WARNING: There are no tapes of any of the following performances. If you're not prepared to just be jealous, go read something else. This is also gonna be LONG.
Wow. When Michelle and Neil picked me up on Friday afternoon I had no idea that the weekend was going to be THIS good. Don't get me wrong, there was a down point, but magic happened at the Ottawa Folk Festival.
We arrived at Brittania Park, bumped into Kim and Kris, spotted Mike Wood, Ingrid and Katherine, and collectively parked ourselves Stage Dave with Rosemary and Dante. One main question was "Where's Hugo?" and I never did get a satisfactory answer to that one. The Mike Plume Band was playing. They were good but not all that impressive.
Eventually, a fifteen minute (read around half an hour.. there were 6-8 people trying to set up the stage and poor Cal kept having to fix everyone else's mistakes.) intermission was announced. I moved over to Stage Murray, where Michelle and Neil had set up their blanket, and kept an eye out for the by-now late Rochester bunch. A local DJ (I think) came out to introduce the band, and announced to the row of people stage Dave that there was to be no moshing. More on THAT moron later.
When my dancing partner (Chrissy) hadn't arrived by halfway through BJ I moved back to Stage Dave with all the dancing people. The set was more or less what was at the TOD show:
BJ Jockey Minnie Moon Hold On Michigan KoS/GE&H Saucep'n Car Love Potion (possibly one or two more, this is from the memory of various ppl) No encores
Minnie was particularly good, and I'd like to thank Mike (I never did get a real chance to) for his bit about teachers. It's kind of tense right now for them and any support is much appreciated. Virtual hugs Mr Ford. Also, I've never quite heard anyone manage to call Mike Harris a dickhead quite that graphically. *giggle*
Friday was the night I finally clued in to the gorgeous paint job Mike did on Dave's banjo. While he was trying to get the banjo's sound levels right for Michigan Militia, an extended intro was needed. The hosts for the evening had been giving bilingual introductions for all the groups, so Mike attempted to translate Murray's introduction, leading to the classic line "Comment est-ce qu'on dit "white supremesists?""
The Rochester bunch arrived during Militia and I dragged Chrissy over to Stage Murray. Two different perspectives, same show. :)
Dave might have been having sound problems but Jian had amnesia. He managed to skip the whole Not The Beatles bit of Green Eggs and Ham. It wasn't until he found himself asking Dave, WAY too early, "You don't like green eggs and ham?" that the two of them looked at each other and realized that something was wrong. Murray and Mike were extremely amused) After a pause Jian doubled back and kept going. He later explained "That's the first time in five years I've fucked up that song". (That badly anyway)
Post show was a bit of a downer. As usual, people went for setlists. One unfortunate got her hand stepped on and told "Put that back". Someone else had security insisting that they return their setlist to the stage. No one got a setlist for the show. Also, the next day, the moron who had introduced Fruvous the night before told everyone that no standing near the stage was allowed because the Fruvous fans had had a mosh pit the night before and tried to steal things off the stage.
However, all was not lost. The magic was, in fact, just about to begin. After the usual milling around, we headed for the Luxor hotel for the evening jam session. The Mike Plume Band finished up as we got there (no room to get to the front, we all stood right at the back of the tiny venue), Bill Strand took the stage briefly, and then Fruvous came on. The jam session was actually just a scheduled thing, not a true jam, but believe you me, the Fruheads were NOT complaining.
While Cal busied himself TRYING to get the drumset set up (I think eventually he just gave up - Jian sat at a normal drumset. A first as far as I know) the guys chatted and somehow introduced Dusty Fosterbourne. A few more minutes passed and Dave suggested they do the "Dusty Theme". That's right folks, the set STARTED with That's Any Good.
They checked back with Cal, who was still working on it, and decided to do soemthing else. They'd been joking about what they'd eventually play once they had drums "a whole evening of Jethro Tull", "The White Album", "an evening of David Bowie". Mike Wood yelled out a request for the "Purple Shirt" song and earned himself "the glare".
