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Critic's Pick - rock/pop

Vance Lehmkuhl

If you just saw Moxy Früvous at the WXPN singer-songwriter weekend - where most agree they stole the show - you may have a good idea of what Sunday's show in King of Prussia will be like.

Then again, you probably don't.

And neither do they. After all, they change their concert set every night. "Sure, we'll be doing 'Michigan Militia' and all, and probably 'Get in the Car,' 'King of Spain,' whatever," offers Jian Ghomeshi (the drummer) in a phone interview. But don't expect 'Hippie on the Pole,' the impromptu number Jian launched into on Penn's Landing.

No doubt on Sunday there will be some other noteworthy detail to be spun into an instant improv number, à la "The Lowest Highest Point" on the Live Noise CD.

Spontaneity and freshness are just part of the fuel that's driving Moxy Früvous to the same heights in this country that they've already hit in Canada (where their first album went platinum). The loose ambiance, the tight harmonies, the irreverent satire and the simple pop melodies, all are getting the attention not only of "Früheads" everywhere, but of mainstream America, including the New York Times, the Washington Post and NPR.

"It'll be interesting to see if SPIN comes around," Ghomeshi notes. "They trashed our first album back in 1994, saying it was almost as bad as that goofball… Beck."

Hmmm. Moxy Früvous - Artist of the Year? Stranger things have happened, especially at Früvous shows, where Früheads flock knowing there will be plenty they've never seen before. The only problem with their ongoing success, says Ghomeshi, is that it could eventually work against their spontaneous vibe. "Yeah, if we're ever playing big arenas," he admits, "we'd have to cut back on the improv, 'cause we'd have to choreograph the semi-nude dancers, and we wouldn't want to mess them up."

Get out to King of Prussia for a show that's new and different from any you've seen before. If you miss Früvous now, you may soon be wishing for a "Kick in the Ass."

Moxy Früvous with Jackie Tice, Sun., Aug. 2, 7 p.m. Sunday Concerts Under the Stars Series, Upper Merion Township Building, King of Prussia, (610) 265-1071.

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