Sunday, February 08, 2015

‘San Francisco’ (Foxygen)

“Up in San Francisco where the forest meets the bridge/I thought I saw you standing there/and then you fell into the world…

But that was many years ago/and I am so much older now/My brother is a soldier now/I can't see them anyhow, I moved up, in the wind/And you, swimming uptide/ or just tuning in radio stations…

And we're restating on this hill/That Jesus came from Israel/Isaac followed the sacred cow/So not to wake a sparrow splashing mud…

But that was many years from now/And I hope from here on now/That I always seem to want to shout/‘Your eyes are like a cup of tea/you're sending to the sun with me’…/You swimming upstream, or just tune into new sensations/I was broken, you were broken…

I left my love in San Francisco (That's okay, I was bored anyway)/I left my love in the room (That's okay, I was born in L.A.)/I left my love in San Francisco (That's okay, I was bored anyway)/ left my love in a field (That's okay, I was born in L.A.)…”

So it’s too long we have tarried, obviously; at least a year since the last SFNS post, in fact.  Apologies.

A lot can and has happened here in town with the passing of such time, both in the City itself and to your humble blogster.  Things in both instances which have a tendency to shake one’s confidence and belief in both to their respective foundations.  So it transpires one seeks out those articles of faith that restore self-confidence as well as confidence to not give up, and stay and strive to maintain what the heck it is that attracted one to such a place as this City That Knows How (Even If It Sometimes Doesn’t Know Why).

So it is with this tune.  I know next to nothing about this group except they are, like the lyric says, from L.A.  Also that their singer, one Sam France, has such a beguilingly androgynous voice - equal bits the dispassion of Nico, the wistfulness of any number of UK female folkrockers (St John, McDonald, Bunyan) with the effortless guile of early Rundgren - that, the first few times I heard it, I was convinced that it was some winsome South Cali nubile. 

And yes, the lyrics are maybe a little too elliptical and imagistic for their own good…yet there’s a real uplift to the music and the tune. Dreamy and hopeful and affirmative.

I’m listening to it as I type this on a gloomy rainy Sunday in the City and it’s like a stream of sunlight break in the clouds, all the better to help one along and through the sometimes ominous changes we locals have to contend with, and confront, on an all too daily basis as of late.

(I also recommend a tune off Foxygen’s latest, ‘How Can You Really’: another melodic pop bouquet that favorably compares to nothing less than classic early Todd Rundgren. And in this clip?  Sam France and band: VERY much informed by the Runt. Check out TR's 'Waiting Game' Letterman performance for comparison and contrast.)

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