Hello, all! Arrived for dinner at the Ram's Head on the early side, around 6:00; did the dinner & show combo (highly recommended!). Brought three folks with me; two had been de-Fruginized at The Vault in Baltimore last year (and have come to two shows since), and one was a newbie! He's hooked, I'm glad to report!
I enjoyed the set of the opener-- I don't want to risk butchering the lovely lady's name (Martina Sorbara?), so I'll leave it that I liked her music, thought the drummer was pretty darn good, and may take a look for her CD (don't like the Ram's Head Tavern policy of adding surcharge to merchandise!); she mentioned she's going into the studio in a couple of weeks to record new material, and that Jian would be recording with her. Cool!
Murray's set list:
*** NOW LAIKA H'SEEKER COMPLAINTE SAD LAZY PISCO SPLAT! INDY BOOTY TUR SAUCE PORK GUINEA FLY MPG RIVER CAR BOY DANCE ====== MICH ====== VID IF ====== HOME FOR BEER + HOCKEY ***
Although, they mentioned, the lads had every intention of taking the stage and launching into song, much banter was to be had beforehand. Fine by me! "'Topics' is the name of the band..." "'Hijinks' is the name of the band..." "Padding the set" improv...
Nowhere Man was high-energy, and I thought it made a good start to the show. After Laika, there was some confusion over the pronunciation of Annapolis (" 'Napolis "), and whether Anne Arundel was a person's name(1). Some chat about George Washington's wooden teeth, and what he may or may not have been doing with them... "...and they found splinters in Thomas Jefferson's thighs..." Heat-Seeker Boy, billed as being on the C Album; new for me, live. Also new for my ears, La Complainte du Phoque en Alaska; is this something played often in concert? I considered it a treat!
Jian noted that since the haircut (I'm still not sure how I feel about it... *grin*), he had to be careful when he wore the gas-station-attendant-style shirt, as people thought he looks like Scott Baio. Mike has apparently never seen an episode of 'Laverne & Shirley,' but the intro to Heat-Seeker Boy *does* sound an awful lot like the theme to that show, as Dave pointed out.
Sad Girl, Lazy Boy, Pisco, (one of my favorites, whee!), Splatter, Independence Day, Boo Time (I didn't catch *all* the references, sorry), Tureen (whee, another one I like a lot!), Johnny Saucep'n.
Murray and Dave alone on Pork Tenderloin, Mike and Jian together on Guinea Pig, also billed as being on the C Album. Cool. *grin*
Fly, MPG, River Valley (whoo-hoo-- this was a *great* setlist, in my book!), Get In the Car, Your New Boyfriend, Dancing Queen medley. Encore 1, Michigan Milita, Encore 2, Disco Bargainville, banter about being a 'Glam Folk Band' (what a great description!), If Only You Knew.
Great to see folks I've seen before, good to meet new people! Looking forward to seeing people at Birchmere tonight!
With much love,
(1) It is. Who was she? Her parents, Lord and Lady Arundel, were executed by Queen Elizabeth I, for their role in the Catholic conspiracy led by the Duke of Norfolk. If you catch the movie, "Elizabeth" (has some serious historical flaws, yes, but it's *gorgeous* to look at!), toward the end, when she's cleaning up the Catholic conspirators, they go looking for Lord Arundel, who's found behind a secret wall, having Mass with The Monk. When Elizabeth tells him (and Lady Arundel), ... 'don't think me cruel, I will take care of your children...' some think that this is what she means, but this is disputed. The toddler held by the servant when they come looking for the Lords and Lady-- that little girl is Anne Arundel. "Officially," the county was created in 1650, by the General Assembly, a year after her death; the County was named for Lady Anne Arundell (1615-1649), daughter of Thomas Arundell of Wardour, and wife of Cecilius Calvert, Second Lord Baltimore and founder of the Maryland colony. Here's a link to a brief overview of Anne Arundel's life, if any are curious: http://www.aacc.cc.md.us/WhoisAA.htm
All day Monday, I was debating back and forth about going to the Annapolis show. Lisa mentioned that she was going and was wondering if I wanted to go. I was very tempted, but the issue of money and driving was the problem. I asked Jordan to come up with a list of pros and cons about the entire issue because I didn't have time to even think about it considering the fact that I had barely any sleep, it was my roommate's 21st birthday, I had a program to go to on campus, and there was the issue of studying for my final that was on Tuesday morning at 10am... Ya, I was feeling a little delirious on Monday night.
