The band on stage in 2004
|Origin||San Francisco, California|
|Genres||Noise rock, experimental rock, avant-garde|
|Associated acts||Whipping Boy|
|Past members||Tom Dobrov|
Oxbow is an experimental rock band from San Francisco, California. Founded in 1989, Oxbow plays a blend of noise rock, avant-garde jazz, Contemporary classical music, and blues. The band has released six studio albums.
Oxbow began as a recording project. In 1988 bandmates Eugene Robinson (vocals, lyrics) and Niko Wenner (guitar, bass, keyboards, music) wrote songs with an approach decidedly different from their band at the time Whipping Boy. Wenner concocted an underlying musical architecture for his abrasive-then-plangent music, through use of arch form and musical palindromes unusual in the noise music genre the band was often placed. This organizing structure later grew to encompass the second Oxbow recording as well, and drew relationships between the two. For his part Robinson changed his vocal approach to include in-the-studio improvisations and extensive vocal multi-tracking. This first record, titled Fuckfest has drumming split evenly between Greg Davis and Tom Dobrov. Dan Adams (bass in Oxbow, drums in Whipping Boy) joined immediately on completion of the first recording. All but Davis and Dobrov were at various times members of Whipping Boy, Wenner and Dobrov had been bandmates in the hardcore band Grim Reality Dobrov departed after the band's 1995 European tour, but performed with Davis as guest second drummer for the studio recording of "Shine (Glimmer)" on the 2002 album "An Evil Heat."
The first album from Oxbow, Fuckfest, was released in 1989. It was described as "one of the most unique first statements in modern avant-rock" by Rock-A-Rolla magazine, "staggeringly eclectic" by Simon Reynolds, and "a fierce, rigorous album that challenges almost every preconception rock listeners might have" by Allmusic. Fuckfest was followed by King of the Jews (1991) and then by two Steve Albini-recorded albums: Let Me Be a Woman (1995) and Serenade in Red (1996–97), the latter featuring guest vocals from Marianne Faithfull. An Evil Heat followed in 2002 on Neurosis' Neurot Recordings label. Oxbow's 2007 album The Narcotic Story was named the number one album in the "Best of 2007" by Rock-A-Rolla magazine, and was listed with three other bands' albums in the nomination of Joe Chiccarelli as 'Producer of the Year' at the 50th Grammy Awards.
Oxbow's material is musically varied and has been compared both to bands such as Neurosis and The Birthday Party, and modern classical composers such as Penderecki and John Luther Adams. Elements of blues, noise rock, metal, Jazz, and Contemporary classical music are consistently mentioned. Allmusic writer Jason Ankeny identified elements of free jazz and musique concrète.
- Dan Adams - bass guitar, keyboards
- Greg Davis - drums, percussion
- Eugene S. Robinson - vocals, lyrics
- Niko Wenner - guitars, keyboards, music
Dan Adams: Bass Guitar
Dan Adams, multi-instrumentalist, robotic animal engineer on films such as Free Willie, and Anaconda, and award winning jazz player also used to drum for North Carolina's hardcore punk band the Ugly Americans.
Niko Wenner: Guitars, Keyboards
Eugene S. Robinson: Vocals
On Fuckfest "Robinson howls in a high-pitched, anguished voice somewhere between Robert Plant and Birthday Party-era Nick Cave", although his lyrics sound incomprehensible.
Vocalist Robinson, also an amateur fighter, has on several occasions dealt with misbehaving audience members with physical force. He is also known for shedding his clothes on stage. Robinson is the author of the books "Paternostra", "Les sons inimitables de l'amour: un plan à trois en quatre actes", A Long Slow Screw and Fight: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Ass-Kicking but Were Afraid You'd Get Your Ass Kicked for Asking, and is a regular contributor to Vice magazine, and has had his written work appear in GQ, the LA Weekly, PC Gamer, Hustler, Revolver, Decibel and The Wire, among others. His infrequent film and television work has also seen him appearing in Leonard Part 6 with Bill Cosby, Midnight Caller, King of Love, MTV's Liquid Television's Las Apassionadas, and commercials most notably one directed by Gus Van Sant for Miller Genuine Draft.
|1989||Fuckfest||CFY Records/Pathological Records/Hydra Head Records|
|1991||King of the Jews||CFY Records/Pathological Records/Hydra Head Records|
|1995||Let Me Be a Woman||Brinkman Records/Crippled Dick Hot Wax Records|
|1996/1997||Serenade in Red||Crippled Dick Hot Wax Records/SST Records|
|2002||An Evil Heat||Neurot Recordings|
|2007||The Narcotic Story||Hydra Head Records|
|1996||Insylum/The Stabbing Hand||Crippled Dick Hot Wax Records||Limited Release Picture Disc EP|
|2009||Songs for the French||Hydra Head Records||Limited Release Vinyl EP|
|1992||Balls in the Great Meat Grinder Collection CD (compiles the albums King of the Jews and Fuckfest on a single cd, in that order)||Pathological Records|
|1997||Fuckfest/King of the Jews 2CD (compiles the albums Fuckfest and King of the Jews in a two CD package)||Crippled Dick Hot Wax Records|
|2006||Love That's Last CD/DVD (CD includes new, and previously released songs; DVD includes two live performances, a documentary, two 5.1 surround re-mixes, etc., see "DVD" below)||Hydra Head Records|
|2007||Remixed & Covered CD (Two CD package of remixes/covers of the band Xiu Xiu; Oxbow acoustic duo perform "Saturn.")||5 Rue Christine|
|2008||Oxbow presents: Love's Holiday Orchestra Oxbow duo live at Supersonic 2007 (featuring Justin Broadrick and Stephen O'Malley) (12" vinyl only)||Capsule|
|2008||Fuckfest/12 Galaxies (12 Galaxies: Oxbow acoustic quartet recorded live at 12 Galaxies club, San Francisco, 2008) (limited, hand signed two-cd package)||Hydra Head Records|
|2009||Songs for the French (Side "There" live recordings, Europe, 2008) (12" vinyl only)||Hydra Head Records|
|2011||: : stone & towering edifice : LIVE at the BAM (Oxbow acoustic quartet live at UC Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, 2010) (CD only)||Hydra Head Records|
|1999||Oxbow Meets White Tornado||Wallace Records|
|2011||Oxbow / Kill Kill Kill (Oxbow song is previously unreleased alternate version of "Daughter" from 1991 LP, King of the Jews. Mastered 1991/2011 Golden Mastering / Kill Kill Kill song recorded at Paul Terrace, Los Angeles, CA, 2011) (Vinyl 7")||Hydra Head Records|
|2006||SbarX (video + 5.1 audio mix on Love That's Last DVD, song from An Evil Heat (2002))||Hydra Head Records|
|2006||Love That's Last: A Wholly Hypnographic and Disturbing Work Regarding Oxbow||Hydra Head Records|
DVD included in the CD/DVD Compilation Love That's Last: A Wholly Hypnographic and Disturbing Work Regarding Oxbow. There are 6 selections included on the DVD:
- Music For Adults (documentary film)
- Music For Adults (outtakes)
- Oxbow live in Diksmuide, Belgium, Muziekclub 4AD 19 May 2002
- Oxbow live in San Francisco, USA, Great American Music Hall 14 November 2004
- SbarX (video + 5.1 audio mix)
- The Snake &... (5.1 audio mix)
|2011||The Luxury of Empire||Flowerskull|
DVD based on Oxbow's 2009 European tour. Contains three selections:
- "The Luxury of Empire" by Mariexxme (documentary film)
- "Still Before" by Manuel Liebeskind (documentary film)
- Oxbow live in Paris, France, La Maroquinerie 8 November 2009
|2012||oxbow in camera||Hydra Head Records|
16mm film, multi-camera, three selections are performed live, one selection is performed to the studio recording. There are 4 selections included on the DVD:
- The Snake...
- She's a Find
- Ecce Homo
- Wenner, Niko (2009). Fuckfest. CD reissue liner notes: Hydra Head Industries.
- Wenner, Niko (2011). King of the Jews. CD reissue liner notes: Hydra Head Industries.
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