Greetings, folks. Here's my reivew of tonight's Moxy Früvous show in Saskatoon.
A brief history - the SLCR series of Stupid Little Concert Reviews are archived at http://members.xoom.com/jkalyn/reviews.html. They're injokey little things that started life as e-mails to my friends, so if you don't get a reference or 20, don't worry, I'm just being a goof. Also there's not much reviewing that actually goes on. And I'm long-winded, self-centered, and frequently purposefully obtuse. So it goes. :)
Oh, I also saw Frü at Mix Beachfest in Toronto a few weeks ago - I won't post the whole review here, but here's the Früvous portion of it (might help to clear up a few references): =-=-=-=-=
15 minute break. We wander around. And sit down just in time for Moxy Früvous! They did 7 songs - Half As Much, Michigan Militia, Johnny Saucep'n, I Will Hold On, King Of Spain, Splatter Splatter, and Get In The Car. Apart from some sound problems (not their fault) the show was great. They plugged www.stigmata.com ("it will scare the hell into you"), attempted to sing a song about Rival Evil Radio Stations, and let us know that the King Of Spain still has hopes of dating Jewel.
As they were leaving, Jian said they'll be signing copies of their new album Thornhill - and as a joke, he adds, "or else the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Californication. Those are the only two albums we'll sign."
So of course I brought Californication.
See, I already have Thornhill, but it was at home in Saskatoon... and I had been meaning to buy the new RHCP disc anyway...
After 45 minutes in line spent listening to the Stone Cold Water Man, I got to the band. As it turns out, I was the only one who brought Californication to get signed. One of them signed "The Rheostatics thought up this album's title!" Murray looked at the booklet, smiled, and said "Yes, we will sign this." Then came the highlight. As Jian prepared to sign the CD, I asked him if he remembered when he was last in Saskatoon, and and some guy said he looked like the drummer from Wide Mouth Mason. "Yeah, then we e-mailed! That was you?" So we talked a bit, and as proof he remembered me, he signed "Go James! Brown men rule!" without needing to be reminded of why he sent me e-mail (check that review if you're interested, I'm not doing all the work here). Then, in explaining why I had a RHCP CD booklet to someone else, he said "Well, we said we'd sign both, and then (points at me) THIS bastard..." and that was way cool too. I'm a bastard. I did promise to bring their new CD to get signed in Saskatoon, so it's all good. =-=-=-=-=-=-=
Hi, me again. And now the Saskatoon review, and I mean it this time: =-=-=-=-=-=-=
[SLCR #43] Moxy Fruvous, September 25/99
[SLCR #43] A Drunken Deseree Learns Proper Smoking Etiquette
"No, I just get their names mixed up sometimes." "Here, look at the CD book. See him? That's Jian." "Yeah, I can always recognize Jian, 'cause he's-" "The brown guy." "Right, the-" "He's the brown guy." "Yes, I know who Jian is." "The brown guy." "Yes." "Look! The CD package, it's also brown!" "Mmm-hmm." "Brown! Like Jian!" "Sure, brown like Jian." "Are you gonna put this in your review?" "Yep." "You should. And e-mail it to Jian, 'cause he's brown." "I was planning on it..." "You should! But but but put my e-mail address too!" "You think I won't?" "You should tell Jian that too, tell him he's brown like the CD!" "Maybe it would be best to just wait for e-mail."
That was likely true. Conversations with drunks. Fun!
("But I'm not drunk! No! I'm not even dizzy! Shut up, you asshole! Look, it's Ray!")
Mmm-hmm. firstname.lastname@example.org, before I forget.
Incessant references to "brown guy" can only mean another Moxy Früvous concert reviü, along with the accompanying incessant reminders of one of my few brushes with fame. (And also lots of ü's.) If you need details, look them up: http://members.xoom.com/jkalyn/reviews.html - as I have said before, I ain't doing all the work for you.
I picked Deseree up and got to Louis' at about, oh, 9:00 or so. We met up there with Lori (formerly Lori As In Dana's Cousin Lori - now the much easier to remember and equally funny - and equally true - Lori Jones). Lori's friends were with her - Kate and I think the other one was called Natasha or something that was shortened to something else or hell, I don't know. I ain't too bright and I don't pay attention.
