Cavetone Records Celebrates 8 Years With 5-Bands And Elegant Madness

In about four hours, area residents will get experience a mix of elegance and madness, the tasteful and the tacky, sophistication and sonic anarchy, the debonair and the debased as worlds collide in Tuscola at The Vault Arts Collective, 100 N. Main Street. There, the stars will align for the Cavetone Records 8th Anniversary show, featuring five bands and a DJ, all free, from 5-10 p.m.

With the venue change, the atmosphere will also be different from past anniversary shows. Cavetone’s Scott Walus said the evening will feature a champaigne toast, finger-foods and fancy dress is encouraged (although not required). “Put a tie over a shirt and say you’re being ironic,” Walus said.

You can check out a 90s-era web site with all the info about the show and the bands here.

The event will mark the opening of the Sound Bank, a dedicated music space at The Vault that’s been in the works for nearly a year. With a line-up featuring Apathy Wizards, Pat Boone’s Farm, the Down-Fi, The Ex-Bombers and The Tim Blys, homespun garage music will meet the world of art.

Rather than a traditional bar, listeners will be surrounded by art work from numerous local artists who participate in the collective aspect of The Vault.

“The notion that this is what (a music venue, an art venue) is needs to get knocked down in 2016,” Walus said about the new pairing. “The art crowd and the music crow need to start intermingling.”

In a way, the evening is an experiment in innovation. The Sound Bank will likely be an event-driven space for all-ages shows and possibly open mic nights, Walus said.

“It’s a change. The shows at Top of the Roc were nihilistic, booze-fueled romps,” he said. “This is a chance to have a different experience.”

Here are more details from the Cavetone press release:

Thee Cavetone Anniversary Spectaculars have always been about musicians, supporters and friends coming back home. However, in 2016, the vinyl-only record label from Charleston, Ill. was left without one.

Cavetone Records found a permanent home in Charleston after a 2011 move from Columbia, Mo. They recorded bands on analog equipment and ran cover-free shows at multiple venues, including the infamous Free Music Friday live music showcases at Top of the Roc in downtown Charleston.

At the height of Free Music Friday’s popularity in 2014 and 2015, Cavetone held its anniversary shows filled with bands from all around the Midwest at the monthly live music showcase. However, when they went to set the date for the 2016 anniversary, the Charleston music scene received some terrible news. Top of the Roc was closing. There would be no more coming home to Charleston.

With the end of Free Music Friday, Cavetone needed a home. Fortunately, records have two sides, and they found themselves in discussions with The Vault Arts Collective in Tuscola, Ill.

“The Vault’s owner John McDevitt called me and asked me to come up for a meeting in May for some brand consulting,” said Cavetone Records’ founder Scott Walus. “We ended up with the vision of a cover-free, all-ages space for music, funded by a record store. It just fit perfectly with what they were doing.”

The Vault started a fundraising campaign for a stage and sound reinforcement on the second floor of the old bank vault. The successful campaign for what was now called the Sound Bank, ended within a week of Free Music Friday’s last rites. In that moment, the stars aligned and they decided to host Thee Cavetone Records Eight Year Anniversary Spectacular.

For the previous six months, Cavetone Records and The Vault have worked to prepare the venue for its inaugural show and to celebrate the anniversary of Cavetone Records’ first successful vinyl release. The event promises “elegant madness” filled with five Cavetone bands from four different states, records spinning, as well as fancy faire with suggested matching dress. Each attendee will be coming home for a different reason.

Nate Furstenau, the drummer of the first Cavetone band Pat Boone’s Farm, is coming home for a reunion of the Columbia, Mo. group and the community around the label. “Cavetone started as this really small, neat thing. Eight years later, Cavetone has come to represent many more local musicians and their bands. It’s still a really small, neat thing, and the eight year anniversary show will illustrate exactly why so many people believe in it,” said Furstenau.

Others, like Tim Gurnig of Cedar Plank Salmon – who will spin vintage pop and rock records between bands – are coming home from Chicago in reverence of the artifact of vinyl.

“Records are why we all do this, the connection to the music in those grooves. Cavetone appeared to me at a formative time and the reverent approach to records and music that Scott took was eye-opening,” said Gurnig.

Thor Goodman of Apathy Wizards is coming home from Murfreesboro, Tenn. due to cosmic forces.

“The distant prince has sent his disciples to herald his glorious return. The distance prince considers Cavetone a trustworthy confidante and ally against the foul Bloodletters of the North,” said Goodman.

The evening of elegant madness begins at 5 p.m. with DJ Plank (Chicago) spinning vintage rock and pop records. The live music begins at 6 p.m. with the acoustic gypsy folk punk of the Apathy Wizards (Murfreesboro, Tenn.), followed by the film noir pop duo The Ex-Bombers (Charleston, Ill.), and the proto punk legends The Down-fi (Indianapolis, Ind.). The macabre cartoon punk trio The Tim Blys (Mattoon, Ill.) play their final show and Pat Boone’s Farm (Columbia, Mo.) reunites for some revved-up jangly garage pop.

The event is open to all ages and there is no cover charge. The Sound Bank at The Vault is located at 100 N. Main St. in downtown Tuscola, Ill., and for one night, it will be home.

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