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OXES are a Baltimore instrumental rock band who have been performing since 1999. Its members are part of what's known as "the Baltimore Rowdy Collective" who stage practical jokes usually involving a confrontational and outlandish racket in public places. These happenings are comparable to the Lettrist Scandals. After guitarist Nat Fowler moved to Italy, the other members remained musically active. Guitarist Marc Miller formed the band Microkingdom, and Drummer Chris Freeland released an album under the name Frenemies. Fowler currently lives in Berlin, Germany and performs under the name Novo Line.Read More...
Their music has been called math rock or post punk but they haven't been known to subscribe to any genre. However all of their recordings and shows are instrumental.
In all of the bands early performances Marc Miller (guitar), Natalio Fowler (guitar) both stood on large black boxes (or pedestals) towering over the audiences - a nod to the superiority complexes of rock bands. The guitarists would occasionally step down from the boxes to walk into the audience and stand in front of individuals in the crowd (while still playing) attempting to make the them feel uncomfortable. This was later aided by the much self-publicised acquisition of wireless guitars. Christopher Freeland (drums) would intermittenly get up from his set and barge around the stage, mumbling incoherent babble, only to sit back down and lunge into another song.
While the band retained its use of the large black boxes and wireless guitars, its later shows were marked by less showmanship. However they still maintain their audacious and silly stage presence.
Prior to the release of their eight-track album "Oxxxes" in 2002, the band put out a 10" record, billed as a split-EP between OXES and Rhode Island noise-rockers Arab on Radar. The A-side of the record was performed by OXES. The B side was, again, OXES - this time impersonating (fairly convincingly) Arab on Radar, acquaintances of former. The unusual idea allegedly came about during practice sessions for the record, whereupon OXES happened to write some songs bearing aural-similarity to Arab on Radar, subsequently recording and releasing the record as an OXES/Arab on Radar split, unbeknownst to the latter band.
In the Spring of 2006 the clothing company Old Navy released a T-shirt bearing the image of a flier for one of the bands previous shows. While there was no official word on whether or not the band, or Monitor Records, OXES record-label endorsed this, as of May 2006, both OXES' and Monitor's Myspace pages, bore an anti-Old Navy picture bearing the slogan "Boycott Old Navy (if you feel like it)", as well as the comment relating to "Old Navy Clothing Store now stocking inferior quality versions of our t-shirts!". However, the seriousness of such a comment is thrown into question by a similar comment, "iTunes Music Store now stocking inferior quality versions of our newest record!" also appearing on OXES' Myspace page.
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