010) A Journey into Chaos: Creativity and the Unconscious