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Moxy Früvous, 1993 (left to right: Dave Matheson, Jian Ghomeshi, Murray Foster, Mike Ford)
|Origin||Thornhill, Ontario, Canada|
|Genres||Folk rock, comedy rock|
|Labels||Warner Music Canada, Bottom Line, Atlantic|
Moxy Früvous was a politically satirical folk-pop band from Thornhill, Ontario, Canada. The band was founded in 1989, and was active until 2001. Common themes in Früvous songs include Canada and the "human experience".
The band formed in 1989 when Jian Ghomeshi (then going by Jean Ghomeshi), Murray Foster and Mike Ford, former classmates at the local Thornlea Secondary School and playing in a pub band called The Chia Pets at the time, joined with David Matheson to busk in Toronto. They drew unusually large crowds, and, eventually, the attention of Toronto-based CBC Radio, which commissioned songs about political and local issues for the radio show Later the Same Day. Some songs written for the show later appeared on their albums; these songs include "The Gulf War Song" and "My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors", which was written for a Toronto authors' festival.
They cut a six-song demo tape in 1992, and their first major-label album, Bargainville, was released the next year. Shortly after, they embarked on a touring schedule that continued, practically without stopping except to record new material, until the end of 2000.
The band sometimes sang with little or no accompaniment in a style similar to contemporary a cappella. A number of their songs also express the band's progressive political leanings ("The Greatest Man in America", for instance, mocks Rush Limbaugh, and "Big Fish" lambastes former Premier of Ontario Mike Harris). Früvous was also known for their close relationship with their fans and their live shows, which were full of political commentary, humorous banter, and musical improvisation.
The band gave its last concert in 2000 (excepting a performance at an annual fan convention in 2001).
On September 5, 2005, Ford, Foster and Ghomeshi performed on CIUT, the U of T's campus radio station, as part of the morning program Toronto Unlocked, an ad hoc program produced and hosted by locked-out CBC Radio One staff.
The last update to the band's website occurred on July 8, 2008. The website was replaced by a default webserver page in mid-2009, but has since returned.
Ghomeshi, Foster, and Ford performed on CBC Radio One on March 1, 2010, as a goodbye to Metro Morning host Andy Barrie.
- Jian Ghomeshi works for CBC Radio One, primarily as the host of the arts and cultural program Q, and writes.
- Murray Foster is part of the band Great Atomic Power, with Dave Matheson, Tory Cassis, Mark Mariash and Jason LaPrade. He also performs in a vocal jazz standard group called The Lesters. Most recently, Foster has been touring as part of Great Big Sea, replacing bass player and singer Darrell Power.
- Dave Matheson performs solo and with Murray Foster in Great Atomic Power.
- Mike Ford often performs in schools, singing his songs about the history of Canada.
- Murray Foster and Mike Ford, formed The Cocksure Lads in 2011. They have released two albums and have performed live in the Toronto area. Dave Matheson also makes occasional appearances with The Cocksure Lads.
The name "Moxy Früvous" is a nonsense phrase, although the liner notes of their first CD Bargainville contained a faux-dictionary listing of definitions for früvous. The band was known to never provide a straight answer (and for that matter, almost never the same answer twice) when defining the band's name. However, in an interview with WBER radio in Rochester, New York, on November 23, 1999, Jian explained the band's name origin by saying that they were "trying to think of a name that wasn't easy to remember and didn't mean anything," satirically going against two conventions most bands might use in determining a band name. The name also includes a heavy metal umlaut, again hinting at the satirical when naming a band because though Moxy Früvous was known for crossing a very wide range of genres, heavy metal is not a genre most listeners of Moxy Früvous would associate with the group.
- Moxy Früvous (1992, demo, rare)
- Bargainville (1993)
- Wood (1995)
- The 'b' Album (1996, b-sides and other oddities)
- You Will Go To The Moon (1997)
- Live Noise (1998, live)
- Thornhill (1999)
- The 'c' Album (2000, b-sides and other oddities)