Andy Harrison and I started out from Indianapolis about 3pm planning on hitting the store around 7pm ("Chad," you say, "4 hour drive for an instore?! You are a big freak." But I say back to you, "As Chris and Moe well know, Indiana is on stupid person's time. And so during this half of the year, we lose and hour going to Ohio. It's only a 2 1/2 hour drive"). We, thanks to directions gratiously offered by Jennifer Schlosser (thanks!!), arrived right on time and quickly checked out the place. Said a couple hellos and went lookin' for some food. KFC across the street was the best we could do, but we got back well before the 8pm starting time.
This was the largest Borders I've ever been in. It had a big info booth, a cafe espresso place, loads of videos. Big place. Fruvous was decked out the middle of the store in a kinda clearing. When we got there, there were already a good number o' folks sitting down waiting. We passed Cal treking to the Frubus for batteries while we were back on the way in. Said our greets to Dave (Tobey, Dave) and went and sat down.
Behind the performance area, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was playing, so we had entertainment before the show. It turned out to be entertainment during the show too, but I'll get to that.
The show started around 8:15, 15 late normal person's time, 15 early Fruvous time. Well, start is kinda an misinterpretation. The guys came out from the back and walked to the performance area. They then proceeded to talk for 15 or 20 minutes about various asundry things.
First we were welcomed and then somehow it came out that Canada was a bunch of communists. So, they all started tossing around communism lingo and russia lingo, Dave calling everyone comrades, Jian talking about the distribution of wealth in Canada such that when they go back, they have to give away all their money if they had a good tour. Mike made geographical reference in German that went over most people's heads. I'd explain it, but I was one of the most people.
They then proceeded to notice the TV behind them, now playing Willy Wonka II. They proceeded to provide a soundtrack for the silent movie including Charlie talking with a thick english accent and asking for candy. He then walked outside and started trying to sell hand bags. After a little bit of this, Jian made some comment about the TV and they turned it off (well, bluescreened it) and the crowd let out a big "awwwwwww". So, the guys got off track again (note the show hadn't even started yet) talking about the live album and how the Borders people here are so nice, they are offering 3 free books if you buy a copy of their CD, Live Noise. He then proceeded to give examples (starting with the Jewel Poetry Book) of great things you could get and how beneficial it would be for you. Only two of the books could be hard cover though. Or, as Mike graciously pointed out, you could get, instead of the 3 books, a Bunny Kit. Mike had this box that looked like a computer game or something that said "Bunny Kit" big on the front. He started reading the back and maligned it into a kinky sex toy talking about becoming a sensual bunny for... and then looked around and left the stage.
By this time (no start of the show yet), they noticed the TV had been restarted and started back up with the movie soundtrack, this time with walking music. Finally, after playing with that or awhile, they invited an exicted exuberant kid from the audience to do the introduction.
As the kid was getting on stage, the talk turned to hockey and how the finals were starting tonight, so they asked the kid to make his best prediction on the Stanley cup finals (and Murray added in that he should guess about the Goalie averages and such). So, the kid gets up there, gets handed the mic and Jian prompts him to say something about hockey. The kid proceeds to point out that Detroit is gonna win in 6 games. The only reason it goes that far is because of the goal-tending of Osgood and something else that I didn't get. Jian insisted the kid must have been Canadian and then prompted him for the introduction. The kid looked around (most likely wondering what he was supposed to introduce since the band had been around talking for about 20 minutes now). Jian kept urging him, and the kid finally said "Moxy Fruvous" and looked up. Jian smiled and started the show and the kid went back to his seat.
The show started with Authors, with a communism reference in the intro. My Crucifixion instead of Short works of fiction. So about this time, the fact that my left ear was planted in the speaker became apparent. And very much enjoyed! It was great. My left ear ingrained in the bass part and the kick drum. Oh yeah! This is gonna be a good show.