Instead they launched into Major Tom, followed by Starman. Jian eventaully got tired of having nothing to hit and grabbed the dumbek. Ash Hash followed (and I hope someone got some good pictures of Murray's facial expressions!)
Still no drumset. So we got Message, a cappella. After that, Jian went to help Cal and test out the drums. Murray was attempting to introduce the next song and ended up telling Jian to be quiet at least three times. Finally he told him to "Just do nothing!" (Jian responded by a soft tap on a cymbal)
Next came a "moment". Pork Tenderloin. There was an attempt to do the whole song, but Dave, well in the immortal words of Murray Foster, "I like the new lyrics brother." While he was improvising his way through, the names of his kids included "Chris", which got a mild cheer *g* Then he pointed straight at Michelle, Chrissy and I and rhymed a line by ending it "clear eyes". (Chrissy and I had discussed her eye vs my hearing aid after the main stage show, right next to Dave. I take it the discussion sunk in.)
Just when things couldn't possibly get any better, we got Poor Napoleon. I think it was then that Mike signed "applause". (For those who don't know me, I usually only clap to keep a beat at Fruvous shows, and use the ASL sign for applause after each song) I'm not sure when exactly it was, I nearly missed it.
Someone spotted Vance Gilbert. Before even Vance knew what was happening, he was up onstage with Mike's guitar, playing "When Jimmy Fell In Love", backed by Fruvous. The man never left the stage. What follows is a vague idea of the songs that they all did together.
King of Spain (The big black King of Spain) Fame Golden Years On Broadway New Pollution (with lyrics by Mike Ford. Vance's response: Must be a canadian song, I'll get all the words wrong) Signed Sealed Delivered (not the medley, the whole thing) Can't Explain at some point "Play that Funky Music Black Boy" also segued into Fred Eaglesmith's "When did we Become White Trash?" ending with I Shall Be Released
Most Fruheads in the room had to move out towards the bar (a separate area) to recover. We talked and talked and talked. Dunno about everyone else, but those in room 309 didn't go to bed until after 5 am. At one point, the quote of the weekend surfaced. Mike, Ingrid and Katherine were all in one double bed and one of them (not telling which, but the person was a tad drunk) decided that "It's like Abbey Road, only we're naked". (All people in question were clothed to some degree)
Next day. I marvelled there WAS a next day. After breakfast Michelle, Neil, Mike, Ingrid, Katherine, Chrissy and I were back at the main stage in time to hear a whole bunch of Christmas songs and tales. Very interesting stuff.
I'm going to post the setlist and try and let it inspire me.
Authors Pinball Wizard (tease) Substitute Horseshoes Boss Kids Song Sad Girl Pisco Bandito (the Fishing Dance saw a revival) Gord's Gold Tureen Darlington Dancing Queen Medley
It was good and fun, dampened only by the aforementioned announcement about no standing/dancing and the lack of encores. (Can you tell that when people talk about the Ottawa Folk Festival I'm going to remember ONLY the jam at the Luxor?)
The workshop was short and fairly organized. It was on "Personal Political", with Bob Strand, Nishtu, the Unseeded Band (I think) and Fruvous. It was played as a round robin, Fruvous did Marion Fruvous (Marion's hair courtesy of Dede or Kim) and Today's the Day that we Fight Back. The Unseeded band ( I know I'm getting the name wrong) had a wonderful bluesy song called "Damn Your Ass", a rather direct message to a certain government figure. Jian explained that they'd written, but never recorded a similar song, based on the fact that, sometimes while on the drums, Murray's ass is the only thing Jian can see. The song was called "Damn Your Bony Ass." Unfortunately, we didn't get to hear any of it.
Following the workshop, Mike, Chrissy, and I (eventually joined by Ingrid and Katherine) went out and sat on a rocky man-made promintory, watching the interesting cloud formations, the gorgeous light patterns of the sun through the clouds and the rain from the other side of the lake. After a bit the wind picked up and we had to run for it as the rain chased us back to the mainstage looking for shelter.
