Ravi Shavi
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Ravi Shavi

Providence, Rhode Island, United States

Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Rock Garage Rock




"Ravi Shavi kick out the jams"

A potent blend of scruffy garage rock and doo-wop dance floor jams, Ravi Shavi's new self-titled album is an absolute blast. Barely one month into the new year, we may have the Party Platter of 2013 on our hands here; file under something like: Iggy Pop, Little Richard, and John McCauley bum rush a sock hop. We're keeping a Best Album nomination on ice for Ravi Shavi in our 2013 Best Music Poll.

Expect a packed house at Firehouse 13 this Saturday when Ravi Shavi hosts its CD release party along with a stacked lineup of special guests, including Atlantic Thrills and the Rice Cakes, all for just five bucks at the door (or drop $10 and get a copy of the new disc).

Twenty-two-year old singer/guitarist Rafay Rashid was born in Islamabad, Pakistan and moved to Warwick with his family when he was eight years old. Around six years ago he met an admirer of his infectious onstage persona and songwriting chops — Deer Tick's John McCauley — while playing in one of his previous bands.

"John told me we should open for them sometime and we eventually did at this DIY show downtown," recalled Rashid. "We stayed in touch and I became good friends with [DT guitarist] Ian O'Neil, who also has provided a lot of positive encouragement and opportunities for us."

O'Neil recently praised Ravi Shavi's Indecisions EP as one of his favorite releases of 2012 on brooklynvegan.com. Ravi Shavi landed a pair of key supporting slots for Deer Tick last year, playing the Newport Folk Fest after-party ("Things got pretty wild that night") as well as the packed, DT-curated DudeSmash festival at the Met last summer

"That crowd was really responsive and nice," said Rashid. "It was just a great atmosphere of excitement throughout the day and night."

Ravi Shavi released the track "Birds" in mid-2011 and the quartet caught a nice buzz last summer with the three-track Indecisions; that title track also serves as the leadoff to the new full-length. It's impossible not to crash the party hard when an album kicks off with a couplet like, "You're out of my league, I'm in my element/Come home with me, just for the hell of it." "Bloody Opus" and "Hobbies" conjure plenty of those dance floor spaz-out moments that Rashid is known for while rocking out onstage. "Accidental Mental" from the Indecisions EP pops up renamed "Mental Breakdown" here, one of the many standout cuts on Ravi Shavi. "I feel good, just like I should," Rashid howls on "I Feel Good," and stick around for "Critters," which he cites at one of his favorites.
"I dig the faster cuts that embody the sort of abrasive underlying spirit of the album," Rashid said.

The album was recorded in a barn in East Greenwich owned by the previous bassist. While the new album featured the same lineup as the previous EP, only Rashid and drummer Ben Tucker remain. But Rashid is excited about the band's future with new bandmates Bryan Fielding (bass) and Nick Politelli (guitar).

"Some of the songs on the new album had been written over the past couple of years that I brought to the table, but this new lineup has resulted in a much more collaborative process," Rashid said, as the foursome prep brand-new songs for an EP to be recorded later this year, as well as a regional tour of the East Coast in April.

"Their sound is a mix of new wave, punk, and old-school rock and roll, but with a modern twist" commended Roz Raskin, head honcho of the Rice Cakes.

"We're so stoked to be playing with the Ravi Shavi boys," she told me. "They always bring the party and I think our followers who haven't seen Ravi Shavi are gonna dig it hard."

Pick up Ravi Shavi's new disc at the show this weekend or download a copy at iTunes and Spotify.

RAVI SHAVI + ATLANTIC THIRLLS + THE RICE CAKES + NAPOLEAN | Saturday, January 26 @ 7:30 pm | Firehouse 13, 41 Central St, Providence | $5 | 401.270.1801

- Providence Phoenix

"Here for the Party: Ravi Shavi's New Album is Loud and Fun"

Ravi Shavi’s music crackles with a brisk and refreshing nod to very early rock ‘n’ roll and classic punk rock. Recorded quick and dirty in a barn in East Greenwich, I can only imagine the wonderful things they’d come up with given a proper studio and some time to breathe. Their recordings exhibit a claustrophobic intensity, and a sort of otherworldly sheen simply because of their lo-fi recording methods and the slim economy of their songwriting. Their track “Hobbies” is a great example of this. Singer Rafay Rashid comes on like a punk rock Buddy Holly, rediscovering the path from brutish ‘70s proto punk like the New York Dolls and such to the more astute nerd-rockery of Elvis Costello and The Pretenders.

Ravi Shavi is a four-piece outfit comprising Rafay Rashid on vocals and electric guitar, Ben Tucker on drums, Bryan Fielding on bass and Nick Politelli on electric guitar. The group was born after the breakup of Rashid’s previous group, the Gambees. “I always thought there was something beautiful about how the appeal of music was largely inexplicable and beyond any rational explanation,” Rashid says.

Rashid, born in Islamabad, Pakistan and now a proud Rhode Islander, takes an understandably worldly approach to music. “I like to keep the melodies close to familiar forms of popular rock ‘n’ roll, especially from the ‘50s and ‘60s. I dig that the constant repetition of refrains is prominent in both Western and Eastern cultures, specifically popular American music and traditional Pakistani/Indian music.” For Rashid, whose writings are admittedly about “cosmopolitanism and aliens,” songwriting is the medium for him to convey the feeling of having a split identity created by globalization, conflicts of faith and rampant consumerism.

On record, Ravi Shavi is a really fun listen. “Vacation Holiday” begins with a quietly picked electric guitar figure. Just when you think the track will be just a bit morose in an Arcade Fire way, the band comes up with a startlingly good chorus before rounding the song out with some really great vocal overdubs and singalongs. “Indecision” sounds like Iggy Pop’s backing group for his Lust For Life album, and the track itself exemplifies from that same overall sleazy vibe. If only every band that recorded cheap and fast sounded this great, they make it seem pretty easy. “Everything you hear on the record is pretty much live, with all of us recording our parts together,” says Rashid. “We set out to make something that sounded like us live and didn’t take away from that kinetic friction when we’re all throwing ourselves at it simultaneously.” Ravi Shavi has had a few impressive gigs over the past year including opening for Deer Tick, with whom they share an honest love for vintage rock ‘n’ roll songwriting, at the prestigious Newport Folk Fest after party and the no-less-prestigious DudeSmash at the Met. They also got raved about after their set at Foo Fest this past summer and enjoyed a last minute New Year’s Eve gig at Fête.

Right before this issue hits the stands, the band is releasing their first full-length record with a show at Firehouse 13 with Roz Raskin and The Rice Cakes. They then plan to spend this upcoming spring and summer playing with the friends they’ve made in local bands such as Atlantic Thrills, Tapestries, The Wrong Reasons and many others. “There’s a real sense of a scene that has developed in Providence and I think its great that no one really sounds like each other here. People also are respectful and know how to get sloppy.”
- Providence Monthly

"Atlantic Thrills, Ravi Shavi, Nude Beach @ Firehouse (11/10/12)"

?"...Ravi frontman Rafay Rashid is a natural showman/entertainer/performer, call it what you want, he’s got it, and I get the feeling he’s had it for a while, perhaps even on the playground. He has this King Khan quality to him, except he’s all dressed up in a nice suit. It’s like Khan if it was the 1950s, highly sexualized music just squeezing to get outta those suits and spread some love, some evil, and most definitely some rock ‘n’ roll into some fresh, innocent teen blood..." - Kids Like You and Me

"Deer Tick's Fully Loaded After-Parties"

As we mentioned a few weeks back, Deer Tick is curating three nights of Newport Folk Festival after parties at the Newport Blues Café. Well, the final lineup was announced this week and includes some very special guests, including one of Newport’s biggest headliners, Jackson Browne, who will be joined by Jonathan Wilson. Matt Vasquez of Delta Spirit shows up on Saturday. Other guests include Providence’s “revolution rocker” Ravi Shavi, Joe Fletcher, Jonny Corndawg, Brooklyn’s own folk goddess Sharon Van Etten and Robert Ellis. And Deer Tick curated themselves into all three nights. - Grassclippings Blog

"Mischief Reigns at the News Cafe"

It's a pattern that I'm always reviewing a show Ravi Shavi plays, but I can't help it. Ravi Shavi is absolutely awesome and everyone including myself are hooked on their post-everything rock & roll fever like a fish on a line. With bassist Bryan Fielding dressed as a hot dog, guitarist Jim Galvin as a sailor, drummer Ben Tucker dressed as a priest and the enigmatic Rafay Rashid dressed in some sort of Indian garb, Ravi Shavi definitely knew how to bring in the Halloween festivities."Local News", "Courage", "InDecision", "Quickersand", "Mediocre Millions" and "Accidental Mental" put the crowd into a frenzy that was unforgettable. Ravi Shavi has a bunch of new material in the works, so stay tuned. - GoLocalProv

"Whole lotta shakin' at AS220's Foo Fest"

Make a point to catch the doo-wop/new wave/garage-pop of RAVI SHAVI; the quartet was chosen to open the recent Deer Tick/Joe Fletcher post-Folk Fest show at Newport Blues Café. One spin through "Indecisions" (WBRU should be all over this one) and it's no surprise these guys are McCauley-approved.

Read more: http://providence.thephoenix.com/music/142418-whole-lotta-shakin-goin-on-at-as220s-foo-fest/#ixzz2BajkUfoZ - The Providence Phoenix

"Deer Tick Tornado of Hate Interview"

Z: Any smaller bands that you’re a fan of that you’d like to see get the exposure that they deserve? Any RI locals?

JM: Rafay Rashid, The Shivers, Liz Isenberg, Atlantic Thrills, Dead People, Virgin Forest - Red Flags of Lost Children


Still working on that hot first release.



Rafay Rashid, age 22, was born in Islamabad, Pakistan in 1990 before moving to New York and then ultimately to Providence in 2000. At 14 he started a band called "Yelling Game" and was influenced by a mish-mash of 70's and 80's punk rock and new wave, the forefathers of the new indie movement (Animal Collective, TV on the Radio, The Arcade Fire), Sinatra and Dean Martin, The Violent Femmes. He played several gigs in Providence- usually the youngest cat on the bill. The early shows were marked by an affinity towards shock and awe, singing about taboo subject matter over, often times, a drumbeat being played on a steel chair. During high school, he started a new project which was more sophisticated and featured members that were classically trained and would go on to pursue higher education among the elite conservatories in New York. That band enjoyed moderate success in Providence, opening up for Deer Tick and releasing an LP called "Creatured" on Itunes. Becoming frustrated with the overly polished sound of that band, Rafay decided he would start a garage-rock style band in which he would take the reigns. Invading the sphere of his influence more were The Clash, Elvis, Otis Redding, Roy Orbison, The Talking Heads, Devo, The Velvet Underground, and old Pakistani/Indian psychedelic soundtracks. Thus, Ravi Shavi began to form. Finding the cream of the Providence crop, Rafay Rashid enlisted Ben Tucker who at the time was playing with Andy T (ex-Deer Tick) on drums. When that band faded out, Ben Tucker came in and provided the strong backbeat that was needed for the simple but catchy and raw chords being played by Rashid. The line-up was filled out by longtime bassist Wilson Keithline (who had played with The Shivers, and Andy T's old project briefly) and Rafay's old friend Jim Galvin on guitar. The latest addition is Bryan Fielding, who is a song-writer in his own right, replacing Wilson on bass.

Ravi Shavi has enjoyed great success in Providence over the past year, being asked to be the only opener for RI heroes Deer Tick at the Newport Folk Festival Afterparty at the Blues Cafe and also their first annual festival "Dudesmash"- others who shared the bill at Dudesmash were Turbo Fruits, Diamond Doves, and Joe Fletcher. They are known for a crazy live show, including non-stop fancy footwork from frontman, Rafay Rashid.

Ravi Shavi has described itself often as Revolution Rock. It is revolutionary in the sense that it wants to open up new avenues while still being attached to the sounds people innately love. They want to push buttons (they've had male back up singers in burqas and hijabs) and most of all, they want to have fun. With you.

In the past few months, Ravi Shavi has been on its upward trajectory, playing with Chain and the Gang and being featured in Providence's most acclaimed festivals such as Foo Fest. They killed it in front of a packed house and opened for Big Freedia and Hard Nips. They were also featured by InDownCity to play a showcase one-hour show in the heart of Downtown. They also played the CMJ festival in NY this year.

A quote from the Providence Phoenix (Providence's premiere art and music publication):

"Make a point to catch the doo-wop/new wave/garage-pop of RAVI SHAVI; the quartet was chosen to open the recent Deer Tick/Joe Fletcher post-Folk Fest show at Newport Blues Café. One spin through "Indecisions" (WBRU should be all over this one) and it's no surprise these guys are McCauley-approved."

Read more: http://providence.thephoenix.com/music/142418-whole-lotta-shakin-goin-on-at-as220s-foo-fest/#ixzz2BaYJ4Zwb

With an EP out, and a full-length waiting to be released next month, Ravi Shavi and it's energetic, 22 year old songwriter look to expand its reach throughout the whole country.