Louis' looks the same as it was whenever I was last there. We wound up at the same table as the last Frü show, saw the same guy working the merchandise booth (I bought a pin - but I'd be back), and also saw a very familiar looking guy from the previous Frü show. I bought a Coke, Dez bought the first of a whopping four (or was it five?) white rum 'n' Cokes. Knowing her, it's amazing that she was still standing after four drinks... she also bought some mozza sticks, making this show an official concert (chicken? I never talked about chicken. Ever. You go to hell).
Now, tickets were only $8, which is sensational for a band as great as Moxy Früvous. Unfortunately, the posters advertised two opening acts, a pair of goofs I had never heard of and I was really dreading it. Louis' is not renouned for it's great opening acts (and I am not renouned - renowned - reknowned for my spelling abilities at 5:00am).
We sat around, killed time, and Deseree drank. Drinking - this is a little-known fact - drinking actually increases psychic abilities, and so Dez used her powers for evil, spilling Lori Jones' drink all over the table. This forced our server to ignore us, he was too embarrased to be seen near us, I guess. Of course, we were also discussing the possibilities of a repeat of the last show's Tutti-Frutti Condom Incident. And Lori Jones was teaching Deseree how to smoke properly. This led to Dez getting smoke in her eyes while nearly shoving the cigarette up her nose. Yep, can't beat that for $8 - and that was only after two drinks, I think.
Don't you dare expect me to report what order any of this stuff happened in. If you want accuracy, go read someone else's reviü.
Unfortunately, by the time Dez was drunk enough to go buy another Tutti-Frutti condom, we had completely forgotten about the whole idea. Damn opening acts. Who the hell said they were allowed to be, y'know, great? This is Louis', dammit! We have a tradition of crap to uphold. Xylon! Mr. Happy Salami! The Buddhajudas! All those who were too ashamed to give their names! I don't go to Louis' to spend $34 on CDs from opening acts.
Fortunately, I had $34, so it was all okay.
My goodness, I swore a lot back there. Oh well.
The first was Andy Stochansky, who came complete with an oil drum ("Get it? It's like an oil drum and it's also a drum! But I'm not drunk! Hey, I think that's Ray over there!"), a xylophone looking thing, a gourd-shaped ceramic vase type thing, and other people to play some more conventional instruments. He - they - caught me off-guard by being an excellent band when I wasn't expecting anything even approaching mediocrity. I also wasn't expecting his voice to be nearly identical to that of the singer dude from U2. The songs were great - lyrically challenging, and very interesting musically. I really enjoyed the performance, and was ready to pick up the CD by the time the show was over. That doesn't happen with opening acts.
And since lightning never strikes twice, I didn't think Guy #2 would be good either. Well, Tory Cassis - by himself, with a guitar, and a great singing voice - was even better than Stochansky and his band, in my opinion. The songs were really well-written, and like I said - the guy has a great voice. I think this guy's gonna go places if the right people hear his music. I do know he's going to Regina on Monday for another show with the Frü - maybe, just maybe, I'll have to be there myself.
Final intermission. I pick up two CDs (Andy Stochansky has very artsy CD packaging - the CD is in a CD single jewel case, the lyrics are printed on CD size cards, and the whole pack is in a cardboard sleeve). I stopped to get Cassis to sign his - a very friendly fellow, he is. As it turned out, I think our group of five bought five or six opening act CDs among us, and that has to be some kind of record. A testament to the choices of opening acts (I believe Cassis is touring with Früvous and both singers were chosen by Früvous to open the show). All of a sudden, Früvous had two tough acts to follow.
Now, this is where things were kinda weird. Moxy Früvous has the most loyal fanbase I've seen for almost any artist (Tori Amos being the only possible exception that I can think of). Frü fans are notorious for following the band from show to show. A band like Crash Test Dummies (cheap plug - I do their website! www.crashtestdummies.com - this is for the frewsgrüp people) have sold over 6 million albums, but compare newsgroups - the Moxy Früvous fans are diehards, whereas CTD fans tend to run out of stuff to talk about a few weeks after an album release. Which made the half-inch stack of unsold tickets kinda surprising. It was even weirder when the Frü walked out on stage, and... nothing. No applause, no cheering, nothing. Silence. Finally, someone clapped and everyone was kinda polite, but it was nothing like the enthusiastic audience at the last show. I don't quite understand. It's not a question of radio play - radio here isn't touching the new Früvous songs, but they didn't play any of the last album (a live recording) either. The band tried their best to get the crowd - such as it was - into the show, but it was a pretty apathetic crowd (I was no more apathetic than normal, so don't blame me).
