This new release (Summer 2003) has an even tighter studio quality, and the band's influences are definitely showing now; Beck, James, Weezer, U2, INXS; Lou Reed?, Bowie?, Gran Turismo? There's alot of stuff happening here. The whole album is quite enjoyable--even though there's more cohesive songwriting and less punk-pop than the old days. It's not so obvious what the first single might be...
(before I even had a listing of the names of the songs, I wrote...) Song #2 sticks in your mind. Song #8 has a catchy chorus of "Where are you?"; it may be a good guess for radio. Song #10 has another catchy "The darkness in you", hmmm. #12 has lots of good things in it, as well. I'll get a song list later.
#1 10% November
#2 On the DL (the first radio single)
#4 Lioness (check out the last 10 seconds...)
#5 Clean Getaway (Lou Reed?)
#7 Ego tripping (check out the last minute)
#8 Where are you
#9 She's your problem now
#10 You've got a black black heart (unmixed)
#11 Last of the gold (unmixed)
#12 Last rays of the sun
The last 2 songs are not named on my song list:
#13 Hey let go (or, Ask the questions)?
#14 Deep down I'm shallow like you?
Since starting this review in the last week of September 2003, by October 7th...wait for it... Caviar has signed with Aezra Records! Song #2 has been picked as the first radio single, and the advanced mixing production of the disc has begun. Stay tuned!
Boy, I'd sure like to review the new 2003 Caviar CD. I have an advanced copy of the disc...now if the band will just sign on to E-Rock's Aezra record label. Try to stay calm...Yes, they signed in late 2003. Caviar will have the newest release/latest record hopefully out by 6-04. The copy of the CD that I have is not completely what the new CD will be--so I don't need to review the pre-release disc. Now I want a pre-copy of the REAL disc, because it should be well-produced and ready to go. The band is doing new pictures, as of 3-04, and will be ready to road-promote by this summer, hopefully.
6-04 update: Caviar's new CD "The Thin Mercury Sound" is scheduled to be released in late July, 2004. E-Rock and his babe wife have promised me a copy of the disc. I will get one and review it for us.
Well, that was the plan, anyway. E-Rock is now saying here in 8-04 that I need to go buy the new Caviar CD. Buy it? He's funny. As far as I'm concerned, E-Rock still owes me money from his bands-for-bars phone promotions. So he can GIVE me a new Caviar CD (which I will happily review), and a t-shirt, or he can kiss my hairy white ass. I already have/he already gave me the pre-disc recordings; I sort of know what the thing is going to sound like...It sure looks like this is going to be another example of principles, and who's going to back down first. Snicker. It's too bad that Caviar's new boss has his panties in a bunch. Fuck 'em all; I ain't buyin' no CD, won't antie up for a shirt, and won't pay to go see them play live either (now hang on--we would like to see them play live). Yeah, that's true. But I'll steal the goddamn CD 3 different ways, and NOT write a review of it; how does that sound Aezra boy? This is my fucking world now, with my rules. Don't like it? Leave. Leave, and don't fucking come here again.
From my 2002 Commentary about the music business:
"I do have a suggestion for the music big-wigs though; give us the new CD's for free. Why free? We already have the music we want to listen to; we don't give a shit about some new crap you have. But if you GIVE it to us, then MAYBE we'll listen to it, and talk about it. I mean, probably not, but it's your dumbass line of work; we sure as hell aren't going to spend any of our $9 an hour to line your pockets even deeper." Read the entire pissy commentary by clicking here.
I'm just sitting here and thinking to myself that, as a Fig Dish/Caviar fan, the pre-disc recordings--that I already have--are much more rare and unique than the polished finished product anyway. Maybe I don't even want an official corporate copy of the new Caviar CD; I'll just make-do with my "alternative resources".
