Friday, November 23, 2007

Giving thanks, to you and yours

NOTE: Sunday's show at JJ Foley's has been canceled. Our next Boston show is New Year's Eve at JJ Foley's.

There isn't much going on in the land o' Cassavettes right now. Perhaps you thought that the quiet lately meant we were secretly concocting something huge. Beyond our plans for an INCREDIBLE New Year's Eve show with Three Day Threshold and Girls Guns & Glory and a few discussions with some helpful locals to steer us in the right direction, this is about the quietest I can remember the band being since we formed 2 1/2 years ago. There are a multitude of factors for this: I've been busy at work and hardly checking email, MySpace, etc. The band may be worn out following the tour, though I don't think so (although I do think we'd be more jazzed if we ended the tour in a more grand fashion).

No, it's just all quiet. We're hardly practicing anymore, as well, and that's OK by me, for some strange reason (though when we do, the focus has been and will be on new material, which really must be priority numero uno -- and I couldn't be more pleased with the practice this week, in which we introduced two new songs, one of mine called something like "Bad Television" and one of Mike's, probably called "Madeline"). While I used to lose it if we missed a single practice in a three times a week schedule, now I'm content to meet once (if that, it seems) at our new space which is harder to pin down. Hey, we've been busy. Everyone needs to earn money following the tour. I nearly went completely broke. But I'd do it again. No doubt in my mind.

It's strange, you know, although nothing's happening and we are probably losing a little momentum (or feeling as though we are), I'm OK with that. A band ebbs and flows, its popularity rises and falls. Oftentimes bands fade back a bit and then return with a bang. Very rarely do you consistently hear about a band year-round. To market a group, you have to pick your points of promotion and then, make it count. Since we started this band, we've been building and building. Building without looking back. It worked great and it felt great and I'd do that again, too. But eventually, nobody believes you if you tell them again and again that THIS IS THE BIGGEST SHOW EVER. Now, we're at the point where we can slow down, take our time, and pace things right for us. To put the care into each show that it deserves and build it up so that it really is the biggest show ever. Hopefully.

Anyway, that's the logic. Don't be concerned that you haven't heard much from us since the tour ended. We've got plans, we're just taking our time setting them into motion. For now, I can guarantee you one thing: New Year's Eve is going to be outrageous. I'll fill you in on all the details as they arrive to me, but plan on spending it with us. We're going to enjoy this.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Faith no more

You know, I'm really losing faith in mankind lately. Well, that's a bit dramatic. I'm just getting ticked by how hostile people are; how quick they are to let their anger bubble over. Take last night for instance: Great night, awesome show, we go to get pizza and a group of guys are basically just looking for a fight. After initially starting as a semi-normal conversation about film, it escalates out of nowhere to the point where they insult my girlfriend, nearly ruin what would be a splendid evening, and all over what? Nothing. Just some guys looking to prove their pathetic worth to each other. Anyhow, so before that's even settled in, I'm driving home from work today, and a big silver truck gets right up on my tail, starts flashing his lights at me. Now, we are in a tunnel, moving a brisk 45 MPH, the speed limit, with heavy congestion all around. We're on the speed limit, but it's still a traffic jam, you know? So, there's nowhere for him to go to get around me and there's nowhere for me to go IF I even wanted to get out of his way. Finally, an entrance ramp provides another lane to our left and he speeds around me. He looks at me, I just put my hands up like, "Hey, that's how it is," and he gives me the finger and makes a violent gesture. HAS THE WORLD GONE CRAZY? These are minor issues. Why do you have to ruin someone else's day over them? Ah, decency, where have you gone?

Anyhow, it all rolls off. I'm not going to let the few ruin my day, and we shouldn't either. So, let's talk about the show. Last night was our second time at the Middle East Downstairs. The last time, you may recall, we were headlining our two-year birthday show. This time, we were second of three bands (the fabulous Everyday Visuals and Chauncey). It's quite a different experience to not stress over filling up a room with a 575 capacity (we did just fine, too). This was another birthday of sorts -- Mike's. He turns 23 today, so last night was his night. And what a night it was! The crowd was so loving -- it was everything we missed while playing empty rooms far, far away. We were really soaking it up, too, just having a great time with each other. The only down parts with a few flubs, my amp fizzing once, and Scott coming unplugged three times. I've been telling Scott that for his birthday, I would buy him a new bass case (the current one is being held together by duct tape), but more and more I am considering buying him a wireless system. He is resistent to the idea, saying he would feel lame, but it may be necessary. There was no reason to come unplugged three times last night (usually when he does it's because the cords were too short) -- all these cords were plenty long. And never before have I seen a musician with such stage wanderlust (though I hear tale of the Riverboat Gamblers front man running outside the club mid-set with a wireless mic), which is ABSOLUTELY GREAT and I wouldn't want him to stop, but totally conducive to unplugging one's self. Having a wireless would set him free; he could roam about the crowd and the room -- the fans would love, we would love it, everyone wins. And it would end the unpluggings, which would be grand considering that among the instruments, the bass and drums are really the two that MUST be consistent and never leave the mix, unless its intentional. This is not Scott's fault, just the way things are. Maybe I'll buy Scott a wireless system and Matt a spare drumstick holder. That'd be sweet. Either way, the unplugging didn't mess anything up, it was merely a minor inconvenience. And nothing could have really wrecked this night, including some punks looking for a fight. We wouldn't let it. It was that good.




SET LIST: Carolyn, Don't Leave Like This / On the Lam / You'll Be Crying Soon / Golden Fleece / Trouble From the Start / Whitewashed / Debts / Loose Lips / Shotgun Wedding / Shine a Light

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Photographed

Hey, most of the photos from last month's tour are now up. Just scroll through the last 15 posts or so. Big show tonight at the Middle East Downstairs. Hope to see you there!

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The days are getting longer (somehow)

That's right. The days may seem shorter, according to the sun, but for me, they have indeed been longer. Please forgive me for the lack of posts lately -- and if you've tried contacting me lately, or the band, and haven't heard back, don't take offense to that either. I have hardly been able to check the band's email, or MySpace, or Facebook, or whatever we normally do as promotion and messaging. My days at work have been wild since last week, long and strenuous, and I worked Sunday, too. So, apologies all around. I'm worn out. But I have learned how to sleep again, on a semi-regular basis, and I've been waking up early since my lazy attempt at running a few months back. There are perks.

Anyhow, the one bit of news that is anything breaking is that a New Year's Eve show that we've been scrambling to organize fell through. Bummer. But all hope is not lost. Please plan to spend New Year's with us. There will be a celebration.

Although it seems like ages ago, last week was Halloween and I've promised an update on a couple shows: one at Northeastern and one at Hennessy's, with Cassavettes performing as Neil Young. There's not much to say on the Northeastern show -- it was fairly unattended, as expected (no promotion on our end, too busy), but we had A LOT of fun. I tried gyrating like Scott, and with Scott, and eventually I was rocking so hard that I'm fairly certain I gave myself a hernia. It popped, it hurt, I couldn't walk right or stand up straight for a couple days. It still hurts when I lie down. TD has urged me to go to the hospital a few times, but for one thing, my health insurance is in limbo and second, I've been checked for hernias numerous times with nothing consequential. If I have to, I'll go. Enough said. Either way, I wouldn't say it was worth it, but I don't regret doing the move. I was jamming, and having more fun than I normally would have to a scattered crowd. One of the other bands insulted the sound guys from the stage -- by far the rudest faux pas I've seen in some time. I couldn't believe that poor etiquette. I vowed a psuedo revenge. Or cold shoulder. Or nothing. Photos discovered here.



SET LIST: Coming soon

The Neil show was a big pain in the neck for the past month. We all wondered how we'd pull it off, with no time to practice the material while on tour. Combine that with the fact that we're a band that doesn't learn covers fast or well, and we've got a headache. At one point during the tour, Matt told me, "We all talked about it at Cracker Barrel and agreed that we're worrying too much." Perhaps he was right. We got in a solid 1 1/2 practices before the show, and worked up a short set. Actually, it sounded pretty darn good, though we left off "Helpless" and a couple others. Scott took the lead as Neil himself, as he does a great talking impression and a good singing impression. For the role, Scott selflessly sacrificed his tour beard for mutton chops and parted his hair down the middle. I went intending to look like Neil's longtime bass player/Native American chief, but ended up looking more like Willie Nelson. Mike played a kicker -- somewhat regular dress, just wearing the cowboy hat we got at Sammy Miami's birthday party. Matt went as Matt. I played bass (loved it), and Scott showed his guitar skills. The crowd was REALLY into it, surprisingly, and it was broadcast live on WFNX.




After the show, I got audience comments ranging from "Neil would be proud" to "Kill me and steal the bag of mushrooms I've been saving to see Neil at the Orpheum next month." I said thank you to the first guy and declined the second's offer, but asked for his tickets. He said no. Either way, it would have been a perfect night if I wasn't about to fall of the stage from fatigue, Fritz wasn't dressed as a creepy Stewie (complete with fake baby ass), and we didn't leave the harmonicas at the club. I still have to get them. Thankfully, this wasn't a place on tour where we couldn't go back and get them.







SET LIST: Out on the Weekend / Cinnamon Girl / Ohio / Heart of Gold / Harvest Moon / Walk On

Other than these shows, the week has been about work. And Jimmy. Yes, I finally convinced my old Duffer cohort to come visit last weekend, though it took a Superdrag reunion to really get him here. He and his brother hung with us for a couple days, as we walked around, went to New Hampshire, and of course, saw Superdrag. Scott and I really felt like big shots, for the first time ever, getting into the show for free, drinking for free, knowing the band, etc. It was awesome. Plus, Jimmy and John got a pseudo shout out from the stage that might have made their year (they are huge, huge fans). We may have also cemented our plans for the next album, too. We'll see.

Anyhow, I best get off here. Need to relax when not working. Maybe order a za and watch the Celtics (I accidentally skipped an invite from GGG to do this). Wish me well. I will try to update again, but in case I don't, we're playing a big show Saturday at the Middle East Downstairs. We will only be playing once this month, and it will likely be our last show before New Year's, so hopefully we see you there! I'll do my best to stay awake.

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Friday, November 02, 2007

Come from behind

Alright, listen. I know I've fallen far behind. Things have been nuts since we returned -- I took a new job that I'm still learning and that is a far different schedule than before (not to mention full time right now), the band went crazy trying to finish the tour and play a show at Northeastern then prepare for the Halloween show on Wednesday, Jimmy is coming into town in an hour from Dallas, and I just haven't had time to stop and look around. Let alone blog. This has been a really, really, really stressful and odd week. But here's the good news: I have a blog half in the can that I wrote Monday that I just need to finish, a sort of tour wrap-up. I will try to finish that now before Jimmy comes and it will be posted BEFORE this blog, as if I published it Monday (that's just the way Blogger works). Then, if I have time, I'll update you on the Northeastern show, the Halloween show, and what's up next for us. Sound cool? Cool. Also, I'm trying to get a new cord for my camera -- we lost the last one on the road -- which means I have pictures from Tennessee onward stuck on the contraption that would be great to share with you. But first things first. To the blog!

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