Thursday, July 03, 2008

Trickling in

Some press is starting to get going about the show, as there are a few in the works that should be up later today. But the Patriot Ledger is the first to the party with this post:


Virtually an all-star cast of Beantown roots and alt-country musicians, as the Cassavettes headline the Paradise in Boston, with Scituate’s Girls Guns and Glory opening.

And the Metro, I understand, checks in with this, including a nice quote from a good dude:

Two of our favorite local bands, the twangful Cassavettes and even more twangful Girls, Guns and Glory, team up with one of our favorite NYC outfits, the interminably soulful and sloppy Teenage Prayers... It's been a while since we heard from WBCN Rock and Roll Rumble winners Girls Guns & Glory, so we asked Ward Hayden, singer for the local alt-country act about tonight's show. "I've always said to them that if I had any money that Cassavettes would be the band I'd like to invest in. ... They just own the stage each and every time they play. ... And Teenage Prayers are incredible as well. They have a ton of energy and emotion in their music and have a great indie rock, alt-country sound."

Be sure to snag that Metro for a full interview with Teenage Prayers! And on the opposite page, there's an interview with Three Day Threshold!

Now, Boston Music Spotlight has posted a full interview we did yesterday. I come off a little jack-assy. Such is the risk.

Cassavettes celebrate three years Saturday

BMS talks with Glen Yoder of the local Americana rockers

So, Glen Yoder of Cassavettes, did you ever think that a band made up of Texans would last three years in Boston playing country-fueled rock music? "Not to sound conceited, but yea, we sorta did." Lucky for us Cassavettes believed in themselves and their music, and the Boston music scene has been the beneficiary. This Saturday at the Paradise fans have the chance to celebrate the band's decision to head north at Cassavettes' Third Anniversary party along with Girls Guns and Glory and The Teenage Prayers.

"It's the anniversary of when we convinced Scott [Jones] to move up from Texas and we completed the band," says Yoder, "So it's kind of a funny anniversary, and kind of narcissistic at that, but each year it's getting better and better." After moving from Upstairs to Downstairs at the Middle East the band is taking on the Paradise, where the Boston Pheonix Reader's Poll Best Local Band of 2006 has played before (once opening for Kings of Leon) but never headlined.

Those not familiar with the band and who might be wondering what to expect would do well to check out the band's newest release, live album Animal Friends, which is available for download at The album was recorded live at The Milkhouse Studios in Allston in order to document the harder edged turn the band's sound has recently taken. "We figured we'd get some people who were gonna be really into it and be drinking beer and making noise, creating this raucous atmosphere, and then just throw a full throttle show right at them," says Yoder. "I think a lot of people buy the record at the show thinking it's going to sound like what they just heard and then they get home and are sort of surprised."

That surprise can be chocked up to the fact that Cassavettes refuse to pin down their sound, which bears the alt-country label but sits comfortable on the fence between classic rock, country, indie rock, blues, and even jazz. The band has also grown steadily more aggressive, which can be seen in the difference between the version of "Shine a Light" from It's Gonna Change and the version from Animal Friends. "When you're a local band and you're not playing to a different audience every night, if someone's going to see you every two weeks, four weeks, or six weeks, they don't want to see the exact same set every time," says Yoder. "To keep us on our toes and to keep the fans on their toes I think it's kind of cool to mix up the songs a little bit."

Cassavettes have built up a devoted following in the Boston area thanks in large part to their live shows, which often feature, as is the case Saturday, Girls Guns and Glory and/or Three Day Threshold. Yoder credits 3DT's Kier Byrnes for "planting the seeds" of camaraderie between the bands, all of whom are now good friends and the celebrated leaders of Boston's strong Americana-rock revival.

While it may seem strange to view Beantown as a hub for the comeback of the good old days when country and rock were not antonyms, it makes sense when you look at Cassavettes' pedigree. Yoder, along with guitarist Mike McCullagh, and bassist "Coyote" Scott Jones all met in the Dallas area, and drummer Matt Snow is a Berklee man who met up with the band here, completing the perfect union of North and South. And you may be able to take the boy out of Texas, but, Yoder says, "Scott is the most die hard Texan among a state of die hard Texans that you will ever meet."

The band is truly alt-country, as in an alternative to the pop-country that abounds on mainstream country radio. Not exactly twangy, Cassavettes were raised on the likes of Superdrag, Neil Young, Ryan Adams, and the Old 97's and have incorporated elements of British Invasion and indie rock into their mix, and that will only continue on the band's next album, which they're set to begin work on in October. "I think people will be intrigued by the diverse sound that we're gonna go for on this record," says Yoder. "It's definitely gonna be a lot more hard hitting than the last album, but it's not like it's gonna knock you down and rip your eardrums out or something like that."

Cassavettes don't offer carnage this Saturday night, instead they offer a celebration for their dedicated fans, some who may remember the first birthday party, where the band had a cake, balloons, and kids' cowboy hats ("We did it like a little kid's birthday party"). "To me, all the anniversary shows are in our top ten," says Yoder. Come this Sunday, Cassavettes better make room for eleven.

In other news, I played a solo show at the Lizard Lounge last night. I'm out of practice at those. But it went well enough, I suppose.
SET LIST: The Rain's Not Far Behind / Broken Beaten & Blue / A Thousand Ways / Alone / Withering on the Vine / Set Free / Green & White / Like Secrets Beneath / Home

Plenty more to come as some more press starts swirling...

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