So he tells me, last Summer (2003), about this band that he's trying to sign, named "Caviar". He says under his breath that they used to be called "Fig Dish" or something. I completely freaked out, and told him what a huge Fig Dish fan I was. Some fan; I didn't know shit. (Just to keep you near the same page as me--the music industry ate itself in '98 and '99. Bands were dropped, traded, and forgotten; names and titled copyrights were stolen + shuffled, and I got kicked off the radio for the final time--so even I lost interest.) Turns out that Caviar (formed from the ashes of Fig Dish in 2000) even had a song on the Charlie's Angels soundtrack; "Tangerine Speedo". Go find it on your own time--it's a nice little song with a huge following. E-Rock helped me to get a copy of Caviar's 2000 album that was on the band's 3rd record label (Island). And then E-Rock got me a copy of the pre-release (4th record label) Aezra Records CD in Summer 2003. So E-Rock helped me out immensely; I shouldn't be so quick with my anger (but that's the price you pay for knowing me).
Purchased at Zia Records on 9-26-04...So there's 15 songs on the official new Caviar release; more than the 14 on my pre-release disc. And 1 of the first 14 was dropped, so there's actually 2 songs here that are new to me. Me happy. On the CD is also the website of the band Caviar. I'd been trying to find that; thank you. Go to their site and read the bio; that's some pretty insightful shit for a not-famous band from Chicago; you'll see. Also, while you're in surf-mode, check in over at Aezra Records, and read some more about them. Sometimes you can even download their digital press kit, maybe you'll get lucky. You could even join the Aezra street team and possibly help Caviar's success. I'm just planting seeds here.
This Caviar review is a work in progress--it's going to take months. I would like to thank the powers that be; past and present, for the fact that the core of this great band is still intact and strong in 2004. 1995's single "Quiet Storm King" fooled us into thinking that they were a punk-pop band, but that was just one song. This newest CD; The Thin Mercury Sound, shows the kind of range I've been looking for--for years.
Why would they drop "She's Your Problem Now"? That's the ultimate (if not the only) 'Oh, you want my girlfriend? Well, be careful what you wish for.' song. The 2 new songs here are #8 "Tiny Cannibal Bites" and #12 "Light Up the Sky". They're both okay, but neither is nearly as good as 'Problem'. Again; that's just my fan-of-the-band opinion, but it should count for something.
10-2-04 Update (this thing just keeps getting longer and longer); Taking a break from worthless North America, Caviar is hitting Europe right now. Europeans are generally more responsive to bands with outstanding range, where American fans are more into bands that "specialize" (There's some more profound fucking insight, huh?). Apparently the song "Lioness" is getting some good response in the UK, and this is the song that I will be getting a unique accoustic recording of. I'm also looking forward to seeing the behind-the-senes and video interview of the band, so THAT will be another update next week (I told you this was going to take months!).
Well, let's list the songs on the real release. We can continue commentating before, during, and after. It's almost like this is MY webpage and I can do whatever the fuck I want to. Hold still so I can pee on you:
Now go back and pick 4 songs that you would play for your best friend. My picks would be 3, 4, 10 and 14. Later I'd go back and play 6, 9 and 15--but only if there was genuine interest in the band.
Last week I was reviewing a good rock CD by Dream Life Misery that probably should have had more range; but it was well-specialized. Now we have this creative construction of 16 total songs by a band that simply fucking REFUSES to fly in the formation of any singular style (They fucking brag about non-adherence on the Aezra Records video promo, and do shout-outs to other non-adherent bands like Joy Division, New Order, and the Cure.). It is both refreshing, and infuriating, at the same time. Welcome to the world of Caviar, people.
In review; gee, can you tell that I like these guys? First week of November update; I pretty much just listen to Caviar and Crystal Method in my room now. What a waste, right? Me; the guy with 3000 CD's, now listening to less than 10 of them. Oh well. The point I wanted to make here is that I've got the "Thin Mercury Sound" down to 3 songs; 4, 10 and 15. That would be "Hey Let Go", "Deep Down I'm Shallow", and "Last Rays of the Sun"; these are the 3 songs I will play at the bar when this CD is added to the jukebox later this month.
November 17, 2004: The CD is in the jukebox at my bar now. Life is good.
