We came, we saw, we rolled on the stage in dresses to the soundtrack of twisted jazz/funk/pop futuristic nostalgia. Now the verdict on our opening slots for Foxygen is in, and --somewhat suprisingly--the feedback on these Gary Wilson and the Blind Dates performances has almost uniformly been that of awesome positivity.
Don't get me wrong -- I play with Gary because his art moves me deeply, and every second I get to create with him is a privilege I treasure dearly. I must say, however, that it warms my heart to read mainstream publications praising his brilliant -but admittedly unusual- work.
Moss Perricone makes a brief and positive mention of the pioneer and his band's performance at the Observatory in OCWeekly, noting that "[h]is strut was manic, theatrical, drawing the crowd into songs about Friday nights and blind dates, a heartbreaker named Cindy and school dances. It's a potent mix -- massive, operatic performances and roller disco make out pop." The complete review is here: http://blogs.ocweekly.com/heardmentality/2014/08/foxygen_-_the_observatory_-_august_15_2014.php
Cortney Armitage's piece in L.A. Record is worth checking out for the pristine and captivating images alone, but her words on both Foxygen and the Blind Dates also warrant a link-click and bookmark: http://larecord.com/photos/2014/08/16/foxygen-gary-wilson-the-fonda-theatre
Peter Larsen's piece in the Orange County Register gives a nicely compressed historical run-down of Beck's connection to Gary, and also playfully notes that we Blind Dates probably got our stage gear from a Goodwill dumpster (we can't reveal our methods, of course). Larsen, however, very thoughtfully and kindly adds this:
But despite the weird performance art visuals, which included at times most of the band rolling around onstage with a pile of mannequins, Wilson’s music was oddly affecting and a highlight of the night. The band is tight in a smooth rock ‘n’ roll vibe, and the 60-year-old, who’d disappeared for decades after releasing one underground album in the ’70s, was in strong voice on songs such as “6.4 = Makeout” and “Cindy.” The San Diego-based Wilson doesn’t play all that often but if you like outsider art, you’d be well-advised to catch him when he does.
Mr. Larsen's article is here: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/foxygen-631815-france-band.html
Finally, some touching praise came from Ziv Biton, who applauded both the Blind Dates' music and fashion, writing in Grimy Goods that "no one in attendance could compete with the fashion killers on stage." Mr. Biton also wrote:
But, it is their music, and the vindication with which they perform it, that keeps everyone enthralled. There are human torsos on stage, the sort used for CPR instruction. There are disembodied heads, normally used by hairstylists in training. Many times these human pieces are yelled at, caressed, pleaded with, questioned. It is a stunning freakout, and one that has branded its memory into my mind.
I am moved, humbled by, and grateful for those words, and know that Gary and the rest of the Blind Dates are as well. A link to the Biton's complete article on the sold out Fonda Theatre show is here: http://www.grimygoods.com/2014/08/18/foxygen-gary-wilson-photos-review-fonda-theatre/
Thanks to all the journalists and bloggers out there who continue to spread the word about great music like that of Foxygen and Gary. And of course, more thanks to Foxygen is in order here: their support and passion for their own music --as well as Gary's-- is something that you just don't get to experience very often. I find it hard to believe that many bands out there (let alone ones that are half as amazing as Foxygen!) are in the crowd, working up a sweat as they dance to the opening band's set, but that's exactly what that band did. Additionally they brought Gary's music to a whole new audience. It was a pleasure and honor to be a part of their concerts at three sold-out venues, and hopefully it won't be long before we're at it again, bringing wonderful weirdness to the masses!