Having previously dabbled in music as the mostly silent, intangibly Franco half of Kalup And Franco, James Franco has opted for a more prominently Franco role in his latest musical project, Daddy, so named for the way it casts a wistfully childlike eye at an older, bygone era, and because the Francman-Turner Francoverdrive would be egotistical. Indeed, Franco's new band with his RISD collaborator Tim O'Keefe harks back to the soulful sounds of Motown that Franco absorbed through osmosis by his simply being in Detroit—though as Franco explains in this Rolling Stone interview, Daddy is more than just a "band" making "music" to put on a "record." It is rather a wide-ranging artistic conceptualization process formed by "looking at different genres of music, different periods of time, really studying it, and then creating work influenced and inspired by that," whether that work can or should be "heard" or "enjoyed."
Of course, you may be saying, "But lots of musicians draw influence from different time periods—what's so Franco about that?" with your thick, provincial tongue, slightly muffled by the strangling fleece of your sweatshirt. Once again, you are not thinking trans-dimensionally, as the duo explains in a press release that was not so much "emailed" as "experienced":
"According to Franco and O’Keefe, the motivation behind Daddy is to push beyond the sonic space of music into the surrounding ecology. Daddy investigates the territories of film/video, installation, and performance while simultaneously exploring the connections that form between them.”
For example, the below video for debut single "Love In The Old Days" appears to be a gently ambling, A.M. Gold-style groove over which Franco offers a wistful, spoken-word tribute to simpler times and old-fashioned romance, while his Spring Breakers co-stars (and cover subjects for Daddy's debut EP, MotorCity) Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson, and Vanessa Hudgens frolic on the beach under psychedelically kaleidoscopic lenses.
But explore the thematic ecotone abutting the auditory region, and you'll discover the listener has established his own encampment there, using his own half-conscious memories and desires to construct a framework for understanding. You'll see that this structure contains outside it a second-floor balcony, from which the listener overlooks his neatly manicured lawn of predetermined expectation, and notes angrily that James Franco has once again pushed beyond the boundaries established by his artistic blueprint, and littered the listener's assumption-grass with more provocative, crumpled objets d'art.
"Hey James Franco, you better stay in the sonic space or I'm going to take it up with the local ecology group and have you evicted!" the confused listener may yell, as he fishes yet another obscure poetic allusion or shaving cream-covered dildo from his territory. Yet is not even this interaction a connection to be explored—the never-ending push-and-pull between "musician" and listener, "producer" and consumer, "Franco" and the world? If you have a problem with it, put up a fence. Maybe make it of dildos.
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