What can I say? It was a great show, as always, though I found the audience response - or lack thereof - kinda took a lot out of the show. It's like in wrestling - a great crowd can make up for a mediocre match (proof: ECW), but a silent crowd can ruin a great match. But I'm digressing again. Good for me. That's what this is all about. Me.
Back to the show. They played most of the songs that I saw in Toronto, as well as quite a few others. Lazy Boy, My Baby Loves A Bunch Of Athors, Horseshoes, Pisco Bandito (great song), BJ Don't Cry (possibly my all-time favourite), Boo Time, The Present Tense Tureen, You Will Go To The Moon. They closed with Psycho Killer. I don't have an exact setlist, but I'm sure someone out there does and might post it, if he can pull himself away from Minesweeper.
The band came out quite quickly for the encore - which I've noticed bands tend to do when the crowd ain't that good. Two more songs - Jockey Full Of Bourbon (as sung by Tony Cassis, who also played trumpet) (not at the same time) (I don't think) and the standard closer, The Drinking Song. No King Of Spain, no medley, no Stuck In The 90s, no Fly, no Spiderman, no Green Eggs & Ham. Either the band is sick of playing those over and over (I'm sure it would get tiresome after a while), or else we were being punished for being such a shitty crowd. Good for them - I always support bands who don't sing encores and favourite songs when crowds don't respond. Whereas I hate Big Sugar 'cause that greasy-ass lead singer dickwad came right out and told us we were a bad crowd. Maybe I'm a hypocrite, maybe I just prefer subtlety. Maybe Big Sugar just suck (this is a fact).
After the show, Lori Jones As In Dana's Cousin Lori Jones (ha! best of both worlds) and her cohorts took off right away, while Dez and I wated around to see if we could snag some autographs. Jian came out (he remembered me! yay Jian!) and signed a few, while I tried to tell the "Jian is a brown guy like the CD packaging" story and failed completely, utterly, miserably. What can I say? I'm a writer, not a speaker. If it was proper form, I'd just carry a notepad and pen, and use that to communicate. This is also why I generally say "Hey, that was a great show" and then skulk away after obtaining the autograph. Ah well.
We waited for the other band members to show, and while we were there, I talked to the familiar-looking guy from the past show. Turns out his name is Doug and he's one of the aforementioned loyal fanbase. Let's put it this way - I thought I was the cat's ass for having seen three Frü shows - he's seen 28. And remembers which each stamp on the Frümiles cards (of *course* there are Frümiles cards, don't be dumb) corresponds to which shows. I was impressed. He remembered my reviü from the last show, I remembered him giving Jian the Clerks/Chasing Amy screenplays. As such, I plug his comic strip NOW - www.waitingforbob.com. Well, I *think* that was his. It's written by a guy named Doug, it's linked off of www.frulinks.com, so I assume this is the right one. And if not, Waiting For Bob seems pretty interesting anyway.
Hell, you know what? I'm really bloody far into the reviü, and I haven't even mentioned the three other guys in Moxy Früvous, except to say that I often get their names confused. I apologize, I am a bastard. They would have got some mention right here, except they didn't show up for autographs - I believe they were being interviewed by the U of S newspaper guy - and we were both pretty tired so we took off. Ah well, there's always Regina on Monday, if tickets are still available, and I feel like driving down there after school (indeed - if I have time to drive down after school and still make the show).
Despite the crowd, I had a great time for $8. This is where I discuss how - all the way back in SLCR #1 - I saw Great Big Sea for something like $7 and had an awesome time, and now they're playing larger (read: worse) venues and charging $30 a ticket. I wish Moxy Früvous all the success in the world, as long as I can still see great shows for $8. Great Big Sea can eat me.
On the way out of Louis', we took Moxy Früvous posters - ahh, felt like old times....
Possible üpcoming reviüs:
Früvous again, Monday from Regina? Maybe... hell, I dunno. Captain
Tractor, I Mother Earth (which I'm sure is sold out), Men Without
Shame, Brad Roberts?, Weird Al, Great Big Sea (I could give in, who
knows?), Wide Mouth Mason (likely charging $30 too - bastards), The
Tea Party, hell, there's like 500 bands coming here. Maybe I'll go
see Trooper. Or Nana Mouskouri. Or George Thouroughgououd. Or I'll
go watch some Grade 4 choir and write about it. Who cares anyway?
Some other tidbits from the performance include: