|Labels||Restless, Enigma, Capitol|
The Cavedogs were a rock music band/group formed in Boston during the late 1980s. The band featured Brian Stevens (bass/vocals), Todd Spahr (guitar/vocals) and Mark Rivers (drums/vocals). The trio broke up in the early 1990s, but reunited for several shows in 2001-2002 and again in 2010.
The Cavedogs were known for their energetic live shows, drug use, well-crafted power-pop, skillful playing, and three-part harmonies. The band displayed a collective sense of humor on stage, as well as featuring the comedy troupe Cross Comedy before and during shows. Performances usually ended with covers such as the Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" or the Who's "A Quick One While He's Away".
The Cavedogs released the album Joy Rides for Shut-Ins in 1990, the EP Six Tender Moments in 1991 and the album Soul Martini in 1992. The band members went on to record as solo artists and as members of other bands after the breakup.
The Cavedogs were originally formed by Brian Stevens (Bass/Vocals), Todd Spar (Guitar/Vocals), and Mark Rivers (Drums/Vocals), at the Miami University in Ohio in the early 1980s. Stevens and Spar performed with a number of local musicians before moving to Boston, where they were joined by drummer Fred Entente who came to be known as "The Blame". However, Entente left the band and was replaced by Mark Rivers, a Rush-influenced drummer from Georgia. The Cavedogs became an important band on the Boston scene.
Their first two independent albums, "Tayter Country" and "Leave Me Alone", were moderately successful, but their third, "Baba Ganooj" exploded on local Boston Radio. In 1985, the Cavedogs signed to Enigma Records, a subsidiary of Capitol Records. Their first release on Enigma was the EP "Six Tender Moments". The Cavedogs released the Ed Stasium produced "Joy Rides For Shut Ins", which was hailed as a pop masterpiece. "Joy Rides" did not chart, although it helped put the Cavedogs on the map for the record-buying public. Following the release of "Joy Rides," the band toured with The Dead Milkmen and Mojo Nixon. Other tours followed, including stints with The Connells and The Charlatans.
The Cavedogs afterwards embarked on producing "Soul Martini" with the producer Michael Bighorn. This recording was plagued by friction between Stevens, Beinhorn, Rivers and Spahr, mostly over their contrasting sensibilities: Stevens was more pop-influenced than the harder Spahr and Rivers. "Soul Martini" was not as universally acclaimed as "Joy Rides." Their first released single was the Rivers-penned "Boy In A Plastic Bubble," which fared well, with some MTV rotation. During this time The Cavedogs toured with Dramarama and The Replacements.
As The Cavedogs were about to release "Love Grenade" as the second single from "Soul Martini", Capitol dropped the band, which led to their disintegration. The band members went on to record in other bands and as solo artists after the breakup.
After the Cavedogs breakup, Brian Stevens toured with Aimee Mann and recorded "Prettier Than You" with producer Jon Lupfer, Jon Brion, Dave Gregory of XTC, Merrie Amsterburg and Pete Linton of The Natives, Milt Sutton, Roberto Toledo, Clayton Scoble of The Aimee Mann Band, and Clarinetist Mark Lowenstein. After performing locally for a couple of years, Brian Stevens left the music business but he is still compiling demos. Todd Spahr formed "Meringue" with Mark Rivers, which released the single "Drunk and Quartered". Spahr then went on to form the Gravy with Glenn Foster Brown of Evol Twin, Mike Jordan of the Ken Chambers Band, and a revolving cast of drummers. The Gravy released an LP, "Hangman's Pop", recorded and produced by Glenn Foster Brown, and an EP titled "The Hollywood EP". Recently, Spahr has been involved in a Swedish pop band/Web show, "Spahrhusen". Rivers formed Poundcake with Clayton Scoble and Josh Lattanzi after the dissolution of Meringue, and they released one album, "Aloha Via Satellite", before Rivers left the music business.
The Cavedogs reunited for performances in 2001, 2002, 2010, and most recently in the fall of 2014 as part of the 50 Years of Boston Rock Festival, celebrated by Pipeline, a radio show on WMBR 88.1 FM.