During the brief period in 97-98 between The Argo closing and Rubber Gloves opening, most Denton bands had to find other places to haunt and Mr. Gattis “on the square” was eager to host as many bands as possible. There was no cover and they paid bands with 1 free pizza and several free beers which seemed like more than anyone else in town paid bands. The stage was in the basement and this was back when smoking was still allowed so it was a perpetual fog-den, at times unbearable. As well, being a basement the sound frequently became extremely loud and people regularly filed out the narrow staircase(quite similar to Cakeshop NY). The management was always happy to have cavedweller play because a lot of people came out and the show wasn’t ever very loud. “Solo” nights were frequent and well attended. Cavedweller regularly did shows at Mr. Gattis on the square with Dutch Treats, Little Grizzly, Asphalt the Recorder, The Wyndyms, Panty Raid, Wanz Dover, Corn Mo, Monkeytown, Mulched Losenge, etc.
I was taking a lithography class at the time and decided to stick some images I made on these flyers.
Somewhere there is video floating around of these 2 shows.
Recorded in 2008, “Sparks” is another song that I wrote with Pat Healy written alongside “Physical Phenomenon” the same day we drank too much Sparks Orange Flavored Malt Beverage. As the counter-point to “Physical Phenomenon”, this song more embodies the “relaxing exhilaration” involved with the beverage of the same name as the song. I used my de-tuned Maverick steel string to achieve the droning. The clacking noise is from my GE handheld cassette recorder which has stopped working after 15 years of constant use. At the end of the recording there is a car peeling out in the distance.
Cavedweller’s second show was at the Good/Bad’s gallery in honor of their “founders” birthday. I never found out exactly who it was they were referring too, if anyone at all. I performed outside on the back of a pick-up truck that had a large piece of plywood set over the bed for a stage. There’s a photograph of this set-up somewhere I will post when I find it. The most notable thing about this show is the excellent line-up featuring many brand new bands that had recently formed in Denton. The Riverboat Gambler, Asphalt the Recorder, The Meat Helmets and Cavedweller were all less than a few months old and had only played 1 or 2 gigs. This was the Meat Helmets first show, which provoked a rather polarized response as the band hurled raw meat into the audience.
“Black Light Black Heat” from 2001 CD “The Oldest Arm”. Not many people have asked me about this song even though the title, the content and the actual “style” may seem a bit disparate. In fact there is an interesting story that encompasses every bit of this song. My buddy Reed told me that during the Velvet Underground’s recording session for the song “White Light White Heat”, Lou Reed insisted they make some tracks of the entire band slapping their thighs keeping time with the song so as to create a kind of subway-train clacking effect. So as a reductionist gesture I wrote a song with no instrumentation save for four-tracks of thigh-slappings and two vocal tracks. The lyrics, which are seemingly often misunderstood are as follows:
Everybody’s slappin’ their knees”
and that’s all of the lyrics. a few people have told me that they thought I was singing “ooooohhh weeeee” which seems fine but is not correct. Not to gloat so extremely in my esotericisms but I imagine that only myself, Reed and the couple of people we have both told about this are the only people who would otherwise have a clue what is going on with this song. I only say this because “The Oldest Arm” has sold the most copies of any cavedweller release and I feel that people who purchase the CD should, to some degree be informed about the history of the Velvet Underground.
Black Light Black Heat
This is a flyer for the first show that I played as cavedweller. I was invited to play by Chris Weber of the Good/Bad Art collective in Denton, TX who had heard a Fault Lines/Badger cassingle that I had been distributing that spring. He was under the impression there was a full band, but I had yet to organize one and went ahead and played solo. Good/Bad had benefits every month and they were usually fun. Transona 5 was my favorite local band at the time and I was stoked about this show. I was not a big Slobberbone fan but they weren’t bad. Meadowdale Music Machine (later Stanton Meadowdale) played after me and I was impressed by their GBV-heavy sound. During my set I played “Deathtrot and Warlock Riding A Rooster” by GBV also maybe “Greenface” from the same album. This show was videotaped by James Oswald on an old VHS camcorder but I have only ever seen it once.
This first show would be the only one I played at The Argo. In September of that same year, 1997, after much hubbub by the police about multiple drug and alcohol violations, the city “forced” the landlord of the club to evict its tenant and The Argo shut down. Soon after, the party moved over to Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios on the other side of the tracks.
This cover of The Thirdo Bardo’s garage nugget was recorded on the Porta 2 around March 2004. James Oswald plays drums, Matty Nichols plays bass and me on guitar and vocals. Mostly recorded live with a single track of vocals dubbed over and a second guitar as well. This song has also been covered by The Cramps, Primal Scream, The Nomads, The Chesterfields, and probably several others. This version is especially low fidelity due to “microphone leakage” as well as the naturally noisy quality of 1/4 inch cassette tape.
A few things about this song are that there was a slight attempt to make it less of the “psychedelic experience” that it purported itself to be in lieu of stripping it down a bit for the sake of straightforwardness, which is the case in most songs that cavedweller has covered. (life of the mind, planet queen, set the controls for the heart of the sun, etc.) Less reverberation, less dramatically delayed guitar solos, cleaner tone, etc.
Also, I changed the word “society” to “stephanie” in the line “society can’t play with my mind”. I do not like that lyric “society” here mostly because it is out of place with the trippy-dippy tone of all the other lyrics. “Stephanie” was more of a phonetic decision even though it still diverts the lyrical attention to that of a suddenly harsh and personal statement. I still thought it was better than “society”.
This song was never released on anything. It was recorded during the same session as “telephone twist” from Business Deal Company Picnic 2005 and “deer in the snow” and “Nospheratu” from Gone To Seed (2010 Instincto Records).