Before Militia, Mike pointed out the huge Information sign (it's about a 20 foot diameter ring hanging from the ceiling with the word Information on it) just in case we had any questions. Jian ends up asking Murray for his pan flute impersonation so he proceeds to whistle Chariots of Fire just the way Zamphir, master of the pan flute would do it. He then credits the song as the theme to the Waltons which spawn a discussion about whether it is or not. Mike tries to sing the theme from the Waltons and ends up singing Chariots of Fire. It is them decided that the theme to the Walton's is, in fact, Chariots of Fire. Dave then introduces the show for tonight, Moxy Fruvous does oscar winning movie themes from the 80's. He then proceeds to whip out bluegrass banjo versions of various tunes from movies, my favorite being "Goldfinger". Mike starts naming actual 80's oscar winners and so Dave starts making up songs like the Tootsie song until they get back on track and start militia.
Did I mention my left ear was in the speaker? Did I mention the kick drum and bass were just right there?!?! Oh man, was it great. Militia just rocked!
After Militia, Dave was caught toweling his sweaty bald head off. Jian said he was mopping his head off, but Dave corrected him. It was more swabbing or patting. They jumped almost right into Jockey Full of Bourbon. Again with my head in the speaker!! Yes!
Next came Sad Girl. This was my second time hearing it. The first time, the bass wasn't up at all (I think Mur turned the knob down when he took the bass off and Mike forgot to turn it up again), but this time the left side of my head was in the speaker, so I got the bass fine. Sad Girl is great. I mean really great. But, and don't hurt me for saying this, it would be even better if they actually played their own instruments. There were times when the beat was getting some groove and Mike was playing Melodic bass and Mur was sticking to 1 and 3 on the kick drum (they were in my ear =) where the kick drum should have been upping it to 1,2,3,4 with the bass along with it. A good real piano instead of the MIDI keyboard and Sad Girl is gonna made a great album track.
Jian attempts to introduce I Love My Boss pretty much straight out of Sad Girl. He failed miserably. [Paraphrase: Here is a song about walking in a. No. Right. Here's a song about Walking (they proceed to do a Walking interlude before trying to get on track again). Anyways, as I was saying, here's a song about growing up in a dog food. No. Here's a song about growing up and working in a dog food factory. No. I can't talk at all. [Murray] Then let's sing!] During the song, Mike points at the TV which was still on and playing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory II for Who knows what Wonka will be bringing. Jian is laughing so much that he skips "examples" completely. Jian also managed to dance a bit in Josh's face, but we won't go into details on that...
At the end of the song, Mike sorta disappears while the other guys talk abit. Spiderman starts up and I can't find Mike anywhere. Jian point and looks excited and of course everyone looks. Spidey wa perched atop the Information booth singing his hear out. He proceeds to sing his way through the crowd and ends up by the sound board talking about the crazy borders paranoia with all the little black domes. It seemed that about every four feet on the ceiling there were little black half spheres about 6 inches around. Mike said they contained little cameras and lasers and that we were all marked. Except these two guys in the back with hats. They were the special ones. Guys with hats don't get killed. Spidey them decided to stick by the sound board and fix some of Cal's work back there. Mike puts down his mic and acts like he is turning knobs. The song stops completely on stage (no bib baboon at all left) except Murray clapping as the guys all die with laughter at Mike messing with the sound board. Finally, Mike returns to stage and proclaims Spiderman has gone where no other customer has gone, behind the information booth!
One of the two best moments of the night was before Boo Time. Jian was mumbled about finding his hat. Dave already had a hat on. Dave, completely straight-faced, took his hat off, looking in it, said "Dave" and put it back on. It was so funny. I can't remember most of the rhymes, but they were pretty stretched. Something rhymed with playing dextrously. But this was another great song to have the bass in your ear. When Murray walks the high notes up in the guitar solo, he started doing triplets. This was the first time I've noticed that. Pretty cool.
