Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Good news heals all wounds

So, last night we played a show and it was pretty bland. But that's not exciting, so we'll talk about that after exciting talk.

In one of the biggest honors to date for Cassavettes, we were invited to play the WBCN Rock 'N' Roll Rumble. Don't know what it is? If you trust Wikipedia, here's a history lesson. Our good friend Kier from Three Day Threshold, who I often think of as a mentor to this band in some ways, told us awhile back that the Rumble is the bridge for Boston bands, or as he put it: a "rite of passage." Most groups that have gone on to bigger and better things must first prove themselves locally by owning the Rumble. Jake Brennan & the Confidence Men did it, so did Dresden Dolls, all the way back to Gang Green in 1986. At the same time, some notable bands have fallen, including Morphine, the Lemonheads, Piebald, and Kier's band itself. Win or lose, we are enormously honored to be a part of it. So, how about that?

And it makes last night at the Bulfinch Yacht Club feel better. It also parallels the reality that we aren't big time or anything. A lot of internal focus lately has been on not getting down if the crowd is small or uninvolved. It happens -- you max out a draw by playing too many shows, it's not a good night, or maybe the crowd isn't going to feel it no matter what you do. It's not a personal offense in my book any longer. I'm having fun every time I'm up on stage, and you know what, I'll say it: as corny as this is, I love playing live shows, even to nobody sometimes, because I realize how amazing it is to play onstage with three of my best friends. It's a special thing, and I don't want to take it for granted. I can't get so caught up in worrying about draw, and who's there and who isn't, because when it's time to play, all you can do is PLAY. That's it. Scott says he has more respect for bands who overcome small crowds by still turning the place upside down, and I'm inclined to agree with him. Playing to small crowds is part of the life of a band, and we better get used to it again if we hit the road. Like Matt said, not everyone can be those losers from Panic! At The Disco, where were playing packed stadiums before they ever played an empty bar. It's all luck. But playing small shows toughens you up in a way that group never will be tough -- in some ways, it already shows since they have ZERO stage presence from what I understand. If you want longevity in a business, you need to take a hard road to get there oftentimes. So, while we played a few sold-out shows and were riding a high, when we maxed out last night, it was a reality check. A necessary one. We still met the club's minimum at the bar and ticket sales, so we didn't get in hot water, and we're buds with the talent buyer there. Our set was strong, we played pretty well (despite some technical difficulties) and amazingly, we sold a fair amount of merchandise. That's EXACTLY why you don't fold in the face of a small crowd -- in fact, there's MORE pressure to play well, I think. And I'm proud of these dudes, because I think we did play well. Pictures here.

Speaking of playing, we did not do a conventional set. In an attempt to snag some people who'd seen us recently, I baited the show by saying we'd do all new stuff (two), covers (one), and rarities (three) -- (We also did four recorded tracks). And for the most part, we did. Here's the set list:
Whitewashed / Loose Lips / Carolyn, Don't Leave Like This / On The Lam / The Devil's Arms / Research Blvd. / Shotgun Wedding / Bad Luck / The Weight (The Band cover) / Better Than This

All in all, the night turned out OK. And sometimes that's necessary. We're playing a lot lately (next show, Feb. 6 at afterHOURS/Northeastern University), anyhow, for two reasons: we have debts to pay off and we're getting as tight as possible for SXSW and, well, now, the WBCN Rumble. So, it's a good, hard-nosed experience.

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Anonymous scott said...

holy moly

30 January, 2007 14:50  
Blogger Fritz Ceriales said...

congrats on getting invited to wbcn's rock n roll rumble!!!!

30 January, 2007 17:14  
Anonymous Mike said...

Julie took some video from this show. It turns out the sound was ALL over the place, but we were having our own brand of whimsical, silly fun on stage. Like the Man once said "All's well that ends well".

31 January, 2007 11:14  
Anonymous Jenna Snavely said...


31 January, 2007 12:38  
Anonymous jenna said...

damnit, it did the automatic filling in thing and put in my last name. ah, well.

31 January, 2007 12:39  
Anonymous scott said...

wait are you referring to me? because i said that.

31 January, 2007 12:59  
Anonymous glenn said...

i said that too!

04 February, 2007 22:13  

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