Bowdoin Orient The Bowdoin Orient
Friday March 6, 1998

The Canadian Invasion: Moxy Fruvous

By: Lara Blackburn

Don't let the strange name deter you. Moxy Fruvous means nothing, everything, or anything you want. But what it will mean to you after Friday night is one amazing show.

The band is composed of four guys from Toronto and can be best described as a capella based rock and/or folk. Their songs are quirky, sometimes political, often funny. Their voices are the most important instruments they use, and this lends itself to a quite surprising stage set up.

For the show tonight, you can expect to see all four members of the band stand up front - even the percussionist, Jian, with his minimal drum kit. Jian is complimented by the obligatory bass played by Murray and guitar by Mike. Dave plays a host of other random instruments, including a banjo, a toy piano, a flute and a megaphone.

Moxy Fruvous has been around for a while. They started playing on street corners during the early 90's and after some time, recorded a demo tape (now impossible to find) which included a rap of the entire Dr. Suess story "Green Eggs and Ham," which they may very well perform tonight. The band gained a following in Toronto and New England and found the time to sing back up on the his Barenaked Ladies song "If I Had $1,000,000." In 1992 came Bargainville, their first CD bringing with it their first commercial hit, "King of Spain." This is the bouncy tale of a guy who believes he used to be the king of Spain (a mighty fine king at that) but escaped to Canada in order to work at a pizza place, vacuum the turf at Skydome, and of course jam with Moxy Fruvous.

They rocketed to fame in Canada as "King of Spain" became one of the songs that's constantly on the radio and television. But, when their sound varied on their next release, 1993's Wood, it didn't find the same success. They then released a b-sides and rarities album, thrilling the large cult following they then had obtained in Canada and the US.

Last year brought You Will Go To the Moon, a release which received more success than they had seen in either country since Bargainville. The album showcases an incredible number of styles: the self-described banjo hip-hop of "Michigan Militia," the BeeGees cover of "Gotta Get a Message to You," the middle eastern style of "No No Raja," the retro-pop of "Your New Boyfriend," the Broadway musical stylings of "Incredible Medicine Show," and finally the perfectly barber shop "You Will Go to the Moon." These boys have range!

Every live show receives rave reviews, assuming the reviewer likes to laugh. Moxy Fruvous tends to color their shows with little skits and jokes between (and often during) songs. Sometimes the lucky audience will get a costume change during the show. They even play with their own material,, such as performing a grunge cover of "King of Spain." Moxy Fruvous are such great performers that their die-hard fans, better known as Fruheads, travel great distances for shows. People are coming from as far away as Washington, D.C., just for this show, so take advantage of the opportunity to see them in your own back yard.

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