Next, Jian asked the audience how many people had never seen them before. A good number of people enthusiastically and with smiles raised their hands. It was pretty neat. He pointed out that all the people that had seen them are keeping secrets. You see, we in Fruvous Corp are Republics [confused audience]. Well, not that kind of republican. Not republican in the american sense. That would be insane. We're republicans in the austrailian sense. We don't like the monarchy. We don't want the monarchy. We want to throw off the chains of the monarchy and get that woman off our money. We... actually. There is one monarch that we kinda like. Is that monarch the Shah of Iran? No, he died. In Eqypt. In 1980. Is it Imelda Marcos? Ferdinand Marcos? Anyon from the republic of the Philipenes? No! It's the introduction.
The introduction: Unfortunately, I have to regretfully inform you that the King of Spain was rushed to the hospital due to a slight accident. Instead, we bring you a handsome, comely android, The King... Of .... Spain!!!
Dave: Once I was the King of Spain. Murray and Jian: The King of Spain Murray: Comely [Dave gives Mur an evil look.] Dave: Oh my unspeakable wife queen lisa. Murray: Live in Borders. Jian: Comely Murray: Don't eat anywhere near him or spill water on him Jian: Comely android [Dave looking at both of them like they are just plain bad. The song almost falls apart, but Mur gives the pitch again and Dave keeps going into the song]
Dave tried to fit in "the Bluejackets (the new NHL club) call me up"and that was about all he got before Mike started laughing. He kinda recovered saying "The band" before the international orchestra part. He also managed to scare a couple front row kids while singing at them.
This went straight into the short version of Green Eggs and Ham. Again, ear to the speaker and smiling. During Not The Beatles, Jian said that is Columbus, they all have guns and they are quick to use them. They teach their kids to use them to defend the beatles. The guys proceed into Beatles impressions including I never said we were better than Jesus, I just said Jesus was a better drummer and Mike went into the ELO harmonies bit. He realized the all ages crowd and barely changes it saying ".. but I didn't say put fu-riggin' ELO harmonies on Free As a Bird". Jian caught another time and talked about all those ass-inine people.
GE&H ended straight into a drum beat. Jian thanked everyone for coming out and plugged some gigs in Ann Arbor, Cleveland, and Cincinnati. He thanked everyone for supporting small independent book stored like Borders and he hoped that maybe someday Borders could open another store somewhere. It was amazing how well this one was doing. It was pointed out that with this many people here, everyone over powers the staff (Murray counted 7 staff) so start taking whatever you want. A guy yelled "Steal the new Fruvous CD" and Jian look at him straight-faced and just said "very funny." Love Potion was really great too. Murray was on and Mike was screwing around. I had never heard Barbie Girl in the medley before. The show ended on a high note and we got up and clapped for a bit before braving the neverending autograph line.
Andy and I waited around, I got a couple CDs, and we talked a bit with the guys. Murray had a book called How To Avoid Large Ships in front of him that someone had showed them. It had to be the most hysterical thing. It was actually a serious book about not getting hit by large boats. The back was something thing: You are out on a pleasure cruise. You hardly notice the huge land barge coming over the horizon. In these situation, you need to know what to do. The book pictures and everything! Great stuff.
The drive back wasn't a problem at all. Kinda foggy but that makes for more excitement really and keeps the Tom Raper RV signs hidden. I hope everyone had a great night that went and maybe see some of you all in Chicago!