So, Jordan sends me an email saying everything that I was basically thinking in my head but just ignoring it. I swear, she and I think so much alike that it's scary. Then, I get an email from Lisa and I decided. I would head out for Annapolis. I sent her an email and we decide to meet up at 6:30 at the Rams Head.
Tuesday, I had my exam and finished it in half an hour and basically didn't know any of the answers. It was more or less me filling in random letters that I picked... By the way, the exam was for Oceanography...and I'm a PSYC major...ya, that stuff will help me out when I'm a psychologist. So, I get home, have to run a couple of errands, and before I know it, it's time for me to leave. I didn't even get a chance to catch a nap so I could get caught up on my sleep. Oh well. I head out for Annapolis at 3:30...giving myself an extra 30 min because I knew what it would be like having to drive on the beltway through DC.
I got to Annapolis at 6:45 and Lisa calls to me from across the street as I'm headed for the Rams Head. We go inside, I get a ticket and we sit down in the bar. Two drinks later, we're in complete social mode and we head inside the venue. I met Valerie and Anna, who are totally chills. I definitely look forward to seeing y'all again next semester sometime! Lisa sits with me during Martina's set and we're chatting back and forth about silly things. We order more drinks and are having a good time. After a while, the people that had seats at my table showed up and I was sad to see Lisa go. The people at my table were pretty much anti-social...even though I tried to strike up a conversation with them. Luckily Früvous came on shortly there after.
As soon as the guys came on the stage, they started in on some banter...concerning Ann Arundale and Ann Arbor...making implications that George Washington got around and slept his way to the top paving the way for our future presidents...Murray was saying that nobody could resist his wooden teeth then Jian made the comment about how he heard that Thomas Jefferson had problems with having splinters in his thighs. Man, talk about a bad comment. But, it was pretty fun to hear them talk instead of going right into a song. They had to call this guy up to do an intro because they were obviously having problems with getting started.
The first song was Nowhere Man, which was great! I definitely look forward to hearing that again...hopefully they can play it either in California or if they're on tour in the fall. Let me see...ok, so Murray and Dave sang a great Pork Tenderloin, which I have never heard except for when those two kids sang it at FruCon. It was great! I definitely thought they would fit in well down here in Hicksville, VA (aka Harrisonburg, home of the chicken and Alpo factories...yeeeehaw!!!!!). I can't remember much of anything else of the concert considering the fact that I was ::really:: far away, drinking too many beers, and stuff... After the show, I met Lindsay and Co. They were pretty cool. We chilled in the bar afterward. I got to know Anna a little better and she's so chills. I was so glad that we could talk one on one... Such a relief to know that she doesn't hate me…and actually is on the same wavelength as Jordan and I. =)
So, we were kicked out at closing time and we all headed back to our homes. A trip that should have taken me about 2.5 hours, took me 5 hours because I kept pulling over to sleep. Man, I was soooo tired. I got home around 7:30 and crashed until about 1:00...
I know this concert happened a week ago, but Shell and Cara assured me that it wouldn't be *too* silly to post this review. So here we go.
It was my first time at the Rams Head, having spent the last 4 years or so waiting to turn 21 and actually be able to get into the place. I wasn't disappointed, either -- tho the fact that it's a "listening venue" is perhaps a little annoying if you're the type who likes to sing and dance along, it also discourages people from screaming for KOS/GEH, and that's always a good thing.
Martina Sorbara was the opener, and she was pretty cute with some good songs as well -- her voice is kind of a little-girl Ani/Deloris O'Riordan (from the Cranberries), and she played guitar and piano.
Fruvous came out at some time or another, and proceeded to talk for awhile. Mike announced that the band's name would be "Topics, and his monkey Sassafrass," and then he changed it to "Hijinks." Yeeeeah. They commented on the fact that the Rams Head has no pictures of them up on the walls, while the bathrooms are entirely wallpapered with pictures of Jonatha Brooke. Jian at one point remarked, "Well, we killed *3* minutes," prompting Mike to start singing, "Padding the set, these guys are padding the set..." And then they actually started singing :)
Nowhere Man: first time hearing this. It's, like, note-for-note the same as the original, which is unusual for a Fruvous cover, isn't it?
Laika *banter about Ann Arundel, the silent A in "Annapolis," George Washington sleeping his way to the top (Jian: "They found little splinters in Thomas Jefferson's thighs," Murray: "You put an image in my head I didn't want," Jian: "I'll stick to heterosexual references for you, Murray."
Heatseeker Boy: again, my first time hearing this. I love it -- somehow, the music is very -- and don't shoot me for this -- Burt Bacharach.
La Complainte: yay! I was so happy to hear this one again. But I missed Murray's cute little hand motions this time. *banter about Jian's haircut ("Murray says I look like Scott Baio"), and the fact that Mike somehow has never seen an episode of "Laverne and Shirley."
Lazy Boy, which Mike proclaimed was "much better than Cats." I don't think anyone there disagreed :) *banter about the MD flag, which according to Mike contains "the nautical symbol for 'Clown Overboard.'"
Pisco (Mike: "He's a fucking kleptomaniac!") *Refs to the fact that Rams Head is a listening venue, with Murray demanding, "So are we *entirely* responsible for the conversation here?" Somehow they got into the "Behind the Music" thing here, too, taking the parts of aging Brit rock stars. All I remember is that Dave had a cocaine habit, and the word "lexicon" kept popping up. Murray: "I don't remember the '90s, but they've given me photos."
Indy: so glad to hear this live. The more Murray, the better :)
Boo Time: someone else will have to help with the rhymes here. All I remember is Mike going into, "Way down upon the Swanee River." Murray: "A Jerome Robbins production."
banter about all kinds of stuff here, which at one point led to Jian asking, "Don't you hate it when there's only 4 people in the room laughing, and 3 of them are us?" Hee hee. Also, the most decadent thing you can say in a restaurant is apparently, "Waiter, more salmon."
Pork Tenderloin: yee-ha! Murray and Dave did this, as Billy Joe Bob McBride (in a cowboy hat, of course) and "my brother whose name escapes me." I know of at least 10 singers in the area who are exactly like them in this song, so it always amuses me to no end.
Guinea Pig: Mike and Jian on this one, altho first Jian announced, "We're gonna do 'Pork Tenderloin,' too, cos we could prolly kick their ass," and put on the hat and sang a little bit. "Guinea Pig" is very, very catchy; I've been singing it all week. It's also extremely short compared to Pork, which is interesting. *banter about their agent in England back in the day, whose only way of marketing them was to run around pleading, "Buy their CDs! They're *Canaaaadian*!"
River Valley GITC YNB: These three work so well together
Dancing Queen medley: Louuuuuuu! He made some comment about Thomas Jefferson again: "me and Jefferson, baby. We had more than one thing going on." This was a lot of fun, too.
Disco B'ville (relating the things people say to them as a "hard-hitting glam-folk band," such as, "Hey, buddy, vaudeville died a long time ago," and "Why don't you get some normal shirts?")
If Only: a weird way to end a weird set. I mean, the song is great, but it just doesn't work as a closer, especially from a band that has some great closing songs.
And as for the set being weird, well, as a lot of us seemed to be discussing, playing so many bouncy songs (including Disco, of all things) at a "listening venue" was just, well, cruel :) Ah well, it was a lot of fun, regardless. It was great to meet even more people tonight, and to meet all the Frulads after the show, too (I had never met Dave before).
Alrighty, the late-and-stupid Birchmere review is next! Rah!
Some other tidbits from the performance include: