Even from the time The Cavemen Go first emerged as a duo (singer/guitarist Jeremy Sage and drummer Bob Breychak) in 2003 during the fertile days of the New Haven garage-pop mini-explosion, the band was markedly distinct from their peers. Sage's songwriting channeled the no-frills, hook-heavy sounds of early rock'n'roll without coming off as self-consciously retro. His lyrics and singing conveyed an unabashedly hopeful romanticism, but the kind tempered with dry wit and emotional ambiguity. Those creative tendencies have remained as The Cavemen Go have pushed forward, adding keyboardist/vocalist Emily McMinn and bassist/vocalist Brian LaRue. The Brill Building/British Invasion/Motown influences are still there, as are nods to the poppier end of contemporary indie rock, and even shades of country and folk-rock. Their songs are simultaneously modern and classic, nuanced and efficient. They don't play throwback pop: What they play is timeless. Last year, The Cavemen Go released their first full length record, “New Lives.” Showcasing the band's punchiest, most urgent melodies to date, the release brought them to the attention of the rapidly emerging label February Records who asked them to record something new. Now, “It is happening again.” With the opening line to their new single, “Someone’s Always Dying to Break My Heart,” The Cavemen Go announce their intention to continue where they left off: Writing and performing with an attitude that great songs matter.
Jeremy Sage - Vocals, Guitar
Bob Breychak - Drums
Emily McMinn - Vocals, keyboards
Jordan Harrelson - Vocals, Bass
Someone's Always Dying To Break My Heart single (February Records, 2010)
Hey, At Least I Tried single (self-released, 2009)
New Lives LP (February Records, 2009/2010)
Forget It Claudia single (self-released, 2009)
Never Part Again EP (WG Records, 2005)
Valentine single (WG Records, 2005)
The Cavemen Go EP (self-released, 2003)
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"Reminds us of listening to British sixties offshore radio stations like Radio Caroline (yes of cour..."Reminds us of listening to British sixties offshore radio stations like Radio Caroline (yes of course we were to young – obviously hmmm) and yet it switches to a modern feel so I guess in some ways that makes it kind of timeless, enjoy these people, they are good!"
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"New Lives is a rock/pop album that reminds of music I grew up listening to: Elvis Costello, Nick Lo..."New Lives is a rock/pop album that reminds of music I grew up listening to: Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Dave Edmunds, Squeeze. Songs like “Forget it Claudia” and “We’re Not That Different” have that vibe especially. The piano in “We’re Not That Different” really reminds me of something you might hear on an Elvis Costello record. … I’ve been listening to songs like “Less Than Zero” by Elvis Costello and “So It Goes” by Nick Lowe on an endless loop lately. New Lives fits neatly into that pattern while offering something new."
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New Lives by The Cavemen Go, is the latest release from February Records (formerly Tweefort) so it p...New Lives by The Cavemen Go, is the latest release from February Records (formerly Tweefort) so it probably won't be a suprise to regular readers that although I'm not sure about the bands name, I do know that I like this record quite a lot. I don't know how February do it, they just seem to have a knack for finding great bands.
The album kicks off with 'Forget About it Claudia' a song that takes it's template from 'Blood and Chocolate' era Elvis Costello but plays around with that to create something truly the bands own. Meanwhile 'We're Not That Different' (track 4) recalls the sort of mod rock that The Small Faces made their own.
'Get Back To Me' manages to combine the 60's pop sensibility of someone like Donovan, with the much more up to date sound of bands like The Shins, whilst managing to fit in horns to create something intensely catchy. 'Hey At Least I Tried' could be a mellower Weakerthans and the nicely titled 'Tell Me Something Shallow, Dilettante has the sort of sound (and fury) that The Kinks captured so well.
I could write reams about this album but the bottom line is this, if you like artists like Elvis Costello (lyrics and music), and The Kinks, 60's pop, harmonies and modern indie rock, and you'd like all this to also sound like something new, then this is definitely a record that would only enhance your record shelf. You can buy it now from February and you find the band's Myspace right here.
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Food Will Win the War, Sidewalk Dave and The Cavemen Go are all performing at a loft party in New Ha...Food Will Win the War, Sidewalk Dave and The Cavemen Go are all performing at a loft party in New Haven on Friday, April 30th at a place called Stone Loft.
Food Will Win the War are from Brooklyn, and play a folky blend of indie pop with unique baritone vocals. Lyrically their tunes are pretty funny, which for some bands can sometimes be stupid, but it really works for these guys.
New Haven's Sidewalk Dave play tunes that sound a bit like alt-country and a bit like slow-tempo dance pop. The music is upbeat without losing it's intelligence. Their stuff is fun and you'll might catch yourself singing along at some point while you listen to this...
The Cavemen Go are an all-time favorite for a lot of us. These guys really rock. For those of you not already flying your cavemen flag, they play vintage danceable indie pop, tunes that you can't get out of your head. They released their debut "New Lives" last year, so just buy it already, you bums:
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Sometime in 2003, the Cavemen Go released their self-titled debut album. Somehow I bought, or was gi...Sometime in 2003, the Cavemen Go released their self-titled debut album. Somehow I bought, or was given a copy. I really, really liked it. It was melodic, had cool chord changes and interesting lyrics. It was jangly and loose, like Elvis Costello practicing in his garage, or Squeeze if they were American, or Badfinger if they didn’t have any Beatles connections. It felt familiar, yet still new and exciting, and was very addictive. I listened to it lots. And now, seven years later, I still listen to it often, and I know most of the words by heart too. This may be what most people think of as a rare phenomenon, considering it’s just a band that lives down the street.
The phrase “local band” triggers one of a few different responses in most ordinary, non-music-obsessed people. The most common one, unfortunately, is for the listener/reader to immediately check-out and to assume that whatever band we’re talking about, though maybe good on a local level, just isn’t up to par when up against the whole of recorded music.
A lot of the time, they’re right to do so.
But not this time.
If the Cavemen Go were from San Diego, or Kansas City or Pensacola, I would still be just as huge of a fan. Or if they broke up in 1979. Come to think of it, though three-quarters of the band still lives in Connecticut (including Advocate music writer Brian LaRue, on bass), frontman Jeremy Sage has been in Boston for three years now, so technically they’re only semi-local.
“I have a daughter now,” says Sage. “She’s six months old. That’s probably the biggest life change I’ve had. It’s been interesting keeping the band going, but everyone is still really into it.”
Sage relocated to the town where professional baseball players call their home field a “park” instead of a stadium, and St. Patrick’s Day is a really big deal, after earning his Ph.D. in physics from Yale. He currently works as a physicist at an M.I.T. lab where he plays with lasers and atoms and whatnot. Smart guy. No wonder his lyrics are so much better than 99 percent of the lyrics littering little scraps of paper all around this planet.
“I’ve definitely been thinking more about how a song will sound live, with the band that I have,” says Sage, when the conversation turns to songwriting. “I want to grab people in a live setting. I like the idea of incorporating a lot more singing — background vocals, group singing arrangements and things like that. I want to create this feel of, like … whenever I hear a band and there’s all this singing going on, I want to be a part of it. That’s kind of what I’m going for. I still have a very strong aesthetic though. I like melodic stuff. I like it short and to the point. I like it to be catchy, and yet at the same time somewhat unexpected.”
With a new practice space in Stafford Springs, Conn., halfway between New Haven and Boston, Sage hopes the band will have more downtime to orchestrate these new parts and ideas. The current album being supported is the band’s third, New Lives, which was released last summer. Along with the material from 2005’s Never Part Again, the list of potential set list write-ins is longer than ever, and it just makes sense that the band would be going through their next phase of evolution right about now.
But sometimes good songs aren’t enough to reel in a crowd.
“People value their time,” says Sage. “The onus is on the band to make people want to see their show. I’ve come to that realization. We’ve got to get people to come out of their apartments and make it feel more like a party. We had something like that for the release of our second album. It was really fun, like a party. I want to do more of that kind of thing.”
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What: Well, we’ve published our picks of best records and restaurants of the year, so it just makes ...What: Well, we’ve published our picks of best records and restaurants of the year, so it just makes sense that this week is all about films and local music. Starting with the next issue of Weekend, it’s all about 2010. But it’s still very important to celebrate all that was great about last year. And that’s why this Making a Mix is dedicated to the best Connecticut releases of 2009. Forced to choose just 10 albums, some very good releases got left out. So with a sad nod to the just-missed status of Sidewalk Dave, Kimono Draggin’, Saint Bernadette, Eula and Christine Ohlman (all of whom put out excellent discs), here are Weekend’s 10 best, in no particular order:
- “New Lives,” The Cavemen Go (www.thecavemengo.com) — There’s not much that can be said about singer/songwriter Jeremy Sage and the rest of The Cavemen Go that hasn’t already be said. Pitch-perfect pop that combines The Kinks and Elvis Costello? Yep. A modernized ’60s garage rock sound? Absolutely. “The New Lives” a great album? You know it.
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Think about the Kinks and Elvis Costello, and if you smile, you'll probably be into The Cavemen Go. ...Think about the Kinks and Elvis Costello, and if you smile, you'll probably be into The Cavemen Go. Following the requisite series of EPs, TCG finally released their debut full-length New Lives earlier this year, solidifying their place as one of the top bands in the state. They've got jangly guitars, oohs and ahs, playful melodies, truly thoughtful lyrics and just a touch of punk rock attitude. - Mike Sembos
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"Actually, though, there is one other great thing on my desk. It’s a copy of “New Lives,” the first ..."Actually, though, there is one other great thing on my desk. It’s a copy of “New Lives,” the first full-length from local indie popsters The Cavemen Go, the band led by the super talented songwriter Jeremy Sage. He and drummer Bob Breychak started the band as a duo back in 2003, a mere year before I arrived in this fare city. I don’t think I ever caught the Cavemen as a duo. I believe I first saw the group as a trio or quartet in late ’04 or early ’05. I was immediately hooked. I mean, I like Elvis Costello. If you like Elvis, you’ll really dig Jeremy Sage’s tunes.
I’ve received a couple EPs from the band over the years, but “New Lives” is the first LP. And it’s worth the wait. It’s a timeless set of 12 songs that really will turn out to be one of the finest releases of the year, local or national. Sage just has a way with making tunes that are instantly hummable, but also intelligent and surprising. There’s no denying a strong Costello and early Ben Lee connection, but the band also breaks out some Motown and indie influences.
You’re going to want a copy of the record, so best make your way to Cafe Nine tonight to see the new lineup — Sage, Breychak, Emily Hamar and Brian LaRue — play a CD-release party at around 10 tonight. The Rub Wrongways Caravan of Stars opens. Do not miss this one."
- Patrick Ferrucci
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"The Cavemen Go, which began as a gown/gown blend of Yale and SCSU students in the early 2000s, have..."The Cavemen Go, which began as a gown/gown blend of Yale and SCSU students in the early 2000s, have always understood that blue-eyed sensitivity and chord-heavy R&B keyboards are as essential to gritty ‘60s-style American garage rock as hair-shaking gyrations, tambourines and “woo-woo”s. Add an alt-country twang at times and this soul-bending band matches early-‘70s Kinks for artful, articulate pop cross-pollination. The gripping thumps that begin “Hey, At Least I Tried” suck you in to an increasingly complex relationship song. “Frequency Modulation” has such tricky media metaphors plus enough hooks, talky bits and anthemic chants to evoke Elvis Costello, Beck and Chumbawumba simultaneously, with the folky restraint of Wilco. I’ve prized my live-radio bootleg of the cutting ballad “Come at Me With a Knife” (“I’ll stay committed/If you stay combative/I always love a good fight”), for years; it’s nice to finally hear a crisp studio production with layered vocal harmonies and Emily Hamar’s dynamic keyboards up front. The band’s latest line-up change—New Haven Advocate music critic Brian LaRue on bass and backing vocals —isn’t reflected on these 12 tracks, recorded at houses in Connecticut and Maine, then mixed and mastered in band leader Jeremy Sage’s new home state of Massachusetts. Such shifts haven’t stalled a band that still maintains its founding dynamic duo of Sage and drummer Bob "Rock" Breychak. These Cavemen continue to evolve, matter, and rock your mind." - Christopher Arnott
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"If we were to take a time machine back to the year 2004 and stop in New Haven, we'd find that a ban..."If we were to take a time machine back to the year 2004 and stop in New Haven, we'd find that a band called The Cavemen Go played out a lot. If we went to the show, we'd find out that it's a really good band. Now let's fast forward to 2008 New Haven. Well, that good band doesn't play out as much because, you know, people move. Come Saturday, though, The Cavemen Go will be at Rudy's, bringing its fun power pop to the whole world, or at least anybody who comes to Howe Street. I think we should all go and pretend it's 2004 again. And, yeah, I know that if you had a time machine you wouldn't choose 2004 New Haven to travel to, but this is my column so I can go wherever I want." - Patrick Ferrucci
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"Dear True Fans of Rock, Rock is not something to be captured on CDs, tapes or paper, to be carefull..."Dear True Fans of Rock, Rock is not something to be captured on CDs, tapes or paper, to be carefully locked up in SML for all posterity, neatly tucked alongside Bach and Beethoven. Rock is a totally different kind of musical experience, and rock's art is in the live creation of the music as much as it is in the music itself. If you have never been to a rock show, if you have never bathed in the Dionysian ecstasy that is live rock-and-roll, if you have not discovered a local artist to invest your hopes in, you are not a true fan of rock. Each of the six musicians and bands in this article will play concerts in New Haven by the year’s end, and rockers should do their duty to local music and support them. After all, rock is hours wasted on MySpace searching for a song to get you through the day.
"We call our style retro pop,"say The Cavemen Go, a New Haven indie four-piece featuring a Yale alum. "It's a blend of modern pop with retro elements, including Motown." That sound comes through in "364 Days," one of the songs accessible on the band's web site. The song exemplifies their upbeat, fast-paced style, full of simple melodies and straightforward beats. "We have good songs,"says the group. "They're catchy and pop-y. The music's good." Judge for yourself at The Cavemen Go's Myspace: www.myspace.com/thecavemengo.
We did the work for you. Now go rock out for us."
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"The relocation a few months back from New Haven to Boston of Jeremy Sage, singer, guitarist and mai..."The relocation a few months back from New Haven to Boston of Jeremy Sage, singer, guitarist and main songwriter for the garagey retro-'60s-pop combo The Cavemen Go, came in the middle of an uphill surge. The band's line-up had solidified, each batch of new songs seemed stronger than the last, crowds at shows were getting bigger. Fortunately, Sage and Co. haven't let geography get in the way of a good thing. "We make sure to call and say 'Goodnight' to each other every night," jokes Sage. "We do a kind of Waltons thing." Not only does the band play Cafe Nine on Wednesday the 17th, but Sage promises new tunes: "an upbeat rocker and something of a mood piece." The Cavemen share the stage with The Novels, whose singer Jason Mazzotta led garage-pop bands The Sarcastics , The Frills and Bourgeois Heroes before leaving New Haven for Northampton. Indeed, before there was a Cavemen Go, Mazzotta and then-Frills/now-Cavemen drummer Bob Rock occasionally acted as Sage's backing band. Sage suggests that such 'musician-swapping' might reoccur on Wednesday." - Brian LaRue
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"No, no... thank you! The local music-lovers here at the New Haven Advocate are bringing two of our ..."No, no... thank you! The local music-lovers here at the New Haven Advocate are bringing two of our favorite bands plus DJ Shaki, free pizza, prizes, drink specials and scintillating conversation to BAR on Wednesday, May 17, and you're invited. The special night (which lasts from 6 p.m. to closing time, with the live bands going on around 9 p.m.) is in appreciation for the loyal readers who share their taste, wisdom and passions with us year-round, but particularly now as our mammoth Best Of New Haven issues hit the streets.
Now, the bands: With the stunning song "Susanne", track 6 on the Cavemen Go's 7-song CD Never Part Again bandleader Jeremy Sage has created a timeless wail of romantic anguish, revved up in a beat-crazy garage blend of R&B, folk, pop and lovestruck caterwauling.
Adding to the song's universal youth-in-turmoil feel, the name of the heroine of this bopping ballad is exquisitely well-chosen: Her name simultaneously evokes Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne," Lou Reed's "(I Love You) Suzanne," Dale Hawkins' "Suzie Q" and of course, Stephen Foster's 1848 pop hit "Oh! Susanna," which The Cavemen Go directly quotes in "Susanne"'s last line:
Oh! Susanna, oh don't you cry for me
For I'm bound to this town
And you're bound for the city
That attitude syncs up nicely with another Never Part Again song, the soulful "States," in which Sage laments:
Do you think you call that progress
I call it stagnation, but it's my inclination to stay here.
Feeling stuck and unloved: Those are the ultimate local-band-in-search-of-a-break sentiments, and The Cavemen Go nails them with an emotional guitar-and-keyboard-driven squall of power chords and plaintive, vulnerable voices. Their souped-up sincerity is intoxicating.
The band grew out of an inexplicable yet crucial garage/rock 'n' roll scene which briefly flourished around Southern Connecticut State University a few years ago with the Sarcastics (later the Frills, featuring Cavemen Go drummer Bob Breychak) and the Battlecats, back when Yalie Jeremy Sage was a solo act. If the Cavemen Go never evolve beyond their current purposefully primitive layering of moody melodies, harsh harmonies and Buddy Holly hootenannies, they've still made history."
-Christopher Arnott and Brian LaRue
Our set list typically runs 8-12 songs (30-40 minutes) depending on time constraints. We have over 20 songs currently in rotation (including some covers) and can fill up to 2 hours of time if needed.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.