The downpour lasted maybe five minutes, and resulted in three beautiful rainbows, so no harm was done. Well, we were soaked but it was fun. Back at the Luxor, four of us shared Pizza Pizza (Dante's first taste), watched Much Music and worked on this review. After Dante had gone, Chrissy and Mike got fascinated by The Last Crusade and Point Break, dubbed into French.
Eventually we made our way downstairs for the second jam. Fruvous weren't scheduled but various people had said they might show up anyway. None of them did take the stage. Mike lurked for a bit then disappeared, Murray and Jian never showed and Dave sat at a table with friends. Michelle sat on a ledge just behind him. Dave must have thought we were sooo obnoxious, because Michelle was impossible to make eye contact with and we kept making eye contact with him instead. Eventually, Chrissy waved at him and asked him to get Michelle for us *g*.
There was some mighty fine music going down that night anyway. Brendan Scott sounded absolutely awesome all alone on his guitar. Then a marvellous french-canadian guy whose name I forget took the stage, and explained his concept of a jam. This involved getting every performer there (with Dave, Nishtu and a few others as exceptions) up on stage to play some great celtic/french canadian dancing tunes. It also involved getting people to dance. The first time round, this included Dave, who was one of the first pulled up. Chrissy and I proved that fruheads CAN be shy by staying in our chairs despite his obvious gestures that we should join him. Anyway, we got to see Dave participate in a French Canadian dance called Le Plongeur (the diver), after he'd had a few beers. I hope Chrissy's pictures turn out.
For me anyway, the end of the jam was more or less the end of the evening. A few other people played by themselves but it wasn't as fun.
So that's my rambling, incoherent, by no means full account of the weekend, with input from Mike Wood, and Chrissy. (We had this problem all weekend. Every time we said the name "Mike" Mike Wood responded.) Much fun was had by all and I can't WAIT for Iron Horse.
Hey. In the words of Fiona, what a weekend.
So... We picked up Mike, who was kind of tired, on Friday afternoon, and then ran errands all over town, finally taking the longest bus ride ever to a park we'd never been before (it's not even IN Ottawa, it's out in a suburb called Nepean). Our bus driver was very reluctant to answer questions, and we didn't really know where we were going, so we were kind of winging it.
As soon as we got there (before actually even going into the park) we ran into Dave (Tobey) who was on the phone with his friend Kim. We later got to meet Kim, but for then we just screamed "Hi!" into the phone and basically got on his nerves. We had this "Yo Quiero Taco Bell" T-shirt as an early B-day present for Mike (Ford), so we sat down w/Dave and brainstormed for what to write as a birthday wish. Dave's "Get original, you sick fucking bastard" was quickly rejected in favor of "Yo Quiero some new jokes" :) In retrospect, we should have written "Quieramos new jokes", since the shirt wound up being from all three of us.
We set up our stuff stage Dave (Matheson) and sat down to "watch" the other acts. Dave (Tobey) joined us a few times, and in a rather bizarre chain of events, wound up licking my glasses. (Ew.) Let me tell you, the next day when a bug crash-landed in my lens, I REALLY wanted HIM around!
Oh Susannah played, and (don't hate me, I know a lot of people don't like her) I'm starting to appreciate her music a bit more. I actually like that "You'll Always Be" song.
We met up with Rosemary, Chrissy, Fiona, Dante, John, Emily, Michell, Neil, Dedesfru1 (Clarice) and her significant other (sorry, forgot his name). My parents were also there but were sitting rather far back, on account of they wanted to sit in lawn chairs (this didn't stop a lot of people from setting up their lawn chairs in the front, though.)
The Fruvous show (people have posted the set, I don't really remember) was good, high energy (for us people dancing, anyway). Jian screwed up the lyrics to GE&H so royally, it was funny, but I've already described that in another post, so I'll assume you know what happened. Chopper McKinnon, a local radio host, rained on our parade a little by telling us that we shouldn't dance (the stage was five feet high! We were blocking NO ONE!) and the next day accused us of trying to steal stuff from the stage. My dad thought he was way over the top, and is coaxing me to write a letter to the Ottawa Citizen about what he did. I probably will, too.
Afterward, we all headed to the "Jam" at the Luxor. We didn't really know what to expect. The Mike Plume Band was playing when we got there (they were good), and a few other acts came on, then Fruvous. When they introduced Dusty, I thought I'd die: Mike's camcorder and tape recorder had both died that day. By the second song (Major Tom -- my second favorite Bowie tune after Space Oddity, which is, incidentally, also about Major Tom) I was practically crying in shock. Vance Gilbert came up and played When Jimmy Falls In Love. He stuck around for the rest of the jam session, instigating a reggae-style version of King which turned into a whole bunch of other songs and lasted about 20 minutes. I think Jian has been reading the ng lately and has been taking notes of our song wishlists :)
After the jam, we all hung out and talked (the people who stayed for Fred Eaglesmith said that he did a whole shtick about the Fredheads getting lost on the way over or something ;). Cal and Chris Walsh got into this big argument (Fleetwood Mac vs. anything else, basically). It was pretty funny. At one point we all started chanting "Fight!".
The next day at the mainstage show, the sound was horrible. There was a big hum coming from Dave's monitor. Jian even suggested at one point that they should tune to the hum since he couldn't hear the pitchpipe. And Mike's mic was barely working (if at all), so Jian had to jump in during Darlington Darling.
Someone gave the guys whole buckets of candy, and we later ran into Jian, who was standing beside a little path, devouring it and attracting curious children. I had a little. Yum-yum.
The frulad we wound up spending the most time with was Jian. We were wandering around actually looking for him (we wanted to know if he was coming back to the jam session that night) when this guy who was working the T-shirt booth stopped us. "Are you Moxy Fruvous fans?" We answered yes, and he got this really excited you-won't-believe-this look on his face. Then he said: "Well, look who's here!" as though he expected us to freak out and scream, when we didn't totally collapse all over each other, he got really impressed and started looking at us like we were stars. It was pretty funny, every time we passed the T-shirt booth, to see him stop talking and look at us.
Anyway, we wound up convincing Jian to buy this really huge, horrendous sweater (I'm kidding, Jian: it looks good. Really, it does.)
We caught Martin Sexton's show (God, I love his stuff! I'm in his fan club now!) and then headed back to the Luxor, where Benoit Bourque, a guy from Montreal, proceded to turn us all into drumming, shaking, singing, dancing lunatics. In the back near the bar, Rose and I drummed out beats on any surface we could find, while Ingrid shaky-egged away. And of course, you must've heard about Dave's square dancing experience by now... John and Emily had great fun -- they participated in EVERY dance that Benoit taught us!
Ingrid and I chatted with Benoit and his friend Gaston after the show, and, well, performers got free beer that night, as I've already mentioned.
They cut a cake, had a ceremony, and then we all split up and said various goodbyes, including one to Dave, who was a teensy wee bit drunk, and who told us the story of his wonderful 20$ sweater. "You know I love a bargain!"
The next day, though, the guys decided to stick around and sell some more CDs, so we got to say a little more goodbyes (back with Jian in front of the T-shirt tent, still amazing the guy from last night). We told Jian about the bad press that Chopper McKinnon was giving Fruheads, and he seemed to think it was pretty funny, until we told him about Mr. McKinnon actually stepping on Myllie's hand when she reached for a setlist, without pausing in his speech. Jian started calling us "savages" ;)
The guys left around four, and then Rosemary and Dante disappeared as well. We wandered around trying not to look too depressed or think about how far away Halloween is. Arlo Guthrie was great, and helped us forget. He played with his son Abe, who looks kind of like a chubbier version of his dad at that age. He's added a whole section to Alice's Restaurant about Richard Nixon being a closet Arlo fan. Pretty hilarious!
Then I went home and passed out.
Right now I'm about to drop over and my eyes are glowing red like Jodie's in "The Amityville Horror," but I just had to write about this weekend! I loved Fiona's review and will leave out much of what she's already covered, but hopefully I can add a morsel or two to the review soup....
I'll dispense with narrative, and just toss out a few impressions. We had our first three-generation Frushow on Saturday when my mother left the casino long enough to join us, and guess what? She loved 'em! I had been complaining about the sound on the Nortel stage (that damn BUZZ, and the total inability to hear Mike, both bothered me a lot) but Mom said that she never realized how bad they sounded until she heard how GREAT they sounded in the workshop. She talked to the guys afterwards and was very impressed by not only their musical ability but their attentiveness to their fans. A new convert!
Kristaffer and I lugged what seemed like ninety pounds of sour candy for the guys to Saturday's performances ("Are you CRAZY???" was one comment we got. The answer is, of course, yes.). After a bit of begging at the merch tent, we were persuaded to surrender one of the two buckets to Jian instead of giving them both to Murray for safekeeping...and this was probably a mistake. When we walked back to the main grounds from the Green Stage, we spotted Jian standing by the path cheerfully devouring his allotment. OK, so he was sharing, but he seemed to be in a major state of sugar bliss. Does anyone know if that bucket actually made it out of the parking lot that day? :D
Fiona mentioned the towel that served as Dave's hat for Marion: that was Clarice's, not mine. Kristaffer was sitting on our little blanket that would have made a great hat had we thought of it: it was an old baby blanket with little giraffes and cute little puffy clouds. Another opportunity missed...but the towel was better than the Harbourfront Shorts, in any case. :D
The jam was incredible: although I had hoped to hear Blow Wind Blow at some point in the weekend, hearing That's Any Good and Poor Napolean certainly made up for any disappointment. I've been obsessed with Poor Napolean since hearing it on that old RealAudio performance linked on FDC, and still don't have a decent tape of a performance...anyone have one? Please? You can have the kid as trade, and I'll throw in a bonus pair of oven mitts. It's depressing enough that no one taped the jam. Vance Gilbert was a ton of fun, despite leaving Mike without an instrument for a significant portion of the show. Dave's lyrics might have been off, but I've never been more impressed with his skill on the guitar. I was almost sorry when he had mercy on Mike and handed it over, though I was glad to see Mike have a chance at it....he looked kinda lost for a while! Kristaffer and I got a huge laugh out of the Fred Eaglesmith reference, since we insisted on staying for Fred's performance Friday night and almost missed the jam because of it. I'd probably be a Fredhead if I could afford an Airstream trailer.
After the jam, I had a great chat with Miche of the Unceded Band at the bar (where Kristaffer managed to loiter unobtrusively and not get kicked out). Miche, the bass player, is a very nice person and quite an expert on the nutritional value of Guinness...a great quality in a bar conversation! We then caught a ride back to downtown with Dante, bless his heart, who was kind enough to offer us a ride even though my one hour of sleep had left me about as coherent as a small piece of smoked sea eel.
Kristaffer has become quite a Vance Gilbert fan. I kept having to pull him away from Vance workshops to get him to the Fruvous shows on time on Saturday, and he was sure to get his autograph on the program. I settled for having the guys sign my shiny new Lo-Chair ("Hours of Comfort!" quoth Murray) which has now become my Official Outdoor Fruvous Performance Recliner and will travel with me everywhere along with the Official Big Pink MediaPlay sign.
It was wonderful seeing so many people...once again, I was severely short on sleep, so I ended up introducing my mother to folks like "This is Clarice, and this is someone else, and I forgot that one's name." I think she was fairly amazed to see me actually speaking to people, anyway...what a good influence you all are! By this time next year I hope to have put my reserve in the past and be working on my next goal, actual self-esteem. :D
It looks like we'll miss the entire West Coast tour, but we're looking forward to Northhampton. Maybe I can persuade my mom to come along again...she liked them THAT much. Maybe it's because Jian shared his candy with her. :D
-speaking for Kris, Kris's Mom, and Kris's Mom's Mom
From Mike Wood:
I started to write this at around 10pm after returning home Sunday evening, but was unable to log-on to post it, as a sleeping houseguest was prohibiting me from entering the room containing the computer w/modem... I have also just now recalled that I seem to have left my longsleeved black shirt in Michelle & Neil's van on the ride home, and probably won't be able to retrieve it for another few weeks... I'm considering purchasing a purple replacement.
Despite a sometimes-painful hairline fracture in one tooth that can't be tended-to for another few days, it was with great excitement (and an even greater stash of pain-reducing chewing gum) that I headed off to Ottawa on Friday morning for the 5th annual folk festival; a city which I hadn't seen since the mandatory class-trip that all public-school students must take in grade 6. After meeting Ingrid+hKath and heading downtown for an Orange Julius ("bananarilla" flavour... part banana, part gorilla), we embarked on the _LONG_ bus ride to Britannia Park. It was quite a nice location for the festival, in a small park located near a beautiful sandy beach that would be explored in greater detail the next day. After joining up with a few more fruheads (who were in sparse numbers at this festival, unfortunately), we parked ourselves down on the grass near stage-Dave. For some bizarre reason, a long piece of yellow police emergency tape ran back through the middle of the crowd, tied to a metal security-fence at either end. Nobody seemed to know what purpose it served; I thought that perhaps they trying to seperate the anglophone & francophone members of the audience. Shortly before Fruvous were set to appear, the (approximately) dozen of us stood up near the front of the stage... a tubby old hick-like MC then appeared, with facial hair that made him look an escapee from an old Dukes Of Hazard episode (who will hereafter be affectionately referred to as "Zeke"). He said, to and of us, "There will be no moshing. Respect those around you", in a rather cranky and perturbed voice. 8:10pm was NOT the best time to discover that my audio recorder now simply unravels tapes rather than recording onto them. Fruvous' set started at around 8:15, and ran for around 40 minutes, I believe... I didn't write this setlist down, although here's what I can remember of it (this might be missing a song, and probably isn't the exact order...)
B.J. Don't Cry Jockey Full O' Bourbon Minnie The Moocher You Will Go To The Moon Michigan Militia Johnny Saucep'n I Will Hold On King Of Spain Green Eggs & Ham Get In The Car Love Potion #9 Medley
Banter seemed very minimal, and the performance in general was excellent yet rushed. Jian (very entertainingly) forgot several parts and verse-orders to GE&H. When all was said and done, "Zeke" walked back out onstage very quickly (eliminating any chance for an encore) and felt it necessary to purposely stomp on the hand of a girl reaching for Mike's setlist. I couldn't believe it... what a crotchety old bastard. Who made him an MC? From his appearance alone, I think a better choice of ocupation would be for him to play Some Guy who gets devoured by rabid wolverines in the opening scene of an episode of "Walker: Texas Ranger". The next day, many volunteer stagehands were rather bitter towards fruheads because we were apparently "moshing and trying to steal things from the stage" the night before. I may write an angry letter to the folk festival committee about this, and urge anyone else who was there to do the same.
The informal post-festival jam started around 10pm at the bar in the Luxor Hotel, where many of the festival's musicians were staying. Fruvous hit the stage around 11:30 or midnight, after some great performances by a touching balladwriter whose name escapes me, and the Mike Plumb (Plume?) band, who closed their set with a rockin' cover of "Jambalaya" (which I had hoped Dave would guest on, after having seen him sing it at Burk's Falls... he had already sung on one or two songs earlier in their set). I'll have to buy one of their CD's soon, if I can find any.
Two minutes before Fruvous started was NOT the best time to discover that my camcorder had seemed committed to joining my audio recorder in Silicon Heaven. Despite even buying a fresh battery the next morning, the unit itself is... dead, Jim. A truly special Fruvous performance was about to begin, with nary a Chris O'Yaweh or similar fellow amongst the crowd. ;p (Although we'll always have the memories [and the upcoming Luxor '98 t-shirts, "brought to you by lard"])
Mike was wearing the same purple shirt seen at the Mel Lastman Square show; a loud request from me for "the Purple Shirt Song!" yielded nothing but a glare from Jian. He would even resort to taunting me with "get out your video cameras, people!" several times throughout the set before playing something rare. Oh, the agony! ;]
- That's Any Good !!! I'm glad I didn't waste any money on beer prior to the show, as Fruvous could have called it a night after this one song and still have succeeded in sending me back to my room in state of bubbly ecstasy. I didn't think I'd EVER hear this again after the FruCon. - Major Tom by David Bowie... I think this is actually called "Ashes To Ashes"... anyone? I can't recall the tune of it, although it definitely wasn't "Space Oddity". - Starman also by Bowie. They had previously announced that they'd be doing a "David Bowie superset", although that only consisted of these two songs at the time... I was really hoping for Scary Monsters (which they said they'd do) or Velvet Goldmine (glam-folk style!) - Ash Hash I thought this had been retired for good... still just as energetic as ever. - I've Gotta Get A Message To You seemed very out of place within this unique set... it would have been beautiful to hear performed off-mic in such a small room. - The Hunt For The Dangerous Pork Tenderloin Murray & Dave performed this sitting on stools... Jian sat at the bar's drum kit at the back of the stage and would repeatedly try to quietly test the cymbals gently during Murray's introduction, eventually prompting a "would you STOP that??". :) The song seemed to have some different lyrics since the last time I'd heard it, with Dave making some up spontaneously. - Poor Napoleon This seemed a bit more slow, stripped-down, and sultry than the convention performance - When Jimmy Falls In Love This was a catchy song by a New England folksinger named Vance Gilbert who had performed before Fruvous earlier that afternoon, bringing the crowd to their feet with his high-spirited set. I picked up his "Edgewise" CD at the festival, and strongly recommend it. After they had finished playing Vance's song, he asked if they could all do a Fruvous song, and started singing "I'm the king of spain, the big black king of spain", which prompted... - King Of Spain A funky reggae-fied version of KOS, with Dave on the usual lead and Vance contributing random backup vocals (including the "he's gonna try them" chant from GE&H at one point!). After the main bulk of the song had finished, they kept going within that groove while Mike & Dave would sing snippets of assorted dance/pop songs, eventually concluding with Bowie's "Fame" and "Golden Years", and Beck's "New Pollution" (which, Vance said, must be a Canadian song sing he hadn't heard of it). The whole shebang ran on for well over 10 or 15 minutes - Signed, Sealed, Delivered Sung by Vance... the whole song, not the medley! - Can't Explain by The Who! Complete & utter pop magic, with parts of the crowd singing along to whatever they could remember. (release this one, guys!!!). Recalling the New Year's Eve setlist, I was hoping that they would follow with Substitute, although they instead opted for... - I Shall Be Released by Bob Dylan, I think? I can't recall ever hearing the original, although it was definitely a tranquil end to what was possibly the most unique and endearing Fruvous set I'll experience for quite some time.
After the performance, Vance, Jian (w/ dumbek) and a few others sat in one corner jamming for a while. We all hung around the bar until closing, then stayed up til around 5am in that magical room 309, sharing Fruvous stories and bringing my waking-hours that day perilously close to 24.
Day-2 review to follow soon, perhaps, once I can finally catch my breath...
Just a few more notes on the Ottawa sets now that I'm finally (thanks be!) on the newsgroup. The main review said most of it -- there was magic in Ottawa -- and my husband (Steve) and I were right up front for a good chunk of it during the Luxor jam. (stage Mur.)
To rewind: Friday evening we had seen Jian and Vance Gilbert chatting outside the Luxor hotel while Dave was parking the Frumobile and we were leaving for Brittania Park and the first acts of the festival. So later that night, when we saw Vance hanging offstage at the Luxor while the boys were playing we kind of thought something might be brewing. Vance was quite happy to hop up onstage (singing "I get to play with Moxy Fruvous!") and fairly quickly Jian announced that they seemed to be an inseparable duo. (Someone, Mur I think, said it must be a big hair thing -- they didn't make shiny-head jokes at Dave's expense then, although they had on the mainstage earlier that night.) Jian then dubbed them the Infrared Boys -- "like the Indigo Girls -- but different." During KOS the King finished with "now I'm jamming with Vance Gilbert."