well, this has been an incredible evening... my first frushow, and i don't think i'll stop glowing until much later in the evening. :) first of all, my thanks to miss jennifer for the wonderful directions -- my friends and i found it just fine, even though all three cars arrived at different times. while i was crammed in the middle back seat of a geo prism for an hour & a half ride up there, we had ywgttm blastin' out the speakers, so it made it all better. we arrived a little after seven, found the already growing group of folks on the floor, and sat ourselves down with enough space for the other members of our group who would be arriving shortly. not having had dinner, i went with a friend to the food counter for a cappuccino. as we were waiting in line, i saw a random guy out of the corner of my eye sidle up to the bakery case, then did a double take as i realized it was dave. before i could think of a thing to say, jian walked up, also, and i managed to come up with some sort of commentary on how i was excited to be seeing my first show and that i brought a whole bunch of my friends with me. after a quick kodak moment, i wandered with shaky legs to the merchandise stand where i picked myself up an "i love canadian boys" t-shirt. i settled back down for a half - hour wait till the boys came on. the crowd stayed seated, which thrilled me 'cause i had a straight shot for pictures. they were *hilarious,* with communistic banter, subtitles for the muted "willy wonka and the chocolate factory" playing in the background, and a host of bluegrass theme songs for oscar-winning eighties movies. setlist:
authors militia bourbon sad girl (*wonderful* song... can't wait for the next album) boss spiderman (during which, mike came up to geoff and eric, two friends of mine who were sporting hats, & commented that they were behind some sort of conspiracy involving video cameras and laser beams...) boo message tureen saucep'n green eggs love potion medley (when mike again referred to my friends in the hats... they were wishing they'd brought recording equipment w/ them at that point ;)
sooo, afterwards we went to chat with the fellows and get all our merchandise signed. the whole store sang happy birthday to jian... well, sort of, since they were singing "john," and afterward he said, "um, thanks, but my name's *jian*..." being the starstruck fan i was, i made sure to get a picture w/ all the guys, during which my friends were poking fun at me. one frulad stuck up for me, saying, "hey, kat's brave!" i reminded them that it takes courage to wear an "i love canadian boys" shirt, prompting jian to sign "i love american girls" on my ywgttm case. :) regardless, we'd swiped posters from off the walls of the bookstore before the show, so we were set w/ memorabilia and music for our ride home.
i can't wait till the 23rd. that's going to be *amazing*... and i'm hoping for a much longer set. one hour just leaves one thirsting for more. so, if any of you were there... i was the overly excited girl with long reddish hair and a blue checkered shirt on. and if you missed it... well, sure hope you make it to cinci on the 23rd. i'm gonna be there for certain. :)
From Josh Woodward:
Hello, all! Finally back from my week-long excursion. Now that I've taken a shower and smell substantially better, I'm ready to attack some reviews! :)
Columbus. I took all day off on Tuesday to visit Julie, who lives in (well, around) Columbus. I finally dragged her to her first Frushow. I had some reservations about going to an instore show (this was my first), but it turned out quite nicely after all.
The crowd was fairly small compared to an average Fruvous concert, but it packed the record store fairly efficiently. We got there early and talked to quite a few of the people sitting down. Turns out a lot of them were Fruvous virgins, which is always nice to see. I ran into the usual Ohio crew one by one before the show, and eventually Miriam and friends came in a little late.
The guys came out about on time. First off, they started out with a very long banter (longest intro I've ever seen/heard). They explain that anyone who buys their new CD can get any 3 books they want in the store for free (well, almost -- only 2 of them could be hardback). Or -- as an alternative, you could choose a free "Bunny Kit", which Mike describes as "sensual". Jian recommends the new Jewel poetry book as one of the choices (a joke that would run into the next several shows), because you can get the book for free, and then "sell it to some asshole who doesn't know good poetry from bad, and you make even more money! That's capitolism! Unlike Canada, which was built on communism." This started a long banter about communism. As Jian says, "when we have a successful tour, we have to come home and redistribute some of the money we make." They then notice that the video screens behind them are playing Willie Wonka. So, they decide to add their own soundtrack to the movie as it's playing. To do the introduction, they choose a kid from the audience named Benjy. Murr asks for a Hockey prediction, and the kid spouts off a prediction and justification. (Jian: "Canadian child!")
The Set: Authors, Michigan, Jockey, Sad Girl, Boss, Spidey, Boo, Message, Tureen, Saucep'n, King>Green, Love Potion
Authors was pretty standard, with "my crucifiction". They played with the ending chord a little, lowering it half a step and then raising it. They dedicated Michy to Charleton Heston. And WOW -- the bass guitar was beautiful! I've never heard it so rich and crunchy! Nice volume, very warm. A really good Michy. And then, into Jockey. The bass was still quite warm and smooth. A good Jockey (aren't they all?) but the tempo dragged at times. (Sidenote: earlier in the day on 90.5 they played Jockey unplugged! A very interesting sound)
Then it's time for Sad Girl. Murray makes a joke about looking natural behind the drums. Mike mocks him about buying motivational tapes ("I am a drummer. I feel natural behind the skins. You're called frequently by American Drummer for you comments and opinions"). Jian then remarks that Jewel should release a drumming album, since she's obviously good at everything else. Everyone seemed to like Sad Girl. Murray felt good about things, except that he "hasn't mastered looking up from the drums".
Chatter about the booming economy in Columbus lead into a terrible improv about walking in the Columbus Zoo, and finally into Boss. During the minimum wage line, Jian walks up to me (sitting in the front row), grabs my hair, and makes illicit hip movements to me. Not what I was expecting, but interesting nonetheless. :)
Spidey was great. Mike pops up at the information desk behind the crowd in the beginning, runs through the crowd and comments about the security camera bubbles in the ceiling. He says that there are "little cameras with laser guns in them. We're all being watched - everyone in this building. Everyone, that is, except for these two guys wearing hats - the HAT PEOPLE! Are the hat people renegade explorers from another time or dimension? Or are the hat people the ones behind the laser-holding lamp bottoms?" Then he walks over to the soundboard as the rest of the guys kept singing, and said "Ok, I'm going to fix a bit of Cal's work here." He proceeds to turn the volume for the other guys all the way off for a few seconds as they crack up.
And now the time is right.. for Boo Time (or Pooh Time, depending on which you want to believe). Funniest moment of the show - while putting their hats on, Dave grabs his, gets ready to put it on, but then hesitates. He holds it out and reads the inside quietly: "Dave.". The he puts it on. I think you had to be there. :-) Middle section: "Fruvous at Borders / Take no prisoners / Makin' rackets / Hey, blue jackets / Go to Bexley / Playing with XTC / You can meet me / At WCBE / Bustlin' around in Dublin Town!"
Dave wipes his head off, and the band kicks into Message (a capella). Very nice. Murray then treats us to an air-panflute rendition of "Chariots of Fire" (or is that the Walton's? *grins*) Out comes the banjo, and Dave starts out some renditions of "Oscar Winners of the '80s". Present Tense Tureen is next. And then Saucep'n. They then thank Borders for keeping the indie bookstore tradition going. Murray mentiones the baked goods drive held to build the addition. They hope to add a second store in the near future.
Finally, "ENDGAME '96" as Murray's setlist put it. The "We here at Moxy Fruvous are republicans" intro begins King O' Spain, which the audience seemed to like. 2nd funniest moment of the night, Jian's intro: "Please... put your hands together.." (short pause, 2 people clap once in unison) Murray: "Now take them apart, and do it again several times quickly". Then a suggestion to steal books from the store, since the staff is overpowered. *grins* ("or take the new Fruvous CD, that's very funny") But -- the former King of Spain choked on some biscotti so he couldn't make it to the show. So, in his place, the Android King took over. "I'm telling you I was the King of Spain". Murr: "Comely!" Dave: "Shut up! ...and now I work at the Borders bookstore". In the middle, the Android King learns to moonwalk. Mike determines that the Android King dreams of electric sheep. KoS segued into Green Eggs. During the "not the Beatles" segment, Mike pumps off a "They say Jesus was a carpenter. But have you seen his cabinets? They're shite!" Love Potion featured the "grass roots" opening.