Wow. 11-21-04 now; it is FUN to play Caviar at the bar. I know the choruses, and most of the words, and it's just so comfortable. I'm used to hearing this music on my small computer speakers; now I can hear it pretty loud at the bar. I've played the music for my regular friends, also for strangers, and once just for myself. Nice. $1 gets you 3 songs; here's how I do it. $1 gets us my 4, 10 and 15; that's "Hey Let Go", "Deep Down I'm Shallow", and "Last Rays of the Sun". Then my second $1 gets 3, 6 and 14; that's "Lioness", "On the DL", and "Ego Trippin'". If need be, then I will add a third set later ("Clean Getaway", "666", and...). Caviar at the bar; I like it! I'm already wondering if E-Rock and I can push to get the 2000 Caviar CD also put on the jukebox. Why not? We'll play it. Shit.
There are so many "firsts" and new "moments" about having a very obscure new CD on the jukebox at the bar I frequent. That the band is one of my favorite obscure bands, and that the band is on the record label of a guy I know--who also frequents the same bar--there will be many extra special tidbits in this file. Here's the latest: Tuesday 11-23-04, I didn't even see that E-Rock was at the bar, but I was the first person to go put money in the jukebox, and played "Hey Let Go", so then (by hearing the Caviar) E-Rock knew that I was at the bar, and yelled hello to me. Bar sounds update; we heard my 4, 10 and 15 as the first 3 Caviar songs. I've done this a few times now (4, 10 and 15); let me tell you how it plays out. "Hey Let Go" has no problems, but it comes across as slightly weak (maybe it's the piano). The third song in my group, #15 "Last Rays of the Sun", the chorus comes out a little whiney. But the mid song of my 3, #10 "Deep Down I'm Shallow", THAT song rocks the bar (it makes me want to put #14 "Ego Trippin" in the first group). And it ain't just me noticing that the bar likes 'Shallow'; E-Rock heard the same shit I did. As far as a song on the jukebox in a bar goes, 'Deep Down' has all the elements to get strangers to head-bob. I saw it myself, dude, it was sweet. And then my golf companions followed up the Caviar lesson with some strong (double) shots of Stevie Ray Vaughn; it's like we were giving a clinic on how to be DJ's. Can your bar do this?
Hey, it's December already! I have a new order of Caviar songs for the bar. Now I go with 6, 10, and 3. 6-"On the DL" (first single), 10-"Deep Down I'm Shallow" (best bar song), and 3-"Lioness" (2nd single). I am a genius wow.
And I thought that I might go ahead and make a case FOR listening to Caviar, rather than wait for this Caviar trend to wind down. Honestly I don't know if this trend WILL wind down, and maybe I can explain it. If YOU have never lived in a college town, then maybe you won't quite get this. But, wait, I bet that you HAVE shoppped in a music store where the employees all have superior attitudes and talk down to you like you're dumb. And you're thinking; 'hey you little greasy 20 yr.old punk, you don't know shit about shit--don't be acting like you're better than me'. Right; has that happened to you, too? Sure it has. Well THAT is like life in a college town; all the people there think that they are better than the sheep over in the big cities (and we are). People in college towns read Far Side and Bloom County comics because that's intelligent humor--smart people stuff. People in college towns will follow local quirky bands around, bands that have a particular sound--but that also try different styles and textures. College town bands don't aim to be pigeon-holed into a particular style; these bands are the true "alternative". In my opinion, Caviar is the ULTIMATE college town band (even though they're from Chicago). Caviar is like a national Five Eight, or a national Hazel Virtue (great Athens bands). Their music is not for everybody, although it could be. Caviar is playful, even if a bit pompous. And they don't care if YOU like them or not. That's the whole point. Even I wish that Caviar's Blake Smith would get back in touch with the pop-punk that he does so well and makes sound so easy. His goal is to bypass national "streamlined" popularity in order to achieve recognition for versatility. It may not seem like the brightest move, hell--it may not even happen, but you have to respect the independence of doing this his own way. It is, after all, HIS record store, and he can run it any damn way he wants to. Does it make sense yet? It makes perfect sense to me.
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