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Tim Cawley, a copywriter at Pagano, Schenck & Kay in Boston, has an ongoing music project on the side, and we do mean ongoing. The name of his band is based on the number of days since he first picked up a guitar, hence it changes at every stroke of midnight. At the time his very polished indie record was released earlier this year, the band was called 776 Days. He's in the four figures now, and you can bet he sounds a lot better than when he was in double digits -- though Cawley apparently had a beginner's charm even back in late-'95 on Day 213, when he did his first live show for his then-colleagues at Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis.

He was a solo act then, but he's since put together a very professional-sounding band, which includes "some ringers from the Berklee School of Music." Cawley, 28, writes the songs and handles lead vocals and rhythm guitar, and as for his guitar playing today, "If you ask me, it's awesome," he laughs. His music sounds a bit like a quirky-voiced cross between two of his big influences, Tom Petty and the Replacements. Much to his surprise, the Boston papers like him. "We've tricked all the critics in town into thinking we're real," Cawley gloats. Could this be a career? "Nah. I don't know. Well, if I got signed, who knows? The nice thing about it now is there's no pressure." Look for a second record next summer, and count the Days at www.geocities.com/sunsetstrip/underground/1508. It

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