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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    A Night Out with Foxy Shazam

    On Nov. 15, a group of Statesman editors took a daring trip deeper into the heartland of Long Island — Ronkonkoma — to discover what might be the liveliest music scene in the smallest of places, Traxx.

    The three musketeers were scared of stepping into a bar that only served Red Bull, and they were worried they would stand out in what looked like a predominantly high school crowd. But the night was one to remember because not only did the three discover a great new band, Foxy Shazam, but they also got up, close and personal with them.

    Foxy Shazam hails all the way from down yonder. While most of the band members are from Cincinnati, Ohio, their “bass player is from Louisville, KY and Joe [the] drummer is from Indiana, which is the birthplace of corn, like the vegetable corn, not the band Korn,” according to vocalist Eric Nally.

    “Everyone knows they are from China,” added Loren Turner, who plays guitars. Nally and Turner are accompanied by Schuyler White who works the piano and keyboard, Daisy, the bass guitarist and Joseph Halberstadt who does the drums.

    The band’s music can be described as rupturing rock accompanied by piano ballads and soulful lyrics. But Nally likes to describe it as “[s]oul, and I think when you say that people think like Motown and stuff, but I like to think passionate music.”

    But the music does not exactly fit into a genre and while it is reminiscent of Blood Brothers and The Hives, it sort of makes its own niche. Nally finds his “inspirato” (yes, it is a word according to him) from things, such as scenery and “colorful trees,” rather than specific bands. He does enjoy The Beatles and really wants to get Jude’s haircut from “Across the Universe.”

    As for the how the music comes together, Loren said that it is “a collaborative effort.” Nally explained that “it kind of goes step by step, like I’ll write the lyrics and take it to Schuyler and then he’ll write the little piano thing and we’ll take it to Loren or the other way around.”

    Foxy Shazam played tracks from their latest album, “The Flamingo Trigger.” The quirky name of the band and their album does not even come close to the chaotic punk energy at their live performance. Nally’s vocals are nasal and exaggerated in a good way and his sudden bursts of aggression are strangely accompanied by his band members. The energy does not fade for one instance and experimental nature of the music gets to you no matter what your preference is.

    If the interview was any indicator, it is somewhat difficult to tell when the lyrics are meant to be taken seriously, especially as they are delivered while Nally is standing on his head. But the band’s wit is apparent, especially as Nally goes “No! Don’t Shoot” in a song with the same title. His exact words were “He said breath in/Love is good to you/I can’t say the same for me though/Smile/Because love is good to you,” and ends the song with the “six words/eee ooo aah biggity biggity boo.”

    More than the music what had the crowd enthused were the band’s antics. The band’s eccentricities ranged from White playing the keyboard with his nose and his toes to Nally crunching over the bathroom door, singing on his head and even smoking a cigarette in the middle of the song. Nally’s idea of a good time was walking on all fours like a rat sniffing cheese outside the venue, making people want to “pet him.”

    Foxy Shazam is now working with producer Casey Bates (of Heavy Heavy Low Low fame, one of them many bands who introduced them). New Weatherman will be debuting Introducing Foxy in January of 2008. The songs range extensively — “Dangerous Man” was made for the soundtrack of a Robin Hood film, “Red Cape Diver” is about a bull fighter expressing his love to his family before heading off to work. Of course, most of them, as was evident at the Long Island performance are simply meant to have a good time.

    A band that believes in playing music that just sounds good and performing not to the crowd, but to themselves “no matter how many people are there or what kind of people are there,” Foxy Shazam is unique in a lot of ways. Of course it is worth buying, but as a theatrical band that massively and soulfully entertains, it is even more worth watching live.

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