The tolling of the mission bell, the cry of the loon, a converted touchdown by the soi-disant Green Bay Packers...by these portents we know it is time again to raise the Quill. And what a time! A new album, an imminent tour, all the quoatidien events in the life of a band. Got a minute? Then why not spend it in the boisterous yet housetrained company of the Quill. Do read on...
Cast your mind back twenty-two years: 1977. The Summer of Love is exactly ten years past, yet no one seems to be planning a comemorarative event. Up in Thornhill, a tiny postal district just north of Toronto, the minds of four young and impressionable lads are begining to be sculpted by the culture of the day, steeped in an Oolong tea of Beatles, Stones, Dead, and first- and second-hand pot smoke. Although they don't know each other at the time, they separately and subconsciously vow to meet, form a band, and tour for seven years straight. When the gods of Alternative Folk-Pop hear this they look at each other, wince, and nod. The pact is sealed.
Cut to the present (actually about five months ago as of this printing). The four lads descend upon The Tragically Hip's Bathouse Studio near Kingston, Ontario, intent upon filling a contractual obligation to their record label. They get down to it, and over the next four weeks experience a collective flashback that results in an album with all the hallmarks of their formative years, with a few modern flourishes thrown in. As a testament to their musical roots, they name the album "Tottenham," and then, after checking a map, quickly rename it Thornhill, On the day of their departure they all put on toe-socks and launch into a display of mutual back-slapping that makes the small permanent staff at the studio gag.
We're thrilled to announced the arrival of two new members to Team Früvous: True North Records, our new Canadian label, and Razor and Tie Records, who will be working in conjunction with Bottom Line Records in the States. Thornhill will be released on August 10th in America and August 24th in Canada, a discrepancy due to current exchange rates. Our distributors are BMG in America and Universal in Canada, two companies with enough clout to get the album very close to you.
What would Jedi Knights do if they lived with us here on Earth? After making Thornhill, it's clear to us that they would call themselves Don Dixon and produce bands. To a man, the members of Moxy Früvous feel that this was the most pleasant and productive album-making experience we've had, and Dixon, the self-proclaimed 'little guy with the big ears" whose production credits include R.E.M, The Smithereens and Matthew Sweet, is the main reason. From visionary group-vocal production techniques to the mock-confessional he set up in the second storey bathroom, Dixon did it all. The challenge with Früvous, as he saw it, was to make us sound not like four solo artists contributing songs to an album but like a band with four lead vocalists. He and we both think that he and we achieved that. To Don Dixon we proffer the traditional twenty-one gun salute and virgin sacrifice.
It would take weeks, perhaps months, to provide you with a real-time run-down of what we've been up to over the past few months, so in the interests of time allow us to summarize. After we finished the record in April we chilled out for awhile and replenished fluids. Then we set about converting the complex orchestral arrangements of the songs on the album into dumbed-down versions we could pull off live, all the while honing our already-impressive on-line gaming skills to almost military levels.
In June we set off for a month of touring centered around the Guinness Fleadh Festival, an Irish-inflected festival we got added to by saying "Bring on the filldes!" in Gaelic. The tour took us to San Fran, Chicago, Boston and New York on each successive Saturday in June, and allowed us to get close enough to spill hot coffee on such fellow-performers as Elvis Costello and Van Morrison. The Fleadh also allowed us to spend two weeks in both the sunny and the rainy bits of the west coast, and we look forward to seeing our bleached and/or waterlogged Left Coast fans again this fall.
We have just been informed by a reliable source (an executive at NBC) that we will be performing live on Late Night With Conan O'Brien this September or October. Check our website or your local listings for the exact date. AS much of a coup as it will be to kibitz with the lanky redhead, we'll still need your help in transforming this album from a grassroots fave into a going concern on both sides of the border. In a spare moment, threaten a local radio station with property damage if they don't play our current single; in a spare hour, construct an effigy of a bandmember and show it off to guests. Bugging record stores and playing the album for friends also helps. Remember, whenever a radio station is playing a Früvous song, it means they're not playing an 'N Sync song.
Just as we expect every summer to be the hottest and driest on record, so too do we expect every fall to see the Früvous lads get an unconvincing look of steely determination in their eyes and head out on the road, and this fall is no exception. We kick off the album release with two weeks of August dates in the states, including a Harvard Square HMV outstore in Boston on August 12 and a free South Street Seaport show in NYC on August 13. Then we're back to celebrate the Canadian release wiht a big Harbourfront Molson Place show in Toronto on August 26th. The fall tour starts with gigs at the Magic Bag in Detroit and the Metro in Chicago. After that we'll revisit the Prairies and British Columbia, including dates at the West End Cultural Centre in Winnipeg, the Sidetrack in Edmonton and Richard's in Vancouver. Then it's down the west coast to follow up on our triumphal goings-on there in June. We'll finish the touring season with dates in the American midwest and northeast, and hit Ontario and Quebec just before Chanukah. Included in that stint will be two shows in Canada's glistening capital, Ottawa! Come enjoy late autumn's splendor with us at the new Zaphod II, November 26 and 27. A tour of the new songs, the old songs, new versions of old songs, old versions of new songs, and virtually anything else we can promise to get your ass into the venues. See you there - live!
We know the Quill is over because we have nothing left to say, and it's clear that repeating everything again would just be a waste of time. So until we have a chance to abuse you in person, go sit in some milk, and while you're at it take off those ridiculous glasses and false nose.
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