I didn't think Chopper McKinnon was out of line asking people not to mosh the next day -- it was a much bigger crowd, with lots more kids, and they really wouldn't have been able to see. But I was further back and didn't hear any snotty remarks about stealing setlists either. :-)
During the Personal/Political workshop, the other acts were Bob Stark (not Strand) and the Unceded Band, who were absolutely amazing but who don't, unfortunately, have a record deal yet. (I talked to their lead singer Gloria May later in the weekend; they're working on it.) One moment of interest from the workshop was a new definition of Fruvous: a suggested but rejected name for the Canadian toonie.
That night Jian never showed at the Luxor partly because he was having fun hanging with Vance off the mainstage -- Ferron's performance, especially, was overwhelming that night. I suspect Murray didn't show because he needed some down time -- he looked pretty wiped out during Personal/Political. Heck, at that point I needed some down time, and I hadn't played four sets in 2 days.
Anyway, there was an awful lot of good music up in Ottawa -- and a lot of it wasn't even Moxy. Steve was pleased to discover Vance Gilbert (he had missed his set at Appel Farm) and I thought the Wyrd Sisters were ... well, weird, but wonderful. We passed up the Philly Folk Fest to go north for a long weekend in our former home, and man are we glad we did!
From Tom Fazzio:
Being at school in Potsdam, NY now, Canadian concerts are a possibility. My parents and brother came up from Syracuse in the morning to pick me and Amy (my Jian-loving girlfriend) up from school to goto Ottawa. Got in town by 1pm with *NO* idea where Brittannia Park was. Stopping in front of a church to ask a limo driver for directions (b/c limo drivers now their way around town), we found out we're on the opposite side of the city. All told, we made it the the festival with minutes to spare.
This concert was my first out of New York, 8 others being in the state. Früvous came on with excitement but no sound. :( The mics didn't seem to be loud, and I noticed Jian's snare didn't come over the speakers either. But sitting 20 feet from the stage, I was able to hear the snare itself creating a very interesting sound. MBLABOA was the opener, with much enthusiasm from the Früguys, but less from the audience. MUCH chatter followed, as did Horseshoes, and fun renditions of Boss and Kid's Song. Sad girl sound like it is really coming along in nicely for a studio cd next year (?!?). The next two songs were firsts for me, Pisco Bandito (very Frü-like) and Gord's Gold. Gord wasn't expected that day, as Mike told me after the show, he just started and had fun. Jian was giving him a surprised look and then joined in for the end of the song.
It was a fun concert, but the environment wasn't quite right I think. Before the workshop, Amy and my brother bought The b Album and had them signed. I chatted for a brief bit with each of them, asking Jian for input on the GE&H debate. He said we've gone kinda crazy with it (that's me putting words in his mouth). Also, he and Mike mentioned they were going for a no-repeat weekend, which is cool...
The workshop was very fun. Seated inside a canopy with Früvous and 3 other great musical acts, we were treated to a look into politics in personal lives. Früvous played Marion Früvous (another first for me), which is the most fun, playful and lively piece of work I've seen. Apparently it's from their days on the streets, is that right? As a finale, we were treated to a powerful Today's the Day we Fight Back. Wow. Amazing. That's all I can say of that one, which received overwhelming applause!
The three of us (Amy, my brother and I) left the festival to walk onto the rock pier on the river to see an awesome sight of nature. The sky was blue behind us, dark grey ahead of us, and storming to the right. A hole in the clouds made a perfectly straight beam of light out of the sky. We watched as the storm came from the horizon, across the river, and ran as a chilling rush of wind brought a pounding rain.
We had fun that day, and are looking forward to another Früvacation.
Some other tidbits from the performance include: