The next day was Shopping Day. We found a very fine leather jacket for Doug Levy, and visited an excellent, excellent little cafe. It is called the Lazy Loaf and Kettle and is in the Telus Convention Centre. Soup and sandwich for less than seven dollars. Near the cafe was a cowboy mural (we arrived in the Year of the Cowboy, heaven defend us)... made out of about 150 tubes of gumballs. A note next to the mural described how it was done. It was a fascinating sight. I promise to provide a picture the next time I am in Calgary.
The night is fresher in my mind. This show was at a different folk club, and the venue was the Braeside Community Centre. We arrived early and went to a Dairy Queen for food, then returned to be very early in line. We chatted with some folks who were visiting from Edmonton for the show, and I launched yet again into the explanation of the Grand Expedition and Fruheadism. We were *very* lucky this time - our chairs were nearl at the stage, three seats down from the end of the table. The vantage was vintage (two rhymes!) stage Mur.
Coolest yet - I met someone, a Fruvous fan named Taylor, who had brought along a copy of You Will Go To The Moon to be autographed! Just being able to observe that was too cool - life is so great.
The opening act that night, the Beagle Boys, was making me yearn for the halcyon days of the hard-rocking Colonials, let me tell you... quasi-warm country stuff, spiced with a little bit of rocking out and a cute Austin Lounge Lizards cover. "Well," I thought, "if they do that then we might have some hope here after all." ;-)
Same setlist as last night, so here's the highlights:
* A National Energy Program joke (yeah, when you need 1982-era political humor, Fruvous is your band).
* Fruvous doing their usual stuff-disturbing rivalry stirring between the Calgary Folk Society and the Chinook Music Society. ("You're a much more attractive crowd than the people last night....")
* Mike's red and white striped shirt and the way his wife feels it makes him look like a fast food worker.
* Murray fiddling with the pitch pipe, a jester in the key of G.
* The evil mockery of Dave Tobey and his noncommital "whuuh" noise. (Running gag.)
* "Canadians, as people, as opposed to Canadians, as chairs." - Mike
* The Second Set Improv, a cheery melody to introduce the second set, complete with lead turns by Jian, Mike, and Dave. This, actually, I'd like to hear them record for use on an album. Kind of like Theme From Flood on that TMBG thang.
* Spiderman spilling a woman's glass over and causing her dry cleaning expenses (but they laughed, so Spidey's radioactive ass isn't getting sued).
* "Should Quebec separate?" - Only in Alberta would only five people shout out and three of them say yes....
* "We're going to Edmonton tomorrow, so the whole tour goes downhill from here." - Jian
* And a hilarious discussion of folk club season tickets and how, well, at least it'll only be two acts at the most that suck. ("You buy a season ticket for the Toronto Maple Leafs and, well, wait, let's try another team..." "Yeah, you'd have to see the Leafs." "You buy a Detroit Red Wings or New York Rangers season ticket... you go see all the games... you don't expect them to win them all, right? You see some wins but you also see some real stinkers. And a folk club season ticket is the same thing, right?" - Murray and Mike.)
I staggered home around 1-something, and decided to go down to the teevee room instead of sleeping. And that's where the neatest thing happened. I heard the sound of a guitar from down the hall, so I went down to see what was up, and came across some young Quebecois, one of whom was a singer and guitarist who had been street busking earlier that day! I got to practice my French, teach them how Cape Bretoners curse, and learned that I have a very bizarre accent.
So that was the close of my day, and a fine close it was indeed. Thank you, Jean-Francois, if you should someday read this.
I retire now... I'm in Edmonton writing this up, and need to still figure out how to pass the remainder of the day. More news as it happens on Grand Expedition 1998, the Don't Mention Lisa Tour!
From Doug Levy:
OK, I'm not really good at taking notes and writing stuff up, so I hope y'all will forgive if my review of the two shows in Calgary is short and sweet.
Both shows were at local folk clubs in community centers. This is a new concept for me, and I was impressed. Both shows were part of a subscription series and I think each one (the entire subscription season) sold out. (Thank God for the guy on Friday whose girlfriend couldn't come, as I foolishly overlooked getting tickets ahead of time.) These folks enjoy coming out for music each weekend. But I'm not quite sure they were all ready for Moxy Fruvous! (This was generally an older crowd. The opener on Friday was a house band that did Irish folk music. The opener on Saturday did country music, which I gather is native to Calgary.)
The sets Friday and Saturday were similar, giving the unfamiliar a good flavor of what sets MF apart from any other musical group. The Gospel version of "Message" opened, followed by BJ and then a good mix of the old and new.
The special treat was that both nights were two-set shows, with a brief intermission, after which we got some new songs like Pisco Bandito, plus Authors, River Valley and the Drinking Song closed out both shows.
Saturday in particular the guys seemed to be having fun -- especially with a running poke-fun-at-Tobey theme. (I was sitting in a spot where I was able to watch Tobey laughing as hard as everyone else at the jokes, too, which was nice.)
And although the music was awesome and special, the shows were missing something for me: lots of Fruheads! It was pretty awkward when I realized that Doug Sheppard (Siriliyan) of Saskatoon and I were the only ones singing along to the Drinking Song!
Despite that, the performances were great, the people were friendly and the city was pretty nice, too. Another worthwhile Fru-trip for me.
Hope to see lots of you at future shows.
Some other tidbits from the performance include: