MESSAGE BOARD

Welcome, Guest. Please Login

WEBZINE
A/V CLUB
Pages: 1 2 
Oxes Appreciation, Discussion (Read 16861 times)






Posts: 3118

Master Mason
Oxes Appreciation, Discussion
06/27/08 at 10:29am
 
caitlin wrote on 06/27/08 at 10:13am:
onetet wrote on 06/27/08 at 9:57am:
has it already been discussed that Oxes are on the Whartscape line-up?


Someone pls briefly tell me why there is such a collective boner for Oxes?  I am not passing judgment, I have never seen them, but I have heard an inordinate amount of talk of them for years, not always complimentary.


I don't want to give into hyperbole too much, but it's hard for me not to when discussing Oxes. mid-90s was a bad time for Baltimore music IMO. between the time Memory Lane closed and the Ottobar opened, there was not shit for venues here. There were good bands, don't get me wrong -- Candy Machine and Lungfish for instance -- but there was a lot of shit, too, and we seemed caught between being an industrial town filled with crappy hard rock and unimaginative jam bands and being DC's less-talented backwoods cousin. All that said, there was a feeling of great potential -- potential that hung in there, frustratingly unrealized.

To my mind, Oxes harnessed that potential and reinvented the baltimore music scene. their performances were explosive, wild, playful, hilarious, inspired, and even felt excitingly dangerous at time. it was a thrill to see them play, and they were the first time I can remember thinking "the best live band in the country right now is from Baltimore." (happily i've  had the same thought about several subsequent Bmore bands since). It was also the first time that when I travelled outside Baltimore, people in other cities had an awareness of the Bmore music scene and would discuss it with interest -- always leading with Oxes.

Oxes really set the stage for everything cool that's come since, IMO. The Wham City aesthetic is to me largely an outgrowth of Oxes and their crew's philosophy of "rowdyism."
Back to top
 
 

daily drinker of Red Emma's coffee!
View Profile   IP Logged






Posts: 1580

Master Mason
Re: Oxes Appreciation, Discussion
Reply #1 - 06/27/08 at 10:37am
 
onetet wrote on 06/27/08 at 10:29am:
To my mind, Oxes harnessed that potential and reinvented the baltimore music scene. their performances were explosive, wild, playful, hilarious, inspired, and even felt excitingly dangerous at time. it was a thrill to see them play, and they were the first time I can remember thinking "the best live band in the country right now is from Baltimore." (happily i've  had the same thought about several subsequent Bmore bands since). It was also the first time that when I travelled outside Baltimore, people in other cities had an awareness of the Bmore music scene and would discuss it with interest -- always leading with Oxes.


Now I am stoked - but still have no idea what they sound like or what the performance entails!

onetet wrote on 06/27/08 at 10:29am:
Oxes really set the stage for everything cool that's come since, IMO. The Wham City aesthetic is to me largely an outgrowth of Oxes and their crew's philosophy of "rowdyism."


I feel like Baltimore is just on the verge of writing its own history, several people are talking about it anyway.  I can't wait for the eventual Baltimore Domesday Book, but I feel like statements like the one you just made will be MAJOR points of contention as people attempt to document the history of the music scene in Baltimore.  While without knowing Oxes' material (though I am familiar with this rowdyism you speak of as a concept locally and otherwise), I can provisionally agree with the chronology of what you say, the danger lies in implying that these movements directly inspire each other as opposed to simply following in succession.

I don't think that's what you are saying necessarily, I take you to mean that one paves the way for the other, but I feel like people will naturally pick fights about who's original, who came first, who inspired who, etc.
Back to top
 
 
View Profile   IP Logged
In front of a computer



I am hearts!

Posts: 1460

Master Mason
Re: Oxes Appreciation, Discussion
Reply #2 - 06/27/08 at 11:20am
 
They have a drummer and two guitarists that play specially made wireless guitars.  No vocals.  Because of this they would be able to play everywhere in a venue (and sometimes outside of it).  I once saw them at Fraziers and they would get up on people's tables (and the bar) and riff away.  They would often get into the crowd and rock out as well.  It was very rowdy.

The music would fall into that lovely genre of "math-rock."  Lots of guitar riffs and wonky song titles.  My favorite was always - "I'm From Hell, Open a Windle."
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 06/27/08 at 11:52am by h_lina_k »  

Hearts Love intrigue Niceness and Kisses
View Profile | WWW | AIM   IP Logged






Posts: 3118

Master Mason
Re: Oxes Appreciation, Discussion
Reply #3 - 06/27/08 at 11:30am
 
I was gratified in a conversation last night to hear a Wham City-related person say that they all generally cite Oxes as a major inspiration.

I love the Baltimore music scene today but is sobering to realize that Oxes is old school to most of today's "kids on the scene," and that many of them never saw Oxes play. I feel like if Oxes had kept going, they would be where, say Les Savy Fav or Lightning Bolt is now as far as national awareness goes. A lot of the style and energy of the Baltimore scene today, IMO, stems from Oxes and related crew/projects.

Trying to dig up the City Paper article I wrote about Oxes circa 1999 (their first, I think), but doesn't seem to be archived any longer.
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 06/27/08 at 11:31am by onetet »  

daily drinker of Red Emma's coffee!
View Profile   IP Logged






Posts: 1580

Master Mason
Re: Oxes Appreciation, Discussion
Reply #4 - 06/27/08 at 11:46am
 
That's awesome, I'm gratified to know that I am probably wrong/over-wary about people quibbling over the history.  It means so much more when there is consensus about the Official Word on what went down with music and art scenes.

Sometimes I forget that Baltimore is in a really posi spot right now.
Back to top
 
 
View Profile   IP Logged






Posts: 3118

Master Mason
Re: Oxes Appreciation, Discussion
Reply #5 - 06/27/08 at 11:56am
 
i don't want to suggest oxes is the single greatest thing that ever happened in baltimore music, only that they were a major factor in redirecting and re-energizing the scene at one particular low point for Bmore music, setting the stage for a lot of the positive things that are going on right now.

Also, had Pitchfork been as big back then as they are now, I think Oxes would have been the first Bmore band to blow up on the level Beach House is now blowing up. By the time Pitchfork was the indie Bible, Oxes were less active, but Pitchfork did love the shit out of Oxes.
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 06/27/08 at 11:57am by onetet »  

daily drinker of Red Emma's coffee!
View Profile   IP Logged
remington



park it yourself,
metallica breath

Posts: 1617

Master Mason
Re: Oxes Appreciation, Discussion
Reply #6 - 06/27/08 at 3:30pm
 
i have a 10+ year old mixtape with oxes wedged between ativin and shipping news and it is still one of my favorites ever.  that soundtracked such an energetic, youthful time in my life.  

also, chapel hill, nc was IN LOVE with oxes.  the whole town, i'm telling you.
Back to top
 
 
View Profile   IP Logged
charles north (NEW HOOD!)



hella jaunty,
mega-dingbat

Posts: 945

Fellow Craft
Re: Oxes Appreciation, Discussion
Reply #7 - 06/28/08 at 9:02am
 
(i'm going to curse a bit here but only out of a giddy vehemence.
so if you're an easily offended granny, read no further)


personally i think their music's less what makes them great.

everyone loves them because those dudes have killer personalities.

they're compelling and mental and hilarious and mean and sweet and always doing something fuckin' creative, always going somewhere interesting

and that's not only very attractive but it has been very inspirational throughout the years

by and large i can't stand their music but they put on a great goddamned show and i'd see them as many times as i could!

Back to top
 
 

We've only just begun...to live....!
View Profile   IP Logged
charles north (NEW HOOD!)



hella jaunty,
mega-dingbat

Posts: 945

Fellow Craft
Re: Oxes Appreciation, Discussion
Reply #8 - 06/28/08 at 11:13am
 
addendum:

sitting here feelings a bit guilty and wrong because i said i couldn't stand their music, all italicized and crap.
it's a style issue for me. it's so herky-jerky that it enhances my own unease and "neurosises".  
there are rare times when i actually do enjoy it but usually it doesn't blend well with whatever i am trying to do/make/say/think. it's actually been a long time since i listened to it..gonna download some now again, i guess.
Back to top
 
 

We've only just begun...to live....!
View Profile   IP Logged
calipornia



i have the weirding
way

Posts: 184

Entered Apprentice
Re: Oxes Appreciation, Discussion
Reply #9 - 06/28/08 at 2:17pm
 
i feel like oxes were the best thing to happen in baltimore when they first started blowing out with the crazyness they did. ive known marc and chris half my life, and after all is said and done so many years later, i cant help but think about how next-level these guys were by the time they did this band.

anybody remember the ottobar show in march of 05? marc fell off the stage on the left on the last note of one of the songs and didnt get hurt, but broke a string. like i said, looking back at the energy those guys brought to every room they played makes me kind of realize as a musician how they didnt continue. id love to see them get back together and shred again though. here is some cool oxes vids on youtube that you all should check out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUz5R051zG4
some kid at old navy questioning someone working there about the 'oxes' shirts they were selling

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnKM-GHv4y4
bees won, live in austin

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-bBW3LYQsw&feature=related
oxes perform thus spoke zarathustra (completely nuts)

Back to top
 
 

-shawn phase//tempsoundsolutions///www.tempsoundsolutions.com

View Profile | WWW | AIM   IP Logged
Charles Village



the internet was
awesome today!

Posts: 9432

Master Mason
Webzine Staff
A/V Club
Re: Oxes Appreciation, Discussion
Reply #10 - 06/28/08 at 3:13pm
 
i first heard oxes when i was a dj at wmuc ... in '02 i think (OXXXES).  i've never seen them live, but like that album.  since moving to baltimore i've gotten to know marc a little bit in passing and he's truly a next level dude.
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 06/28/08 at 3:15pm by Juxton »  

View Profile | WWW | AIM   IP Logged
remington



park it yourself,
metallica breath

Posts: 1617

Master Mason
Re: Oxes Appreciation, Discussion
Reply #11 - 06/30/08 at 1:48pm
 
there isnt enough bandwidth on the eastern seaboard to discuss how great marc is
Back to top
 
 
View Profile   IP Logged
calipornia



i have the weirding
way

Posts: 184

Entered Apprentice
Re: Oxes Appreciation, Discussion
Reply #12 - 07/20/08 at 3:23am
 
seeing them tonight just affirms how good these guys are at what they do. i had a hell of a time at the show, i even got a hug from marc during his first lap through the crowd! i recorded the set, theres a slight dropout in boss kitty where it got overloaded so i moved back a bit. i'll probably eq and get these together tomorrow.
Back to top
 
 

-shawn phase//tempsoundsolutions///www.tempsoundsolutions.com

View Profile | WWW | AIM   IP Logged
charles north (NEW HOOD!)



hella jaunty,
mega-dingbat

Posts: 945

Fellow Craft
Re: Oxes Appreciation, Discussion
Reply #13 - 07/20/08 at 9:02am
 
Back to top
 
 

We've only just begun...to live....!
View Profile   IP Logged
charles north (NEW HOOD!)



hella jaunty,
mega-dingbat

Posts: 945

Fellow Craft
Re: Oxes Appreciation, Discussion
Reply #14 - 07/20/08 at 9:03am
 
helmet guy and purple upside-down legs are KILLIN me
Back to top
 
 

We've only just begun...to live....!
View Profile   IP Logged
charles north (NEW HOOD!)



hella jaunty,
mega-dingbat

Posts: 945

Fellow Craft
Re: Oxes Appreciation, Discussion
Reply #15 - 07/20/08 at 9:04am
 
Back to top
 
 

We've only just begun...to live....!
View Profile   IP Logged
charles north (NEW HOOD!)



hella jaunty,
mega-dingbat

Posts: 945

Fellow Craft
Re: Oxes Appreciation, Discussion
Reply #16 - 07/20/08 at 9:05am
 
Back to top
 
 

We've only just begun...to live....!
View Profile   IP Logged
bltmre



Yes Wave

Posts: 107

Entered Apprentice
Re: Oxes Appreciation, Discussion
Reply #17 - 07/22/08 at 12:48am
 
I say bring back goliath!
Back to top
 
 
View Profile | WWW | AIM   IP Logged
Baltimore



Sly

Posts: 1202

Master Mason
A/V Club
Re: Oxes Appreciation, Discussion
Reply #18 - 07/22/08 at 9:41am
 
for those who missed it on saturday, and for those who want to relive it...here it is...

the Return of OXES

Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 07/22/08 at 9:41am by Grox »  
View Profile | WWW | AIM   IP Logged




I am people!

Posts: 252

Entered Apprentice
Webzine Staff
Re: Oxes Appreciation, Discussion
Reply #19 - 07/22/08 at 4:11pm
 
the true source of the baltimore music scene blow up is Ben Valis:

here is the way it worked - first ben would book outlandish shows at legion halls and a hotdog joint and his basement -

and baltimore bands started gravitating toward obnoxious performance ontop of energized sound ---- we all kind of learned from dismemberment plan - whom ben would book a lot ...  

you had the idea men (including gary, rjyan kidwell and craig)
you had fizzhead (hamilton people)
salad days (hamilton people)
international soundscape internationale (most of oxes, catonsville people
members ...)
our music was technically refined by guy blakeslee and tonie joy of behind closed doors ...

but ben's diy and very free and sarcastic and ironic and funny personality - with which he would book amazing acts like jew chink

led to the moment in which rowdyism rose as baltimore's jem

the high period of rowdyism was - goliath, oxes and invert

this undoubtedly set the stage for dan deacon and ponytail
even if they did not directly encounter these acts (probably only oxes)

rjyan started cex which carried a lot of the craziness of idea men but in a more subdued form - this was great

- rhinovirus (was another rowdy act) kind of .....
- the charm city suicides rose up too - before human host
and mike ap --- brought on a lot of what you see today forcefully in bmore

my own band fridge a - was weird - and mat my brother and laura webster and i - did the whole unexpected retard thing with pre-recorded beats - but we kind of sucked and we were never really liked in full force

but whatever - these are just some unformed musings on the matter



Back to top
 
 
View Profile   IP Logged
Pages: 1 2