Sunday, October 01, 2006

A bit overdue

Sorry for the delay, folks. I intend to update this daily, if not a couple times a day if I can find the time, but this should be a pretty long post covering the recent updates. So, when we last spoke, Bonehog was going to play afterHOURS. The show went thusly: We played out of tune, but really really had some good times. Mike and Scott stood on their amps a lot and Matt knocked over all his drums, broke his cymbal stand, and cut my knee with his hi-hat, but that's what rock and roll is about. I also wore a pair of size 29 black Diesel jeans. I don't think I've been able to wear a size 29 since like 4th grade. I wear a 32 up to a 34 usually. So to accommodate my curves, I just didn't button the fly all the way. THAT, my friends, is rock and roll. Fritz, as usual, posted some pictures of the chaos (log-in required, I believe).

Anyhow, so that was Thursday night. Then Friday we just kicked it and I talked to Jaclyn about the design of our new album (details on this coming up later in this post. Mostly, the band just got ready for NEMO on Saturday -- and I think Matt went to Tool or something. HA! Sure enough, when Saturday rolled around we had a busy day. Matt, Chris, Mike and I attended NEMO's trade show where there are booths and panels of people who can potentially help you in this business. We walked around, talking it up, and actually I am surprised to report that it was a helpful experience.

First, I spoke to a dude named Clay from A to Z Media for a good long while. He was a REALLY nice guy, from Ft. Worth, and turns out, he knows Cory from Black Tie Dynasty. Totally bizarre. Anyhow, he was helpful in a number of ways. First, he told me that even if we don't get accepted to South By Southwest, that it is just as useful to head down there and play house parties or record stores. Why didn't I think of that? We know a ton of people in Austin, so it makes complete sense. So, we're going to see if SXSW accepts us, which would be totally bitching and a dream come true, and if they don't, no sweat, we're going anyway. Consider this our official announcement: CASSAVETTES IS GOING TO SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST. Anyway, he also told us he'd check out our show at the Abbey Lounge last night and suggested a few bands we should play with in New York, including Todd Deatherage (although he just moved to Michigan, I think) and Vietnam (they are on tour with THE LEMONHEADS right now). Anyhow, his company does good work, like Basement Jaxx and Thom Yorke's new record, and he was a cool dude. Their offices are across from Merge Records, so they do a lot of work with them, too. Since I'm looking into a few places to press the new album, including Ball Media and the predictable Disc Makers, this may be a good option as well. I'll keep in touch and we'll see what the rates look like.

Anyhow, the second good encounter was a guy from a company called Armed Forces Entertainment, which is a company that selects bands and comedians to go entertain troops in areas like the Caribbean, the Balkans, and Europe on two to six-week tours. Travel and lodging is taken care of. Now, this sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me, travelling the world for free, playing to receptive audiences. But some of the songs on our new disc have a semi-political nature to them which may not fly with this group. But this guy says no matter, and he actually took a shine to us. So I'll submit and see what happens, though I'm not holding my breath.

Finally, we met a really chilled out guy named Erik and his wife, who own and operate MF Magazine. But get THIS: The dude used to be the drummer for our buddy Nathan Ryan (with whom we played a show last November and remains one of the most courteous performers I've ever met) when Nathan lived in Portland, Ore. So Erik tells us any buddy of Nathan's is a buddy of mine, and hooks Mike up with a free shirt. He then goes above and beyond and attends us our show that night WITH NATHAN. We talked outside before our set about topics ranging from me spilling butter on my sweatshirt and having to retire it to us taking a case of butter and tortillas on the road with us. I really liked hanging with these guys and hopefully we can work with them and keep in touch. These are the type of people you hope to meet at these trade shows. Anyhow, let's talk about the show last night.

As the final day of NEMO drew to a close, we finally were prepped for our Abbey Lounge show last night (flyer by Tim Jacques). We were the fourth of five bands, with The Televangelist and The Architect opening, then the EXCELLENT Tennessee Hollow, followed by the last minute add-on Lomita from Austin.

Quick story about Lomita. I don't mean to start beef wars, but these guys were so rude (or at least the lead singer) last night, that I could not stay for their set. I went outside and chatted with a good-sized group of people. Here's what ticked me off: When they were loading in, I was unknowingly blocking their path. Rather than tap me kindly on the shoulder, this guy with curly hair SHOVES me HARD. I yelled at him and he shrugged. Then later when I was hawking merchandise like a 1920s paperboy (hey, you don't get paid for NEMO, so you gots to make money somehow), he gave me a look that let me know just how uncool he thought I was. You know when someone looks at you and you can tell they're judging you? Yeah, like that. I really strongly disliked this guy, which is very rare for me to dislike anyone we share a stage with. So, my advice: Stay away from Lomita. They don't deserve anyone's support if they're going to treat hometown bands with hostility and treat the crowd like they are inferior. Or maybe that dude was having a bad night and was stressed and I should just take it easy. But maybe not.

On the flip side, Tennessee Hollow was one of my favorite bands we've played with in awhile. These guys were from Boston, but now live in Asheville, N.C. Totally chilled out dudes and their songs are killer. Hopefully we'll play with them again.

Anyhow, Lomita was on the bill because Stella Panacci dropped out. Unfortunately, these guys had just played down the street at Johnny D's and a) brought nobody, b) cleared out the club and c) have a total jackass in the band. But the show was running late, and they went ahead and did a nice, long set. Which sucked for us, because we only got to play...ohh, 25 minutes or so. We were kicking out the jams and had our largest crowd at the Abbey ever (it's a hard club to draw at for us) -- here's a set list: Debts; The Nadir; Carolyn, Don't Leave Like This; Trouble From The Start; On Our Own; It's Gonna Be Alright. But our friend Andie from NEMO told us they'd make it up to us somehow. I'm not sure how, but I half-jokingly made one suggestion: "Get us a BMA next year." Anyhow, unlike Matt (who made his feelings pretty apparent), I wasn't going to fight it when the soundguy told us to wrap it up only six songs into a 10-song set. Our engineer/producer JABE was headling, and I didn't want to cut into his time. Jabe, by the way, can play. Dana from Morphine joined him onstage and they played a tight set. Good times.

The highlight of the evening may well have been an old man, who was probably just a dude from the neighborhood, who came down to check out the music and dance -- a lot. He first approached us outside the club where Scott was trying a German accent. Matt didn't think it was very good, and SLAPPED scott. Very inappropriate. He felt bad and apologized a great deal. The old man, hearing the slap (since he was listening to our conversation and laughing with us from afar), walked over and asked Matt the bewildering question, "Are you from Colorado?" Not sure what that means. Later, he grabbed Scott and I as we went onstage to tell us he's sticking around for our set. Then he added: "You're 22 years old, how good at guitar can you be?" We looked puzzled again, before he exclaimed: "Now YOU bust MY balls!" What a guy.

In the midst of the evening, the band had a couple disagreements over the artwork and the single. These are standard when you have a democratic system in a band, and four people. We get a lot of 2-2 splits on decisions. Either way, it appears "On Our Own" is a 3-1 decision to be the single, and then we just have to pick two other tunes to put on a radio sampler. That was being discussed... My votes would be "The Nadir" (which I think is the all-around strongest song) and then probably "Debts" (which is another short and catchy tune and shows the breadth of the band with dueling vocals and tight harmonies. The main argument arose around the album's design. Mike's brother Dan designed the cover for "Whitewash The Blues" and did an absolutely incredible job (he actually burned the image into the wood!). This time around, he has a more abstract, but very cool theme comprised on many shapes that come together to form figures all over the album (you kind of have to see it to understand). My only concern is that it isn't immediate enough, and when someone sees the disc in the record store or gets our press kit, they may not be immediately moved to pop it in. This is not a diss to Dan's design, because he's doing it pro bono and is way more talented than I could ever be. But the last album design had such immediacy that I was just looking for that in this. Matt feels the same way I do, and Scott and Mike are on the other side. Scott brings up the point that he likes it plain and doesn't feel we should have to conform to please anyone else but ourselves. That is a good point on the artistic front, and sometimes if I let his ideas sink in, he makes sense. But again, I feel that it is so crucial with this album to have an immediate design that we should try to get both an artistic perspective we like and the immediacy we need (i.e. something like the last disc). Unfortunately, I have no better ideas, so it's kind of self-defeating in a way. Also, I don't want to post too much from my perspective on this argument because it isn't fair to what Scott and Mike are contending. Either way, I think there will be more discussion and then a resolution. My guess is that the current design will stick, but be modified in some slight way to where all parties are happy and to where we don't go and force Dan to do more work than is really necessary for him.

Anyhow, the highlight of last night came around 2:30 a.m. when Matt called us after leaving a post-show party at our friends the Matts (it's two Matts that aren't OUR Matt). He told us that The Paradise Lounge, where we are playing on Tuesday, had posted the marquee with our name on it already. This is a dream come true. Way back last year, I announced my New Year's resolutions for 2006: At the top, playing the Paradise and seeing our name up there. What I meant was the Paradise Rock Club, the bigger club of two joint clubs, but to have our name on the marquee for the Rock Club, we'd have to be headlining. And that would practically be impossible, since they book almost exclusively nationals. So this is close enough to announce that I have fulfilled a resolution...

Pictures of the entire evening, from the Abbey to the Paradise and a short-lived party at the Matts in between, can be found here.

I'll try to keep up better!


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