Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Plenty to think about

Plenty going on, not plenty of time to really talk about it. The band is just a week and a half away from the biggest show of our career thus far. Headlining the Paradise. Honestly, who would have thought?

We're doing a little bit of promotion leading up to it: this Sunday, we'll go on "New England Product" on WNFX 101.7 FM to talk about the new record and the big show, on Tuesday we'll appear on Fox 25 Morning News for the second time, and I'm doing a quiet solo show at the Lizard Lounge to spread the word on July 2. But as focused as we should be on the Paradise right now, we're really not (though a number of people outside the band have been positively stoked about us getting a featured spot in the Live Nation mass emails, nestled betwixt Feist, Chicago, Devo, and Alejandro Escovedo -- see screengrab below).

Practices have been focused on new material lately, because it's dawning on us that recording time is RIGHT around the corner. We just signed on with a booking agent for the first time last week (who, like Creamer, allows me to work in tandem with them, rather than usurping any responsibility -- a HUGE plus), and when I filled out our availability for her, it became achingly clear that we don't have much time. After July 5, we've got one week together, before nearly a month off (Matt's on tour, Mike's on a pre-marital retreat, Scott's back in Texas, and finally, I'm in the Berkshires and then recording this solo album in Rhode Island). By the time the dust settles on Aug. 17, Mike will be wearing a wedding ring and we'll have eight weeks to get an album together. Therefore, from the end of August through October, we're touring more than ever before to tighten up. We'll only be making two long trips, and just doing 3-day weekends the rest of the time. But that ought to get us tight. Then, we can focus on new material in a practice or two a week. Think about it, that's basically playing together 4-5 times a week for 6-8 weeks. Yeah, that ought to do the trick. And, hey, this is what we live for.

The question, of many questions, is: Who produces the record? When do we do it? We've looked at mid-October for months, but it might be smarter to push back to the first two weeks of November, just to make sure we are comfortable with the material. Not even just playing-wise, but making sure we are really putting forth the right songs. This album has to be big for us. It's a must.

So plenty to think about as the big day approaches (that is, for the band and for Mike).

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Travels on the Internet

While Googling Cassavettes, I came across two interesting entries. The first is the urban dictionary definition of our beloved name:
cassavettes is the incorrect spelling of the word cassavetes, stupid people might type cassavettes in looking to find the independent film director, John Cassavetes. OR they might be trying to search for the Le Tigre song Cassavetes, which is about John Cassavetes.

Stupid people, eh? What does that say about us? We got the name, and the spelling, from a misspelled Fugazi song on my computer years ago and never tried to make it a tribute to John Cassavetes (though the song is about him, hence the misspelling). But let's face it -- it looks better with 2 T's and hopefully it doesn't force us to change it. Plus, we pronounce it differently. That, by the way, we attribute to cultural ignorance. On our part. We still haven't seen Cassavetes' movies.

The second site of interest is the homepage for the acoustic band Cassavettes, a totally Spanish site. Notice the background music. Most righteous. We know of a few other Cassavettes/Cassavetes -- one in Atlanta that is excellent, one is San Ramos, CA, and these guys, who really pop up with a lot of online videos. One thing is fascinating, though: we all list similar music as inspiration. Weird, eh?

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Dog danglin' afternoon

Whoa, man, heat wave. Lately, it's been outrageous. My van told me it was 115 yesterday...but I don't trust those car thermometers. Either way, we got a COOL (like that transition?) review of our show with Dr. Dog a couple weeks ago from the good folks at Enough Cowbell ("In a basement with The Cassavettes and Dr. Dog is a good place to be"). Read it here, or below:

I think it’s fitting I don’t have any pictures of the Dr. Dog and Cassavettes show at John Harvard’s last Saturday. I couldn’t see the band. The brew house was flooded with fans and given the fact there was no stage I’d guess that most people suffered from an obstructed view like I did. It was a reminder that there are two primary reasons we (the royal we, dude) all go see music played live: (1) music (2) community.

Take a moment to contemplate the stunning coordination of the human body. We are composed of atoms (and maybe they’re composed of something smaller) that work in unison to create small chemical structures that make chemicals and organelles, that create cells, that in turn work together to create unified tissues, organs, organ systems, and organisms. Independently functioning matter that has a sole purpose yet without one another would not complete that function - the sum is greater than the parts. And a concert can work in the same way. By the last song of the Dr. Dog set the crowd was moving in unison with common purpose and attitude. We weren’t filtering waste, or repairing transcription errors. We were doing something much simpler, yet at times just in important: aiding a communal uplift in spirit. Everyone was bending at the waste creating a collective inhale and exhale. The band’s music were the synapses sent through to each individual causing us to move and react like the diaphragm pushing the lungs to absorb air and release wastes.

We were a random collection of people enjoying the same moment. There were parents, young children playing air piano, people dancing on bar counters, and the typical youths (of which I am one) that makes a habit of being at shows. Dr. Dog the Cassavettes’ brand of bluegrass, blues, rock that gives modernity and a youthful whip to classic American music. Both bands play well and in a style that so often falls to the ills of stagnating jams, but instead of falling they both rise above with brief and noisy jams that invigorate the audience rather than boring them.

Dr. Dog’s upcoming Fate was highlighted during their set. Of course since the album has not been released the following is all outlandish speculation but there was a real sense that the newest disc has a Beatles influence to it - at least the McCartney side of things. Lyrics like, “There’s a hole in the roof/and the rain’s coming down” and pieces of songs that are reminiscent of the pre-Na Na Na crescendo in Hey Jude, as well as backing vocals that wistfully slide down the chromatic scale. Combined with Dr. Dog’s souther guitar blues and organ makes me pretty excited for Fate even if Dr. Dog has to date been unable to successfully capture their live spirit on tape.

Regardless, the word is community and music helps foster it.

Let's focus on this for one moment: They LIKE our jamming (which is good considering we've worked hard on tightening up our listening to each other/playing with each other ratio). And for a show we were a bit down on ourselves about (with the exception of Matt), it's nice to see that people still enjoyed our set. That can only be a good thing!

One other review I just found from Cheap Thrills:

Unintentionally, there was a 'dog' theme to my weekend. I was interested in catching the Dr. Dog Block Party, so my lady and I met in Harvard Sq on Saturday. It had rained earlier, so they moved the performance inside John Harvard's Brewhouse. We walked in during Cassavettes' penultimate song. It was too loud for the venue, but it was good ol' rock 'n roll ringing and smashing through the place.

One half of the dining area was nearly empty while the the other half and the bar were jammed. I tried to get in front to snap a few photos, but my camera skills aren't to force my way through the crowd. Any comfortable spot close to the band had no line of sight, so we heard everything splendidly at a quiet table in the back of the bar area.

Not much to say there, but nice nonetheless!

Labels: , , ,

Monday, June 02, 2008

Let's try this again

Ok, so the kinks should be worked out. I present you with "Animal Friends." It's 15 tracks at 69 cents a pop or $9.99 for the whole tomato. Talk about a deal. For those keeping score at home, the record is a documentation of a wild party inside The Milkhouse Studios in Allston held on Feb. 1, 2008. Things got pretty nutty -- and pretty sweaty -- as you'll see. Anyway, the songs we did ended up as "Animal Friends." We hope you enjoy it!

Labels: ,