The Cutout Bin

A collection of discarded or otherwise forgotten music.

-My fileserver is free, and you get what you pay for... so try rightclicking the mp3s and selecting "save link target as". You may have to do it more than once.

-Please see post #1 "Begin the begin" (3/24/06) for the raison d'etre for this blog. If you object to your music being posted here, email me and I will remove it.

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Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Cavedogs

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Mark Rivers- Drums
Todd Spahr- Guitar, Vocals
Brian Stevens- Bass, Vocals

Hometown- Boston, MA

I first heard The Cavedogs on MTV's "120 Minutes" in 1990. For those of you fortunate enough to have been spared the agony of "120 Minutes", allow me to explain- back in the days when MTV played things called "music videos", they had a show on Sunday nights from 10 to midnight that featured "alternative" music. This was in the pre-Nirvana era, when hair metal still ruled mainstream music. "120 Minutes" was hosted by an insufferable british wanker named Dave Kendall who really, really liked Manchester rave music like Stone Roses and Inspiral Carpets. Still, every week a couple of cool videos managed to sneak in, like the Pixies brilliant "Veloria" (which aired exactly once), Shane's "Ride Ride Ride", and whatever the current Replacements video was (which in retrospect were all pretty bad, but hey, it was still the Replacements).

Every sunday, my friends and I took over the TV room in somebody's dorm and hung out drinking beer and making fun of Dave and all the ridiculously stupid videos he played (like REM's "Losing My Religion"- I have rarely laughed as hard as I did when I first saw that one). It was like live-action "Mystery Science Theater 3000", we even wrote him hate mail. Still, for all the Depeche Mode and Live videos we sat through, I did get hipped to some cool music- like The Cavedogs. By the time the video for "Tayter Country" was over, I knew I had to check this band out.

The Cavedogs follow one of my favorite sonic templates- bracing guitar rock infused with classic pop hooks. I borrowed a copy of their first album "Joyrides For Shut-Ins" from the campus radio station, but beyond the two singles ("Tayter" and "Leave Me Alone") it didn't do much for me at the time, so I didn't pick it up (I've since re-acquainted myself with "Joyrides" and discovered it's much better than I thought). Two years later, the followup "Soul Martini" came out. I decided to give it a spin and immediately fell in love. "Soul Martini" is a classic power pop album, taking a distinct cue from the late period Beatles. This is often hazardous ground, as most bands that think they have a "Sgt. Pepper" in them, don't (anybody ever heard the Jayhawks' "Smile" disaster?). The Cavedogs did. The kitchen-sink production never steps on the songs or weighs them down- it's a smörgåsbord of loudly rocking baroque pop. As a musician and recording engineer, I use "Soul Martini" as a yardstick for my own work- one I've never come close to reaching. If you ever come across this CD in the used bin, pick it up- you won't be disappointed.

Sadly, the album only garnered mixed reviews and after a halfhearted promotional push from their record company, the debt-ridden Cavedogs put themselves out of their misery in 1992. All three Cavedogs have continued to make music, which you can read about here-
The Cavedogs

Brian Stevens' wry take on his career-
Brian Stevens Bio

Tayter Country.mp3
From "Joyrides For Shut-Ins", 1990.

You re Put Away (Folderol).mp3
From "Soul Martini", 1992

Part Of This.mp3
From the "Rock Takes A Holiday" promo EP, 1992


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