No encores. After the show, the guys came out to sign stuff at a table, and the line lasted forever! It was great to see; but I'm sure the guys were getting fatigued after an hour or so. ;-) A group of them decided to sing happy birthday to Jian, but the majority said "Happy Birthday, dear John!" Jian stands on his chair, and says "thank you! My name is JIAN." :) I finally got the time to introduce Julie to them. After complimenting Murray on the amazing bass sound that night, Jian attacks me for being a Murray groupie. *grins* Finally, we all said our goodbyes and took off for home.
Bottom line: great show considering the constraints. Lots of funny banter. A basic setlist, though, but probably good for the number of newbies in the crowd. And the sound was amazing -- great job, Cal!
Next stop - Ann Arbor!
From Mark Freeman:
This was my second Früvous show. As luck would have it, my wife was out of town and I had no babysitter available, so I brought my 3-1/2 year old daughter (Surya) as my date. We arrived about ten minutes before eight and sat down on the floor way off the right of the "stage", but once the guys came out I realized that I couldn't see Dave from there as our view was blocked by the speakers. So, during the extensive opening banter we moved to a more centered location further back where there was a bookcase to lean against. I brought my video camera, and did get some excellent unobstructed footage (see my web site for details: http://home.columbus.rr.com/mfreeman/moxy.htm). I didn't tape the whole show for several reasons:
- Watching through a tiny LCD viewfinder is not as much fun as the full live
- I was struck by a severe lack of foresight and only had two tapes available, each of which had about 15 minutes free
- I simply couldn't ignore Surya for the whole show.
While I was taping, she tended to use my leg as a tambourine just so I wouldn't forget she was there. We had a good time dancing together during some of the show. She loves live music (she's been known as "Party Girl" since she was about six months old), and especially enjoyed this show. She's demanded to watch my video of it a dozen times, but oddly refuses to watch my video of the 10/8/97 show.
I had heard Jian mention earlier on the radio that this was his birthday, and I told Surya about it. She asked if we would sing "Happy Birthday" and I promised her that we would. After the show and after buying "Live Noise", we stood in the never-ending autograph line. I started spreading the word about it being Jian's birthday and that we should all sing when the time was right. A few other people came over to initiate the same thing, so we got the message going through the line from several points. Finally, someone counted us off and everyone sang "Happy Birthday". Others have mentioned the pronunciation problem and Jian's reaction.
When we get up to the front of the line we chatted a bit with Dave and Mike, then Murray. Surya loved the attention. When we were almost up to Jian, Surya said to me that she wanted to say "Happy Birthday" to Jian and give him a hug. Of course, being 3, when she was standing in front of Jian, she smiled and started her shy act. Finally she told him "Happy Birthday". I asked her what else she wanted to do. She looked at me, obviously thinking "I'm too embarrassed to ask him". So I leaned over to Jian and told him that Surya wanted to give him a hug, if he wouldn't mind, assuring him it was totally cool if he'd rather not. He looked at me like I was insane for even thinking that he wouldn't want to hug her, and proceeded to do just that. Surya and I said "Thank you" and Jian said, "No, thank you. That really made my night."
I am writing this two weeks after the show, and Surya is still talking about getting to hug Jian.
And yes, she pronounces his name correctly. On the other hand, whenever she hears their name or music, she remarks to everyone around that "Moxy Früvous are my Papa's favorite magicians". :-)
After the show I saw Chad, whom I met at the 10/9/97 show and we talked for a while. It was only after reading the other reviews of this show here at FDC that I found out that Josh was there and I managed to yet again miss meeting him.
Both the Cleveland and Cinci shows are on weeknights, and I just don't have
the freedom due to family and work circumstances to stay out until 3am
(considering travel time) on work nights, so I'll have to miss them. I really
hope that MF do come through on their promise to do a full concert in
Columbus in the fall. At least, it would be great if their next Cleveland,
Cinci, or Indy shows are on a Friday or Saturday night so I can go.
Some other tidbits from the performance include: