Monthly Archives: August 2013

ZZ HILL

Blues singer Z.Z. Hill first made records for Atlantic, Kent, and in 1971 scored his first big hit for United Artists, followed by others on Columbia. In the ’80s he single-handedly started a blues revival in the USA with the smash-it “Down Home Blues.” The Brand New Z.Z. Hill was originally marketed as a Blues Opera, an oddity back in the early seventies, and was written by Swamp Dogg and Gary U.S.  Bonds. When released it hit both the Billboard Top 200 and the R&B charts and sold over a million singles via six releases. The album has been REMASTERED for this release and is presented here with its ORIGINAL ALBUM GATEFOLD COVER. The CD DIGIPAK comes with 8 bonus tracks and NEW LINER NOTES by producer Swamp Dogg.

Every time I speak of Z.Z. HILL or listen to his recordings I can’t think of anyone I’ve ever met in the music industry that was more gentlemanly, kind, gracious, generous and talented as he was. – SWAMP DOGG

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THE BRAND NEW Z.Z. HILL TRACK LISTING:

1. It Ain’t No Use

2. Ha Ha (Laughing Song)

3. Second Chance

4. Our Love Is Getting Better

5. Faithful And True

6. Chokin’ Kind

7. Hold Back (One Man At A Time)

8. A Man Needs A Woman (A Woman Needs A Man)

9. Early In The Morning

10. I Think I’d Do It

CD bonus tracks

11. Faithful

12. Just As I Am

13. Touch ‘Em With Love

14. The ZZ Thrill

15. I Think I’d Do It (version 2)

16. Early In The Morning (version 2)

17. Hold Back (One Man At A Time) (version 2)

18. Put A Little Love In Your Heart

Order A Brand New Z.Z. Hill on iTunes (w/ 8 bonus tracks): https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/brand-new-zz-hill-remastered/id704909644

FOR MORE INFO ON ALIVE RECORDS:
http://www.alive-totalenergy.com

FOR MEDIA AND INTERVIEW REQUESTS:
Tony Bonyata
Pavement PR
p: 262.903.7775
e: bonyata@wi.rr.com
http://www.pavementpr.com

SOUL LEGEND SWAMP DOGG EMBARKS ON RARE SEVEN-CITY U.S. TOUR!

ALIVE NATURALSOUND RECORDS CONTINUES TO RELEASE MORE SWAMP-PRODUCED VINYL RARITIES AS PART OF THEIR ONGOING SWAMP DOGG SOUL & BLUES COLLECTION

Swamp Dogg (aka Jerry Williams) has been enjoying a renaissance in his musical career this year, thanks to Alive Naturalsound Records’ ongoing Swamp Dogg Soul & Blues Collection. Critics and fans alike have been singing the praises of these highly sought-after and long out-of-print rarities, all remastered and available on vinyl for the first time in decades. This collection, thus far, includes Swamp’s first three solo records, Total Destruction To Your Mind, Rat On! and Gag A Maggott, as well as the Swamp Dogg-produced albums In Between Tears from the ‘Soul Queen of New Orleans’ Irma Thomas, Charlie Whitehead‘s Raw Spitt and Lightnin’ Slim‘s High & Low Down. In addition, Alive will also be releasing remastered versions of the Swamp-produced LPs Too Many People In One Bed from Sandra Phillips and Wolfmoon‘s long-lost 1969 self-titled album this fall, followed by some additional surprises guaranteed to please fans of R&B, soul and funk.

SWAMP DOGG 2013 TOUR DATES:

August 25 @ Yoshi’s – San Francisco, CA

Sept 12 @ Triple Door – Seattle, WA

Sept 14 @ Dante’s – Portland, OR

October 3-5 @ The Ponderosa Stomp – New Orleans, LA

Oct 26 @ Bar Pink – San Diego, CA

Oct 31 @ The Kessler – Dallas, TX

Nov 1-2 @ Continental Club – Austin TX

HERE’S WHAT PEOPLE HAVE BEEN SAYING ABOUT SWAMP DOGG’S RECENTLY RE-ISSUED & REMASTERED VERSIONS OF HIS EARLY ’70S SOUL CLASSICS TOTAL DESTRUCTION TO YOUR MIND, RAT ON! & GAG A MAGGOTT:

FOUR STARS! A Lost Bayou-Funk Treasure. – ROLLING STONE

Jerry “Swamp Dogg” Williams is a cult hero who’s responsible for some of the most unique rock-influenced R&B (and weirdest album covers) ever made.  – SPIN

Swamp Dogg’s Total Destruction To Your Mind and Rat On! are red hot platters of burning Southern Soul. – BLURT

FOUR STARS! The first two albums from Jerry William’s non-conformist country-soul alter ego, finally remastered…. A new soul superhero for Underground America. – MOJO

Two astonishing albums. Combining Solomon Burke showmanship with Joe Tex’s choleric testifying, Total Destruction To Your Mind made it clear – Dogg was a revolutionary creation, responding to the freedom of black music’s new era. – UNCUT

A brilliant, prolific soul auteur. – NASHVILLE SCENE

Swamp Dogg’s “Mama’s Baby, Daddy’s Maybe” is a song every man should llsten to. – ESQUIRE MAGAZINE

Hyped-up unearthings of vintage funk/soul “lost classics” are a dime a dozen nowadays, but it’s not often you encounter something as truly strange and striking as the first two LPs from Virginia eccentric Jerry Williams Jr., aka Swamp Dogg. Total Destruction to Your Mind (1970) and Rat On! (1971) — remastered/reissued on Alive Naturalsound — make good on their gonzo titles with faintly absurd yet salient satire on war, consumerism and race politics all backed by roiling, Stax-style funk. – PHILADELPHIA CITY PAPER

Swamp Dogg’s early ’70s reissues Total Destruction To Your Mind and Rat On! bring the soul in a big way.  – POPMATTERS

These two albums sound positively thrilling, as if we’d just found a couple of prime unreleased Sly Stone albums hidden in a closet. – SOUND + VISION MAGAZINE

An acid-fueled R&B visionary. – SOUL SAUCE

Punk-rock in spirit years before punk. – THE SANTA FE NEW MEXICAN

Swamp Dogg turns out a heady mix of soul, funk, R&B, rock and roll each powered by a dynamite horn section. As a vocalist, Dogg simply crackles with life, excitement and pure joy. – GHETTOBLASTER MAGAZINE

Gonzo soul classics – AQUARIUM DRUNKARD

On Gag a Maggot Swamp Dogg has the classic chill factor down in his Soul. – THE ALTERNATE ROOT

The title track, Total Destruction To Your Mind, is a slam-bangin’ chunk of rock and funk that’s pushed by a great session band including guitarist Jesse Carr and drummer Johnny Sandlin, and is easily Dogg’s finest moment on record. But the rest of this is great too, ranging from the consumer nightmare “Synthetic World” to the paternity blues of “Mama’s Baby, Daddy’s Maybe.” Plus, Dogg is a great singer, and his dizzying range gets a workout on these songs. – ALL MUSIC

Swamp Dogg two earliest releases – Total Destruction To Your Mind (1970) and Rat On! (1971) – have long been overdue for a re-release. Now, crisply remastered and available on CD and vinyl, they’re ready to shine afresh and attract a new audience. – BLOGCRITICS

Nothing matches the mind-blowing power of these R&B/rock/protest/progressive masterpieces that musically kept pretty loyal to Southern soul but conceptually were like nothing else on the market. – ROCTOBER

His music is rock, it’s country soul, it’s classic R&B and it’s funk.  Take away the impeccable Stax horn arrangements and it’s stone cold classic country.  – WHEN YOU MOTOR AWAY

Everyone get down on your knees and give thanks, for these two magnificent albums are back on store shelves once again. I cannot recommend these enough. I say get them both at the same time, because if you dig one, you’re going to want a hit of the other one right away. Trust me on this one… you need some Swamp Dogg in your life. – OTHER MUSIC

This is some of the finest American music not only of its time, but of all time. – BLINDED BY SOUND

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FOR MORE INFO ON SWAMP DOGG:
http://www.swampdogg.net

FOR MORE INFO ON ALIVE RECORDS:
http://www.alive-totalenergy.com

FOR MEDIA AND INTERVIEW REQUESTS:
Tony Bonyata
Pavement PR
p: 262.903.7775
e: bonyata@wi.rr.com
http://www.pavementpr.com

LEFT LANE CRUISER TO RELEASE THEIR SIXTH STUDIO ALBUM “ROCK THEM BACK TO HELL!” SEP. 17TH

Left Lane Cruiser‘s Freddy J IV and Brenn Beck are back with an album of voodoo hillbilly punk-blues. Recorded in Fort Wayne IN, and mixed in Detroit by renown producer/engineer Jim Diamond, Rock Them Back To Hell! sees the duo expanding their sonic palette by adding bass, harmonica, organ and “trash percussion” (that would be a cardboard box, a paint tin, trash can and an electrified five-gallon bucket). The result is an album to wake up the dead, and rock it back to hell! The “hell-billies” cover art is the work of renowned artist William Stout (Return Of The Living Dead, Invaders From Mars, Pan’s Labyrinth).

Left Lane Cruiser’s new studio album Rock Them Back To Hell! will be available on all formats on Sep. 17th through Alive Naturalsound Records. There will also be a very limited edition of colored vinyl available exclusively online through Bomp! mailorder.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD & SHARE LEFT LANE CRUISER’S NEW SONG “JUICE TO GET LOOSE”

LEFT LANE CRUISER’S 2013 TOUR DATES:

Aug 30 @ The Green Lantern – Lexington, KY

Aug 31 @ The Muddy Roots Music Festival – Cookeville,TN

Sep 1 @ Zanzabar – Louisville, KY

Sep 2 @ Warm Fest / Broad Ripple Park – Indianapolis, IN

Sep 7 @ Pinestock – Churubusco, IN

Sep 14 @ Brandanza – Columbia City, IN

Sep 25 @ MOTR Pub – Cincinatti, OH

Sep 27 @ The Bohemian – Greenville, SC

Sep 28 @ North River Tavern – Sandy Springs, GA

Sep 29 @ Boondoxx – Nashville, TN

Oct 25 @ Off Broadway – St. Louis, MO

Oct 26 @ Mojo’s – Columbia, MO

(more dates to be announced soon)

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ROCK THEM BACK TO HELL! TRACK LISTING:

01 Zombie Blocked

02 Electrify

03 Neighborhood

04 Juice To Get Loose

05 Overtaken

06 Be So Fine

07 Jukebox

08 Coley

09 Paralyze Ya

10 Righteous

HERE’S WHAT PEOPLE HAVE BEEN SAYING ABOUT LEFT LANE CRUISER:

“As soon as the opening riff kicks in, you know that Left Lane Cruiser isn’t a traditional country blues band. The Indiana duo might well have influences from the Mississippi area, but what they do with them is fresh and coruscating.” – CLASSIC ROCK / UK

If Robert Johnson took a midnight stroll to meet the devil at the crossroads and exchange his soul for the blues, this collaboration between punk-blues label-mates Left Lane Cruiser and James Leg sounds like they’ve got a direct line to the fiery pits of hell. – HAPPENING MAGAZINE

Two blues rock duos, Left Lane Cruiser from Fort Wayne, IN and James Leg from Nashville, meet up in Detroit and, with some help from Harmonica Shah, record a set of covers by the likes of Led Zeppelin    , Robert Johnson    , Muddy Waters, and Jimi Hendrix. Muddy but not sloppy, fierce but somewhat respectful of its sources, its subtleties are loud and lived-in as they exceed the speed limit on the expressway to your heart. Blues as attitude more than ritual, this oneoff provides the relief its title promises. – ROCK & RAP CONFIDENTIAL

“Left Lane Cruiser may be from Fort Wayne, IN but they sound like a couple of unhinged punk hillbillies raised on the North Mississippi hill country blues of R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough. They mine the same sort of modal blues territory but, with half-distorted vocals pushed through what sounds like a shorted-out karaoke mike, they also sound like a lo-fi swampy version of the Stooges, all full of rampaging impatience. This isn’t a band much concerned with evolving its sound. That’s a good thing, because they make a hell of a lot of noise and pretty much mow through every song with real rock fervor. Junkyard Speed Ball is another fine outing from a refreshingly direct and uncomplicated band that rocks like a jackhammer.” – ALL MUSIC

“…the most filthy, greaseball, gritty, blues rock I’ve come across since early Black Keys’ stuff.” – MUSIC SAVAGE

“… a filthy sounding slab of corn-punk blues, a rhythmic and greasy scrap heap of groove and buckshot barrel loaded raceway boogie. [But] what’s most important, is that Left Lane Cruiser is a Soul band.  As informed by Mississippi, they’ve got a little Memphis in ’em as well.  And, of course, as befits the name, a thousand or more miles of gravel in the headlights and in the rearview mirror. We can’t recommend ’em highly enough.” – BIG ROCK CANDY MOUNTAIN

“Fort Wayne’s fave greasy-fingered duo, Left Lane Cruiser, is back with their latest offering, Junkyard Speed Ball. Recorded in Detroit by the nearing-legendary Jim Diamond, the record’s first single, Giving Tree, is bound to give some longtime fans agida. Seems the duo’s manic turkey-on-meth-in-the-straw M.O. has been replaced in spots by down-low blues that can only be described as a tad more gutshot than their typical fare. Glad to report that this gamble pays off in spades, thanks at least in part to the personage and organ stroking skillz of Reverend James Leg of the Black Diamond Heavies.” – MY OLD KENTUCKY BLOG

[5 out of 5] “Left Lane Cruiser’s music, as expected, remains true to the formula that has worked so well for them since their inception in 2004 — a mighty signature sound of dirty, aggressive blues and foot-stompin’ alt-country. Junkyard Speed Ball makes for the two-piece powerhouse’s fourth full-length album, featuring twelve searing new songs, all of which make it pretty darn clear that these two good ol’ boys ain’t quitting anytime soon. Left Lane Cruiser is in its prime.” – EXAMINER / NO DEPRESSION

“Like the young Black Keys and White Stripes — they deliver a sonic post-punk punch to the bread-basket” – ELSEWHERE NEW ZEALAND

“On their album Junkyard Speed Ball ferocious trash-blues stompers Left Lane Cruiser effortlessly mix southern-fried blues, garage and brutal punk riffs into one glorious whiskey and gasoline soaked whole. Great stuff.” – MAD MACKEREL UK

“One of my favorite garage punk blues bands” – LES ENFANTS TERRIBLES

“Left Lane Cruiser is a two-piece deep blues act blending high energy hark rock and punk with obvious North Mississippi hill country roots. Rather than stick to standard 12-bar blues conventions, Left Lane Cruiser’s sound has obvious blues roots while taking a sledgehammer to standard 12-bar blues. LLC is loud, brash, trashy and entirely refreshing.” – THE BOSTON BLUES SOCIETY

FOR MORE INFO ON LEFT LANE CRUISER:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Left-Lane-Cruiser/16313548150

FOR MORE INFO ON ALIVE RECORDS:
http://www.alive-totalenergy.com

FOR MEDIA AND INTERVIEW REQUESTS:
Tony Bonyata
Pavement PR
p: 262.903.7775
e: bonyata@wi.rr.com
http://www.pavementpr.com

AMERICAN SONGWRITER PREMIERES HAVE GUN, WILL TRAVEL’S NEW VIDEO!

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE PREMIERE OF HAVE GUN, WILL TRAVEL’S “STANDING AT THE END OF THE WORLD” VIA AMERICAN SONGWRITER

Bradenton, Florida’s Have Gun, Will Travel have a natural instinct for combining folk, pop, rock and classic country influences to create a sound all their own. “Their music has a great energy to it with infectious, sing-along choruses and refrains” remarked NPR’s Robin Hilton. American Songwriter called HGWT’s music “organic, infectious Americana Pop. Their music has a refreshing immediacy to it.”

Over the course of three acclaimed albums, hundreds of shows and copious populist-radio airplay, they’ve nurtured a tradition of inviting all manner of gifted musicians to join the fray. The group’s inclusive nature allows it to flesh out tunes that run the gamut from foot-stomping front-porch spirituals and evocative Texas swing to strum-punk rave-ups, hill-country historicals and more.

HGWT’s music has been featured in a national Chevy TV commercial; multiple episodes of the PBS series Roadtrip Nation; and an episode of CBS’s The Good Wife. Their previous albums have spent months on the CMJ Radio Top 200 chart. And their live performances have been described as rousing, rollicking, energetic and dynamic.

The band’s highly anticipated, fourth full-length album Fiction, Fact or Folktale? will be available September 10th on CD, vinyl and digital formats through This Is American Music (all formats are currently available to pre-order here). The album was mixed by HGWT’s own Scott Anderson and mastered by Rodney Mills (Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Drive-By Truckers).

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HAVE GUN, WILL TRAVEL (photo: Kelley Jackson)

HAVE GUN, WILL TRAVEL FALL/WINTER 2013 TOUR DATES:

Sep. 13 Will Call – Miami, FL

Sep. 14 Bamboo Room – Lake Worth, FL

Sep. 27 The Loft – Columbus, GA

Sep. 28 Sky City – Augusta, GA

Oct. 03 Home Team BBQ – Sullivan’s Island, SC

Oct. 04 Burro Barr –  Jacksonville, FL

Oct. 05 High Dive – Gainesville, FL

Oct. 18 New World Brewery – Tampa, FL

Oct. 19 Pickin’ Picnic at Bradenton Riverwalk – Bradenton, FL

Oct. 20 Clearwater Jazz Holiday @ Coachman Park –  Clearwater, FL

Nov. 01 MacDintons at Jannus Live – St. Petersburg, FL

Nov. 02 Rock Brothers Craft Beer & Music Festival – Fort Myers, FL

Nov. 06 Sellersville Theater – Sellersvillle, PA

Nov. 07 Hill Country – Washington, DC

Nov. 08 Pianos – New York, NY

Nov. 14 Pisgah Brewing Company – Black Mountain, NC

Nov. 16 Smith’s Olde Bar – Atlanta, GA

Nov. 22 Underbelly – Jacksonville, FL

Nov. 23 The Little Manatee River at the Canoe Outpost – Wimauma, FL

Dec. 31 First Night – St. Petersburg, FL

[more dates to be announced soon]

Turns out that music isn’t the only thing Have Gun, Will Travel are passionate about. The band recently partnered with Tampa’s award-winning Cigar City Brewing to create their own craft beer inspired by their unique tastes in both music and brew. Their High Road Ale (a pale ale with a hint of citrus, and named after their song “High Road” from their new album Fiction, Fact of Folktale?) recently won the National Grand Championship at the United States Beer Tasting Competition in the Pale Ale category. Not bad for a bunch of beer-loving musicians.

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FOR MORE INFO ON HAVE GUN, WILL TRAVEL:
https://www.facebook.com/hgwtmusic

FOR MORE INFO ON THIS IS AMERICAN MUSIC:
http://thisisamericanmusic.com

FOR MEDIA AND INTERVIEW REQUESTS:
Tony Bonyata
Pavement PR
p: 262.903.7775
e: tony@pavementpr.com
http://www.pavementpr.com

MISS SHEVAUGHN & YUMA WRAY KICK-OFF NATIONAL TOUR IN LONG BEACH, CA ON SEP. 12TH

In September of 2012, Miss Shevaughn & Yuma Wray released their first full-length offering, entitled “We’re From Here.” Immediately afterwards, the Americana duo (turned psych/blues/rock/folk trio) embarked on a two month tour to support that release. Their last digital-only album “Live @ DC9” was recorded during the final show of that 45-date venture at DC9 in Washington, DC last November, where they shared the stage with Laura Tsaggaris and The Weathervanes. Featuring DC native Ben Tufts on drums, this live album was the conclusion to a year spent in the studio and on the stage, with thousands of miles logged on the road. Miss Shevaughn & Yuma Wray didn’t sleep much, but their songs have never sounded more focused or energetic.

The threesome have been hammering away in the studio on their follow-up studio effort, set for release in the Spring of 2014. They’ll be road-testing much of this new material as part of their Fall tour starting in September.

MISS SHEVAUGHN & YUMA WRAY 2013 FALL TOUR DATES

Sep 12 – The Prospector, Long Beach, CA

Sep 13 – Press Restaurant, Claremont, CA

Sep 14 – Chopper John’s, Phoenix, AZ

Sep 17 – Old Texas Brewing, Burleson, TX

Sep 18 – The Cavern, Russellville, AR

Sep 19 – TBA Nashville, TN

Sep 20 – Lab Listening Room, Asheville, NC

Sep 21 – Soundhole, Myrtle Beach, SC

Sep 22 – The Milestone, Charlotte, NC

Sep 23 – The Box, Charlottesville, VA

Sep 24 – Hill Country BBQ, Washington DC

Oct 5 – Art On The Avenue street festival, Alexandria, VA

Oct 9 – Grand Victory, Brooklyn, NY

Oct 10 – 193 Degrees Coffee, Kingston, RI

Oct 11 – Red Hook Bait N Tackle, Brooklyn, NY

Oct 12 – Bus Stop Music Cafe, Pittman, NJ

Oct 18 – The Sparrow, Charleston, SC

Oct 21 – Alleycat, Carrolton, GA

Oct 24 – Southgate House Revival, Newport, KY

Oct 25 – Mag Bar, Louisville, KY

Oct 31 – The Black Cat, Washington DC

Nov 2 – TBA Brooklyn, NY

HERE’S WHAT PEOPLE HAVE BEEN SAYING ABOUT MISS SHEVAUGHN & YUMA WRAY:

“Achingly beautiful folk blues.” – Steve Wildsmith/ THE DAILY TIMES

“Think back on the material Daniel Lanois produced for Emmylou Harris – this music is by turns ethereal, haunting, lonely, ferocious and bluesy, painting American landscapes in pure black and white. The harmonies are smooth and go places you wouldn’t normally expect. Frisby’s alto has a world-weary and strongly emotional feel. She is, to be sure, a great singer.” – CONNECT SAVANNAH

“A fifteen song collection of Americana music, We’re From Here seamlessly jumps from sparse folk tunes to fuzzy guitar filled garage rock. Miss Shevaughn’s haunting vocals weave through the sonic landscape provided by Yuma Wray, and when it is his time to sing the contrast is powerful. Their music is more than just songs, each tune is a story and as story tellers it is up to Miss Shevaughn & Yuma Wray to bring these tales to life.” – Chris Martin / ATLANTA EXAMINER

“We’re From Here is a stunning and audacious debut – this record sounds like they’ve made an Oscar winning movie based on the Great American Novel. Miss Shevaughn joins Emmylou Harris and KD Lang in the realm of the great female American storytellers. She is a force of nature, and Yuma Wray provides the perfect home in which to raise her stories. Forget about genres and categories, this is great music.” – Tony Conley / ROCK GUITAR DAILY

“ Miss Shevaughn & Yuma Wray’s We’re From Here is a classic American road trip story, with the duo expanding its sound from sparse folk balladry to psychedelic swamp stomp.” – SUN JOURNAL

“We’re From Here, the new album from Miss Shevaughn and Yuma Wray, is a folk-drenched look into questions of contentment, laments over new beginnings, and self-acceptance, with Miss Shevaughn sounding an awful lot like Joni Mitchell as she tells her passionate tales.” – CHARLESTON CITY PAPER

“Their blend of country, folk, rock, and blues is a thing of beauty.” – MUSIC. DEFINED.

“Miss Shevaughn and Yuma Wray have put together a record that is simply stunning in its scope and in the sheer size of its sound…. this is a tremendous debut.” – WHEN YOU MOTOR AWAY

“Miss Shevaughn and Yuma Wray’s 2011 was spent on the road living out of their Honda Element, searching out their sound and cataloging their experiences and thoughts. Their time on the road was not wasted as the result is Americana personified – an amalgamation of elemental roots music into songs of real substance a soundtrack for a journey on the rural routes and black tops.” – BEAT SURRENDER

“Warm heart and fuzzed out soul come together on Miss Shevaughn & Yuma Wray’s new album We’re From Here.” – JESTER JAY MUSIC

“Nostalgic and reminiscent, We’re From Here is packed full of personality. Miss Shevaughn and Yuma Wray are both masters at merging musical genres and as a result, the album is original and full of songs that aren’t like anything else.” – SHOW ME SOMETHING DIFFERENT: UK

“Miss Shevaughn and Yuma Wray snake a highway around Americana, folk and good old rock & roll. It really is fabulous music making and bursting with talent, imagination and character. I could listen to it all day.” – UNDERCOVER

“Miss Shevaughn & Yuma have seen the U.S. and they sing about it with heartfelt soul and just the right amount of indie charisma. There’s nothing stuffy or snobby about their music. It clearly shines through as honest and poetic.” – John Powell / YOU HEAR THIS

“If I had a million dollars, I would pay Miss Shevaughn to sing me to sleep every night for a year. We’re From Here is one of the best albums that’s come my way this year.”  – ADOBE & TEARDROPS

“Featuring an eclectic mix of instruments including – but not limited to – guitar, banjo, mandolin, percussion, glockenspiel and lap steel, this duo has a bigger sound than most listeners dare to imagine. Strength in voice and instrumental ability drives their songwriting excellence.” – THE VERMONT CYNIC

“Unique, honest and compelling storytelling.” – YOUNG MANHATTANITE

“The word “sprawling” certainly applies to We’re From Here, the new album by Miss Shevaughn & Yuma Wray. The duo spent the year on the road (29 states, 125 shows) and the new songs reflect their experiences and evolution.” – THE PROVIDENCE PHOENIX

“Ever since I have gotten my ears on this excellent work of Americana and folk, I haven’t been able to stop listening. A voice that captivates, Miss Shevaughn has to be one of the most passionate vocalists I’ve heard. Add in the mysterious Yuma Wray and his magical guitar skills, these two seem to be the perfect mix for creating music that has the power to make the burliest of men weep.” – THE RECORD STACHE

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FOR MORE INFO ON MISS SHEVAUGHN & YUMA WRAY:
http://www.missshevaughnyumawray.com
https://twitter.com/yumawray
http://tillthewheelscomeoff.tumblr.com/

FOR MEDIA & INTERVIEW REQUESTS:
Tony Bonyata
Pavement PR
p: 262.903.7775
e: bonyata@wi.rr.com
http://www.pavementpr.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PavementPR
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PavementPublicRelations

CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN & CRACKER RAKE-IN INSANE AMOUNT OF TOUR PRESS!

LOS ANGELES TIMES
Camper Van Beethoven celebrates 30 years of music-making.
At the Troubadour, Camper Van Beethoven makes a case for the livelihood of expert musicians dedicated to making art for the long haul and for proper compensation.
By Randall Roberts

Camper Van Beethoven celebrated the 30th anniversary of its first gig at the Troubadour by playing old and new music and did so with the pride and confidence of master artisans surveying their life’s work.

One by one, with intuitive precision, the band born in Santa Cruz carved out its songs on guitar, bass, drum, violin and the occasional keyboard, proving that with patience, care, a devoted fan base and decades’ worth of effort, a band can convincingly, lovingly deliver songs they’ve played hundreds of times before.

On Saturday night, the five-piece band (David Lowery, Victor Krummenacher, Jonathan Segel, Greg Lisher, Frank Funaro) imagined a gig hovering over Pasadena with Talking Heads in “The Long Plastic Highway,” saluted Patty Hearst in “Tania” and thematically zigged and zagged between good and bad. At times they patiently expanded songs with 16-bar excursions and offered evocative, perfectly phrased lines that captured big ideas and critiques within singalong stanzas. At others, they burst forth with quick bursts of melodic energy.

The band was born in 1983 when a bunch of wry kids reared on punk, youth culture and twang united as Camper Van Beethoven and the Border Patrol (before shortening it). In 1985 they released an utterly beguiling debut album, “Telephone Free Landslide Victory,” whose cover was printed on letterpress and whose music was equally stamped with decorative tradition.

The band emerged fully formed, drawing on rock, country, ska, Eastern European and klezmer music and folk. Before there was such a thing as Internet buzz, its approach had earned both word-of-mouth praise and support from ascendant superstars R.E.M. and the thriving college radio world. Versions of post-punk band Sonic Youth’s early no-wave love song “I Love Her All the Time” and punk band Black Flag’s classic “Wasted” offered quirky takes on self-serious punk. It performed only the latter at the Troubadour on Saturday, merging it with a pokey, smooth version of the Clash’s “White Riot.”

Though its early work was tinted with irony and humor, as Camper Van Beethoven evolved its music shed easy laughs for more cutting themes. At the Troubadour, the band showcased this movement through the underground hits that have only grown in stature over time: “Take the Skinheads Bowling,” “When I Win the Lottery,” “Eye of Fatima” and its brilliant reworking of Status Quo’s “Pictures of Matchstick Men.”

“Good Guys and Bad Guys” effortlessly morphed from a carefree singalong song that advocated we “just get high while the radio’s on/ drive your car up on the lawn” into a crawling dub version. Such fluid genre-mixing illustrated not only the breadth of their talent but also their ability to reveal connections among roots reggae, twang and bass-heavy grooviness.

Similarly, on “Sweethearts,” the band played a minor key ballad while Lowery adeptly critiqued the workings of a former president’s inner life: “In the mind of Ronald Reagan/ Wheels they turn and gears they grind/ Buildings collapse in slow motion/ And trains collide, everything is fine.”

Working to avoid the trappings of nostalgia, it performed work from its California-themed new album, “La Costa Perdida.” Like much of the record, the best of these songs, “Northern California Girls,” offered evidence of structural expansion. A languid, loving ode to the less celebrated ladies of the state, Lowery offered a response to the Beach Boys classic. “Northern California girls say, ‘You don’t know what you’re missing/ I’ve got a good job, stay home and play the guitar.’”

Those who have followed Lowery’s recent writings and advocacy on behalf of musicians’ rights and royalties might have appreciated that lyric about earning a living while playing guitar. In a July post on his blog Trichordist, Lowery wrote that despite one of his songs being played more than 1 million times on streaming site Pandora, his payment as songwriter and performer earned him a mere $16.89 — “Less than I make from a single T-shirt sale.”

Arguing against legislation that would further diminish certain royalty payments, Lowery lashed out: “Here’s an idea. Why doesn’t Pandora get off the couch and get an actual business model instead of asking for a handout from Congress and artists?” (Pandora vigorously defended its payouts.)

Lowery didn’t broach the topic at the show, but still, Camper Van Beethoven’s gig felt like an argument for the livelihoods of expert, dedicated musicians willing to commit to making art over the long haul. The band presented evidence of the ethical necessity of fairly compensating artists, especially those as accomplished as Camper Van Beethoven. It sold a lot of T-shirts to boot
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/posts/la-et-ms-camper-van-beethoven-20130722,0,6250014.story

AUSTIN CHRONICLE
(weekly) – Positive show preview with CVB photo
Camper Van Beethoven, Cracker (8:00)
Fri., July 26, 9pm
Mohawk, 912 Red River, 512/482-8404
Camper Van Beethoven
When he’s not waxing on about the injustices of today’s music business, David Lowery fronts two bands, both of which have survived thanks to a fierce will and determination. Earlier this year, Camper Van Beethoven celebrated 30 years of music with La Costa Perdida, the California crew’s first album of new material in nine years. Alt-rock alter ego Cracker has had a bit more commercial success through the years, but Camper can still bust “Good Guys & Bad Guys” and “Take The Skinheads Bowling” like it’s their first time through.
– Jim Caligiuri
http://www.austinchronicle.com/calendar/music/outside-camper-van-beethoven-cracker-800-inside-baby-shakers-party-wizard-brutal-1462305/

DALLAS OBSERVER
(weekly) – Positive show preview with Cracker photo and live CVB video
The David Lowery Showdown: Camper Van Beethoven versus Cracker
By Darryl Smyers Fri., Jul. 26 2013 at 7:12 AM
Cracker, with David Lowery second from the left. But we’re not playing favorites! It’s just the better of the press photos.
With singer David Lowery fronting both Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker (and with both scheduled to play the Granada Theater this Saturday), it is a good time to compare and contrast these two exceptional bands. Cracker has always seemed to get a bad rap because the band is not as experimental or quirky as Camper Van Beethoven, but what Cracker lacks in eccentricity, it makes up for in energy and focus. Let us look at the best of what each band has to offer.

Best album:

Camper: It may be sacrilege to the band’s earliest fans, but Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart (the band’s first major label release) is their very best. Released on Virgin in 1988, the album is as straightforward as the band would ever get. Songs like “Eye of Fatima” (both parts) and “She Divines Water” feature the international flavor that was always an integral part of the band.

Cracker: Although not as well received as the band’s first two releases, The Golden Age may well be the best Cracker effort. “I Hate My Generation” is by far the hardest the band has ever rocked. The rest of the album followed suit making it the perfect introduction to Cracker.

Best cover song:

Camper: The entire Fleetwood Mac album TUSK. Released in 2002, this deconstruction of one of the most interesting albums in rock is a ramshackle, unpolished affair. What better to represent these weirdos?

Cracker: “Good Times Bad Times” done for a Zeppelin tribute album. Lowery adds just the right amount of slacker disrespect to this rock and roll warhorse.

Most ex-members: Cracker (12) beats Camper (10), but many of these musicians ended up playing in both bands. The best replacement member would have to be bassist Bob Rupe, who came over from The Silos in time to play on Cracker’s third album.

So which band is better?

Camper made more of an impact on the underground scene, but that’s precisely why Lowery chose to go more (relatively) mainstream with Cracker. Frankly, I find Cracker a lot more listenable these days and there is probably a reason why they are headlining this tour.

In the end, just call them 1A and 1B, basically a big group of goofy guys that divide into two camps when it’s time to play. You may even think of Lowery as the luckiest guy around, as not many frontmen get to return to their original bands.

Best thing to do when this show is over: Take the skinheads bowling, eat a little key lime pie and party down with some euro-trash girl.
Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven perform on Saturday, July 27, at the Granada Theater.
http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/dc9/2013/07/david_lowery_camper_cracker.php

DALLAS CULTURE MAP
(online Dallas A&E site) – Brief show preview with Cracker photo
Cracker in concert with Camper Van Beethoven
Guitarist David Lowery has founded two bands in his life, and the two of them will collide as Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven play the Granada Saturday, July 27th
http://dallas.culturemap.com/eventdetail/cracker-concert-camper-van-beethoven/

KRTS RADIO
(Marfa Public Radio) – David interview with spins Thu July 25th at 7pm CDT.
http://marfapublicradio.org/

AUSTIN 360
(A&E site) – Positive Weekend Music Pick show preview with Cracker photo.
Weekend music picks: Cracker and Camper van Beethoven, Iron and Wine, Heybale!
By Peter Mongillo
Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven at Mohawk. David Lowery formed Cracker, which produced the alt-rock staple “Low,” after Camper Van Beethoven went on a break in the early ’90s. Now, they both appear in one place. 8 p.m. $20. 912 Red River St. mohawkaustin.com
http://www.austin360.com/weblogs/austin-music-source/2013/jul/25/weekend-music-picks-cracker-and-camper-van-beethov/

AUSTIN AMERICAN STATESMAN
Best of the week: 7 nights of music shows, July 26- Aug. 1By Peter Mongillo
Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven at Mohawk. David Lowery formed Cracker, which produced the alt-rock staple “Low,” after Camper Van Beethoven went on a break in the early ’90s. Now, they both appear in one place. 8 p.m. $20. 912 Red River St. mohawkaustin.com
http://www.mystatesman.com/news/entertainment/music/best-of-the-week-7-nights-of-music-shows-july-26-a/nYz3C/

AUSTIN CULTURE MAP
Camper Van Beethoven at Waterloo Records
Camper Van Beethoven is an American alternative rock group formed in Redlands, California. Their eclectic and ever-evolving style mixes elements of pop, ska, punk rock, folk, alternative country, and various types of world music. Their strong iconoclasm and emphasis on do-it-yourself values proved influential to the burgeoning indie rock movement. Their free in-store performance at Waterloo Records is a must see this summer!
Waterloo Records and Video
600 North Lamar Boulevard
Austin, TX 78703
http://austin.culturemap.com/eventdetail/camper-van-beethoven-waterloo-records/source/2013/jul/25/weekend-music-picks-cracker-and-camper-van-beethov/

PRESS TELEGRAM
(CA daily) – Troubadour preview with CVB photo.
Camper Van Beethoven play 30th anniversary gig at The Troubador tonight
.The band includes (front row, left to right) Jonathan Segel, David Lowery and Victor Krummenacher. Back row, left to right, Greg Lisher and Frank Funaro. Photo by Jason Thrasher.

Camper Van Beethoven play at The Troubador tonight. The band includes (front row, left to right) Jonathan Segel, David Lowery and Victor Krummenacher. Back row, left to right, Greg Lisher and Frank Funaro. Photo by Jason Thrasher.

Alternative rockers Camper Van Beethoven celebrate the 30th anniversary of the band’s first concert with a gig tonight at The Troubador.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $22 at the door.

The group, which formed in Redlands and relocated to Santa Cruz and San Francisco, includes founding member and out bassist Victor Krummenacher, 48, a Riverside native.

Camper Van Beethoven is touring in support of its 10th CD, “La Costa Perdida,” a freewheeling, joyfully schizophrenic swirl of rock, punk, ska, folk and world music.

In other music news, Krummenacher has a new solo CD, “I Was A Nightmare But I’m Not Going To Go There” and will play a solo set at the 9th Annual Campout festival at Pappy & Harriett’s in Pioneertown. Camper Van Beethoven also will perform.
http://blogs.presstelegram.com/outinthe562/2013/07/

SILVER CITY SUN-NEWS
(NM daily) – Positive Pinos Altos  show preview with band photo
Two big acts converge on little Pinos Altos
Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker billed at Buckhorn Opera House
By Benjamin Fisher

Iconic alternative rock and roll bands Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker head to the Buckhorn Opera House in Pinos Altos on Wednesday for one of the biggest show of the venue’s history so far.

These two bands have kept up rigorous touring schedules over their long tenures and it’s about time they come to this area of the state and the hall of the Buckhorn Saloon and Opera House, the rustic bar, restaurant and music hall settled just up the Pinos Altos mountain range outside of Silver City and a local favorite.

Doors will open at 7 p.m. and music starts at 8 p.m.

“I’m so stoked that they’re coming to such a small, out of the way venue,” Zipin said. “And they contacted us, even. I even tried to talk them out of it because I didn’t know if we could accommodate them, but they were insistent on playing here.”

The small size of the venue doesn’t seem to be a problem, though, as the Buckhorn has gotten calls for tickets from northern New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and even well into Mexico.

“I think one of the reasons we’re getting calls from so far away is the fans are so excited to see them in such an intimate venue,” Zipin said.

These faraway pre-sales help toward the most pre-sales of any show the Buckhorn has ever had.

Zipin said that for usual shows, even those at the Opera House, the Buckhorn only ever sees around 20 percent of tickets sold before the concert and 80 percent at the door. This show has turned that on its head and more than 80 percent of the tickets have already been sold. That means people need to hurry to get their tickets before they’re sold out, which they can do at either the Buckhorn or at the Mimbres Region Arts Council office in the Wells Fargo building.

Fans don’t need to worry about driving though, as Corre Caminos buses have agreed to run that night at $2 for a one-way ticket and $4 for a round-trip. The Buckhorn has offset expenses so the buses would be available and at a discounted price.

While this show is exciting for the community, in the end, people come to see the bands.

Camper Van Beethoven came to popularity from their headquarters in California in the mid-to-late 1980s, developing an eclectic mix of pop, roots, ska and punk which inspired 1990s bands like Sublime who were known to cover their songs. They released a number of acclaimed albums in the ’80s until a hiatus stretching throughout most of the ’90s.

They’ve been active this millennium, though, releasing “Tusk” in 2002 – a song-for-song cover album of the Fleetwood Mac album with the same name – and their concept album “New Roman Times” in 2004. Now the band is coming to the Buckhorn Opera House to support their new album, “La Costa Perdida”. Early fans will find plenty they remember on this album, which still boasts a wide range of influences with thoughtful storytelling and driving rhythms. The album also sounds very contemporary, though, especially because the work of early alternative and indie rock bands like Camper and Cracker in the late ’80s and early ’90s are the driving influence of the indie and folk resurgence of the last decade.

Joining Camper Van Beethoven at the Buckhorn are long-time touring partners Cracker with whom Camper shares both the stage – as often as not – and the talents of vocalist David Lowery.

Cracker has enjoyed great success since forming in 1991 as a bit more traditional, but no less rich, blend of rock and roll, alternative country, and punk who have made their names as one of the premier touring bands in the country. Lowery cofounded Cracker with guitarist Johnny Hickman and the two have stayed together ever since, now setting their sights here.

Doors open at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. Tickets are $20 and available at the Buckhorn Saloon and the Mimbres Region Arts Council, but there is limited seating and tickets are going fast. Don’t miss this chance to hear these great bands in a great place, 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 24 at the Buckhorn Opera House, 32 Main St., Pinos Altos.

For more information on the Buckhorn Saloon and Opera House, call 575-538-9911 or go to buckhornsaloonandoperahouse.com.

For more information on Camper Van Beethoven, go to campervanbeethoven.com.

For more information on Cracker, go to crackersoul.com.
http://www.scsun-news.com/ci_23703967

LONG BEACH PRESS-TELEGRAM
(Long Beach, CA daily) – Positive show preview with band photo
Camper Van Beethoven play 30th anniversary gig at The Troubador tonight
by Phillip Zonkel
Camper Van Beethoven play at The Troubador tonight. The band includes (front row, left to right) Jonathan Segel, David Lowery and Victor Krummenacher. Back row, left to right, Greg Lisher and Frank Funaro. Photo by Jason Thrasher.

Alternative rockers Camper Van Beethoven celebrate the 30th anniversary of the band’s first concert with a gig tonight at The Troubador.
Tickets are $20 in advance and $22 at the door.

The group, which formed in Redlands and relocated to Santa Cruz and San Francisco, includes founding member and out bassist Victor Krummenacher, 48, a Riverside native.

Camper Van Beethoven is touring in support of its 10th CD, “La Costa Perdida,” a freewheeling, joyfully schizophrenic swirl of rock, punk, ska, folk and world music.

In other music news, Krummenacher has a new solo CD, “I Was A Nightmare But I’m Not Going To Go There” and will play a solo set at the 9th Annual Campout festival at Pappy & Harriett’s in Pioneertown. Camper Van Beethoven also will perform.
http://blogs.presstelegram.com/outinthe562/2013/07/20/camper-van-beethoven-play-30th-anniversary-gig-at-the-troubador-tonight/

BUZZBAND LA
(L.A online A&E site) – Brief positive show preview
Wow, what a Saturday:
Camper Van Beethoven celebrates 30 years (and the release of its first album in nine years, “La Costa Perdida”) with a headlining turn at the Troubadour, supported by El Sportivo.
http://buzzbands.la/2013/07/20/tonight-in-l-a-chinatown-summer-nights-magic-wands-beat-club-dead-ships-and-more-dillinger-escape-plan-soul-asylumbig-head-toddthe-wailersmatthew-sweet-camper-van-beethoven-adam-ant-rogu/

BIG BEND SENTINEL
(Mafa daily) – Feature/show preview with David photo)
David Lowery does double duty at Viva Big Bend opening night

By JOHN DANIEL GARCIA

MARFA – Musician David Lowery will be all but taking over Padre’s Marfa during the 2013 Viva Big Bend Music Festival’s opening night. The San Antonio native will perform in two of the three slots on Thursday, July 25.

Following Austin indie-rock band Quiet Company, Lowery will hit the stage with his highly influential, genre-defying band Camper Van Beethoven.

David Lowery

The group, formed in Redlands, California in 1983, broke the mold of the alternative music at the time by incorporating ska, punk, and world music into the Inland Empire hardcore scene; which was rife with anger and teenaged angst.

With their D.I.Y. ethos and earnestness, Camper Van Beethoven eventually overcame their initial rejection within the scene and found an international audience.

Although rather short lived, Lowery and company kept busy in the studio and on the road, releasing five albums in four years. Their first three albums, two of which were released in 1986, led to a major label contract with Virgin Records, who released two of the band’s LP’s before disbanding in 1990.

Following the split, Lowery and The Unforgiven guitarist Johnny Hickman co-founded the alternative rock band Cracker.

Mixing punk rock, alt-country, psychedelic rock, and blues, Cracker’s 1991 self-titled debut spawned the Billboard #1 Modern Rock Tracks single “Teen Angst (What the World Needs”) and went on to sell over 200,000 copies. They gained a wider audience with appearances on classic Generation X films Empire Records and Clueless.

While still recording and touring with Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven reunited unexpectedly in 1999, leading to Lowery touring with both bands simultaneously.

Both Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker continue to record new material, releasing albums through various independent labels.

Lowery will hit Padre’s stage with Camper Van Beethoven at 9:30pm and will then follow the set with Cracker at 10:30pm.
http://bigbendnow.com/2013/07/david-lowery-does-double-duty-at-viva-big-bend-opening-night/

BROADWAY WORLD
(A&E site) – 30th Anniversary show preview (from press release)
Camper Van Beethoven will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a special show at the Troubadour in West Hollywood tonight, July 20th
After returning from their successful tour of Europe, Camper Van Beethoven plots additional U.S. Dates (with and without Cracker) in further support of their recent album “La Costa Perdida”.
http://music.broadwayworld.com/article/Camper-Van-Beethoven-to-Celebrate-30th-Anniversary-at-the-Troubadour-720-Continues-US-Tour-20130719

LAS CRUCES SUN-NEWS
(daily) – Brief show preview with CVB photo
WEDNESDAY
Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker: Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker bring their eclectic rock and roll to the Buckhorn Opera House at 8 p.m. on Wednesday for one of the Buckhorn’s biggest show yet. Buckhorn Saloon and Opera House, 32 Main St., Pinos Altos, N.M.
http://www.lcsun-news.com/las_cruces-entertainment/ci_23684672/silver-city-events-calendar

SANTA CRUZ SENTINEL
(daily) – Best Bets show preview
Best Bets, July 19, 2013: CRACKER/CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN
Cracker is an alt-rock band led by singer David Lowery and guitarist Johnny Hickman. The band is perhaps best known for their 1993 gold album, ‘Kerosene Hat.’
when: Two shows, 6:30 and 8:30 p.m.
where: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, 400 Beach St., Santa Cruz
cost: Free
http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/localnews/ci_23688424/best-bets-july-19-2013-cracker-camper-van

SANTA CRUZ PATCH
(weekly) – Feature interview with Victor & band photo
Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven Finally Return Home to the Boardwalk Friday

Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven play two FREE shows at the Boardwalk Friday at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m.
Posted by Brad Kava
The usual requirement for a free County Fair or Boardwalk concert is that you haven’t produced anything artistic or contemporary for a few decades.

Not so, with Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven, two bands that were birthed in Santa Cruz, still tour, are still releasing new albums and once had a song about the Giant Dipper.
Popular Stories

“It’s such an archetypal gig and kind of cool,” says Camper guitarist Victor Krummenacher, who met Cracker singer David Lowery at UCSC. Lowery plays in both bands.  “People have said, ‘You must be getting old. You are playing the state fair circuit.’ Hey, man, I’m 40 years old and still playing music. Most people my age can hardly make time to play. If you do make time and have a band for 30 years, tell me if you don’t feel lucky at some point.”

Camper’s “Take the Skinheads Bowling” is still a college radio staple, loved by a new generation wearing Ramones shirts. The band released an album in January, La Costa Perdida,  with a single,  “Northern California Girls”. The band has always been edgy and slightly skewed. It even did a complete cover of Fleetwood Mac’s most experimental album, “Tusk,” something that would only make sense to a certain kind of offbeat music fan. It will play the highly touted Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco in August, perhaps the first Boardwalk band ever to do so.

Cracker, which Krummenacher also plays with, is working on a new disc. It had a huge hit with 1993’s disc Kerosene Hat, which featured “Eurotrash Girl,” a Mott the Hoople-like masterpiece. The Giant Dipper roller coaster is featured in the song “Big Dipper” on 1996’s “The Golden Age.”

“The last show I saw there was Bo Diddley, I think,” says Krummenacher. “Or maybe James Brown. It will be nice to hear David sing “Big Dipper” in front of that place. It’s one of his best songs.”

His memories of the city, as a UCSC student 20 years ago, was of a place with a “cosmopolitian element, kids and professors from all over the place” and a town that was “idyllic and cheap.”

“Education was cheap at the time. In a lot of ways it’s a bygone era. We really took advantage of that. It may be hard to create another Camper Van Beethoven today.”

He hasn’t kept up much with contemporary bands, but found one he likes in England called the Bots, a White Stripes-inspired duo originally from Los Angeles.

“I’m always happy when I see it, but I don’t pursue it like I used to,” he says of new music. “My muse is a precious little muse and I don’t want to inflict a lot of pressure on it.”

Cracker and Camper have been playing together for some time, blending more. Cracker was once the softer, more polished band, while Camper was more lo-fi and rockish. It’s harder to tell them apart, says Krummenacher, who has a day job as art director for Wired magazine.

“I’m proud of what we’ve done and the longer we do it, the luckier I feel,” he says. It’s not easy to do. It’s not like we made a ton of money. I have to work a day job. I have to take time off my day job to travel. But I get to do it. A lot of people would give their eye teeth to do it.”
http://santacruz.patch.com/groups/editors-picks/p/crackercamper-van-beethoven-finally-return-home-to-the-boardwalk-friday

SANTA CRUZ.com
(A&E site) – Show preview (stock bio) to preview Troubadour show
http://www.santacruz.com/camper-van-beethoven-e1927862

KXCI RADIO
(Tucson Community Radio) – David & Johnny in-studio Tuesday July 23rd at 4:30pm. Station also doing the “presents” per Cathy Rivers

TUCSON WEEKLY
Soundbites by Stephen Seigel
DOUBLE DUTY

When Camper Van Beethoven appeared out of Santa Cruz, Calif., in 1985, they sounded unlike any other contemporary band. They had a violin player, which was incredibly rare at the time, and put him in the front of the mix. But more importantly, they introduced world music to a generation of alterna-kids raised on punk rock and new wave. CVB, who described themselves at the time as “absurdist surrealist folk,” played an electrifying and unique blend of folk rock, pop, and ska that easily accepted sounds not normally heard in the United States, let alone by a rock band.

And unlike most bands with the ambition to skate outside the normal parameters of rock music, they didn’t take themselves too seriously. Their debut album, Telephone Free Landslide Victory (1985, I.R.S.), contained songs like “Where the Hell Is Bill?,” “The Day That Lassie Went to the Moon,” and probably their best known song to this day, “Take the Skinheads Bowling.” Yes, the songs were silly, but they also were just too damn good to be written off as jokes.

As the years went by, Camper got a little bit more serious. The lyrics were still clever and funny, but they were couched in ever more meaningful contexts. Compare “Some people say that bowling alleys got big lanes” with “Life Is Grand” from their 1988 masterpiece Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart (Virgin): “And life is grand / And I will say this at the risk of falling from favor / with those of you who have appointed yourselves / to expect us to say something darker / And love is real / And though I realize this is not a deep observation / to those of you who find it necessary / to conceal love or obscure it, as is the fashion.” The pranksters had morphed into romantics.

The usual “internal tensions” eventually broke up the band in 1990 and Camper’s frontman, David Lowery, formed a new, more straightforward rock band: Cracker, who were a hit right out of the gate. (They played what I’m guessing was one of their first shows at Club Congress—they were called the David Lowery Band at that point.) The group’s 1992 self-titled debut (Virgin) contained the minor hit “Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now)” and the following year “Low” was an even bigger hit.

In 2002, with Cracker as a continuing entity, Camper Van Beethoven reunited, playing their first shows in a dozen years. That same year they also released what has to be one of the oddest reunion albums ever released: a song-by-song take on Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk. Since then they’ve released two fine albums of original material, 2004’s New Roman Times (Vanguard) and this year’s La Costa Perdida (429).

For the last several years, for the most part, the two bands have toured together, with Lowery pulling double duty. And that will be the setup when Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven return to Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., for a 7:30 p.m. show on Tuesday, July 23. Tickets are $15 in advance, $17 on the day of show.
http://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/soundbites/Content?oid=3836442

ARIZONA DAILY STAR
(daily) – Feature interview with band photo (through promotor)
Camper, Cracker to crank out concert
David Lowery’s 2 bands, sounds, at Congress
Gerald M. Gay

Songwriter David Lowery has taken to shaping young minds when he isn’t performing on the road with his two bands, Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven.

At times, he is able to do both at once.

Lowery teaches a class on the music business at the University of Georgia in Athens.

Thanks to smartphone technology, he often finds himself using Skype to lecture his students remotely from the field.

“I will be at a venue and talk about the capacity; how many people work there; the gross revenue that comes through a place,” Lowery said in a phone interview. “Standing up in front of a class of 150 kids is really the same as being on stage. You just have to talk louder to keep their attention.”

It’s those same advancements in technology that recently put Lowery in the national spotlight, when he complained that he had only received $16.89 in songwriter royalties from his Cracker song “Low” being played more than 1 million times on Pandora last quarter.

Camper and Cracker will perform at Club Congress Tuesday.

Cracker is relying on its classic material while Camper has songs from its most recent album, “La Costa Perdida,” the band’s first studio release in nine years.

During his interview with Caliente, Lowery shared his thoughts on:

Songwriter royalties

“There is a difference between songwriter and performer royalties. For whatever reason, when we entered the digital world, certain negotiations put things out of whack. The performer gets at least 90 percent of the revenue. The songwriter gets 10 percent. There is this weird disparity that we didn’t used to have.

“Generally, royalties were more evenly split between the songwriters and performers in the past. The songwriter is the fundamental building block of the music business. You have no songs without songwriters.”

Why it took Camper nine years between albums

“There really wasn’t a reason. We kept trying to get together to write songs. You don’t make much money off of albums. There isn’t a high incentive for Camper to go into the studio. We are just going to make an album when we feel like it.

“Everybody kind of had these other things going on. I have Cracker. Victor (Krummenacher) is the managing art director of “Wired” magazine. It is a job you don’t want to give up to go out with your quirky indie-rock band.

“We end up doing it when we are highly motivated to make an album. It is more pure that way.”

Tucson

“Camper has a special relationship with Tucson. It was one of the first places outside of California where we started to get popular. Hotel Congress is one of those places we have played forever. Cracker, too. It is kind of a long-standing tradition to come and play there.”

If you go
•What: Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker in concert.
• When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
• Where: Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St.
• Cost: $15 in advance and $17 at the door. 622-8848.
http://azstarnet.com/entertainment/music/camper-cracker-to-crank-out-concert/article_130bcf43-aa31-5b13-aa47-e9e07b8b04f9.html

SANTA CRUZ SENTINEL
(daily) – Feature interview with band photo (through promotor)
Former Santa Cruzan David Lowery returns to play with a hybrid of both his famous bands, Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker
By Luke Barnes
One of Santa Cruz’s most successful bands for the last generation is set to return to the city on Friday to play a free show at the Bands on the Beach event at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

Camper Van Beethoven was formed in 1983 by David Lowery, and first made waves with its 1985 single “Take the Skinheads Bowling.” The group broke up in 1990, at which time Lowery formed the band Cracker. Camper Van reformed in 1999 and Lowery has alternated between the two bands ever since.

“All these years we’ve never done Bands on the Beach,” said Lowery. “I know it’s kind of a funny thing but after 30 years I think it’s time we play.”

Lowery and drummer Frank Funaro, both original members of Camper Van, will be joined by members of the band Cracker.

“We tour like this all the time,” said Lowery. “We even have times when we mix the sets of Cracker and Camper Van.”

Lowery, who describes Camper Van’s style as a “neo-psychedelic-indie-rock band,” views Cracker as an offshoot development, with more on emphasis on the softer country and roots genres.

“There’s no denying that that sound was more accessible to the public than the freakiness of Camper,” he said.

Lowery also said that Santa Cruz was essential in helping to form the band’s identity.

“Camper Van Beethoven is intrinsically a Santa Cruz band,” he said. “We band would not have sounded the way it sounded if we hadn’t lived in Santa Cruz.”

He remembered his amazement upon arriving at UC Santa Cruz in 1983, and having a dorm in the redwoods that looked down onto Monterey Bay.

“Santa Cruz was this weird sort of slacker sleepy college town with a lot of people who were college students,” said Lowery. “It was a great place to have a part-time job in a cafe and ride your bike to work and be in a band, but that’s a lot harder to do that now because the city’s so much more expensive.”

“There are a lot of smart people around so we can write music for a different audience than let’s say San Antonio, my hometown,” Lowery added.

When Camper Van was originally formed in 1983, it didn’t exactly fit in with the given Santa Cruz culture.

“In 1983 the town still had that hippie vibe,” said Lowery. “We were like barbarian invaders living in the ruins of a great Roman city. The ruins of the hippie civilization surrounded us and we didn’t know what it meant so we played.”

However with their newest album, La Costa Perdida, Camper Van acknowledges its Northern California roots, and looks back toward Monterey and Big Sur for inspiration. Lowery also says that he has plans for a new Cracker album within the next year, and that they also have enough material for another Camper Van album soon.

Yet for all the national and international success of Camper Van and Cracker, Lowery still feels intrinsically attached to Santa Cruz and the surrounding areas.

“If I could figure out a way to live there and go back I would,” Lowery said. “I just think it’s one of the most beautiful areas of the U.S.”

{ friday Two shows, 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, 400 Beach St., Santa Cruz. Free. www.beachboardwalk.com. }
http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/entertainment/ci_23681193/former-santa-cruzan-david-lowery-returns-play-hybrid

KCRW RADIO
Camper Van Beethoven, El Sportivo & The Blooz this Sat. 07/20 @Troubadour in West Hollywood! http://events.kcrw.com/event/2013/07/20/camper-van-beethoven

SANTA CRUZ GOOD TIMES
(weekly) – Positive show preview with band photo.
Friday | July 19
Cracker & Camper Van Beethoven
Though the word “cracker” can be confusing with its multiple meanings—Is it a savory biscuit? A computer hacker? Slang for a white person from the South? But in this case, Cracker with a capital “C” of course refers to the legendary rock outfit led by David Lowery (vocals) and Johnny Hickman (guitar). These two musicians have released solo albums of their own in the past few years, but on Friday at The Boardwalk, they will perform fan favorites from their adored discography (fingers crossed for “Low” or “Happy Birthday To Me”). Lowery’s other alt-rock outfit, Camper Van Beethoven, will also share the stage, giving die-hard fans a chance to hear ’80s classics, as well as the band’s newest studio album, La Costa Perdida, released earlier this year. | CEO
INFO: 6:30 & 8:30 p.m. Boardwalk, 400 Beach St., Santa Cruz. No cover. 423-5590.
http://www.gtweekly.com/index.php/santa-cruz-area-events.html

SANTA CRUZ.com
(A&E site) – Positive show preview with band photo.
Friday Night Bands on the Beach: Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven Fri Jul 19 Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Come on down to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk as they present a double bill with Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven as part of their Friday Night Bands on the Beach series. Formed in 1991 by David Lowery, Cracker is an alternative rock band best known for their hit songs “Happy Birthday to Me,” “Teen Angst,” “Low”, and “Euro-Trash Girl.” Camper Van Beethoven, also founded by David Lowery, is known for their eclectic and ever-evolving style mixes elements of pop, ska, punk rock, folk, alternative country, and various types of world music.
http://www.santacruz.com/friday-night-bands-on-the-beach-cracker-and-camper-van-beethoven-e1954582

SILVER PLATTER
(Phoenix A&E site) – Brief show preview with band photo.
Sunday, Jul. 21, 2013
Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven Crescent Ballroom
HOT!
Band leader David Lowery is doing double time touring with Alternative-rock pioneers Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven..”
http://www.silverplatter.info/shows/27866

PHOENIX NEW TIMES
(weekly) – Positive show preview with band photo.
Cracker, & Camper Van Beethoven
8:30 p.m. July 21 @ Crescent Ballroom
“The Reason we did [what we did] was to keep the skinheads dancing instead of wanting to beat us up.”

Camper Van Beethoven embraces its place among the hippie ruins.

If David Lowery were allowed only one word to describe his punk, Middle Eastern, folk, ska, Slavic, Indian, Spanish, psychedelic, country, rock band Camper Van Beethoven, it would be “weird.” Weird that a band with a catalog of entirely dissimilar albums has survived 30 years. Weird that influences include hippies, Gypsies, and Ravi Shankar. Weird that fans run the gamut from punk rockers to indie hipsters, cowboys to old stoners. Weird that band members typically create more “conventional” music in other projects.

“It’s weird, isn’t it?” Lowery asks, while driving to a documentary film shoot (about him) in Virginia. “I mean, we’re such a weird band. There’s a punk rock element to it, but there’s so much in there — from the Beach Boys to the Grateful Dead, Eastern European to Spanish-sounding at times. It’s just a weird collection of individuals. None of us makes music like that separately. We make odd music together. We’re not hugely popular; we’re still a cult band, but we happen to have people all over the world who like what we do.”

It is those “people” who have allowed CVB to thrive outside the conventional rock ‘n’ roll parameters since the earliest incarnations of the band. Original remaining members Lowery and bassist Victor Krummenacher formed the band in 1983, during their college days in Santa Cruz, California. Current guitarist/violinist/keyboardist Jonathan Segel joined in 1984; guitarist Greg Lisher in 1985. The band has always operated with a DIY attitude, from drawing up gig posters and album art to spiking songs with unexpected influences.

“There was a punk rock, anarchic, anything-goes ethos in the beginning, and that was kind of what started it. We’ll do this; we’ll do that,” he recalls. “This was the first kind of remix mash-up, before there was a word for it, and [we were] doing it with live instruments. But we were doing it in the punk world. All those Eastern European instrumentals that are based on ska beats? The reason we did those was to keep the skinheads dancing instead of wanting to beat us up.

“I think because, individually, our tastes are odd and there is a kind of — for lack of a better word — a serene element to what we do as players,” he says. “Ultimately, the combination of four to six people playing this together came to sound like us.”

In time, those individual ideas became difficult to juggle and internal struggles ensued. Despite minor successes with the quirky “Take the Skinheads Bowling” and the countrified Black Flag cover “Wasted” — from their Telephone Free Landslide Victory — MTV-favorite “Eye of Fatima” from Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart, and the psychedelic Status Quo remake of “Pictures of Matchstick Men” off Key Lime Pie, Camper Van Beethoven split up in 1990. Lowery formed the country-flavored Cracker, and it was nine years before several original Camper members found themselves together again, compiling the rarities album Camper Van Beethoven Is Dead. Long Live Camper Van Beethoven.

“We came together to finish up those oddities,” Lowery recalls. “It was called an oddities record, but it really just had all this unfinished stuff. We just finished them and then realized we all missed playing together.”

The band reformed, bringing in Cracker drummer Frank Funaro and doing selected live gigs. In 2002, the band released Tusk, a reimagining of Fleetwood Mac’s album of the same name. Though various members claimed Tusk was an unreleased 1987 session, it was in fact recorded in 2001 as a test to ensure that Camper’s band members could indeed again co-exist.

“After we spent some time together [as a band again], we wrote some songs,” Lowery says. “There really is a dynamic in Camper Van Beethoven whereby if everybody is in the same room and can focus for two or three hours, we can make up a lot of music. And that’s what we did.”

The band’s first proper album in 15 years, New Roman Times, received critical praise. Lowery, however, can’t recall from whom.

“There was a journalist who said it was one of only four successful reunion records ever. I can’t recite what any of the other reunion records were, which is kind of funny, but ours was weirdly embraced,” he says with a laugh. “It was like, ‘It’s not like the original Camper, but it’s out there.’ It was everything we wanted it to be. It’s a science fiction rock opera about space aliens and a sort of war between the republics of Texas and California. It was kind of crazy. I just don’t understand why it took us [so long] to make another album.”

La Costa Perdida, Camper’s latest album, is comparatively laid-back and in many ways reflects a band mellowing and maturing into old age. There’s the breezy, Spanish-influenced title track, as well as a handful of Americana-tinged numbers (a couple sporting stinging Wilco-like guitar upheavals). Yet the strange mash-up of styles and unexpected influences remain and appear, naturally, when least expected. The band taps into some heavyweight prog (“Summer Days”) and psychedelic influences (notably, the sonic psych freak-out of “Aged in Wood”) and even acid-inflected surf (the band practically channels the Beach Boys on “Northern California Girls”). In Lowery’s eyes, Camper has become more like the old hippies the band once mocked and often saw walking through its California neighborhoods.

“Most of our careers, we’ve been trying to be ex-punk rockers becoming an indie rock/alternative rock band. But we were living in the ruins of the old hippie civilization. Like living in Roman ruins, but it is hippie ruins,” he says. “Country Joe and the Fish, or the Grateful Dead, or someone from the Jefferson Airplane would literally be walking down the street as we were heading to rehearsal space or something. In a way, we started out playfully mocking that culture and taking elements of, like, that Grateful Dead stuff. We weren’t real hippies, but by the time we get to this album, we’re no longer putting [that hippie culture] down, we’re lovingly embracing it.”

This embrace helps explain the album’s title. It’s not, Lowery explains, about the rugged and mostly inaccessible section of the California coast that spreads across the famed pot-growing regions of Humboldt and Mendocino counties. Instead, the album is a celebration of the unseen collateral damage of being a band of anything-goes musicians surrounded by the storied remnants of California’s rich musical past.

“The Lost Coast is used to describe not just a geographic area,” Lowery says, “but the remains of that lost hippie culture along the coast of Northern California.”

Is this newfound maturity the next step in the band’s evolution, or yet another strange detour in the unexpected/expect anything world of Camper Van Beethoven? Probably a combination of both.

“We’ve always taken a little of this and a little of that,” Lowery says. “We don’t try to get it right.”
— By Glenn BurnSilver
Price: $18/$20
http://www.voiceplaces.com/phoenix/cracker-and-camper-van-beethoven-3533693-e

SF STATION
(San Francisco online music site) – Positive show preview
Friday Night Bands on the Beach: Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven
Fri Jul 19 Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Come on down to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk as they present a double bill with Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven as part of their Friday Night Bands on the Beach series. Formed in 1991 by David Lowery, Cracker is an alternative rock band best known for their hit songs “Happy Birthday to Me,” “Teen Angst,” “Low”, and “Euro-Trash Girl.” Camper Van Beethoven, also founded by David Lowery, is known for their eclectic and ever-evolving style mixes elements of pop, ska, punk rock, folk, alternative country, and various types of world music.
http://www.sfstation.com/friday-night-bands-on-the-beach-cracker-and-camper-van-beethoven-e1954582

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS
(weekly) – Positive show preview Harrington: Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven ready to rock Santa Cruz
By Jim Harrington
David Lowery holds a special place in my book of rock.

The singer-songwriter was a co-founder of not just one but two of my favorite alt-rock bands. He first came to prominence with Camper Van Beethoven, a legendary college-rock act that rose out of Santa Cruz in the mid-1980s. Then he found multiplatinum success with Cracker in the ’90s.

Camper Van Beethoven is the more experimental and artsy of the two bands, offering up such bizarrely appealing indie numbers as “The Day That Lassie Went to the Moon,” “ZZ Top Goes to Egypt,” “The History of Utah,” “Joe Stalin’s Cadillac” and, of course, “Take the Skinheads Bowling.” The band’s style seemed to evolve with each song, moving through ska, world music, punk, alt-country and pretty much everything in between. (That passion for sonic exploration can be heard on the recently released “La Costa Perdida,” the band’s first studio album in nine years.)

By comparison, Cracker was a straight-ahead rock band — and certainly one of the finest to emerge in the grunge. The trio delivered so many great anthems during its early ’90s heyday, including “Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now),” “This Is Cracker Soul,” “Movie Star,” “Get Off This” and the smash hit “Low,” which remains its biggest calling card. (All of those tunes were fueled by the incredible riffs of Johnny Hickman, who ranks high on my list of greatest unsung guitar heroes.)

Which of Lowery’s bands would I rather see in concert?
Advertisement
That’s a tough call — and fortunately one I don’t have to make right now. That’s because the Amazing Mr. Lowery will pull double duty and perform with both Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven on Friday at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

Showtimes are 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Admission to the concerts is free (but it will cost you if you want to ride the rides). For more information, go to www.beachboardwalk.com.
http://www.mercurynews.com/music/ci_23652577/harrington-cracker-camper-van-beethoven-ready-rock-santa

PHOENIX NEW TIMES
(weekly) – Positive show preview with band photo.
Cracker, & Camper Van Beethoven
8:30 p.m. July 21 @ Crescent Ballroom
The closely affiliated Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven, both led by singer/guitarist David Lowery, share eccentric, often deeply ironic lyrical tilts and eclectic musical threads that run from power pop to experimental via country, punk, and Southern rock. Both bands reportedly have been doing entire run-throughs of their various albums recently (CVB’s Key Lime Pie, Cracker’s Kerosene Hat, for example). There’s no word of any of that here, although nuggets from throughout each band’s extensive catalogues are promised. — By Rick Mason
http://www.voiceplaces.com/phoenix/cracker-and-camper-van-beethoven-3533693-e

THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC
(Phoenix daily) – Positive show preview with band photo.
Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven
David Lowery will be wearing two hats when he gets to Phoenix — one as the leader of Camper Van Beethoven (one of the quirkier names in ’80s college radio), the other as the voice of Cracker, whose modern-rock radio hits include “Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now)” and “Low.” And if you plan on going, do yourself a solid and grab a copy of that latest Camper album, “La Costa Perdida.”

Details: 8:30 p.m. Sunday, July 21. Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. Second Ave., Phoenix. $20; $18 in advance. 602-716-2222, crescentphx.com.
http://www.azcentral.com/thingstodo/music/articles/20121125phoenix-concerts-best-upcoming.html?nclick_check=1

PHOENIX NEW TIMES
(weekly) – Feature interview with David to preview show
David Lowery’s Pandora Fight Continues: “Does Silicon Valley Need A Bailout?”
By Glenn BurnSilver
Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker frontman David Lowery is royally pissed. Make that royalty pissed for the lack of compensation he’s received for the use of his songs on online webcasts, most notably Pandora.

On June 23, The Trichordist, a website for artists for an ethical and sustainable Internet, ran a submission from Lowery titled “My Song Got Played on Pandora 1 Million Times and All I Got Was $16.89, Less Than What I Make From a Single T-Shirt Sale!” Lowery included images of his quarterly royalty statement and aired his thoughts on webcaster abuse of music artists.

Lowery’s main intent was to highlight how little he was receiving for his songs. He sites Cracker’s biggest hit, “Low” from 1993’s Kerosene Hat, as the biggest injustice in a seriously flawed system already designed to exploit musicians. “Low” was played 1,159,000 times on Pandora and the royalty payment was a mere $16.89.

Recently Lowery, who’s playing Crescent Ballroom on July 21, sat down for a wide-ranging conversation with us. When things turned to Pandora, he had a lot to say — as you might expect.

(For sake of comparison, Lowery received only one-fourth less pay — $12.05 — for one-tenth the plays — 152,900 — on Spotify. Still pitiful, but not as horrendous as Pandora, which earns the most ire from Lowery.)

For the record, Lowery is a 40 percent owner of “Low,” a track he co-wrote with Cracker bandmates Johnny Hickman and Davey Faragher. The total payout on the song from Pandora for 1,159,000 plays was a thieving $42.23 — about four-thousandths of a cent per play.

Lowery sees Congress as much to blame as Pandora itself. It’s the lawmakers, Lowery explains, that set the rates of royalty for artists — not the record companies, not the musicians, not the even the songwriters whose hard work and effort created the song. And, says Lowery, Pandora is currently lobbying Congress to reintroduce the ironically dubbed “Internet radio fairness act,” to lower that royalty rate further, by as much as 85 percent according to Lowery’s June 24 reply to a Trichordist reader’s comment.

In a recent interview with Lowery about Camper Van Beethoven celebrating its 30th anniversary with a tour that brings the band and Cracker to the Crescent Ballroom on July 21, I saved my questions about the current Pandora melee for the end. I only needed to say the word Pandora before Lowery’s temperature boiled.

New Times: I want to ask about the Pandora uproar. Has there been much backlash or more of a positive response?

David Lowery: We’re getting a positive response and moving the ball forward. It’s out there now. It is what it is.

But here’s the way to look at it: Why does the government set the prices that webcasters pay? Silicon Valley is the most vital and profitable segment of society, so why is the fucking government even fucking meddling in the marketplace? Are [webcasters] struggling? Do they need a bailout like the car companies in 2008? That’s the first thing.

The second is, why the hell is Pandora and webcasters proposing a bill in Congress that would force copyright royalty judges to calculate our rate lower? It’s not like World War II, where we have to ration sugar, chocolate, and gas. Can’t songwriters and record labels say to Pandora: “Hey, we don’t think you’re giving us a good price and we’re just going to drop out?” No! You can’t drop out of these services.

They are compulsory. What is the government doing, in this day and age, setting prices? Why the fuck is Pandora lobbying on Capitol Hill to lower the prices? Why are they so afraid of this?

I posted [my royalty statement online] to show how little songwriters actually get paid because Pandora is actually trying to get the rates lower. Now they’re saying they weren’t trying to get the rates lower. They made up this whole story about how they agreed to this deal they didn’t really agree too. I mean, Pandora is just fucking actually lying.

I show that the songwriters for the song “Low” got a total of $42.23 for [over a million plays of] the song. They said I grossly misstated what they pay songwriters. That is a bold-face lie. I posted the statement from them. Nobody should believe what Pandora says.

Really, I should fucking sue them for defamation and fucking retire. I’m not going to do that, but people need to look into this. This is getting to be an Enron-like situation. They’re telling the stockholders: “Everything’s going great!” And then they are telling Congress: “We can’t make a profit.” So, which one needs to investigate this? Does Congress need to investigate [Pandora for] lying to Congress, or does the Securities and Exchange Commission need to investigate them for lying to investors? Which one is it?

To me, they have fucked themselves into a corner in such a way that even an idiotic pot-smoking band would never get themselves into.

You’re right. It’s a bad situation. And musicians always had a hard time anyway. Record labels were always after every penny they could take while reaping big profits and leaving the musicians in a perpetual stage of struggle.

Right, and this is where the miracles happen. This is why Silicon Valley and the webcasters are so amazing. You know how hard it was to make the old record business look good and charitable? [Laughs sarcastically.] Yet somehow these webcasters have made the record labels look down right charitable and nice. That’s how bad these [webcasters] are.

Look, we musicians are on the frontlines here. We’re the canaries in the coalmine. It’s everybody else’s job after this. Think about it: [Search engines] want your data. Instagram wants to use your photos without paying you or asking your permission. [Laughs] You guys are probably next.
http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/uponsun/2013/07/david-lowery-pandora-royalties-check.php?page=2

DESERT EXPOSURE
(monthly) – Pinos Altos positive show mention
The To Do List:
A midweek treat at the Buckhorn Opera House in Pinos Altos, on Wednesday, July 24, is a concert by Cracker with Camper Van Beethoven. These alt-rock icons recently released a new album with 429 Records, “Sunrise in the Land of Milk and Honey.” Long-time musical cohorts David Lowery and Johnny Hickman are teaming up again with drummer Frank Funaro and bassist Sal Maida to produce “their trademark rock, punk, glam, surf and country esthetic.” You may have heard the single, “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out With Me,” which hit radio airwaves in April.
http://www.desertexposure.com/201307/201307_to-do_list.php

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
(daily) – Brief positive show mention
Camper Van Beethoven Sat, Jul 20 8:00p The Troubadour West Hollywood.
Back in the day, before alternative rock was invented and indie rock was still shy of roots music and other folk elements, Camper Van Beethoven’s merging of punk, folk, ska, and world music was truly a revelation. Singer/songwriter David Lowery’s smart-aleck lyrics, delivered in laid-back California style, combined with Jonathan Segel’s violin as lead instrument were the band’s instant trademarks. Twenty years after its inception, the CVB sound is still remarkably fresh and its influence on alternative music undeniable and resounding.
Self-described as “surrealist absurdist folk,” the group had its beginnings in the summer of 1983 when Lowery and boyhood friend Victor Krummenacher (bass) started playing music together around Riverside and Redlands, CA. Upon relocating to the Northern California college town of Santa Cruz, they enlisted friends Chris Pedersen (drums) and Chris Molla (guitar) to join the fold; Greg Lisher (guitar) and Jonathan Segel (violins, keyboards, mandolin) were added in 1985, and collectively they created a repertoire built on acoustic and electric, traditional and punky aesthetics. The reissue of the band’s self-released 1985 debut, Telephone Free Landslide Victory, which included their signature song, “Take the Skinheads Bowling,” made the Top Ten in the 1986 Village Voice Pazz and Jop Poll, as did their second album, the confusingly titled II & III, along with their self-titled third album, both released in 1986. In addition to the punk and ska, II & III dabbled in lo-fi sounds, with touches of country (as in the original, “Sad Lovers Waltz” and the twangy cover of Sonic Youth’s “I Love Her All the Time”). The band’s forte was its ability to switch styles, from Balkan folk to psychedelic rock on alternate takes and sometimes even within the same song!
The third album, Camper Van Beethoven, continued the thread, as blueprint CVB tracks like “Joe Stalin’s Cadillac” and “Good Guys and Bad Guys” fused punk-inspired looseness with more sophisticated melody and rhythm patterns. At the same time, they were blowing minds and ears with their prog rock leanings (check their nearly note-perfect version of Pink Floyd’s “Interstellar Overdrive”). By the time of their Virgin Records debut (coinciding with the label’s U.S. re-launch in 1988), the band took a more serious tack for its fourth album, Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart. With Molla gone by then, the group was officially a five-piece, though a cadre of friends assisted them at recording sessions, including producer Dennis Herring (eventually, touring guitarist David Immergl√ºck, later of Counting Crows, became an honorary sixth member). Stretching out in larger studio facilities and experimenting with sound, Sweetheart was the first CVB release met with mixed critical response. Following the elegiac Key Lime Pie and amid creative and personal strife, in 1989 the band (then featuring female fiddler Morgan Fichter in place of Segel) called it a night.
Krummenacher, Pedersen, and Lisher (with Immergl√ºck) continued to play together in Monks of Doom, a mostly instrumental prog rock concern as well as in other formations that sometimes included Segel in the ’90s. Segel released three albums as Hieronymous Firebrain from 1990-1994 and two with Jack & Jill for the Magnetic label. In 2005 he collaborated with Dina Emerson in Chaos Butterfly. Krummenacher has released six solo albums and has collaborated with Eugene Chadbourne, Bruce Kaphan, and members of Tarnation among others, also released through Magnetic. Lisher has two self-released solo albums to his credit. In the wake of the band’s dissolution, Lowery formed Cracker, by far the most successful of the post-Camper ventures; it served as a vehicle to keep him on the road as well as a way to keep Camper’s name in circulation, though he kept a distance from his bandmates and left California for Richmond, VA.
By 1999, Krummenacher, Segel, and Lowery were reunited while compiling an unorthodox rarities collection, Camper Van Beethoven Is Dead: Long Live Camper Van Beethoven, a mash-up of rare cuts utilizing the band’s catalog. In 2002, they officially issued their song-for-song version of Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk, recorded on a lark in 1987. In the process of reissuing and archiving, the original members (sans Pedersen) quietly reunited for a handful of live shows and began work on a new batch of songs. In 2004 they released New Roman Times (a concept album about a Texas teen who joins the military then leaves ranks to join an anti-government militia) featuring all original members including Pedersen on drums and original guitarist Molla sitting in. CVB continue to tour, often in support of alternative acts who’ve followed in their groundbreaking indie rock footprints. ~ Denise Sullivan, Rovi
http://events.ocregister.com/performers/show/10234-camper-van-beethoven

CHICAGO SUN TIMES


Windy City Ribfest in Uptown Wave those sticky fingers in the air for a nicely varied lineup at this charred flesh fest. Chicago Afrobeat is a helluva show (3:30 p.m. July 7), the guys from Little Feat (Paul Barrere & Fred Tackett) have a rich music tradition belying this booking (5 p.m. July 6) and David Lowery’s post-Camper Van Beethoven band Cracker as the Saturday night headliner is the perfect accompaniment to sauce-smacking lips (8:30 p.m. July 6). July 5-7 @ 4700 N. Broadway. Admission is free; $5 suggested donation to Business Partners, The Chamber for Uptown Chicago.

http://blogs.suntimes.com/music/2013/06/chicago_summer_street_neighborhood_festivals_music.html

CHICAGOIST
(Chicago online A&E site) – Brief show mention
The Windy City RibFest This is the city’s lesser rib festival, but can you ever really have too many rib festivals? The food lineup is alright, featuring a few vendors we hadn’t seen at other rib festivals. Alt-rock band Cracker headlines the party on Saturday night. Windy City RibFest is at Lawrence and Broadway avenues on Friday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., on Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 9 p.m.

http://chicagoist.com/2013/07/05/this_week_in_street_fests_23.php

MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL / ON TAP
(Milwaukee daily’s online site) – Video performance of David & Johnny performing “Something You Ani’t Got” backstage at Summerfest.
Exclusive Video: Cracker performs ‘Something You Ain’t Got’ at Summerfest By Sara J. Martinez David Lowery and Johnny Hickman of the band Cracker gave an exclusive performance of the song, “Something You Ain’t Got,” off the band’s 2006 album, “Greenland.” Cracker plays at the U.S. Cellular Connection Stage at 10 tonight.

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/entertainment/213725531.html

MILWAUKEE SHEPHERD EXPRESS
(Milwaukee weekly) – Positive show preview with band photo
Saturday, June 29, 2013 Today in Milwaukee Cracker 10 p.m. @ U.S. Cellular Connection Stage With its moody alt-rock riff and “leave me alone and let me do drugs” angst, Cracker’s biggest hit, “Low,” screams the 1990s as loudly as a grande mocha latte dipped in flannel, but the rest of the band’s catalog doesn’t date so easily. Like frontman David Lowery’s other band, Camper Van

Beethoven, Cracker continues to record spry rock albums spiked with rootsy digressions and tangential fits of punk-rock silliness—music that sounded great before the ’90s alt-rock boom and music that still sounds great today, even if there’s no longer an obvious place for it on the radio


http://expressmilwaukee.com/event-128273-cracker.html

THE ONION’S A.V. CLUB
(Milwaukee weekly) – Show preview with band photo
Cracker U.S. Cellular Connection Stage (Summerfest) Sat Jun 29 10 pm Cracker’s David Lowery is getting to the age where it’s customary for modestly famous rockers to drag themselves out on tour looking bitter and bloated. Instead, Lowery and guitarist Johnny Hickman have done basically the opposite lately, touring as a stripped-down (but non-seated) rock duo and preserving the smart-assed songwriting voice Lowery established with Camper Van Beethoven. It helps that the band’s most recent work, including 2009′s Sunshine In The Land Of Milk And Honey, beefs up the setlist with songs that work well alongside the early-’90s stuff, and that they don’t seem to mind playing hits like the not-entirely-characteristic “Low.”

http://www.avclub.com/milwaukee/events/cracker,317227/

DALLAS OBSERVER
The Five Best Musicians Over 50 Coming to Dallas This Year By Aaron Ortega David Lowery, Camper Van Beethoven, July 27 at Granada Theater
While I am limited in my appreciation of front man David Lowery’s later material in ’90s alternative-era band, Cracker, his early work in whimsical and eclectic college-radio-friendly Camper Van Beethoven was always an entertaining change of pace among late ’80s/early ’90s bands. Yes, their debut single “Take the Skinheads Bowling” was perhaps their most well-known single, a side note that is almost always attached to any blurb written about the band, however with eight albums in their repertoire, and a mixed bag of musical styles, this show is worth adding to your concert calendar. And while Camper Van Beethoven is set to perform along with Cracker, a show that could be a bit of an ego trip instead comes across as a generous sign of respect for fans of all Lowery’s material. And with just enough space to retain intimacy, I couldn’t think of a better venue to host this show.
http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/dc9/2013/06/best_50_musicians_dallas_tour.php

CHARLOTTE OBSERVER
(daily) – “This week’s hot concerts” show preview with live video
This week’s hot concerts Cracker 6 p.m. Friday, June 28, Fountain Plaza at NC Music Factory, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd. $10. www.ncmusicfactory.com
Band leader David Lowery – who is doing double time touring with both Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven this summer – helps close out the Friday Live! concert series with modern rock classics like “Low,” “Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now)” and “Euro-Trash Girl.”
http://cltsoundbites.blogspot.com/2013/06/this-weeks-hot-concerts_27.html

CHARLOTTE NOW
(online A&E site) – Stock show preview with live video
NC Music Factory Charlotte Bars: Cracker – 6/28 NC Music Factory Cracker – Friday LIVE! at the Factory Friday June 28, 2013 At 6:00 pm
http://www.charlottenow.com/cracker_628_nc_music_factory-ev-18034/

ABANDON COUCHES
(online music blog) – 40 Watt show review.
David Lowery gives us the ‘Low’ down David Lowery leads Cracker Saturday night at the 40 Watt.
I popped in to see what I could of Cracker during the Saturday night of AthFest, and while I fall into the Camper Van Beethoven camp when it comes to favorite bands fronted by David Lowery (I am of the 80s after all), Cracker has enough appeal to lure me in.
On this night I walked in just as the band was playing Low, perhaps its best-known song, and it ran through the song with power and authority. I stayed for five more songs (including Teen Angst) before going around the corner to see Bambara and Manray at Caledonia.
Low came up as a point of reference a couple of days later on what proved to be a popular post on Lowery’s excellent website The Trichordist. Under the headline ‘My Song Got Played On Pandora 1 Million Times and All I Got Was $16.89,’ Lowery laid out in extensive detail how Pandora pays a little for a lot, showing “how terrible webcasting rates are for songwriters.” His post was met with some stern comments, but Lowery was happy to take them on one by one – his ability to put himself out there for the sake of his cause makes me like him even more.
Others went after Lowery’s numbers, scolding him for lack of full disclosure, though he does mention there’s more to be discussed in a later post (it pays to read the whole item, does it not?). And while some may consider Lowery a ‘you kids get off my lawn’ crank, I enjoy that he doesn’t give in. His famous post to an NPR intern last year is one of the best defenses for musician rights I’ve ever read.
The day after that AthFest show, I was with my daughter buying groceries, and I saw Lowery in Kroger buying yogurt. I wanted to go up and tell him how much I enjoyed his show, but it’s not my way to bother people like that, especially ones I admire. But if I did, I would tell him to keep up the fight, because what we create is always worth protecting. And to play O Death more often at Camper shows – I love that song.
http://www.abandonedcouches.com/?p=3866

WRAL RADIO
Best Bets – Oak City 7: Cracker, Toddlers, Blanko Basnet, Blue Angel Blue tonight at Raleigh City Plaza
http://www.wral.com/Downtown-Raleigh-Oak-City-7-Concert-Series/12448427/

INDY WEEK
(Raleigh weekly) – Critic’s Pick show preview
Our Picks Recommended Oak City 7 series with Cracker, Toddlers, Blanko Basnet, Blue Angel Blue When: Thu., June 27, 5-10:30 p.m. Price: Free oakcity7.com
Despite its fairly straightforward roots-rock sound, Cracker’s Alternative Nation appeal is readily apparent in David Lowery’s sardonic and occasionally confrontational lyrics—see “I Hate My Generation” or “Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now).” They’re an agile band, shifting casually from rootsy twang to big-room rock, but that wink-and-sneer charisma makes them compelling. With Justin Robinson & the Mary Annettes, Blanko Basnet and Blue Angel Blue.—Bryan C Reed
http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/oak-city-7-series-with-cracker-toddlers-blanko-basnet-blue-angel-blue/Event?oid=3638154

NEWS & OBSERVER
(Raleigh daily) – Show preview with band photo
Rock band Cracker to play free concert in Downtown Raleigh By David Menconi
http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/06/24/2986567/rock-band-cracker-plays-free-concert.html

THE RED & BLACK
(Athens, GA college weekly) – Show review with live photos.
AthFest Insider: Cracker demonstrates the true meaning of staying power in 90′s-remniscent set Chelsey Abercrombie | 0 comments
Athens-based alt-rock band Cracker has been at it literally as long as I’ve been alive, but when the band began to play at the 40 Watt Club on Saturday night of AthFest, it was like nothing had changed since it released its first album in 1992.
Every note and vibe meshed perfectly with culturally-cemented ideals of ‘90s rock, making me wish I had thrown on some flannel and my Doc Martens before I left the house.
The only thing that actually detracted from the band’s performance was the presence of a certain concert-goer I’m nearly positive was actually the infamous Tanning Mom, whose boozy behavior proved over and over again that there’s no such thing as getting cut off at AthFest.
The band, fronted by University of Georgia professor David Lowery (whose voice hasn’t changed a bit in over 10 years), opened the set with “Mr. Wrong,” a song from the group’s debut album, 1992’s “Cracker,” but the audience (and Tanning Mom) truly went crazy when the band broke out their rendition of “Low.”
“Low,” from Cracker’s second, best-selling album, 1993’s “Kerosene Hat,” was clearly the most recognizable piece for all ages of listeners in the audience.
Other notable moments included when the crowd went crazy over the band’s performance of “Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now),” another one of Cracker’s mainstream hits from its debut, and also when Tanning Mom mysteriously disappeared from the crowd (I assume she was escorted out).
Finally, the rowdy, roiling, uproarious crowd chilled down with the band’s performance of “Take Me Down To The Infirmary” from “Kerosene Hat,” at which point much of the completely smashed audience linked arms in unity (or perhaps in celebration at the removal of Tanning Mom) to sway back and forth to the bluesy, alt-rock ballad.
No one ever questioned whether or not Cracker still has it after all these years, and the band’s 40 Watt performance made it clear why.
http://www.redandblack.com/variety/athfest-insider-cracker-demonstrates-the-true-meaning-of-staying-power/article_51ab3096-dc26-11e2-9f78-001a4bcf6878.html

HUFFINGTON POST
(A&E site) – Interview with David on Pandora’s songwriter payouts.
Pandora Payout For Songwriters Totals $42 After Song Played Over 1 Million Times Timothy Stenovec Now that’s low.
Cracker’s 1993 hit “Low” had over 1.1 million plays on Pandora in the final three months of 2012, but David Lowery — the co-founder of the rock band and one of the composers of the song — was paid only $16.89 for the songwriter royalty.
Lowery posted his songwriter royalty statement on The Trichordist, a blog he helped start to represent artists. In the post, Lowery notes that Pandora paid 40 percent of its fee for the over 1 million plays to him, with the additional 60 percent, or $25.36, going to other members of the band.
But even when the fees are added together to total about $42 for the songwriters, the small sum underscores an increasingly common complaint from artists: While there are a growing number of streaming music and Internet radio services that connect fans with musicians, many artists feel cheated when it comes to compensation.
Pandora, the largest Internet radio service in the U.S., has been at the center of the fight. Last year, the company aggressively supported legislation that would significantly reduce the royalties it pays to artists and record labels. Pandora says it’s not fair that roughly 7.5 percent of satellite radio revenue goes to royalties, while the streaming service must pay more than 50 percent of its revenue out to artists.
Lowery, who also co-founded band Camper Van Beethoven, noted in his blog post that his payout didn’t include his performer royalty for “Low.” In a call with The Huffington Post, he estimated that sum to be roughly ten times his songwriter fee. “It’s higher, but also what I would regard as unsustainable,” he wrote on The Trichordist.
In a statement to HuffPost, Pandora said it’s “by far the highest-paying form of radio in the world and proudly pays both songwriters and performers.”
“Mr. Lowery misrepresents and grossly understates Pandora’s payments to songwriters,” a Pandora spokesperson said in a statement. The spokesperson said that Pandora must pay BMI and ASCAP, the organizations that represent songwriters and publishers, along with other parties — adding up to “many times more” in songwriter royalties than what Lowery noted in his post.
“These organizations -– BMI and ASCAP -– are the very same groups that recently agreed to a long-term licensing agreement with the terrestrial radio industry to pay songwriters significantly less than Pandora,” the spokesperson said.
Earlier this month, in an attempt to qualify for lower royalty rates, Pandora purchased a radio station in South Dakota. The company also filed a lawsuit last year against ASCAP, the performance rights organization, for lower rates.
But the vast majority of artists make very little money from Pandora and satellite radio to begin with. In 2011, almost 90 percent of musicians who were paid by Soundexchange, the organization that pays royalties to musicians from satellite and Internet radio companies, received less than $5,000 each.
Lowery told HuffPost that he posted the songwriting royalty statement because Pandora is suing to cut royalty rates. Lowery noted that the low rate songwriters receive from Pandora is a rate that artists’ representation negotiated.
“As songwriters, unfortunately we cut a bad deal,” Lowery said.
In his royalty statement posted to The Trichordist, Lowery also highlights his songwriting fees from streaming music service Spotify. Although “Low” was played on Spotify about a tenth of the times it was played on Pandora, Lowery received $12.05 from that service.
Lowery is only the latest high-profile artist to speak out against Pandora. Over the weekend, the members of Pink Floyd published an editorial in USA Today in which they wrote that “Pandora is pushing the growth of its business directly at the expense of artists’ paychecks.”
Earlier this month, Spotify became the only free streaming music service to feature Pink Floyd’s entire music catalog.
It also hasn’t helped Pandora’s image much that its founder, Tim Westergren, has been consistently cashing in millions of dollars of stock over the last few months while at the same time asking artists to sign a letter to support Pandora’s efforts in Washington.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/25/pandora-payout_n_3498615.html

CHARLOTTE NOW
(Charlotte online A&E site) – Show preview with live video.
NC Music Factory Charlotte Bars: Cracker – 6/28 NC Music Factory Cracker – Friday LIVE! at the Factory Friday June 28, 2013 At 6:00 pm Tonight its Cracker with special guests American Aquarium Alt-rock icons Cracker have signed with 429 Records and are preparing to unleash a collection of new songs, SUNRISE IN THE LAND OF MILK AND HONEY. Long-time musical co-horts David Lowery and Johnny Hickman have teamed up again with drummer Frank Funaro and bassist Sal Maida and along with stellar producer David Barbe (Drive By Truckers), have created a uniquely eclectic trove of new tunes. Well-worn words used to describe their sound—brash, irreverent, sharp-witted, anthemic and riveting—all descriptives are in full-effect on the new project that bursts with their trademark rock, punk, glam, surf and country aesthetic. Friends John Doe, Patterson Hood and Adam Duritz also make spirited guest turns on SUNRISE…Their 429 Records debut is in-stores on May 5 and the first single to radio is “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out With Me” (add date April 7).
Taking a new approach to their creative process, SUNRISE IN THE LAND OF MILK AND HONEY is a truly collaborative effort for the band. Suprisingly self-disciplined, the whole band would take time out to write together one week every two months between tours over the course of a year. Focusing on a goal of two songs per day, their individual musical influences combined in refreshing and distinctive ways. On the outside it was a straight-ahead work ethic, but the process resulted in the band clicking creatively with a renewed energy.
Says Lowery: “We weren’t kicking back on an island in the Caribbean, waiting for the muse to hit us. We got down to work, found the punk and glam rock in our blood and woke up to Sunrise In The Land Of Milk And Honey.”
View Video! Buy Tickets   Visit Website
http://www.charlottenow.com/cracker_628_nc_music_factory-ev-18034/

LOW COUNTRY CURRENT
Feature/interview w/ David with band photo to preview Isle of Palms show
Cracker frontman talks about music piracy and how much money he’s lost over the years WHEN: 9 p.m. June 21 WHERE: The Windjammer, 1008 Ocean Blvd., Isle of Palms By BLAIR R. FISCHER
Every so often Cracker — the California troupe best known for ’90s alt-rock hits “Low” and “Euro-Trash Girl” — gets something of a renaissance. The cult indie film “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” which featured “Low” prominently, being a prime example of the phenomenon. Cracker, of course, is nothing without founder David Lowery, who went on to form the band in the early ’90s when his critically regarded indie outfit Camper van Beethoven disbanded.
Today, both Cracker and Camper van Beethoven are active on the touring circuit and, Lowery, himself, parcels his time between both groups and as a lecturer at the University of Georgia’s Terry School of Business (yes, you read that right). If you were at all wondering, being a musician pays better than being an educator, although he cautions, “If I were only in Camper van Beethoven, I’d say ‘no.’ [Camper] just did, like, five countries in Europe and I think we made about 200 euros each.”
In advance of Cracker’s show at the Isle of Palms’ Windjammer on June 21, Lowcountry Current spoke with Lowery about his thoughts on music piracy, how much he’s estimated he’s lost because of it and if he see more smartphones in concert and college auditoriums.
Question. Almost exactly a year ago, you were engaged in an online sparring match between an intern at NPR, who penned a blog where she freely admitted acquiring most of her music collection without paying for it. Are you happy with the overall response?
Answer. The discussion got reopened in a way that hadn’t been before because it was before, it was like, oh yeah, super megastar Metallica or the RIAA suing downloaders. But that’s not really the big picture. The big picture is that free music isn’t free. There’s lots of ways that people make money off of stealing our music and giving it away. What [I was] trying to do in that letter was to make the young woman aware that when you’re downloading for free there’s a lot of unrelated companies and individuals that you’re enriching instead of the artist. Most of the sites run are advertising supported, so you have major brands in the United States plus major technology companies like Microsoft and Google serving ads off of these sites.
It’s not like music’s free. You’re paying for the hardware; you’re paying for the pipes; and you’re paying for the entire infrastructure. It’s just none of the money is going to the artist. It’s kind of like the 1950s music business whereby artists wouldn’t get any royalties until they complained. And then maybe they’d get an occasional Cadillac. This is like the 1950s music business, but you don’t actually get the Cadillac.
Q. Have you ever thought about how much you’ve lost because of music piracy?
A. Yeah, I would say since 1999, it’s about a half-million dollars.
Q. You personally?
A. Me personally. If you figure that record sales are off 64 percent since 1999 — actually, it’s off more than that. I think it’s off 67 percent now. That’s about a third of my royalties over 13 years.
Plus, essentially all that iTunes and Amazon do is they host your music online. That’s a cool service but, ultimately, they take 39 percent of all revenue, right off the top. That’s pretty stiff considering the old distributors took like 17 percent. The old mom and pop record stores took 40 percent, but they had actual physical copies, shipping, air conditioning, stoned employees, shoplifting. It sort of made sense that they took 40 percent.
Q. Can music again become profitable for the artist?
A. There’s a debate over whether streaming pays enough to be sustainable or whether it would work for niche, quirky artists. Of course, because Cracker has these big hits, we can generate significant revenue from streaming and satellite radio play. We get paid for the stuff. In contrast to my other band, Camper van Beethoven, [we only have a] couple really minor things that are kind of obscure and rarely played on the radio. That streaming model doesn’t really work for a band like Camper van Beethoven. And so that part needs to be worked out. I’m not really sure what the answer is. But it’s pretty easy. Just use licensed services. Spotify’s a licensed service. Google’s new All Access, that’s a licensed service. Apple’s whatever-they’re-going-to-call-their-streaming-thing, that’s a licensed service.
Q. Switching over to your day job, are more people on phones in class or concert?
A. (Laughs) You know what, they’re on their phones during class, I think, more. Personally, until they hit that first midterm and then they tend not to be on the phones anymore. Some professors ban phones and computers in their class. I’m more laissez-faire. I just sort of let them figure it out. Like when they get that 71 on the first test.

html#storylink=cpyhttp://www.islandpacket.com/2013/06/19/2548190/cracker-frontman-talks-about-music.html

CHARLESTON SCENE / POST & COURIER
(Charleston weekly) – Positive show preview with band photo
Music Scene: Cracker, Mountain Goat, Gift of Gab By Matthew Godbey Cracker
Between 1992 and 1993, Cracker released its debut and follow-up albums, “Cracker” and “Kerosene Hat,” respectively, which flung the relatively apathetic alt-rock group onto the charts and into gold-record status and regular radio rotation that still spins today.
It was a time when popular music was driven by FM radio, music videos and CD sales, and Cracker emerged as one of the most favored of all three, due in large part to singles such as “Low,” “Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now)” and “Euro-Trash Girl.”
While the band never quite regained its mainstream popularity, it had firmly planted itself in a grassroots subculture where the fans far outlasted the fame.
Co-founders David Lowery and Johnny Hickman remain as the only original members and organized “Campout,” an annual three-night music festival with one on the West Coast and one on the East Coast, in the mid-2000s that features country and rock artists as well as other genres.
Cracker will perform Friday at The Windjammer, 1008 Ocean Blvd., with Radiolucent. Tickets are $15 online at The-Windjammer.com or at the door (limited). Doors open at 9 p.m. with the show starting at 10 p.m.
Call 886-8596 for more information.
http://www.charlestonscene.com/article/20130619/CS/130619275/music-scene-cracker-mountain-goat-gift-of-gab

FLAGPOLE
(Athens, GA weekly)– Brief show preview.
Sat. June 22 40 Watt Club 11 p.m. www.athfest.com
Cracker Acclaimed ’90s alternative rock group fronted by David Lowery. The band has stylistically explored many genres and sounds over its nearly two-decade career
http://www.flagpole.com/events/2013/06/22

TUCSON WEEKLY
Show preview.
Cracker & Camper Van Beethoven
Club Congress Tue. 7/23/13 Cracker Cracker formed in 1991 has been making albums for 18 years. Currently on tour in support of new CD “Sunrise in The Land of Milk and Honey”. New single “Turn On Tune In Drop Out” is at #14 on the Adult Alternative Charts (june 23 2009) Style: Roots, alternative and rock. Most well known hits in chronological order: Teen Angst (1992), Happy Birthday to Me (1992), Eurotrash Girl (1993), Low (1993), Get off This (1994), Eurotrash Girl again (1994), I Hate my Generation( 1996), Nothing to Believe in (1996) Sweet Thistle Pie (1996) The Good Life (1998). The World is Mine (1998). Forever (2002), Duty Free (2003), Turn on Tune in Drop Out With Me (2009). Studio Albums, cracker (gold 1992), kerosene hat (platinum 1993), the golden age(gold 1996), gentlemens blues (1998), garage d’or (2000) forever (2002), countrysides (2003), greatest hits redux (2005), greenland (2006) 1st annual cracker/camper van beethoven campout DVD (2007), sunrise in the land of milk and honey (2009). Camper Van Beethoven
Founding members of the Indie rock movement. Camper Van Beethoven formed in 1983. The band took an extended hiatus from 1990-1999. They then secretly reformed in 1999 and made a series of fake “oddities” records.
http://tucsonweekly.getn2.it/event/detail/1857250

SUBCULTURE
(online music site) – 30TH anniversary and tour news with CVB photo.
Camper Van Beethoven
June 2013
Credited with setting the template for an adventurous strain of US alternative rock—one that liberally mixes global influences with America’s rich folk traditions—Camper Van Beethoven celebrates its 30th anniversary with a show at West Hollywood’s famed Troubadour on 20 July.
Formed in Northern California in 1983, Camper Van Beethoven merged punk, ska, polka, psychedelic rock and gypsy music, setting the stage for contemporary acts like Gogol Bordello and Calexico. The band made its recorded debut with 1985’s Telephone Free Landslide Victory and the oddball single “Take the Skinheads Bowling.” Several groundbreaking albums followed, including US college radio staple Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart (1988), commercial breakthrough Key Lime Pie (1989), a reimagining of Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk (2002) and 2004’s New Roman Times.
This year’s La Costa Perdida finds CVB trading in gentle country rock (“Come Down the Coast”), psych pop (“Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out”), Beach Boys homage (“Northern California Girls”), stoner rock (“Aged in Wood”) and orchestral pop (“A Love for All Time”).
Camper Van Beethoven recently returned from a successful tour of Europe and will be playing select dates with CVB front man Dave Lowery’s more straight-ahead rock outfit Cracker.
Camper Van Beethoven US Tour Dates:
19 July – Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in Santa Cruz, CA? 20 July – Troubadour, West Hollywood, CA 25 July – Viva Big Bend Fest / Padres, Marfa, TX? 26 July – Mohawk, Austin, TX? 27 July – Granada Theater, Dallas, TX 12-14 Sept – Campout 9 at Pappy & Harriet’s – Pioneertown, CA
http://www.fredperrysubculture.com/music-news/8412/camper-van-beethoven

SOUND SPIKE
(online music site) – Tour news with CVB photo.
Camper Van Beethoven continues behind “La Costa Perdida”
Alt-rock outfit Camper Van Beethoven will spend some time on the road next month alongside sister act Cracker for a mix of club shows and festival gigs. // Tour dates at SoundSpike
Story by Tara Hall
Alt-rock outfit Camper Van Beethoven will spend some time on the road next month alongside sister act Cracker for a mix of club shows and festival gigs.
The mid-summer trek starts with a July 19 show in Santa Cruz, CA, followed by a Hollywood performance at the Troubadour to celebrate the band’s 30th anniversary. A July 25 appearance at Viva Big Bend in Marfa, TX, is also on the books, after which the group will hit two central Texas clubs.
Camper Van Beethoven, helmed by Cracker frontman David Lowery, released their eighth studio effort, “La Costa Perdida,” in January via 429 Records. The 10-track set comes nine years after “New Roman Times.”
tour dates and tickets
July 2013 19 – Santa Cruz, CA – Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk 20 – West Hollywood, CA – Troubadour 25 – Marfa, TX – Viva Big Bend 26 – Austin, TX – The Mohawk 27 – Dallas, TX – Granada Theater
September 2013
12-14 – Pioneertown, CA – Campout 9
http://www.soundspike.com/story/27181/camper-van-beethoven-continues-behind-la-costa-perdida/

CRAIG DAILY PRESS
(Craig, CO daily) – Show review with Johnny interview
Cracker rocks the park during Whittle the Wood festivities in Craig
By Andie Tessler
Anticipation, along with lawn chairs and picnic blankets, filled the small field in front of the stage at Craig’s Loudy-Simpson Park on Saturday evening as the growing crowd waited for Cracker to take the stage.
As the band launched into it’s set, dancing and cheering fans filled in the gaps at the front of the audience.
“Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God, oh my God,” Samantha Cozic gushed, bouncing on the balls of her feet, as she watched lead singer David Lowery stroll across the stage. “I’ve been totally in love with (him) since I was, like, 16, but I never got to see a show or anything until now.”
Cracker headlined the free concert lineup for the Whittle the Wood Rendezvous, marking the last of the band’s four shows in Colorado but only about halfway through their 2013 Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven tour.
“We’ve always had great audiences” in Colorado, lead guitarist and Colorado resident Johnny Hickman said. “We’re happy to play anywhere here.”
Touring since 1991, the group has hit the stage and captivated fans, the self-avowed “Crumbs,” in countries across the world and played in venues that range from full stadium productions to casual gigs at small clubs.
Their eponymous debut album, sometimes and for reasons that escape the band referred to as “Brand,” garnered a few moderate hits when it debuted in February 1992. Just one year later, “Kerosene Hat” dropped, and the group’s popular recognition exploded.
The album went platinum within a year as sales steadily rose with help from radio hits like “Low” and “Eurotrash Girl.”
Usually generalized as part of the alternative rock scene of the 1990s, Cracker stood apart as a diverse musical presence with a distinctive sound and style that combines classic rock, early punk, southern rock and the grittier incarnations of country.
Founding members Johnny Hickman and lead vocalist David Lowery are the nucleus of the band, as they have been since Cracker’s inception, and have seen more than a dozen musicians come and go throughout the years.
“When you’re together 22 years like we’ve been, things absolutely change and it would be really unusual, I think, if they didn’t,” Hickman said. “People work their way in and out for one reason or another, but Dave and I decided since we started that we would be the core of the band.”
“We don’t really stick to a sub genre,” Hickman explained. “We just play what we feel. Every record we sort of get on a new kick but there’s always that Cracker. There’s a sort of dark sense of humor to our stuff like some of our song titles — names that pull you in before even a single note is played.”
The crowd at Loudy-Simpson proved Hickman’s point. Throughout the crowd, fans could be heard singing phrases of Cracker’s hits to friends and family.
“They’re one of those bands where everyone’s heard their stuff and likes their stuff but don’t know their name,” explained longtime fan Zakk Morieh. “I’ll sing one or two lines and people say ‘Oh yeah, I love that song!’ and I’m like, ‘Duh, they’re totally awesome.’”
http://www.craigdailypress.com/news/2013/jun/15/cracker-rocks-park/

JESTER JAY MUSIC
(online music blog) – Front Range recommended shows Friday, 14 June (Bluebird Theater, Denver CO) Cracker Camper Van Beethoven
When Camper Van Beethoven was on the rocks, singer David Lowery connected with Johnny Hickman to form Cracker, which found a slightly better formula for popular acclaim. These days, CvB is active again with a new album, La Costa Perdida (review), Cracker is still a going concern, and Lowery balances his commitments to both his bands. While both projects take advantage of his laid-back sarcasm, the two groups have distinct sounds and interests. I haven’t caught the two acts on the same bill yet, but either band alone would be a recommended show. I’ve seen CvB most recently at SXSW this year and they were still going strong.

http://jesterjaymusic.blogspot.com/2013/06/front-range-recommended-shows-610.html

SUMMIT DAILY
(Summit Co., CO daily) – Feature w/ Johnny interview to preview Frisco show.
Cracker brings classic alternative to The Barkley Ballroom in Frisco Your band isn’t officially on the map until its swarm of fans has its own moniker. For alt-rock band Cracker, that’s the Crumbs.
“The Crumbs, like the Deadheads, they follow us from show to show,” said Johnny Hickman, one of the original founders of the band. “They’re very dedicated to the band; they know every record.”
Hickman said Crumb-dom passes from generation to generation and has become a bit of a cult phenomenon.
“They take care of each other almost in a Deadhead kind of way, the Crumbs, as they call themselves,” he said. “And that sustains us. We can keep touring and keep putting out a record every couple of years. We are at the tip of the iceberg of a band that can maintain for 20 years. The average lifespan of a band is six years, and we’re going on 21, actually.”
In those 21 years, Cracker has collected some pretty famous fringe Crumbs.
“Gipsy Moon, a band made up of Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon’s kids, are opening for Cracker,” said Todd Altschuler, owner of The Barkley Ballroom. “Leftover Salmon, and Vince especially, are huge fans of Cracker and even did an entire album called ‘Oh Cracker Where Art Thou,’ where Salmon covered Cracker songs.”
“The jam bands do our songs, which is quite an honor,” Hickman said. “Widespread Panic and Leftover Salmon are both doing our songs.”
Godfathers of alternative rock
But before there were Crumbs, there was Cracker.
“David Lowry and I started the band right around 1990-91,” Hickman said. “We’d been friends for 10 years, and we both found ourselves without a band temporarily and decided to get together and start writing songs, and the rest is history.”
The band helped launch a new genre of rock.
“It wasn’t really a term, but it wasn’t hair metal or Prague rock or Euro dance music, so we were in with those bands like the Meat Puppets, and we were doing something a little different,” he said. “They didn’t have a name for it. We don’t sound anything like the Chili Peppers — all these bands coming up — and they called us alternative rock.”
Cracker had the elements of rock with a bit of a Southern twang and influences ranging from The Pixies to Led Zeppelin.
“Now they call us ‘godfathers of alternative rock,’” Hickman said. “It was this guitar-based band and it was a little twangy, and no one else was doing that. Now they look at us as one of the first bands to break out of what was going on at the time, glam metal and Motley Crue. I’m proud of the term alternative rock; I’ll wear it proudly.”
The band’s first album, buoyed by the hits “Teen Angst” and “Happy Birthday to Me,” went gold, and the follow-up, “Kerosene Hat,” went platinum with chart-topper “Low,” “Get Off This” and the epic “Eurotrash Girl.” Hickman said the set list for Cracker’s show in Frisco will be a group of songs the band is having fun playing.
“We don’t think we’re too cool to play our big radio hits, so we’ll play those,” he said. “We like to bring in songs we haven’t done in a while and mix them into the set. We’ll do “Get Off This,” “Teen Angst,” “Happy Birthday to Me” — a combination of all of those things; we’ll mix it up. We’re a good live band, so I think people will be very happy.”
A sound with longevity
Cracker’s sound remains a mix of guitar rock and psychedelic, with a bit of that old, dirty, roots-based twang and threads of country and blues. Hickman said the band’s longevity could be attributed to the strength of its song writing.
“David Lowry is one of the best song writers of his generation,” he said. “We just know how to write a good song, and it’s not really based around a style or a fashion; it’s based around songs. That’s been our biggest strength, and we have very devout fans and they like nothing better than to bring in a bunch of new friends and show off their favorite band, Cracker.”

http://www.summitdaily.com/news/6628711-113/band-cracker-rock-alternative

VIST COLLINS
(Fort Collins A&E site) – Brief show preview with band photo.
Cracker and Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers both play full sets on this special Memorial Day Weekend Sunday show. Hickman Dalton Gang opens the show at 7:00 Cost: $27.50 advance/$30.50 door/$42.50 VIP Location The Mishawaka Ampitheatre 13714 Poudre Canyon Hwy Livermore, CO 80512

http://www.visitftcollins.com/events/cracker-and-roger-clyne-peacemakers

THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER
(Washington, DC daily) – Feature w/ David Lowery interview to preview show.
Camper Van Beethoven, Cracker to perform in Falls Church
Members of Camper Van Beethoven live in Richmond, the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Sweden and Australia. Throw in side projects and other interests, and it’s a wonder the band ever tours or records an album.
“It’s a little challenging for us to get together to write an album,” said Camper Van Beethoven frontman David Lowery, speaking from his home in Richmond, where he’s lived since 1990. “When we do get together and we do write, it comes together really fast.”
Camper Van Beethoven performs Thursday at the State Theatre. Cracker, Lowery’s other band, will also perform.
“La Costa Perdida,” Camper Van Beethoven’s eighth studio album, came out in January. Lowery said that the material was influenced by California’s north coast.
Onstage
Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven
» Where: The State Theatre, 220 N. Washington St, Falls Church
» When: 7 p.m. doors, 8:30 p.m. show Thursday
» Info: $25; 703-237-0300; thestatetheatre.com
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The new work is Camper Van Beethoven’s first effort since 2004′s “New Roman Times.” Lowery explained that with his Cracker and solo work, he’s kept active.
“We didn’t really intend for Camper Van Beethoven to wait that long,” Lowery said. “I don’t know what really happened. We were busy doing other things.”
Camper Van Beethoven formed in 1983, and the band’s most well-known song is likely “Take the Skinheads Bowling.” The rock act has pursued a slightly eclectic sound, residing just on the outskirts of mainstream success.
“We just sort of have never really been in it except for ourselves,” Lowery said. “We’ve only really made albums that we wanted to make. There’s something to doing that.
“You measure your audience two ways, by the breadth of your popularity or people’s knowledge; but then the sort of intensity of how much people are engaged in your band,” Lowery continued. “That’s really high for us. People are very, very engaged in Camper Van Beethoven and it helps us keep going for all these decades.”
With the band’s 30th anniversary in June, Lowery said there’s nothing special planned, though he recognizes the significance.
“I think the average life of most bands that make albums is like seven years or something like that,” Lowery said. “It’s pretty crazy that we’ve been together. We weren’t together the whole time. We broke up for a while. For a band to stay around that long is fairly rare, and for people to care about them is also pretty rare as well.”
When Camper Van Beethoven’s members went their separate ways in the early 1990s, Lowery formed the more conventional rock act Cracker, which had a couple of hits in “Low” and “Teen Angst.” Though Camper Van Beethoven has long been back together, Cracker still performs as well. On the current tour, including the State Theatre show on Thursday, Lowery will front both bands.
“I play for free,” Lowery said, paraphrasing a musician who he can’t quite remember. “You pay me to travel. I get paid to travel, do everything else. The playing part I do for free.”

http://washingtonexaminer.com/camper-van-beethoven-cracker-to-perform-in-falls-church/article/2529751

CONSEQUENCE OF SOUND
(online A&E site) – Feature w/ David interview to preview show.
Dissected: Camper Van Beethoven (with David Lowery)
By Chris Coplan
This is usually the part where we’d say, “Welcome to Dissected, where we disassemble a band’s catalogue in the abstract. It’s exact science by way of a few beers.” But here’s a curveball for everyone: we’re gonna flip the script and let an actual band do all the heavy lifting. And perhaps there’s no other outfit better suited for this little experiment than California’s own Camper Van Beethoven.
Formed in 1983 in Redlands, CA, Camper came of age in a time when every young male musician took their unkempt angst and joined a punk band. But before note one on album one, the band transcended such limitations, utilizing the unique station of their eventual home base of Santa Cruz (purportedly the surfing capital of the U.S.) to conquer the seas of many a genre. Punk, classic rock, country, folk, indie rock, prog, bluegrass, Norteño, ska: they didn’t just cite influences; they blended these living, breathing cultures in new and interesting ways from song to song, album to album.
Along the way, the group experimented with song structures and politically motivated content, displaying a childlike wonder and playfulness toward the ceaseless possibilities of music. While their recorded output may have put them in the category of faceless alt-rockers or jam band nut jobs, Camper Van Beethoven is a rare and mythical creature, with loyalties to nothing but where to go next.
While their creative pursuits (not to mention inner turmoil) eventually led to their breakup in 1989, the band rebounded in the early 2000s, recording two new records, including January’s La Costa Perdida, not to mention logging countless hours on the road in the last decade. While plenty of fans and critics counted them out, the band is now celebrating its 30th anniversary (breakup be damned). For such a milestone, we recently sat down with frontman David Lowery for an exhilarating six hours.
During the course of that master class on all things Camper, Lowery discussed the ins and outs of each album’s recording sessions, the band’s personal and political views, their slew of influences, who guided their career (SPOILER: it wasn’t really them), breaking up, getting back together, working with a major label, moving within the music industry itself, and even a history lesson or two. As a reflection of his band, Lowery is poignant and well-spoken, profoundly aware of his group’s oddball approach to music and fiercely proud of their persistent curiosity.
To Camper Van Beethoven: here’s to a wild and wonderful 30 years. We couldn’t have written it any better ourselves.
The Humble Beginnings: “This whole thing was plotted, in the sense that this was just a side project for everyone. This was much less serious to us. Most of us were still learning our instruments. I had always been a bass player in backing bands in Santa Cruz. We played less serious endeavors, like college parties. We were young, so we had a lot of time to practice around with our instruments. We’d practice every three days, so it was just the sheer volume of it. We would write stuff pretty quickly and try not to overthink it and just got inside of it.”
Punk Rock Hippies?: “We were very much influenced by stuff like The Fall or Gang of Four. Those straight-up, hardcore bands that were very dogmatic. But were also hippies, sort of fake hippies. And we used this whole project to do what we weren’t doing in other bands.”
Pacifying the Punks: “Punk covets style above everything. The ska element came in because, if we were playing in front of a punk band, we’d have them skank away to ska as a way to nullify the crowd. Guys like Jello Biafra got that we were not real hippies, but a lot of people did not get it. We were almost offensively putting that ska in. It was confusing to us, just a year-old at the time, of those who were in the business of being punk scenesters. We’re not real business people.”
Let’s Hear It for the Drummer: “Anthony Guess grew up playing everything: farm-type country, rock, Norteño. Anthony is the glue that holds that first record together. Once he got the beat figured out, we kinda understood what we should sound like.”
A Little Help from SST: “Ray Farrell of SST turned us on to college radio and helped us to sell albums. He also said, ‘You guys’ songs are so much like Kaleidoscope.’ And when we heard it, we thought they were the ’60s version of what we were doing. So, Ray was making us tapes and it just about changes everything. What we were doing was in a tradition. It was a tradition, not just this wacky thing, and there was an undercurrent or thread to follow. It became more real to us. It was liberating to us. We were also uncovering more stuff, like Country Joe & the Fish and Eugene Chadbourne, that would be more prevalent in the second and third records.”
Too Young To Sit at the Adult’s Table: “Everything our peers were doing, we were too young to be singing about such heavy things. We were all like between the ages of 17 and 22, so we said, ‘Let’s do things with laden wisdom and insight.’ ‘Sad Lover’s Waltz’ is a simple country song, and it’s almost embarrassing how it’s almost about nothing. With ‘Ambiguity Song’, it’s just simple observations. Asking questions without having answers seemed to fit the spirit of the band. We did realize pretty quickly that we’re punkers living in this idyllic world. Like, ‘What do we have to complain about?’ We didn’t.”
Getting The Kinks On: “With a song like ‘I Don’t See You’, I had that in two other bands before Camper. And I used to play the riff in rehearsal. It’s in that same sort of garage as early Kinks, that teenage rebellion vibe popular in the ’60s.”
Prog Rock & Laundry Soap: ” ‘Club Med Sucks’ was something we found written on a Laundromat we used to visit. Musically, I don’t know how we all got there, but we were informed a lot by Fairport Convention and Richard Thompson. We also had some private prog tendencies toward Soft Machine.”
No Laughing Matter: “People definitely called us a novelty band. But it wasn’t really fair, since it’s not like we were ‘Weird Al’ or something. Our peers were talking about smashing the state or something, pretending to have more gravitas. It’s like, ‘Explain to us what part of Camper Van Beethoven are you confused about?’ We have a different attitude than our peers. We just thought that songs should be easy to whistle to.”
II & III (1986)
Time Well Spent: “We were kinda screwing around on the first record. But with the second, we had enough money saved up for two days of studio time, and we just did what we could. What happened was that we recorded in one session, then got distracted, played some shows, and then we did the second session a couple months later. With these recording sessions, we felt like we had recorded two albums. Like, two albums submerged together, with the melodies getting weirder and weirder. A lot happened to us in that time: we were touring, playing shows, we even met the Dead Kennedys.”
Fuck the Man: “Like with Kaleidoscope
, what happened was that we got turned on to all this stuff, things like We the People and Chocolate. Our thing was, ‘We didn’t obey any rules the first time, so why would we do it this time?’ And it came out really organic, because we were basically just playing to our friends.”
Returning to the Fold: “All of our songs feel alien, so we have to go back and get inside of them like you were there. I always try to imagine it’s the first time I’m playing it. It’s almost like you have to be a sociopath and lie to yourself till you believe the lie. Over the years, it sounds quite like it did on the album; it hasn’t changed too much live. You have to respect the audience and do it that way.”
The Power of Five: “I have a theory, though. You have a kind of rapport while being a group. There’s something that comes from the group, not the individual. Cracker is the same way, but it’s much simpler. It’s me and Johnny answering each other, and that dialoguing makes us write totally different songs.”
The Literary Period: “With the first album, the reaction was more of a novelty, and it’s in this period that we start to shy away from that. We wanted to be like, ‘We’re like Thomas Pynchon singing about ridiculous stuff, like limericks and stuff. We like the whole Pynchon/Kurt Vonnegut thing, where you can be silly and absurd and still find another way to tell a story. It’s something we’ve done for the rest of our career.”
Leaving the Pit Once and for All: “We were done with the whole punk rock thing, moving toward more of that pop-rock sound. At that time, it was a preposterous move to make that kinda music, but we thought it was a ridiculous enough goal that we might as well try it. SoCal is sort of known for the surf rock and psychedelic. But people had moved more inland, so it was like we revamped our own culture.”
BFFs with R.E.M.?: “Somewhere in that second album, IRS Records wanted to sign us. And this was right during their whole alt-rock movement with R.E.M. And we turned it down, because we weren’t sure we could make another album. We should have done it, ’cause our whole pop-rock round would’ve gotten that support. But we just asked, ‘Can we write more songs?’ In a way, it took the pressure of putting together an album. We weren’t ready for deadlines.”
Making Mooo-ves: “We were making money on a label, which really liberated us. We borrowed some money from some hipster cattle rancher. We just got to make our own album, independently secure.”
Let the Drama Begin: “What happened was that the first album was done in two weekends and by the second record we started making money. So the second album we had a couple more weekends, where we could start layering stuff. We had more time and more tracks, and I think we were using two 8-tracks. But it was around that time that tension arose within the band.”
Death to Posers: “We wanted to disrupt everything. If it’s all punk rock rebellion, then why are there all these rules? Wear these jeans, wear your hair like this. Let’s just stir shit up and be a disruptive force.”
Exploring the Great Unknown: “Jonathan and Greg were big in that layering thing; they liked to sort of fill in the gaps. For Jonathan, it’s his strengths to the band but also a challenge. He’s a real, genuine ’60s hippie-experimental kinda guy. We were manipulating tape and sound, and we haven’t played that many songs live over the years. The reason is, we don’t know how they’ll come off live or that we don’t understand how to play them live. We were literally inventing who we were as a band, mostly for practical reasons, not necessarily stylistic reasons. We would have done it before on the first album. We embraced the whole west coast hippie movement, blending those roots with the indie and rock. But what we were doing was also sort of protesting the things that ’60s hippies protested.”
Medicinal Inspiration: “The ‘Peace and Love’ instrumental is one where Victor did that whole thing, but we thought, ‘Nah, that didn’t work.’ So we all sang a vocal part and had it all thrown together. I’m pretty sure we were stoned when we made this record.”
Thank God for Technology: “We had to re-use tape back in those days. We flipped it upside down, cause someone told us it erased better that way or something. So, with ‘Surprise Truck’, ‘Folly’ comes in backward off the previous record. And it had that backward flute just because it happened that way. And ‘Ambiguity’ is just ‘Five Sticks’ backwards, because there was a piece of something from that whole score.”
The Dichotomy of Man: “It’s the least consistent and most consistent record. It’s also the most intense and out there, and that thread kinda goes through the whole music. We’ve always had this idea of experimentalism vs. simplicity. We want to have that whistle-y stuff, that really basic stuff. We’re not making music like Sonic Youth, not into that territory, but we do stuff like reimagining parts and 1st chord structures.”
The Almighty Neil: “Neil Young is an artist who can go out and make that awkward record and then come back and make an amazing record. He can go make an insane record and then go and feel like a total maverick. Our attitude was one of ‘What have we got to lose? Let’s just do it.’ The only thing we were afraid of is being considered a novelty act. We’ll draw the line so that we don’t look like that.”
It’s the End of the World as We Know It: “We got more into Mothers of Invention and Zappa. We were already pretty political, being from Santa Cruz. There’s a very strong libertarian, anarchist lean where we’re making fun of hippies. But there was also rallying against the whole sabre-rattling, that at any moment the U.S. and Russia could engage in nuclear war.”
Playing with the Big Dogs: “We were on MTV on regular rotation thanks to ‘Good Guys’ and its simple, crude live video. We were not like the other bands, and there was nothing stopping us from being experimental. We could do any sort of styles or tones, and there was nothing to discourage us. Record labels have great control, but it’s like the whole Smiths line, ‘You could’ve said no if you wanted to.’ Record label guys and the radio guys didn’t have that influence.”
Anarchy for the Thoughtful and Concerned: “There’s also this streak of people who follow us who are very left and very libertarian. But it’s not something we set out to do, to gain a political following. There’s also a lot of political stuff read into at that time. Santa Cruz had a Marxist mayor at the time, but the federal government was very hawkish. So it was us making observations, and kinda asking like, ‘OK, where are the adults that see all this stuff that’s going on.’”
Loving the Zep: “The stuff that was coming out of the ’60s rock, like Thompson and the Fairport Convention, was very radical stuff. We even re-evaluated Led Zeppelin, and we got to thinking that stuff was better than it was at the time. Those Zeppelin riffs all sounded fresh to me. Plus, classic rock then wasn’t on the radio yet, there was no format because it wasn’t quite old enough. Yet we started hearing that, and it started to be interesting to us.”
Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart (1988)
Working for the Man: “We had a major label, so we thought we’d have a more traditional record structure. It was the first record where we started not putting out everything we knew how to do, and there was some focus involved. There’s also kinda two things coming in then: the sort of classic rock mocking and how we start embracing and blending that big rock sound. So many pop-rock songs are complicated in structure  with so many elements collected within. This album has more accessible songs than the other albums because we were weeding out more of the weirder ideas. We sort of went completely mainstream. We didn’t have a cover song on here because it was our first major label LP, and we wanted do it on our own strengths.”
Getting Cozy with the Boss: “Rarely in my career has someone told me to do something, and if they have, I have said no almost all of the time. I can remember walking down the corridor with (Virgin head) Jeff Ayeroff right after we signed, and he said to us, ‘I’m not worried about you guys having a hit. You write so many songs that you’re bound to make a hit by accident.’”
Major Labels Are Your Friend: “With Camper, there’s no editing, and we’re actually playing the way we want. And the label’s getting it right by providing us with advances. I go to tech conferences a lot now, and everyone is always ragging on labels. I had a friend once who worked at an indie, not quite large but well-known. And he went to these conferences and took all the name-calling, and people are still lining up to give them their demos. Labels have something people want: the ability to market, the ability to be in the hands of an expert.”
Turning English: “It wasn’t like we said, ‘Hey, let’s just do pop-rock songs.’ First off, we wrote to please ourselves, and at the time we were listening to a lot of XTC and Robyn Hitchcock. I like to say that this was our English album. The English pop-rock has all these weird time signatures and is all over the place, and we were really into that.”
Dennis the Accomplice: “The thing about Dennis Herring is that he was another guy that kinda fell into our camp, and we felt relatively artistically safe with him. Dennis won’t like what I say, but we had a huge influence on his style. Before he worked with us, he was doing stuff like the Flashdance soundtrack, but he had this quirky side with a great taste in music. With us, he kinda honed his producing chops and then got more producing gigs. Kinda represents the beginning of what he did with bands like Wavves and Modest Mouse. He sort of dovetails with more my taste, which is to not fill every single hole.”
Can a Violin End a Band?: “There was a track where he muted the violin on the first verse, and it was kinda controversial. In fact, Jonathan almost quit over that. Jonathan had some solo thing he wanted to do that got voted off, ’cause it didn’t get done on a collaborative front. And it’s not something I don’t understand or empathize with, that undercurrent of being slighted. But, truthfully, it was us, not Dennis Herring, the lawyers, or the record label that said what songs went on the album. If I’d known then, I would have said to just put the song on there.”
Knowing the Role: “For a band to be successful, to make money, that band has to be self-regulating. What people don’t seem to understand is that record labels are like derivative traders: they’ll lose a lot of money and then make all of it back and more on one album. So, those one out of eight or ten bands subsidize the entire roster; the Nirvana’s subsidize the Teenage Fanclub’s. The winners of the world subsidize and pay for the losers.”
Just Your Standard Love Song: “‘One of These Days’ was a song that had been floating around since the first album. Again, we really started to embrace love songs, partly because we had found a way to balance more of the weirder aspects. Camper as a whole likes to take normal things and then make sure we added in hallucinogenic drugs, conspiracy theories, and space aliens.”
Cracking the Code: “We had finally figured out the simpler things, like love, longing, lost love. And we could make well-crafted songs and say things that others didn’t. One of my greatest achievements is utilizing more of that Kurt Vonnegut or Pynchon, who use that weird, wacky voice but still tell a serious story. And we couldn’t do it without the help of Dennis Herring. We got to do songs in that way and still be ourselves.”
Key Lime Pie (1989)
Greg and David Sittin’ in a Tree: “Greg and I developed much of the album by ourselves, as we felt we’d be cluttering it up with others there. We took the sheen off the album and got back to a more organic state. It was about embracing our roots and trying to do something here to play up that sparseness. But we were going beyond accessibility. We were almost going Broadway or toward Sinatra. Sinatra’s September of My Years is pretty friggin’ out there, and I was obsessed with it at that time. It’s got this tone or sheen that’s really funny and organic, like a Broadway play. But the whole tonality of it is as edgy as shit. What we did was tracked it at the Capitol, where Sinatra recorded, and had the same sort of reverb from under Capitol.”
Take It or Leave It: “Jonathan had gone and went to Southeast Asia. Jonathan blamed a lot of it on Dennis Herring and then the label. He refused to do shit, so I went to the rest of the band and basically said, ‘It’s him or me.’ I didn’t know how we’d get through this, because this was not gonna be an easy album to make. The change didn’t come from left field, but the album was gonna be different.”
Free of the Tyrannical Violin: “Without that extra layer of Jonathan tinkering and fiddling, it required a certain amount of arrangement. But it also broke how the violin directs what should be done. So, the songs relied more on me, which means we had to get the lyrics together and drill down what we were singing about, which was not always clear. We were also making a lot of holes that we loved. We thought that these songs needed more space, because they’d had the same amount for so long. We felt like these songs could now be challenging.”
The Pop-Prog Connection: “We skipped ahead in albums, to something like super pop. But there’s still some challenging notes in seemingly poppy albums. I was also very into guys like Sammy Johns and Paul Williams that, in retrospect, were great, visionary songwriters, but weren’t looked at that way while recording. To us, we wanted to step away from the whole punk/indie culture. We stepped away from the melodies, words we were writing, and we got pretty prog-y. Pop can be weirder than all those underground acts. Like English Show’s The Prisoner, which has this sort of spaghetti western vibe popular in the late ’60s, early ’70s.”
Hugging Dear Old Reagan: “‘Sweethearts’ is not entirely an unfavorable critical take on Ronald Reagan. There was a lot of false nostalgia taking off, people pining for a time that didn’t exist. People had this idea of the ’50s as being great and spending time at Woolworths, which was nice unless you were black. So we were taking on a lot of that, but it’s also a snapshot of how I really felt about my own culture, my own time, and my own country.”
Nihilism for the Late 20th Century: “There is a thread of what I call nihilistic individualism throughout the album. We try to portray everyone sympathetically  This whole album was an odd exception, as I didn’t sing that much and I wouldn’t have written as many melodies and passages, but it was an unintended consequence of Jonathan’s absence.”
A Trip to the Theater: “It’s a take on great historical dramas, like the Nazis in WWII or the Armenian exodus. We were exploring the whole vilification of others in a way that was kind of misanthropic-humanist. What a contradiction, but it’s not totally unsympathetic. And, yeah, we put saucers in there, but it is still very serious. We were earnestly straightforward, without irony or sarcasm, as to avoid being a novelty band. It was like Pynchon writing as if they’re Busby Berkeley musicals.”
Writing Rock Music for Dummies: “I’ve never been able to formulate why radical and revolutionary rock has been using the same narrative voice as some 6th grader writing an essay on what they did over summer vacation. Normal people don’t do that at all; my mother doesn’t tell stories like, ‘This happened, then this happened.’ Even something like hip-hop, famous for its braggart, uses different narrative styles.”
More Mainstream Concessions: “We thought it was a great album, but there was nothing to get on the radio. At Virgin, though, they said ‘Matchstick Men’ might be a nice fit. And it’s a nice counterpoint to the album; even if it doesn’t fit wholly, we made it fit tonally.
You’re Welcome, Wilco: “I don’t think we would’ve gotten that critical acclaim without the commercial success. Guys like an Issac Brock or Jeff Tweedy, people who followed us, wouldn’t have found us. Issac wouldn’t have heard of us in rural Montana if we didn’t have that song played on MTV. But we never changed our artistic approach, and we did it on our own terms.”
La Costa Perdida (2013)
Living Like the Stones: “In 2010, Greg and I came together. We do everything collaboratively, and sometimes I flow out to the west coast or they fly out to Virginia. And it was kinda stupid how easy it was to write and record. We have nothing else to do, so if it takes us twice or four times or eight times, we do whatever it takes to get it done. That big of a gap, though, helps make it more exciting. But I figured out a long time ago that Camper’s the kind of band that can play 30 shows a year and still have interest because we’re not on any sort of production schedule. For better or worse, we can act like some legacy band. We can play shows and go to Europe every couple of years and then tour every four years.”
Just Like the Good Old Days: “It’s basically like it was in the early days, only Jonathan and I will bully our way if we think it’s going the wrong way. There was something like six passes on ‘Come Down the Coast’, and I still felt like it wasn’t where it needed to be. So finally me and Jonathan finally do something about it. Still, we’re way more collaborative than most other good bands.”
The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same: “With a song like ‘Summer Day’, it’s actually made of two versions, both using completely different studios and drum kits and amps and energies and everything. The original demo is sort of better, so we took the middle section from the demo and cut it together. It makes for a great pallet change, a nice switch from black and white to color. There were other things, too. Like, with ‘Summer Day’, Jonathan didn’t think the drums worked, so he went in and edited the middle section by himself, which is a crazy edit. And at one point, I was like, ‘Can I please have one verse where nobody’s playing a counter-melody? Give me a minute and a half at least.’ It takes a lot longer to work like this, but the rewards outweigh the work.”
Progging Onward: “The longer songs were sort of becoming a live favorite for the fans, so we were getting more in touch with and embracing the prog-rock side on a couple of songs. ‘Come Down the Coast’ is a great way to start. It’s complex but very simple, but it’s also misleading as it’s much more different than what we’ve done before. It’s that contrast that makes it fun; it’s that whole thing that makes it more interesting. We’re coming to grips with our unabashed love of classic and prog rock. There’s definitely more reverence, but we’re still sort of mocking it.”
Ripping Off… Yourself?: ” ‘Love for All Time’ is one of the more strange and intricate songs Camper has ever done. It plays every tone in the scale at some point and was inspired by the ’60s pop of Burt Bacharach and the like. It’s crafted so simple and so complex. But the album’s full of all sorts of similar things coming out like that. ‘California Girls’ has a three-cord change, ‘Too High’ has eight parts, and ‘Summer Day’ may be one of the more challenging songs we’ve done. But there’s also another way of looking at it, that these songs are tied back to our other albums and songs; ‘Too High’ is bits of Sweetheart and II + III, ‘Summer Day’ takes a page out of Key Lime Pie, ‘Come Down the Coast’ fits in and around ‘Sad Lover’s Waltz’. So, in some ways, it’s kinda like a greatest hits album.”
The Power of Norteño: “I moved away from California so many years ago, I wanted to write about that time and that place. There’s still that nostalgia, though, with me and for Jonathan, who was thinking about going to Sweden. And it’s sort of loosely bound by Beach Boys’ Holland, the Big Sur surf period, and regional norteño music. With norteño, there’s a lot of soul in the music. Having lived in California in the ’70s, it’s all around us. It’s coming from the neighbor’s band across the street or at the grocery store. It permeates our conscious and our geography, and you can’t really escape it. I also got really fascinated by how similar it is to ska and country, like ska is one beat shift away from norteño, which is pretty nutty.”
Good Vibrations: “In terms of the Beach Boys’ Holland, the track ‘Steamboat’ has all these weird noises and structure, like it’s almost breathing throughout. Our song, ‘A Love for All Time’, makes a reference of that with the waves of the ocean. But it’s also a hippie record, about moving to the country and raising children and just generally dropping out of civilization. But it’s not introspective or misanthropic; it’s kinda like Vonnegut’s Bluebeard, which is all about loving people and loving everything. We don’t always show who we are and what we feel, so we humanized ourselves by embracing that northern California vibe.”
A Musical History Lesson: “All that stuff is an offshoot of South German music, which is why we have brass and strings in mariachi. It’s that so-called Tex-Czech that grew when Germans entered Northern Mexico in the 1830s-1860s. It’s the combining of two cultures that illicit the same melodies. Camper was informed as much by punk, ska, norteño, country, like we’re building from the ruins of an ancient civilization. There’s bits and elements that we embraced, like invading barbarians, but we made up our own mythology.”
Looking Toward the Future: “We’re already thinking of the next album, maybe where we take a look at SoCal. Like some chaotic metropolis like Los Angeles, where we can explore multiculturalism and politics and globalization. You know, play up like the Blade Runner aspects of LA.”

http://consequenceofsound.net/2013/05/dissected-camper-van-beethoven-with-david-lowery/

CHUNKY GLASSES
(music blog) – State Theater show preview.
TO DO LIST: Camper Van Beethoven / Cracker @ The State Theater
David Lowery has spent more time in the news as a tireless advocate for artists’ rights lately, but it will be a trip down memory lane on Thursday as both his former bands pull into the State Theater.
Lowery got his start in Camper Van Beethoven, which formed in Redlands, California in 1983. A wonderfully eclectic amalgamation of ska, folk, and Hawaiian influences gathered fans of all punk and pop alike. Their debut album yielded the fantastic single “Take the Skinheads Bowling” (which grew to greater prominence when it was featured in the Michael Moore documentary Bowling for Columbine) and a playful, countrified cover of Black Flag’s “Wasted.” They received bigger attention from college radio with their major label debut, 1988′s Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart; the leadoff single, “Eye of Fatima Pt. 1″ was played repeatedly on MTV’s “120 Minutes.” It was their next album, 1989′s Key Lime Pie, that really drove them into the limelight. Eschewing some of the overt humor of earlier records, Key Lime Pie was an Americana record that predated the current Americana craze by 25 years. While everyone remembers CVB’s wonderful cover of “Pictures of Matchstick Men,” it was songs like “Sweethearts” and “When I Win the Lottery” that made the album great. Since then, the band has only released two albums, 2004′s New Roman Times, and La Costa Perdida, which was released in January. The latest record show that the band is still able to create wonderful melodies and innovative sounds, and it’s a rare treat to see them live.
During the CVB hiatus, Lowery formed Cracker, a band which enjoyed more mainstream success out of the gate than CVB did in their long and illustrious existence. Their self-titled 1991 album made waves because of its leadoff single “Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now), but their follow-up, Kerosene Hat, blew up because of infectious songs like “Low,” “Get Off This,” and “Euro-Trash Girl.” Amazingly the band has released 10 albums, all of which provide a solid pop answer to Camper Van Beethoven’s more worldly sounds.
Adding to this already impressive discography is Lowery’s underrated 2011 solo album The Palace Guards (“solo” being something of a misnomer as members of both his bands appear on the record). A more subtle record than anything by CVB or Cracker, it features the flashes of humorous lyrical brilliance that Lowery has shown throughout his career.
With Lowery followed by Lowery on Thursday night, the State is the place to be Thursday night.

 http://chunkyglasses.com/content/to-do-list-camper-van-beethovencracker-tonight-the-state-the.html

DENVER POST
(Denver daily) – Show preview with band photo.


http://calendar.denverpost.com/performers/show/28348-cracker

M MUSIC & MUSICIANS
(National quarterly music magazine) – Positive CVB album review. 
CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN – La Costa Perdida [429]
It’s not really a surprise Camper Van Beethoven’s first new album in nine years is full of quirky sounds and whimsical, borderline satirical lyrics. Effectively the mischievous older sibling of founding frontman David Lowrey’s other famous band, Cracker, CVB sounds as if they never went on hiatus. Following in the lyrical footsteps of its best-known songs—”Where the Hell Is Bill?” and “Take the Skinheads Bowling”—the group shows it’s matured without losing its satirical edge or musical dexterity. Although the album was inspired by the hippies of ’60s Northern California, the band explores more than mere classic rock. Ska meets the Grateful Dead on “Peaches in the Summertime,” while “You Got to Roll” is a blues-infused mash-up of Jimi Hendrix and Curtis Mayfield. Factor in gems like “Northern California Girls,” and you’d be justified in thinking CVB has returned with their best album to date. –Nancy Dunham

http://mmusicmag.com/m/2013/05/camper-van-beethoven/

BOSTON GLOBE
(Boston daily) – Brief show preview with band photo. 
Radio 92.9 EarthFest, May 18
Cracker will perform at EarthFest
The annual fest in honor of Planet Earth celebrates its 20th anniversary with a line-up that includes Vertical Horizon, Cracker, Gentlemen Hall, Fastball, and Camper Van Beethoven. Radio 92.9 EarthFest presented by Whole Foods Market also features exhibits and environmental displays, samples of earth-friendly products, and an interactive Kids’ Planet area. In the spirit of the festival and in light of the fact that it’s expected to draw more than 100,000 people, take the T or use pedal power to get there (free bike valet service will be provided courtesy of MassBike). May 18. Free, donations will be accepted for The One Fund Boston. Event begins at 10 a.m. DCR Hatch Memorial Shell, Boston. www.earthfest.com

http://www.boston.com/thingstodo/gotoit/2013/05/radio_929_earth_1.html

JIM SULLIVAN INK
(Boston music blog) – Feature with David interview to preview Boston show.
Camper, Cracker Highlight Saturday’s 20th Annual EarthFest at Hatch Shell 
David Lowery will be pulling double duty at WBOS/92.9’s 20th annual Earth Day concert Saturday May 18.. He’ll be singing and playing guitar with Camper Van Beethoven, the quirky California band he co-founded in 1983. Then, he’ll be doing the same with Cracker, the more straight-ahead rock group he-co-founded in Virginia in 1990.
Which means he’s part of 1/3 of the entertainment at the Hatch Shell, which kicks off at 11:15 with a local battle of the bands winner and continues with Gentleman Hall, Fastball and Vertical Horizon,  (Yes, Earth Day was last month; for the Earth Day concert – main sponsor Whole Foods – they like to play better odds for a sunny day and this Saturday looks pretty peachy right now.
The genre-scrambling Camper had underground hits like “Take the Skinheads Bowling” and a cover of Status Quo’s “Pictures of Matchstick Men.”  Cracker hit the semi-mainstream with “Low” and “Teen Angst.” On this tour, four of Camper’s five members are originals and half of Cracker’s four are. We talked with Lowery by phone.
JSInk: This whole Camper-Cracker, effort, which was at the Middle East in January, seems like a lot of work. What kind of effort is this for you?
It’s hard in one way, but in some ways it’s easier for me. If I did a three-hour Cracker show it’s pretty physical because its pretty much me singing most of the time with occasional breaks for Johnny Hickman’s guitar solos. But Camper has all this instrumental stuff and even within the songs that have lyrics, there’s all these instrumental passages. It’s great to play a selection of songs that cover 27 years. Cracker’s drummer Frank [Funaro] is pulling double duty, too, and sometimes Camper’s Victor [Krummenacher] will sub on bass for Cracker.
When Camper broke up in 1990 my understanding was there was a lot of animosity.
    Yeah, I always thought it was a big drama, but now after being around bands for 30 years, producing bands, it was really kind of tame. It was an uneventful breakup. There were some personality conflicts. But everybody in Camper always had side projects, so not everybody’s identity was locked into Camper Van Beethoven and still isn’t. It’s a fragile thing. My wife, who manages both bands, tells me, “That’s what Camper wants to be.” Camper comes together and it goes apart and it has to be respected.
What was the idea when Cracker formed?
Johnny Hickman, who I formed Cracker with, is probably one of the biggest Camper fans around, a true diehard supporter and an old friend.  When we formed Cracker, what we didn’t want to do is start an imitation Camper Van Beethoven, or Camper Mach II. We didn’t want to screw with the legacy. For Cracker, we needed to step away and let it have its own identity. The shared musical language we have fits more in the classic rock place, leaning toward Americana and with maybe Brit psychedelia.
I liked Cracker right away, but did miss the quirks.
It is less quirky. When me and Johnny write songs together, it’s more straight-up rock ‘n’ roll without winking and having some irony involved in us “rocking.” It’s very natural for us to do that. Why shouldn’t we play to our strengths? And that downplays the quirky part of my songwriting.
You’ve always mixed irony and sincerity.
I think sometimes people regarded us as maybe not serious because there was humor in our work. It was a little weird to me. Look at American literature. Novelists like Thomas Pynchon, Kurt Vonnegut and Cormac McCarthy incorporated absurdity and humor, yet they told a serious story I was always surprised that sometimes [in music] you’re treated as not serious if you do that. When you tell a serious story, you use all the narrative tools. Using an unreliable narrator is my favorite thing, a character that is not telling the truth and you’re supposed to know they’re not telling the truth. I love that.
But in rock, we seem to want to believe the singer means every word.
Yeah, there’s something about people that want that kind of voice in rock. But I am who I am and I can only end up writing and playing the songs that make me happy so. In a way, there’s always been commercial suicide built into what we’re doing.
You used to knock back shots of whiskey before and after shows – you and I shared a few – but not anymore, right?
Yeah, I’ve been sober for eight years now. It was a little weird getting used to playing when you weren’t really going to the party, and it was challenging to feel comfortable on stage for a good year-and-a-half. But I don’t really think about it anymore. After the show, if someone says, “Let’s go!” I’m like “Do they have ice cream or coffee?”
There’s a Kid’s Planet Stage show starting at 10 A.M. There’s an area for www.OneFundBoston.org donations and plenty of enviro-friendly booths.
And, there’s some new rules, thanks to the Boston Marathon bombing. Backpacks, coolers, blankets, large bags or open containers will not be allowed into the festival and all bags will be subject to a discretionary search. Small bags and necessary items such as strollers will be allowed in with checks. Festival attendees may access the event at the Charles Street Footbridge or the Dartmouth Street Footbridge. There will be no access to the event via the Fiedler Footbridge, at the corner of Arlington Street and Beacon Street. Gates for the festival will open at 10 a.m.

http://www.jimsullivanink.com/content/view/2295/38/

GRAND RAPIDS PRESS / SPINS ON MUSIC
(GR daily and music site) – Feature with Johnny interview and band photos.. 
Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven to regale Grand Rapids ‘Crumbs’ with country-hued alt-rock
Cracker is a West Coast band not a West Michigan band, but you’d never know that from the enthusiastic cadre of Grand Rapids-area fans, aka Crumbs, who embrace the group’s unique alt-country-infused rock.
“They take great pride in Cracker being their band,” guitarist Johnny Hickman says of the devoted pockets of Crumbs across the globe who follow Cracker’s every move. “It keeps expanding. They look out for each other. It’s like a mini-Deadhead community of Crumbs. I’m happy for them.”
Hickman credits Crumbs, in part, for the longevity of the band which has released eight official studio albums since 1992. That fan base – which is apt to tape and take video of performances – is expected to be out in full force at The Intersection on Sunday night when Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven roll back into Grand Rapids (with West Michigan’s own Dutch Henry – an equally inventive alt-country infused rock band – opening the show).
It helps that Hickman and frontman David Lowery – who also fronts CVB, the more esoteric, more prog-like outfit which preceded the formation of Cracker – have “stayed the course” and stayed “on the same page” creatively and business-wise during that time period.
“The two of us combined are influenced by everything from The Ramones to Johnny Cash to Iggy Pop, The Pixies. There’s such a range of influence that each album comes out a little different,” he offered in an interview with Local Spins earlier this week. “It’s … chameleon-like, yet it always sounds like Cracker. And we have a sort of shared sense of humor that threads through the entire thing.”
Not to mention a bit of an attitude that had the band going against the mainstream grain from the very beginning.
Johnny Hickman
In fact, the band’s first public gig at a Los Angeles club in the early 1990s was erroneously billed as “Crapper” by the Los Angeles Times, Hickman recalls. “It was pretty hilarious,” he says, noting the performance drew “40 or 50 curious people” who knew Lowery from his CVB days.
The record label even initially suggested calling the band Beethoven, something Hickman and Lowery quickly rejected. Fortunately, the band’s self-titled album sold well enough to go gold and its follow-up, 1993’s “Kerosene Hat,” did even better by achieving platinum status.
Along the way, Cracker has enjoyed a smidgen of commercial success with singles such as “Low,” “Teen Angst,” “Euro-Trash Girl” and “Get Off This.”
“We kind of snuck in the back door by being a band that had something to say and were lucky enough to write a catchy three-minute song,” Hickman suggested, with the band attracting a “diehard following” for tunes “with a big, simple guitar lick.“
Not surprisingly, the lion’s share of Cracker fans also are diehard CVB fans. So, when that band reunited about a decade ago to record its first studio album, “New Roman Times,” in 15 years, Crumbs embraced that, too. Since then, the bands have frequently toured together, with CVB releasing its latest album, “La Costa Perdida,” in January.
Cracker, featuring bassist Sal Maida and drummer Frank Funaro (who also plays in CVB), usually closes out the evening, with members from both bands occasionally joining each other on stage.
“Most of our fan base likes both bands … It’s the same singer in both bands and they’re both guitar-based rock bands,” said Hickman, who lives in Colorado. “And every time we tour, we pull out a couple songs we haven’t done in awhile. We mix it up. We just kind of get a group of songs and start playing and get the vibe from the audience.”
The guitarist said he and Lowery appreciate the time they spend away from Cracker to work on side projects; Hickman last year released a solo album which he described as “very satisfying and successful.”
But something new may be brewing soon for Cracker, which released its last album, “Sunrise in the Land of Milk and Honey,” in 2009. Hickman and Lowery will likely start plotting a new studio project “in the next few months. I can feel it coming; it’s about time.”
Until then, they’ll keep their community of Crumbs revved up on the road.
“We may be a little too weird for the main mainstream. The people who do get us, get us all the way,” he said. “They get the irony, they get the humor and all the facets that Cracker is. We make music to please ourselves and that’s a plus, that’s a bonus. We just want to entertain each other and entertain ourselves, and make it sound as good as possible.” Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven, Dutch Henry
When: 7:30 p.m. Sunday (doors open at 7 p.m.)
Where: The Intersection, Grand Rapids
Tickets: $18 advance, $20 day of show
Buy tickets online here.



http://localspins.com/cracker-camper-van-beethoven-to-regale-grand-rapids-crumbs-with-country-hued-alt-rock/

ISTHMUS
(Madison weekly) – Brief positive show preview. 
Saturday 5.11
Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
The dream of the ’90s is alive at the Majestic as Cracker, the rockers responsible for the radio hit “Low,” take the stage. Camper Van Beethoven will summon the spirit of ’80s college rock with funny fare such as “Take the Skinheads Bowling.”


http://www.thedailypage.com/daily/article.php?article=39877

THE WASHINGTON POST
(Washington daily) – Feature w/ David interview to preview show.
Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven together at the State Theatre in Falls Church
For someone who has logged 30 years at the obscure end of the music industry — with the radio-friendly, alt-rock Cracker and the trippy, psych-rock Camper Van Beethoven — David Lowery is remarkably practical about success.
The latter song catapulted the then-boyish Lowery onto MTV, the late-night circuit and radio (back when such things mattered more). But then, like so many other alternative acts, Camper and Cracker faded, drowned out by electronica and industrial, gangster rap and the umpteen other musical sea changes in the decade after “Low.”
The mainstream attention, Lowery says, was the anomaly, a blip in the timeline for two bands who had done just fine playing small venues. All these decades later, they still find their way to intimate spaces.
Lowery, who lives in Richmond, also has pursued other passions. He teaches a course at the University of Georgia, and the onetime mathematics major is on the board of a fund that invests in tech companies.
But with the release of Camper’s new album, “La Costa Perdida,” Lowery is back on the road. For more than a decade, his two bands have played double-bills, meaning that every night, Lowery is at the mike for two concerts. It’s something, he says, fans have come to expect. We talked with Lowery about playing in two bands nightly, decades of touring and California dreaming.
How do you go from one band to another every night? How do you make the shift?
Lowery: In Cracker, we have a more traditional singer-lead guitarist performance. There’s a lot more of physical energy that goes into it. That requires me to be more of a focal point. I sing a lot more, I have a lot more physical energy in it. Camper Van Beethoven is a totally different type of ensemble. I do sing. There are songs that are like the songs Cracker does. But a lot of times there are long instrumental passages within the songs, and songs that are just instrumental. It’s actually a lot easier for me to do a performance with Camper Van Beethoven than it is with Cracker.
You’ve been in music for 30 years. The last Cracker album [“Sunrise in the Land of Milk and Honey”] did really well. You don’t necessarily have to tour. Why hit the road, get in the van, stay in hotels?
Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven have always worked on a grass-roots level. We had radio hits, but we built our long-standing following by going everywhere you could play, and playing where people were like us. A pop band might not play Tucson, Arizona, or Marfa, Texas. But there’s actually a lot of freaky people who like Camper Van Beethoven in places like that, so we go and play there. We don’t do it as much anymore, because it’s a young man’s game. It’s not actually profitable.
Camper Van Beethoven has a new album, “La Costa Perdida.” You live in Richmond, and you’re not all in the same place. So how did the album come together?
I’ve been in Richmond now for about 20 years. Camper Van Beethoven, now, the members live in Australia, Los Angeles, the Bay area, Sweden and here. Essentially, like most bands, when we were kids all living in the same town and hanging out with each other, we wrote more songs because we were in each other’s general proximity. Camper Van Beethoven just didn’t do that for six years. We ended up having a show at the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur, and they postponed it for a week because of weather, and so I ended up hanging out at [violin and guitar player Jonathan Segel’s] house in Oakland. I said, “I know what we should do: We should write some songs.” We just sort of did that all week and generated this album. We’re talking about going to Iceland next year to write a record.
That has to affect what you’re writing. How did being in Big Sur affect this record?
We were listening to this Beach Boys record called “Holland,” one of those weird records that got panned at the time it came out and was just a weird period for the Beach Boys. This explains Camper Van Beethoven: We were like these post-punkers in the ruins of that back-to-the-country, ’70s hippie culture. We just started taking bits and pieces of that and incorporating it — incorrectly — into what we were doing. That was Camper Van Beethoven for many, many of the years. But you can’t do that without really coming to understand what that Northern California hippie culture is, to identify with and to delve into it. This is our album where we just finally embraced that.
Camper van Beethoven and Cracker
Appearing May 16 at the State Theatre, 220 N. Washington St., Falls Church.
Show starts at 8:30 p.m. 703-237-0300. www.thestatetheatre.com. $25.
The Download
From Camper Van Beethoven’s “La Costa Perdida”: “Northern California Girls”
With Lowery as frontman, the bands churned out two ’80s and ’90s earworms, Camper Van Beethoven’s “Take the Skinheads Bowling” and the twangy Cracker rocker “Low.”
Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven
Details: 8:30 pm Thursday, May 16
The State Theatre
220 N. Washington St., Falls Church, VA 22046
Price: $25
Information: 703-237-0300


http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/misc-events/cracker-and-camper-van-beethoven,1254039.html

BACKSEAT MAFIA
(UK music blog) – Feature with Victor interview, Europe tour dates and band photos.. 
Not Forgotten: Camper Van Beethoven, New Album & Exclusive Interview
’ve started doing what I hated as a child, to my own children. Correcting their speech. My daughter has this thing of saying ‘like’ before it, so she says ‘We were going to this, like, playground’, and I say things like, was it like a playground, or was it an actual playground. She rolls her eyes at me (starting early, aged seven) and say ‘well of course, it was an actual one’, and somewhere a star dies, or something like that.
I discovered Camper Van Beethoven as a student (yeah, they’ve been going that long – in fact, since 1983) their Key Lime Pie (1989) on repeat as I got used to living away from home. Its just when you come to the description, I come over all like my little girl. Its like (there it goes) this Ska, punk, americana, indie, post-oh I don’t what – and if I were to say to myself (this is getting complicated) is it like that, or actually that, well then I wouldn’t know.
What I do know is that they take a whole range of influences, throw them all into a pot with some smart writing, and inventive musicianship, and what usually pops out is something that is unique, listenable and clever.
he band went through something of a hiatus, which ended in 1999 with an album, Tusk. Yes, that Tusk – completely re-recorded versions of the Fleetwood Mac classic. Since then the band have gone on to play that favourite album of mine live, in its entirety, have curated their own little festival (or at least organised get-together) and have returned very recently with La Costa Perdida, a collection of……well, like (damn it) Americana, Ska, Folky, Californian, indie…..this isn’t, like, this really good Camper Van Beethoven. This actually is a really good Camper Van Beethoven record.
We spoke to bassist (and sometime Monks of Doom frontman) Victor Krummenacher, about acting kinda kooky, the Camper Van Beethoven way, for 30 years, making records still and everything in between.
Hey, so 30 years, give or take….what keeps you going?
We’ve talked about this, and I think we kind of feel like there’s no advantage in stopping. Nothing about it is particularly easy, that said, nothing about it is unbearably hard, although it certainly can be difficult. We play better than we used to, the music is interesting, the chemistry is still there, people still come to see us play… so why stop? It’s not like it’s a full time job, it’s just something we keep doing when we have time. And I think we all like to play.
Still improving? Learning?
Always. If we weren’t and if I weren’t, I’d quit. There was a period before we started playing Key Lime Pie in it’s entirety about 3 years ago where I was really on the fence about continuing, because it seemed like the band was in stasis. That’s changed with a new album, and we’re growing again. So my attitude is back to go with it.
Thinking back to those early days and early gigs/records – how do you view them? With pride, embarrassment, just great times?
All of it. It’s a full scope human experience. I wouldn’t say all great times, some of it’s been pretty bad, but it’s all part of it.
You’ve always taken a lot of influences and included them in your music – how would you describe the sort of music you play?
I don’t try. We all have our proclivities, and we all work to maintain an open mind. I just listen to what I like and play what works. Some of us have our ear to the ground more than others in as far as listening to newer bands and music, and some of us are more rooted in older music. But I think all of us are open to trying to keep the ideas open and to experimenting. Camper is also one of those bands that’s willing to fail in order to grow. I don’t think any of us look at what we’ve done as overly precious, but we also know how strong some of our material is and that we’re not what people tend to think we are, which is often this lighthearted, absurdist band. Because we’re that and a while lot more. We’re a rock band, from the school of bands that thought that rock music could do anything.
Tell us about the new record? How did it come about? How long did it take to write and record it?
Greg and David did some writing in the Autumn of 2011, and in the late spring of 2012, we had a show that was postponed for a week due to weather and we wound up sitting around Jonathan’s house for a week.  We came up with about 20 ideas, and then started recording them that summer. We did a few sessions of basics and then everybody kind of crawled off into their corners and did their overdubs… a few arguments later we mixed it with Drew Vandenberg and it was done. There are enough strong songs we didn’t finish that we should have another one done soon.
Another record? Any timescale in your mind for that?
2014 would be nice. I’d like to do some recording before the end of the year if we can.
Do you find those processes easier now, or harder?
I don’t find recording with the band easy, honestly. Working on my own is easy, working with the band requires patience and deference and respect and fighting for your point of view. Band recording is NOT easy… still I like being in the studio, and we are better at it. Camper is a very opinionated group of people recording can be pretty contentious sometimes.
Presumably you don’t have quite the record company pressure you used to have – does that make it better, giving you more time, a free rein, or is it more difficult?
I haven’t made a recording with a record company in mind since 1992. We really don’t need to be told what to do, we know how to make records. That someone can sell them still is fine by me. The most important exercise is the writing, the documentation is nice, but all of that really is in service to writing and executing ideas and playing live… that’s where the real musicianship is. The marketing of the product supports that. It would be nice to have a larger audience, but it seems like we’ve got some good support going on, so I feel lucky.
You’ve been getting good reviews in the press for the new album – pleased with how its gone?
Yes, I think Camper has cemented some respect with this record. I think people were wondering if we were or could do a new batch of songs. I don’t think that was ever in question, but it took a while.
Which songs on the album are you most pleased with, or are your favourites
A Love For All Time, Summer Days, Come Down The Coast, Peaches In The Summertime are among my favourites. I’m pleased with most aspects of the record. Any recording is a document in time, and if you go in open-ended on how you’re going to do it, without constraint, which is how Camper tends to go, it’s harder to fulfil every hope about what you want to do. I’ve learned from other projects that sometimes putting constraints and rules into effect about how you’re going to work can help focus. Camper, by it’s very nature, is NOT that, it kind of needs to run it’s course. And this record did that well, in a pretty organic way that allowed all members a good chunk of say about what was going on. So it came out well.
You’re going on a huge tour – hows the rehearsals for that been going?
Rehearsals? We don’t rehearse. Due to a heavy workload at my day job, I’m sitting out some shows and having Camper alumnus David Immerglück play bass on a few legs. So I’ve actually got to woodshed with him in the UK before I send him off. Normally we just show up and go.
And looking forward to coming across to England and Europe?
I love the UK, and it’s been a while since we’ve been there. Looking forward to it very much.
Tell us about (your festival) campout? When/where and have you approached anyone to play at it yet.
Always the second weekend in September, and no, we haven’t figured out the lineup yet. Tends to be a friends and family affair in as far as who plays. We just kind of let it go, it’s easier that way.
What does the future hold for Camper Van Beethoven?
I don’t have a clue. We have gigs through the summer, and some very nice ones, actually. With luck we’ll get to do some more. As long as I can balance day jobs and solo efforts and make Camper work for me, I’m in. And it could all blow up next week. And that would be OK too. Just roll with it, and don’t worry about it. We’re lucky to have it.
VK

http://backseatmafia.wordpress.com/2013/05/10/not-forgotten-camper-van-beethoven-new-album-exclusive-interview/

CHICAGO SUN TIMES
(Chicago daily) – Positive show preview with Jonathan Segel photo.
Camper and Cracker hit the road again
More than 25 years ago, Camper Van Beethoven kept ’80s college radio stocked with smart stoner songs such as “Take the Skinheads Bowling” and “Pictures of Matchstick Men.” Singer David Lowery turned up the yee-haw a bit in his next band, Cracker, and dipped a toe into the mainstream (“Teen Angst,” “Low”). Between CVB’s end in the early ’90s and its 2000s reincarnation, Lowery produced many acts (Counting Crows, Sparklehorse), guitarist-violinist Jonathan Segel got around (Hieronymus Firebrain, Jack & Jill, great solo albums including the recent “All Attractions”) and bassist Victor Krummenacher played with Monks of Doom and made his own solo albums.
But the rebounds always came back to Camper and Cracker. The two bands share enough off-kilter whimsy and personnel that for most of the 21st century, they’ve been touring as a package.
Guitarist-violinist Jonathan Segel returns with Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker to play the Cubby Bear Friday night. Tickets are $15. | Ian Weintraub


http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/conner/19957251-452/camper-and-cracker-hit-the-road-again.html

ILLINOIS ENTERTAINER
(Chicago music monthly) – Positive show preview with band photo. 
Stage Buzz: Camper Van Beethoven
David Lowery provides the double bill Friday in Wrigleyville as his outfits Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker join forces at the Cubby Bear. Camper Van Beethoven is touring in support of their first album in almost 10 years, La Costa Perdida.
Although Cracker is the group that hit MTV, spawned a No. 1 modern rock single and went platinum with its debut album, it’s fairly obvious that Camper Van Beethoven is Mr. Lowery’s first and true love. Almost completely unclassifiable (except by the band themselves, who named it “surrealist absurdist folk”), CVB dabbled in punk, folk, country, ska, world music and prog rock and all-around quirkiness through the course of five albums in the ’80s. The new record, La Costa Perdida, is more accessible to newcomers than one might expect, and should satisfy the long-time diehards that willingly follow the group’s wandering muse. The country-rock opener “Come Down The Coast” opens with some easygoing fingerpicking and pedal steel, while the seven-minute “Northern California Girls” is the climax of the set highlighted by Lowery’s breezy lyrics and Jonathon Segel’s violin. As evidenced by the record’s title and subject matter, this collection of songs seems like an (mostly) un-ironic ode to the group’s Northern California roots.
Friday should also satisfy fans of Cracker, Lowery’s more straightforward alt-country group, who burned up the ’90s airwaves with hits like “Teen Angst (What The World Needs Now),” “Low,” and “I Hate My Generation.” Jaik Willis, local self-described “freak show,” opens up. (Friday@Cubby Bear.)

http://illinoisentertainer.com/2013/05/stage-buzz-camper-van-beethoven/

CHICAGO SUN TIMES
(Chicago daily) – Feature with Jonathan interview and band photos to preview show
Jonathan Segel on Camper Van Beethoven and beyond
By Thomas Conner
More than a quarter century ago, Camper Van Beethoven kept ’80s college radio stocked with smart stoner songs (“Take the Skinheads Bowling,” “Pictures of Matchstick Men”). Singer David Lowery turned up the yee-haw a bit in his next band, Cracker, and dipped a toe into the mainstream (“Teen Angst,” “Low”). Between CVB’s end in the early ’90s and it’s 2000s reincarnation, Lowery produced many acts (Counting Crows, Sparklehorse), guitarist-violinist Jonathan Segel (far left above) got around (Heironymous Firebrain, Jack & Jill, great solo albums including the recent “All Attractions”) and bassist Victor Krummenacher played with Monks of Doom and made his own solo albums.
But the rebounds always came back to Camper and Cracker. The two bands share enough off-kilter whimsy and personnel that for most of the 21st century they’ve been touring as a package.
CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN & CRACKER
• 9 p.m. May 10
• Cubby Bear, 1059 W. Addison
• Tickets: $15 advance, $17 door; (773) 327-1662; cubbybear.com
The reunited Camper is as workaday as the original. Are they celebrated with the same froth whipped up around Pavement reunions or the recent quasi-Replacements project? No. (Should they be? Yes.) But that’s not exactly what these guys are in it for.
“As David put it, ‘There’s no benefit to quitting,’” Segel told me in a recent interview. “We play well, we entertain people, they seem to like it. If we can do it and break even, we benefit from the sheer enjoyment of the situation, and from getting better at what we do every time.”
Answering questions online from his current home in Stockholm, Segel talked — and the boy does go on and on — about Camper’s legacy, the band’s latest California-centric album, “La Costa Perdida,” his own solo work and the growing pains of music in a digital world:
Q: David Lowery told me a couple of years ago: “Cracker is so much my personality and Johnny [Hickman]‘s, what I write we can do some version of. Camper is a particular beast.” Can you describe the particular beast that is Camper? I still struggle myself …
Jonathan Segel: Well, we have always been some sort of alchemy of the members of the band, regardless of the line-up at the time. A multi-headed hydra! The long-running line up in the 1980s was David, me, Victor Krummenacher, [guitarist] Greg Lisher and [drummer] Chris Pedersen. Then we hit a snag in 1989-90 and I was gone and replaced by David Immergluck and Morgan Fichter for a year (cut off one head and two more shall grow back in its place!). When we started playing as a band again, we went back to the long standing five-piece, but Chris P lives in Australia, so ultimately Frank Funaro has been drumming with us (from Cracker).
So who are we? One of the really interesting things about writing [2004’s] “New Roman Times,” and even more so with “La Costa Perdida,” was bringing everything that we have all individually done in the interim to the table. David obviously has done Cracker but also a bunch of producing; Victor, coming through the Monks of Doom, has become an amazing singer-songwriter in the classic tradition; Greg, after the Monks, has worked on his own pop albums and is continually finishing an instrumental guitar album; and I’ve done, well, a lot also. So try to bring that all together into a band, where we all have ideas for what to do. We have feelers in all sorts of different types of music, we all are avid book readers, we all have now been playing music all of our adult lives (and longer). It’s tough to describe the thread, but there is a definite California personality that comes out, complete with the punk and hippie personae, and a politicization that verges on the tinfoil hat regime. And if we start from there and go with it, the jokes and inside references can become extremely convoluted and bizarre. And that’s fun for us — that’s one of the big reasons why we continue to do it.
Q: Reunions of rock acts sometimes seem an inevitability. Tell me about how a hydra-headed ensemble like CVB starts communicating again about playing and writing, and eventually creating “New Roman Times.” What was the motivation? What sets the CVB glue?
Segel: Are reunions inevitable? I actually never thought during the 1990s that Camper would ever play again. The process was similar to CVB’s dissolution, in reverse — that is to say, in fits and starts. Coagulation, I suppose. I think the first indications were either Victor sitting in on bass with Cracker or my flying out to Richmond, Va., to record “White Riot” with Cracker for a Clash tribute record. (CVB had always covered “White Riot” as a country-ish tune … still do, in fact.) That must have been 1998 or so? At that point I was playing in Sparklehorse for a couple years and David actually joined us onstage to play “All Her Favorite Fruit” in L.A. at the Troubadour, and I think he might have thought that playing some of the old songs would be fun then. By 2000, Greg, Victor and I were joining Cracker during shows for an “Apothecary Show” sort of Camper/Cracker amalgam, with me or Victor (and band) opening the shows. Then we worked on making old material into new material and new material into old material in the studio, making “Camper Van Beethoven is Dead, Long Live Camper Van Beethoven” and the entire cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Tusk” album. These sort of paved the way for us to record together again.
Camper really “got back together” finally in 2002 in New York for a series of shows at the Knitting Factory. We went to a rehearsal studio and tried to play every song from every album in order. Some worked, some didn’t. But we realized that we were still that band that played all those songs, no matter what happened in the time in between, and they were all still in muscle memory to some extent. Plus it was an intense realization on my part, that this band of players was how I learned how to play in a band to begin with, it was very “family.” So we continued. And made a new album in 2004 finally, and have been playing shows ever since.
Q: When you returned to CVB and were learning Morgan’s violin parts, did you ever think, “Hmm, would’ve done this differently…,” and did you seek to tweak or change any of them? How has the catalog settled/evolved over the years?
Segel: Actually, that’s not quite right. I played on demos of about half the tracks on “Key Lime Pie” initially, before leaving the band in 1989, and then in the studio they got Don Lax to play violin. He’s sort of a madman gypsy violinist from Santa Cruz. It sounds to me like they recorded him improvising and cut and pasted a bunch (on 2-inch tape!). Morgan played on two tracks on that record, “Pictures of Matchstick Men” and “Flowers,” both of which I would swear were me playing. (We had recorded “Matchstick Men” for [1988’s] “Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart,” but didn’t finish it so that our first major-label single wouldn’t be a cover.) But apparently, says Victor, Dennis Herring analyzed my effects chain and duplicated it, and she played my parts exactly.
When we play material from “KLP,” I simply cannot play like Don Lax. He’s a really incredible violinist. I’m sort of a hack, a guitarist who started playing violin. So I do have to tweak it and change it, and for some of the tracks, like “All Her Favorite Fruit,” I go back to my demo ideas. But when we were going to put out [the 2008 best-of] “Popular Songs of Great Enduring Strength and Beauty,” Virgin wouldn’t let us use their recordings, so we had to re-record things to have versions of songs from “OBRS” and “KLP” that we could use for this package. Bruce Kaphan was producing these tracks, and his charter was to make them sound as exact as possible to the originals, which was technically very odd, of course. Imagine trying to track down working studio gear common to the late 1980s. I could easily play things from “OBRS” for the most part but, man, the “KLP” things were incredibly difficult for me, technically and psychologically. I felt like I was being forced to pretend that I was the very guy that stole my own girlfriend. It took me a long and difficult session to record these versions of “All Her Favorite Fruit” and “When I Win the Lottery.”
Actually, now that I think about it, I have had to learn one of Morgan’s parts, on a song called “L’Aguardiente,” which is only on record as a live version from 1990, I think. It’s technically tough for me also, as she’s a real violinist, and I don’t get it right every time in concert. I sort of have to do it any way I can. She came to a show we played in Sebastapol a couple years back, and I offered the violin to her to play it, but she didn’t accept.
Q: Tell me about making “La Costa Perdida,” and what identity has it carved out in the Camper catalog?(Bonus Q: Hey, no instrumentals?!)
Segel: La Costa was quite a while in the making, of course — what, seven years between albums? Eight? After working on “New Roman Times,” we toured a lot and planned to make a new record by getting together and writing it together. But when we finally had more time to think about it, we were all at home in our different cities (David in Richmond, Frank in New York, Greg in Santa Cruz, Victor in San Francisco and me in Oakland). Then Cracker cranked up their machine again and made another record, and the rest of us worked at our various jobs and on our own records. Then while Cracker was touring very extensively, they actually wrote another record all together. So Cracker had two releases between the Camper ones. In fact, so did I and so did Victor!
Camper still did the same annual touring, mostly Christmas to Presidents’ Day, and then August or September into our Camp-Out Festival near Joshua Tree, but it wasn’t until late 2010 that Greg and David got together for a few days and actually began to carve out some ideas for the next CVB album. About six months later, we were scheduled to play at the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur, Calif., and it got rained out (in June!) and rescheduled for a week later, so we all went to my (now former) house in Oakland every day and sat in the living room and wrote songs together. We must have gotten down ideas for about 20 tracks. The ideas that Greg and David had from the previous winter became mutated, many new musical ideas added during the week, many background and situational ideas for the lyrical content came out of the Big Sur area and its history. We zeroed in on the California theme, taking some inspiration from the Beach Boys “Holland” record, which was all about Northern California and Big Sur. We actually went to the studio to cut some basic tracks later that month, and did the rest in the fall. We decided to hold back some tracks to make the album very NorCal-centric, while the remaining ones were tending to head toward SoCal and L.A. (Just wait for part two!)
The actual “Lost Coast” is north of Mendocino, a fairly wild, hippie, survivalist, inaccessible place, but we took its ideas and spread them along the central coast for the content — that mixed with a few stories from Sweden standing in for Oakland. No instrumentals, you’re right, except “Aged in Wood,” originally titled something like “Meanwhile, at the Love-In …” — it’s actually the same melody as used in “I Was Too High for the Love-In” but entirely transposed into a major key instead of a minor key. I think that both may have started as an instrumentals.
To sum it up, the record grew like a plant, with all of us as gardeners. It didn’t take long to get it shaped up, really, it seemed to have its own life. Some of the recordings really show some maturity and musicianship growth on all of our part — after so long we actually know how to play pretty well these days, and the recordings contain some beautiful parts and arranging (if I do say so myself!) and some subtle beauty. I do try to work with the details of everything I record on to make it have enough to reward listeners the more they listen, and Camper has always mixed so that we can freak out that one kid sitting in the dark with headphones in Iowa when he discovers the ear candies.
Q: When [your latest solo album] “All Attractions” came out, I reeled to learn there had been a few solo titles since “Scissors and Paper.” I felt like a fair-weather fan for not keeping up. But I suspect lots of fans experience music this way, running to stand still in the info stream. You’re an artist and former label chief: What are the challenges today in keeping fans aware and informed of your output, and how do you meet them?
Segel: Man, I’ve all but given up at this point. It’s really impossible to sell records at our individual level. We’re lucky that Camper is as popular as it is in order to get a little word out about everything else we do. The thing is, I’ve also been a front-man or “solo artist” since 1989, but with no real label or agency. Victor and I started Magnetic [Records] in 1993 to make our own CDs. We shut it down finally in 2011, though “All Attractions/Apricot Jam” did really come out in 2012. Financially, I could barely afford to record a band and manufacture some CDs to say nothing of advertising or promotion. (Numbers have dropped precipitously for me in the last while: 1,000 CDs were made of “Scissors and Paper” in 2000, 1,000 of “Edgy Not Antsy” in 2003, then 400 of “Honey” in 2008 and 300 of “All Attractions” in 2012. All of them are gone now, either sold or trashed.) I actually hired the press/PR guy that Camper uses for promoting “All Attractions,” but with my limited budget, I got a few nice reviews. I mean, you found out about it! And I think it’s my best music so far! Magnetic was always just a boutique label to affix a barcode on our CDs. None of them really sold much, it was a hobby. The company never made money. But every new release was exciting and a new reason to keep going. I actually thought every time that certainly this time people would find out how great these records were!
I don’t know what I’m going to do now, really. I don’t think I can stop making music, of course, but it’s very discouraging to me to continue to spend the time, effort and money for a few dozen people to hear it. I have a Bandcamp page attached to my website, where I have tons of music I’ve made, film scores, dance company music, all my solo albums, [the bands] Dent and Chaos Butterfly, some random other collections. Most of it is pay-what-you-will — that is to say: market value. That’s no way to run a label or be a professional musician. Even with the exposure from Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker, it’s a small circle of friends. So the answer is, I don’t know. I have never been able to “sell” myself, my music (or, in fact, anything), and the new market demands hucksterism. I think that’s sad for those of us who aren’t hucksters, and leaves the market filled with exposure for marketeers more than musicians. I can’t imagine any of my favorite artists ever being able to sell themselves, and I’m glad that most have not had to. Those that were forced into retirement or obscurity for financial reasons have my sympathy, to say the least.
Sadly, this all reminds me of one of my favorite musicians ever, who died last week: Scott Miller. He was in a band at UC-Davis when I was in high school in Davis, and I’d been a fan of his ever since, through Game Theory and the Loud Family and beyond. He basically stopped recording, to the concern of many, many fans, about eight years ago, as he had no label or backing and no means to see any new songwriting through to a recording that reached people. He wrote music criticism only (Music: What Happened?) and though many people wanted him to play and record more, he never did. Suddenly he died at 53 years old, and now we’ll never get more of his brilliance.
Q: Tell me about your work at Pandora. What did you learn from the “inside” that illuminated (or darkened) your perspective on music and new media services?
Segel: Well, f—. You know, in the end I was fired. I had been teaching music theory and “Desktop Musicianship” (i.e., computer music) at The College of Marin and Ohlone College, but after the 2008 wide-scale economic f— up, the state let go of a lot of the part-time contracts in the arts. So I applied in “the private sector.” I actually thought Pandora would recognize the potential goldmine of musical knowledge and experience I represented, but of course it’s a company and you’re not paid to think. I tend to agree with Damon Krukowski, in his article in Pitchfork: These companies are about money, and music is simply the fodder they use to make money. I know [Pandora co-founder] Tim Westergren talks big about “being a musician” and how artist-centric the company is, but I never saw that really play out so well for musicians. In fact, where the company had been comprised of many, many musicians at the beginning, there were very few by the IPO. Ultimately, the disciplinary problems I had were based in continuing to “question decisions that had already been made” by those hierarchically above me in the company, even when they were basically unethical, like accepting ads from homophobic hate groups like “Speak Up University” and “Minnesotans for Marriage.” But you know, I can’t shut up so they “let me go.”
I have read numerous articles saying that the trend in music “business” is even downloads will go the way of the CD and we’ll only be left with streaming services (paying that ~$0.002 per stream in royalties). No individual could make money on that. It seems that only those who own the rights to millions of songs could. Also, of course, the providers of bandwidth and devices to listen with will get your money. For Pandora and Spotify to become profitable will mean that they sell more advertising and pay less royalties. Who wants that? Well, Wall Street does. And who makes the laws that support these things? I don’t think it’s the musicians.
Q: You’ve written a bit about the new business models for musicians. We’re always hearing about the freedom offered by new media, but from my post it seems like musicians have to work harder and make less money. Right or wrong?
Segel: As I mentioned with respect to selling music above, I have found it harder to sell music and, yes, we work incredibly hard in Camper Van Beethoven both at recording and touring, and make very little money. So yeah, maybe there are people who can cash in on the “new models,” but I haven’t met them. All the musicians I know have had more and more trouble putting out records or touring to try to make ends meet. I know many who have given up.
I think the market as such is very geared toward quick runs from young bands and nobody is expected to ever really become a musician, something that takes time and effort. There has always been a focus on youth in rock music, but now there’s even more necessity for youth because kids are the only ones who can be jobless and can live in poverty and enjoy the brief success while staying on couches on tour and saving nothing. By the time someone’s 40 or so, it’s much tougher to continue doing that, and now I’ll be 50 this year and I have a child. There’s no way I can support our family. In fact to be quite honest I’ve only made a living as a professional musician for maybe three years of the past 30, the rest of the time I worked other jobs to pay the rent — until I couldn’t.
But I think that it’s unlikely that the current crop of popular bands will be around in five or 10 years, and the market will continue to cycle through people who will put up with it until they can’t. All the indie bands will be young, and few will ever be able to develop their musicianship or talent. Camper has been extremely tenacious, and part of that has to do with all of our inability to give up making music, so we’ve actually become decent musicians. It would be nice to make a living, but until we can, we’ll have to tour only on occasion and record when we can. The problem of course is that work is a vicious cycle, the more time you spend at work the less you can spend being a musician. It’s like that Onion article: When you’re working 40 (or more) hour weeks, it’s tougher and tougher to make the energy to do anything after work as you get older. And of course, the irony is that you really only get better as an artist with time. But yeah, current culture has no use for better artists, they want better spectacle, more youth, next big thing.
Q: There was CVB last month at SXSW, schlepping through sets like any other up-and-comers. In Chicago, you’re booked into a very bro-centric sports bar. Are you comfortable at this mid-/survival level of the business, and what have been the ultimate ambitions of CVB all these years?
Segel: As David put it, “There’s no benefit to quitting.” We play well, we entertain people, they seem to like it. If we can do it and break even, we benefit from the sheer enjoyment of the situation, and from getting better at what we do every time. SxSW is a particularly weird situation, it’s like a big city where human life is a dime a dozen, and there everybody is a musician, so being a musician is worth even less. And it’s sort of funny to play at these places where there are a zillion young bands to show off a little what it’s like to be a grown up band who’s been playing together for years. So who knows what ultimate good comes of our playing there, but it’s usually an incredible chaos with some fun attached. I didn’t get to see much besides Robyn Hitchcock this year, but in previous years I have been able to see a bunch of cool music!
Q: Your solo debut, “Storytelling,” remains one of my top-five desert-island discs. I’ve rarely heard a better balance of really smart composition and successful improvisation. Can you talk a bit about how you maintain that tricky balance in projects like these and, I’m guessing, in Camper, too?
Segel: First off, thank you. This could be a very long answer, but I’ll try to be succinct. I’ve always been heavily invested in both musical composition and improvisation, and the back-and-forth of these things. Improvisation is really just composing in real time. We may use many methods, like starting with a written riff or progression and improvising on it, or improvising from nothing and then choosing a good bit and “freezing” it into written form and then working on it. I mean, I think all composers do, we certainly know Bach and Beethoven did, and Charlie Parker and Miles and Ornette and Jimi and so on and so on. In Camper, we have a tendency to work the songs into a quintessential form and that remains, to a certain extent, the ideal — but then things slowly change. In the writing stages, we do a lot of improvising around certain ideas. I know that Greg likes to completely compose his parts during the recording sessions until they are “done” and then he will play that same recorded part in concert. I, on the other hand, rarely play the same thing twice, unless it’s a complete written melody like in “Good Guys and Bad Guys” or “Chairman Mao Reminisces About His Days in Southern China” or similar. But take, for example, “You’ve Got to Roll” on “La Costa Perdida.” In concert, we will mostly play the same thing as is the recorded version, but the quiet part of the breaks where I’m playing that bluesy Les Paul lead part, I can’t even remember what I played on the recording, so I just improvise. I have the luxury of being able to improvise quite a bit, and I can get away with it in CVB, which I like. We used to have some time to do our version of Tusk or Interstellar Overdrive for an encore in Camper and that was some hella improv on all our parts!
When I was making “All Attractions,” I had written the structural stuff for all the songs, and improvised a lot over it for the guitar leads and melodies and such, but when recording the last couple basic tracks, we had an afternoon free in the studio, so we improvised with no starting point more than the first note, Victor on bass, John Hanes on drums, Graham Connah on Hammond and me on guitar, and then I took those tracks home and made compositions out of the improvisations! That became the bonus disc, “Apricot Jam.” After that, we only did a couple shows of the songs on “All Attractions”, and the last few shows I’ve done have been entirely space-rock improvisation. It was easier than getting them together to rehearse, that’s for sure.
Aside: You know, it occurs to me, as you mentioned missing the in-between of “Scissors and Paper” and “All Attractions,” that my entire solo output is in pairs: “Storytelling” with the first Hieronymus Firebrain (self titled) CD, then the two HF “Here” and “There,” then two Jack & Jill CDs (and two Dent cds), “Scissors and Paper” goes with “Edgy Not Antsy,” and “Honey” with “All Attractions,” both heavy electric guitar

things. (I’m not counting the improv and electronic stuff like Chaos Butterfly.)
Q: I enjoyed your recent blog post about the bass guitar

. What instrument have you not figured out yet that you’d like to?
Lap steel! (I’m still avoiding the banjo.)


http://blogs.suntimes.com/music/2013/05/camper_van_beethoven_cracker_jonathan_segel.html

GAPERS BLOCK
(Chicago online A&E site) – Positive show preview with CVB photo with WFUV studio session video
Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker Play the Cubby Bear This Friday, 5/10
By Marc Fishman
Eclectic indie-rock veterans Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker head to Wrigleyville this Friday for a show at The Cubby Bear in support of Camper Van Beethoven’s latest album La Costa Perdida.
La Costa Perdida is Camper Van Beethoven’s first album in nine years, and it mostly finds the band keeping true to its trademark mix of southern California indie-rock and rustic, minor-key psychedelia. Over the course of five albums in the 1980s, Camper Van Beethoven developed a reputation as a mostly silly group of southern California dudes who happened to have a rather unpredictable grab-bag of influences. Listen to any of their albums, and song-to-song, the band could at once evoke island reggae, Eastern European Klezmer music, punk, or earnest and heartfelt country rock.
The band called it quits in 1990, and shortly after, frontman David Lowery formed Cracker, a more straightforward alt-country offshoot that went on to release 10 albums. But in the last ten years, both bands have continued releasing music and touring (often together). They are grown adults now, and each band’s music is accordingly much more mature. But in Camper Van Beethoven’s case, especially, they certainly haven’t abandoned the curious tendency for Klezmer music.
Watch Camper Van Beethoven perform “Northern California Girls” from La Costa Perdida live on WFUV below, and check them out at the Cubby Bear this Friday along with Cracker and opener Jaik Willis. Tickets are $15 in advance, and $17 at the door. The Cubby Bear is located at 1059 W. Addison St. in Wrigleyville. This show is 21+.

http://gapersblock.com/transmission/2013/05/07/camper_van_beethoven_and_cracker_play_the_cubby_bear_this_friday_510

BROOKLYN VEGAN
(online A&E site) – Chicago show preview with tour dates and CVB photo, related links and NCG video
Camper Van Beethoven playing The Cubby Bear with Cracker in May, as part of a tour (dates) 
Camper Van Beethoven welcomed their first album in nine-years, titled La Costa Perdida, back in January via 429 Records. They did some touring in support of the LP this winter, and have a few U.S. show lined up for May. One of those shows is a performance at The Cubby Bear on May 10 with frontman David Lowery’s other band Cracker. Advance tickets for the Chicago show are on sale now.


http://www.brooklynvegan.com/chicago/2013/04/camper_van_beet.html#more

CHICAGO ON THE CHEAP
(Chicago A&E site) – Positive show preview with Kerosene Hat cover art.
Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven at Cubby Bear May 10
Several years ago, I was driving from Boston to Hartford to call on clients, and the song Teen Angst came on the radio. The song had just been released, and I was so blown away that I went to a record store before the day was out to get it. (This was in the olden days, when people listened to the radio and couldn’t download things to their phones.) Cracker and its alter ego, Camper Van Beethoven, will be playing at the Cubby Bear on May 10. Even better, Goldstar has discount and comp tickets available.

http://chicagoonthecheap.com/cracker-and-camper-van-beethoven-at-cubby-bear-may-10/

WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL
(Madison daily) – “Best Bet” positive show preview.. 
Best Bets: Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven, Fall Out Boy and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven
Saturday, May 11, 9 p.m.
Majestic Theatre, 115 King St.
$18 in advance/$20 at the door (all ages); majesticmadison.com
The two David Lowery-fronted projects — Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven — exist as flip sides of the same coin. With Cracker, Lowery is able to explore his more straightforward rock side. The longer-running Camper Van Beethoven, in contrast, allows the singer to tread artier ground. Not surprisingly, critics tend to favor Camper Van Beethoven’s more esoteric output, while the sturdier Cracker has experienced more commercial success. For this tour, however, fans won’t be forced to make a choice, as Lowery will lead each group through a full set.

http://www.thedailypage.com/theguide/details.php?event=301105

ISTHMUS
(Madison weekly) – Show preview with stock band bios. 
Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven
Majestic Theatre
115 King St. , Madison , WI
When: 05/11/13 @ 9:00pm

http://www.thedailypage.com/theguide/details.php?event=301105

MAXIMUM INK
(Madison, WI monthly) – Positive album review and album art
Camper Van Beethoven
La Costa Perdida
Record Label: 429 Records
Review by John Noyd
April 2013
For a band who recorded a song-for-song tribute to “Tusk,” it would not be a far stretch to imagine “Perdida” as Camper Van Beethoven’s “Hotel California.” The former West Coast non-conformists wax and warble in wry, disguised ironies tackling bodega-flavored ballads, psycho-groovy blues and gypsy-whipped whimsy for premeditated mayhem held in check by winsome wisdom, tender benders and nostalgic narratives.  Hemp-stoked, hickory-smoked, and pining for a paradise lost, CVB’s space-cowboy plaintiffs, wilted trailer-park angels and disenfranchised skater-punk apostles voice a dreamy cheekiness peppered in goofy truths and jaded depravity as smarmy swamis and cantina carnies reveal innocence upended; humanity’s fringe cast out and left to fester. In a rare double-bill alongside CVB singer David Lowery’s other band, Cracker, Camper lands in Madison’s Majestic Theater May11th.

http://www.maximumink.com/index.php/reviews/disc_review_permalink/la_costa_perdida/

THE WASHINGTON POST
(Washington daily) – Brief positive show preview
Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven
8:30 pm Thursday, May 16
The State Theatre, Falls Church, VA
Quick Take
Performer David Lowery, who fronts the radio-friendly alt-rock act Cracker as well as the trippier, less conventional Camper Van Beethoven, shows off his multifaceted music-making with both bands on one night.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/misc-events/cracker-and-camper-van-beethoven,1254039.html

COMMERCIAL APPEAL
(Memphis daily) – Brief show review with Johnny photo as part of fest coverage.
While the weather continued to be drudgery, the performances were inspired during the second day of the Beale Street Music Festival.
Though they had the misfortune of going on just as the cold rain and wind swept across Tom Lee Park, veteran alt-rockers Cracker — led by singer David Lowery and guitarist Johnny Hickman — were a game bunch, serving up a selection of crowd-pleasing favorites (“Euro Trash Girl”; “Lonesome Johnny Blues”) for the daytime dwellers at the foot of the FedEx Stage.


http://www.gomemphis.com/news/2013/may/04/beale-street-music-festival-crowd-pleasers-smith/?partner=RSS

MEMPHIS FLYER
(Memphis weekly) – Brief show preview as part of fest coverage.
Beale Street Music Festival 
Rockin’ on the River
by Flyer Staff
Cracker
FedEx Stage • 3:45 p.m.
Co-led by David Lowry (previously of ’80s indie act Camper Van Beethoven) and Johnny Hickman, Cracker was one of the signature roots-rock/Americana bands of the ’90s, releasing nine albums of wry, tuneful, accessible rock since their 1992 debut, most recently 2009′s Sunrise in the Land of Milk and Honey.

http://www.memphisflyer.com/memphis/beale-street-music-festival/Content?oid=3402973

COMMERCIAL APPEAL
(Memphis daily) – Brief show preview as part of fest coverage.
SATURDAY
FEDEX STAGE
3:45 p.m. Cracker: The alternative-roots band led by Camper Van Beethoven singer David Lowery and guitarist Johnny Hickman scored a succession of hits in the early ’90s, including the ubiquitous modern rock radio smash “Low.” Though both Lowery and Hickman have worked on separate projects, Cracker has continued to turn out a fine collection of albums over the years, including 2009’s Sunrise in the Land of Milk and Honey.

http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2013/may/03/beale-street-music-festival-lineup/

BLURT
(national quarterly music magazine) – Positive album review
CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN- Las Costa Perdida
To call Camper Van Beethoven eccentric is kinda like saying there’s a bit of dysfunction in Washington; it’s not a matter of whether or not it’s true, but rather a matter of degree. After all, this is the same bunch that recorded such classics as “Take the Skinheads Bowling,” “Joe Stalin’s Cadillac” and a note for note reproduction of Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk, the latter undertaken merely as a lark.
Nevertheless, after morphing into any number of offshoots — Cracker, the Monks of Doom, et. al. — it’s good to have them back, fully revived with the band’s original line-up. After all, it’s been more than eight years since their last opus, New Roman Times, and fans might be forgiven for figuring they were through. Fortunately, the band that helped establish the early indie ethos remains as odd and unrepentant as ever, evidenced by the way they veer from the slightly schizoid, decidedly Lennon-esque wail of “You Got to Roll” to the laconic Beach Boys-like balladry of “Northern California Girls,” with various bits of prancing, plucking and plodding nestled neatly in-between. The title track is the weirdest entry of all, an unlikely narrative about a murderer on the run who takes refuge south of the border. Melodies may be lilting, as on “Summer Days” or edgy, as with “Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out,” but it all works well. When the Campers get cranking, they’re a wonder to behold.

http://blurtonline.com/review/camper-van-beethoven-las-costa-perdida/

EXAMINER / ATLANTA
(Atlanta A&E site) – Feature on new album, tour and new video with band photo
Camper Van Beethoven embraces 30 years of music
By Chris Martin, Atlanta Live Music Examiner
One of the most influential bands to emerge from the late 80’s and early 90’s has to be California’s Camper Van Beethoven (CVB). While herded into the “alternative rock” genre CVB truly deserves a category all their own. Rock, folk, punk, ska and many other flavors of music show up in their songs which are distinguished by David Lowery’s one of a kind vocals, Victor Krummenacher’s smooth bass playing and Jonathan Segel’s infusion of violin. With a career that has been on again off again they have returned with a new record, La Costa Perdida, a laid back piece of work that oozes California.
Celebrating their 30th Anniversary they have embarked on a tour of the world bringing their original sound to the masses. They have also been receiving all kinds of recognition for the new record as well as their storied career from the likes of NPR, Paste, Relix and Magnet to name a few.
Camper Van Beethoven – Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out
Camper Van Beethoven – Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out
Recently CVB premiered a new video for the song “Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out”. A mellow tune that is classic CVB. The video was filmed along the mid California coast featuring the beaches, highways & bi-ways and train yards & airports. It is the perfect look into the new music showing that you can go home again.
Check out the video, check out the new record and be sure to catch the tour when it rolls through your town.
Camper Van Beethoven – Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out

http://www.examiner.com/article/camper-van-beethoven-embarks-on-a-30th-anniversary-tour

BROOKLYN VEGAN
(online music blog) – photo gallery from SXSW with link to tour news.
BV-SXSW Wedneday day party pics (Camper Van Beethoven, Robyn Hitchcock, Savages, Delorean, Torres & more)
Last month we took over old Emo’s at 6th & Red River for four full days of free, 2-stage BrooklynVegan day parties. The first, Wednesday, March 13, started off big with sets by Camper Van Beethoven (who are touring again in May), Robyn Hitchcock (who we hooked up with a mophie), Delorean, Caveman (who since played their biggest headlining show ever in NYC), Savages (who more recently played Coachella), Braids, and many more.

http://www.brooklynvegan.com/austin/2013/04/bv-sxsw_wedneda.html

UNPEELED
(UK music site) – Brief news on tour and new album with SOLWSUO video 
Information delivered fresh from ye olde internet confirms that five men, all of whom have been shaving, or needing to, for years, have reformed their band, Camper Van Beethoven.
Obviously, the money grubbing coffin-dodgers are making the most of their reunion and have not only set out on a world tour, well, the bits of the world that still have money and electricity, but they have also released a new album. The album is called ”La Costa Perdida” and it’s good, damn good. Who’d a thunk that gentlemen with grey hair could make modern rock music?


http://unpeeled.net/

MUSIC MINDED
(Riverside, CA music blog) – Tour news with band photo
Camper Van Beethoven U.S. tour dates
Veteran alt-rock band Camper Van Beethoven – who I interviewed late last year (see elsewhere on this blog) – have announced new U.S. tour dates with Cracker in support of La Costa Perdida on 429 Records.
Both groups share lead vocalist/guitarist David Lowery. The latest video for “Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out” can be viewed here:
www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=251ZiqB4fb8
CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN / CRACKER 2013 U.S TOUR DATES: 
May 4 Beale Street Music Festival, Memphis TN (Cracker only)
May 9 The Firebird, St. Louis MO (Camper Van Beethoven only)
May 10 The Cubby Bear, Chicago IL
May 11 Majestic Theatre, Madison WI
May 12 The Intersection, Grand Rapids MI
May 16 State Theatre, Falls Church VA
May 17 Earthfest Pre-Party, Cavern Club @ Hard Rock Cafe, Boston, MA (Cracker only)
May 18 Earthfest, Hatch Memorial Shell, Boston, MA
May 26 Mishawaka Amphitheatre, Bellvue CO (Cracker only w/ Roger Clyne & Peacemakers and The Hickman Dalton Gang)
May 24 Barkley Ballroom, Frisco CO (Cracker only)
Jun 14 The Bluebird Theatre, Denver CO
Jun 15 Whittle The Woods, Craig CO (Cracker only)
Jun 21 The Windjammer, Isle Of Palms SC (Cracker only)
Jun 22 Athfest, Athens GA (Cracker only)
Jul 19 Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz CA
Sep 12 Campout 9 at Pappy & Harriet’s – Pioneertown CA

http://newwavegeo.blogspot.com/2013/04/camper-van-beethoven-us-tour-dates.html

SANTA CRUZ SENTINEL (Santa Cruz daily) – Show preview
Camper Van Beethoven, Gin Blossoms, Foghat among names gracing Boardwalk stage on the beach this summer
By Wallace Baine
One of the most successful musical acts ever to emerge from Santa Cruz makes a homecoming this summer, as just one of the highlights of the 2013 Bands on the Beach free music series at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
Camper Van Beethoven, the college-radio darling from the 1980s, will perform live July 19 alongside the band Cracker — both bands are fronted by singer/songwriter David Lowery.
The concerts takes place twice each Friday evening through the summer, at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. And they’re all free, but the primo seats are first-come, first-serve.


http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/entertainment/ci_22998213/camper-van-beethoven-gin-blossoms-foghat-among-names

PARASITES & SYCOPHANTS
(music blog) – Tour news and SOLWSUO video
Camper Van Beethoven:: “Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out” and some shows
With their 30th anniversary coming this year, Camper Van Beethoven offer up some tour dates and a video for “Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out.”

http://ow.ly/jXIWS

USA TODAY / POP CANDY
(national daily) Hear a recent Camper Van Beethoven show.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/popcandy/2013/04/11/early-buzz/2072503/

SANTA CRUZ PATCH
(Santa Cruz weekly) – Show preview
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Announces Free Summer Concert Lineup
A couple of newcomers and surprises are in store.
By Brad Kava
The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk concert season has a lot of regulars coming back and one surprising new duo.
Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven will be doing their first appearances at the summer series. Why does this make a critic smile?
Two reasons:
1. these are two once alternative bands who last times out played places such as the Fillmore in San Francisco, whose fans would hardly imagine them at a free concert series.
2. The bands started in Santa Cruz and have a song that refers to the Boardwalk.  Cracker’s “Big Dipper” is a reference to the historical roller coaster at the Boardwalk, the Giant Dipper. Check below for lyrics.
Y&T, from San Jose, which plays Aug. 2 were Northern California’s answer to Van Halen. They have a huge international following, but aren’t as well known locally as they should be. Guitarist Dave Meniketti is a real musician who is underappreciated and well worth seeing. Foghat, on Aug. 16 sound better with age. Like ZZ Top they made some great blues/rock music that will be hard not to dance to.
Other highlights include War, Aug. 9, which is only one of the original members, but still puts on a good show. With those songs, it’s hard to go wrong. The other members, including Lee Oskar, play in a band called The Original Lowriders.
Blue Oyster Cult plays that great haunting FM rock that holds up. Perennial Eddie Money tries to make his songs fresh each time out.
It’s amazing all this is free.
“Big Dipper” Lyrics:
“Cigarettes, and carrot juice
And get yourself a new tattoo
For those sleeveless days of June
I’m sitting on the Cafè Xeno’s steps
With a book I haven’t started yet,
Watching all the girls walk by…
Could I take you out?
I’ll be yours without a doubt
On that Big Dipper
And if the sound of this it frightens you,
We could play it real cool
And act somewhat indifferent
And hey June, why’d you have to come,
Why’d you have to come around, so soon?
I wasn’t ready for all this nature
The terrible green green grass
And violent blooms of flowered dresses
And afternoons that make me sleepy
But we could wait awhile
Before we push that dull turnstile
Into the passage
The thousands they have tread
And others sometimes fled
Before the turn came
And we could wait our lives
Before a chance arrives
Before the passage
From the top you can see Monterey
Or think about San Jose
Though I know it`s not that pleasant.”


http://santacruz.patch.com/articles/santa-cruz-beach-boardwalk-announces-free-summer-concert-lineup#photo-13944877

EXAMINER
(online A&E site) – Tour news posted with dates and CVB photo, related links and Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out video
Camper Van Beethoven unveils newest video, spring 2013 U.S. tour dates
By: Chris Cordani
Camper Van Beethoven, enjoying the success of their newest album, “La Costa Perdida,” released their video for “Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out” to the public today. The band also announced their spring tour dates with lead singer David Lowery’s other band, Cracker.
The video features Lowery in a hooded sweater and the rest of the band at various scenic places. The song is a somber ballad and the video carefully reflects the mood. Lowery hides his face slightly as he conveys the mix of sadness, defeat and honesty in the lyrics. After a mix of location shots and driving sequences, the video ends at a lone port-a-potty. While that last image could have reflected the sobriety of the track,Jonathan Segel steps out of the commode with a bit of a smile, giving a thumbs-up to offer a little comic relief in contrast.
Camper Van Beethoven – “Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out”
Also, Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker announced their upcoming U.S. spring 2013 tour dates, which begin on May 4 with a Cracker-only show in Memphis:
According to the band’s publicist, Tony Bonyata, the band will set up additional dates.

http://www.examiner.com/article/camper-van-beethoven-unveils-newest-video-spring-2013-u-s-tour-dates

QRO MAGAZINE
(online music site) – Tour news posted with dates, CVB photo and Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out video
Camper Van Beethoven – “Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out”
Ted Chase
Earlier this year QRO favorites Camper Van Beethoven (QRO spotlight on) released La Costa Perdida (QRO review), only their second record since reuniting at the start of this century/millennium.  QRO missed them at SXSW (thanks a lot, Los Lonely Boys & sleeping in… – QRO recap), but here’s the new video for “Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out”.  While the video doesn’t show the veteran outfit crashing their rental car (which happened while making the video), it does have them somewhere along the Pacific Costa – though one has to feel bad for drummer Frank Funaro, as while the rest of the band is playing their instruments, or in singer David Lowery’s (QRO interview) case, driving (obviously not well…), he stuck with only a tambourine…
Camper Van Beethoven – Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out

http://www.qromag.com/mp3s/camper-van-beethoven-someday-our-love-will-sell-us-out/

BROADWAY WORLD
(online music site) –Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out video featured.
VIDEO: First Look – Camper Van Beethoven’s ‘Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out’ Music Video
.

http://music.broadwayworld.com/article/VIDEO-First-Look-Camper-Van-Beethovens-Someday-Our-Love-Will-Sell-Us-Out-Music-Video-20130408

RSL MUSIC BLOG
(online music blog) – Tour news posted with dates and CVB photo, related links and Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out video
Camper Van Beethoven
New Dates with Cracker
& a Return to Europe!
LOOKING AHEAD – It’s pretty clear that after three decades of creativity, Camper Van Beethoven is far more than a David Lowery side project. While Cracker has toed the line with ironic alt-country and rock-infused Americana – CVB has long sat at the Alternative Rock table… nibbling at greatness all the while. I applaud Lowery and the band for maintaining that separate aesthetic. There have been a number of shared Cracker/CVB tours the last few years, but the release of new material (Lowery’s masterful Palace Guards in 2011 was his first solo effort), and CVB’s latest: La Costa Perdida, have refocused Lowery and clearly added fuel to Camper’s fire. The upcoming dates for Camper in Europe are incredibly their first there in 8 years. CVB just released a new video for the single “Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out” – a dark tale of a metaphorically crumbling world. The video is far far less dramatic.

http://www.rslblog.com/2013/04/camper-van-beethoven.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rslblog%2FByey+%28Ryan%27s+Smashing+Life%29

WHEN YOU MOTOR AWAY

(online music blog) – Tour news posted with dates and CVB photo and Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out video
Quick Update: Camper Van Beethoven (new vid and tour)
2013 is proving to be the year of the long awaited (for me at least) Camper Van Beethoven resurgence. They were always ahead of their time so I suppose this makes perfect sense.
Camper released a new video this week of one of the best songs on their fine new CD La Costa Perdida, which we reviewed here in January.
The video reflects the creative spark and skewed eye for life’s strange little corners which have long made this band such a joy – e.g. factories on the beach (really, did they have to put it there?), violin playing under palm trees, and the greatest of all Americana – driving on the freeway very fast. And the song “Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out” is psychedelic and beautiful.
Camper Van Beethoven have also announced more tour dates. I saw this show recently in Portland and it was a joy ride. I’ve been seeing this band for nearly 30 years and spent most of the night grinning from ear to ear (except at those moments where I was muscling past the bearded young hipsters half my age to quickly get another drink at the bar).
I know we have a lot of readers in Chicago, Glasgow and London, so WYMA Nation — get your tickets now:
May 9–The Firebird–St. Louis, Missouri
May 10–The Cubby Bear–Chicago, Illinois
May 11–Majestic Theatre–Madison, Wisconsin
May 12–The Intersection–Grand Rapids, Michigan
May 16–State Theatre–Falls Church, Virginia
May 29–Dingwalls–London, England
May 30–The Haunt–Brighton, England
May 31–Deaf Institute–Manchester, England
June 1–King Tut’s–Glasgow, Scotland
June 2–Musikbunker–Aachen, Germany
June 3–Brotfabrik–Frankfurt, Germany
June 5–Chelsea–Vienna, Austria
June 6–Feierwerk–Munich, Germany
June 7–The Palace–St. Gallen, Switzerland
June 8–Museumskeller–Erfurt, Germany
June 9–Privatclub–Berlin, Germany
June 10–Nachtasyl–Hamburg, Germany
June 14–The Bluebird Theatre–Denver, Colorado
June 19–Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk–Santa Cruz, California


http://whenyoumotoraway.blogspot.com/2013/04/quick-update-camper-van-beethoven-new.html

REVENGE OF THE ‘80s RADIO
(online music blog) – Tour news posted with dates, CVB photo and Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out video
Camper Van Beethoven announce new US & Europe tour dates, unveil new video
Camper Van Beethoven announced their upcoming spring U.S. and European tour dates to support their newest album, “La Costa Perdida,” The band also released their video for “Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out” today.
CVB will tour the nation with Dave Lowery’s other band, Cracker, beginning in the U.S. on May 4 with a Cracker-only show in Memphis:
The band’s publicist, Tony Bonyata of Pavement PR, said in a press release that the band will set up additional dates.
Their new video, for “Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out,” is a quite somber one, featuring Lowery in a hooded sweater and the rest of the band playing at various scenic places. The video carefully reflects the ballad’s mood as Lowery hides his face slightly as he conveys the mix of sadness, defeat and honesty in the lyrics. After a mix of location shots and driving sequences, the video ends (interestingly) at a port-a-potty. While that last image could have reflected the sobriety of the track, Jonathan Segel steps out of the commode with a bit of a smile and offering a rousing thumbs-up.
The video is available on CVB’s Youtube channel:

http://www.revengeofthe80sradio.com/2245?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+RevengeOfThe80sRadio+%28Revenge+of+the+80s+Radio%29

90S ALT POP ROCK
(online music blog) – Tour news posted with dates and Cracker photo 
Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven announce tour dates (both will be playing Earthfest)
The Earthfest show is highlighted bold. Maybe other bands that are playing will leak that they are playing too before Earthfest announces it. The festival has had 4-6 bands in the past few years, so expect 2-4 more bands.

http://90saltpoprock.com/cracker-and-camper-van-beethoven-announce-tour-both-will-be-playing-earthfest/

AMERICANA UK
(UK online music blog) – Positive 8/10 review
Camper Van Beethoven “La Costa Perdida”
Now in their second phase of activity, and following their 1999 reformation, Alt-Rock’s kings of quirk return with a new album after an eight year hiatus, in which its members have collaborated on various other projects and solo works.
‘La Costa Perdida’ (it translates roughly as ‘The Lost Coast’) sees a more organic process of songwriting at its core, as mosst of the songs were worked up by the band together in the studio rather than being delivered almost fully formed by front man David Lowery.  In addition to this new democratic approach, many of the songs are paeans to the band’s Northern California home, where the various members grew up and nurtured their musical ambitions, and as such the album hangs together well thematically and sonically.
Well known for their trademark wild blurring of musical styles, its never a surprise to hear various leaps into Country, Ska, European folk dances, world music and buzzing punk rock from CVB; sometimes all within the same song. However, proceedings get off to a somewhat unpredictably straight start with the country-rock of ‘Come Down to the Coast’, a beautiful and evocative love song with a typically Lowery-esque sense of making the unusual sound utterly natural; but things get decidedly strange on ‘Too High For the Love-In’; an odd shape-shifting beast with traces of 60s psych-rock, and a peculiar narrative concerning stray birds, flying ambulances, and demands for antidotes and sandwiches. All quite head-scratchingly peculiar, and thus very CVB.
‘Summer Days’ is half gentle, dark ballad, and half magnificent full-throttle rock blast with drums like pneumatic drillsand folk-edged violins and guitars driving out the melody. The title track is a bouncing country lament to Californian small towns, with Lowery’s Spanish inflected lyrics sharp and at the fore, Elsewhere ‘Peaches in the Summertime’ is turbo-charged Ska Punk, with the violins anchoring it in a rootsy setting. Countering that, the 7+ minutes of ‘Northern California Girls’ is the type of pure alt-Country diamond we’d normally expect from Lowery’s other band Cracker, with its swaying and gorgeous melodic lead guitar lines – You can almost feel the golden Californian sun warm your face. In a similar vein, ’A Love For All Time’ is a stunningly atmospheric closer, with the sound of swirling waves and seabirds underpinning lush guitars and strings, while Lowery croons gently about astronomy, planets, ancient legends and “Mariachi’s with strings and flying saucers”. Simply wonderful, and utterly beautiul.
This is possibly CVB at their most assured and comfortable, but also concise. The band’s trademark riotous stylistic everything-and-the-kitchen-sink musical aesthetic is still very much evident, its just grown up and gotten more sophisticated. ‘La Costa Perdida’ glows from beginning to end.

http://www.americana-uk.com/reviews-cd-live/latest-cd-reviews/item/camper-van-beethoven-la-costa-perdida

LEE BAINS III & THE GLORY FIRES HIT THE ROAD FOR FALL TOUR IN SUPPORT OF “THERE IS A BOMB IN GILEAD”!

(photo credit: Barry Brecheisen)

ROAD-TESTING NEW MATERIAL FROM THEIR FORTHCOMING SOPHOMORE STUDIO ALBUM!

LEE BAINS III & THE GLORY FIRES FALL 2013 TOUR DATES

August 15 – Nashville, TN – Stone Fox w/ Water Liars

August 16 – Chattanooga, TN – Sluggo’s w/ The Bohannons, James Leg, Water Liars

August 17 – Atlanta, GA – The Earl w/ Water Liars

September 5 – Hattiesburg, MS – Thirsty Hippo

September 6 – Baton Rouge, LA – Chelsea’s

September 7 – Mobile, AL – TBA

September 12 – Athens, GA – Green Room w/ Pilgrim

September 13 – Knoxville, TN – The Well

September 14 – Charlotte, NC – God Save The Queen Fest

September 20 – Tuscaloosa, AL – Green Bar

September 21 – Montevallo, AL – Eclipse

September 26 – Boone, NC – Boone Saloon

September 27 – Chapel Hill, NC – The Cave

September 28 – Raleigh, NC – Slim’s

[October West Coast dates to be announced soon]

Lee Bains cover art 442

THE VERDICT IS OUT ON THERE IS A BOMB IN GILEAD

“A glorius ruckus.” – UNCUT

“These Alabama Shakes tourmates offer their own loose-limbed take on rootsy Southern rock.” – ROLLING STONE

“Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires exemplify the new strain of Southern rock that’s come to life in the post-Drive-By Truckers era. A former member of Dexateens, Bains specializes in straightforward, catchy songs that sit somewhere amidst The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, The Allman Brothers and David Bowie circa “Panic in Detroit.” The guitars provide plenty of hooks that say something about the emotional life of these punk-loving, down-home Southerners — their pain is undisguised, but they cut the angst with music that can be austere and mysterious. On their new full-length, There Is a Bomb in Gilead, Bains and his quartet explore a brand-new South: “Everything You Took” mentions a Walker Percy novel and a Ramones T-shirt, while “Magic City Stomp” is garage-rock that quotes the Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” Bains has brains and humor, and the band can really stomp.” –  NASHVILLE SCENE

“I love watching Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires. Terrific performers… and The Glory Fires are relentless. The musicianship is incredible and I’ve learned a thing or two watching the way the guitars interact with one another.” – ALABAMA SHAKES’ BRITTANY HOWARD (to NME on her favorite new band)

“Guitarist/singer/songwriter Lee Bains III leads his Birmingham, Alabama–based band in a raucous exploration of the intersection between garage rock, soul, country and punk on this full-length debut. Not unlike acts like the Black Keys, Bains manages to merge these styles into a rollicking, timeless sound with plenty of six-string swagger.” – GUITAR WORLD

“Forging a Connection Between Punk and Southern Rock. Although the South isn’t likely to rise again in any discernible militaristic fashion, Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires might just be the band to help Southern rock find its bearings in a respectable manner. A real Southern treat.” – PERFORMER MAGAZINE

“Classic southern rock with intelligent lyrics and great energy.” – NO DEPRESSION

“Former Alabama Shakes tourmates Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires traffic in rootsy, heartfelt blues-rock. Their debut is There Is a Bomb in Gilead; with just the right dose of punk attitude, it’s sure to translate to a rowdy live set.” – TIME OUT NEW YORK

“There is a Bomb in Gilead: Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires. Drag The Stooges through some deep-south barbecued-pork spare ribs, a gospel church and put a ten-gallon hat on its head, and this is what you get.” –  SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

“The Glory Fires may be more roots-leaning than Bains’ earlier unit [The Dexateens], but they retain more than the recommended daily value of piss and vinegar, all of which is distilled into the band’s 180 proof debut, There Is A Bomb In Gilead.” – MY OLD KENTUCKY BLOG

“There Is A Bomb In Gilead conveys that “sweaty” sound The Rolling Stones perfected back in their Exile-Sticky Finger needle & spoon days that so many bands yearn for but few realize.” – SAVING COUNTRY MUSIC

“Lee Bains III and The Glory Fires have skipped right over the formative section of their career and stepped with both feet right into their potential. There Is A Bomb In Gilead is an ass-kicking, heart-pumping, soul-reflecting chunk of rock n’ roll goodness that another ten years on the road couldn’t make any more honest or cohesive. This album is a statement of purpose.” – FARCE THE MUSIC

“It won’t be easy finding a recent set transmitting more passion or generating more soul-burnin’ BTU’s than the debut disc of this Birmingham-based four-piece. Bains’ so aptly-named band serves up a combustible blend of Southern rock and soul, the bandleader’s writing tapping deep roots as he throws down vocally with an authority well beyond his years. There’s not one slouch among the tracks on Gilead but the ballads “Reba” and “Righteous, Ragged Songs” and the raver “The Red, Red Dirt Of Home” jump out. This one ought to make more than a few “Best Of” lists this year..”–  ROOTS MUSIC REPORT

“There are a few songs that had – had – to have been recorded at midnight by their sound and vibe (the weary goodbye of “Everything You Took”; the snapping, biting “Ain’t No Stranger”). And if the stripped-to-the-bone title track wasn’t laid down on a Sunday morning, well, I don’t want to know about it. People spend careers (and a lot of production bucks) trying to sound this soulful. This is a debut album? Holy ol’ Christ … Hang on, world: here come Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires.” – JAMBANDS

“So many times, I get caught up on the first couple of songs on a new album, mostly because I am feeble-brained with a moderate case of ADD, but on There Is A Bomb In Gilead, it’s the last three songs that sealed the deal. “Roebuck Parkway” is a great acoustic number that would fit in nicely on Jason Isbell’s Here We Rest. “Robeuck Parkway” is the main thoroughfare through Birmingham and the tune reminisces on his youth in Alabama.” – HEAR YA

“ Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires are here to put tigers in your tanks. Their debut, There Is A Bomb In Gilead, will be out, officially, on May 15. I think it’s only fair to give warning. ‘Cause once I heard it, I felt considerably more hopeful about the state of the world, the union, and my own motivation for staying slim enough to look good in a pair of jeans with rolled-up legs. I mean, you can sit around wishing a band would emerge sounding like a fusion of the Stones circa Exile on Main Street and the Band at its down ‘n’ dirtiest – with a touch of the Allman Brothers, and a few shakes of CCR’s “anything could happen tonight” wildness. And nothing happens. But, within the last few years, something’s wafted up from Birmingham, Alabama. It’s shot through with juicy, smoky, backyard barbecue rock/blues/swamp punch. I know – that’s a lot of cliches, but I think I put them together fairly well. Here’s the band digging into “Opelika” – I’m pretty sure that Levon Helm would have loved it.” – SAN DIEGO ENTERTAINER

“Equal parts southern swagger and punk rock Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires have arrived on the scene with their debut album There Is A Bomb In Gilead. The first record from the southern quartet is loud, rowdy and full of kick-ass rock tunes. They have been able to harness the power of a live show taking place in a dark dirty hole in the wall and implant it onto a record.” – ATLANTA EXAMINER

“If his newest release There Is A Bomb In Gilead is any indication, Bains is definitely going to be making a name for himself. The music is a seamless blend of garage rock, country soul and punk that recalls The Black Keys or The Alabama Shakes. But Bains is no copycat. While one can hear the Muscle Shoals and Deep South influences, this is a sound unique to Birmingham and North Alabama” – BIRMINGHAM NEWS

“In a word, There Is A Bomb In Gilead is sexy. The result is everything The Drive-By Truckers have been trying to become since Jason left/was kicked out of the band. The result is pure rock and roll. Pure Muscle Shoals. Pure Essential Listening. Pure American music.”  – NINE BULLETS

“Great songwriting, and some serious ‘righteous ruckus,’ but above all There Is A Bomb In Gilead works to define and revive Southern rock. It seems Lee wants to honor our past while continuing to move forward, musically and culturally. Hurrah.” – MOD MOBILIAN

“This is a fantastic Southern rock album in the same vein as the Drive-By Truckers or even The Black Keys. Unrelenting energy behind music that absolutely anyone can enjoy.” – WLUR RADIO

“Another ace Alabama band and highly recommended.” – TANDEM / TORONTO

“The Alabama Shakes, The Dexateens and Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires all performed with a seemingly renewed energy, none more than the other. Except perhaps for Lee Bains with his Glory Fires as well as the Dexateens. The man is a manic ball of restless energy that bounces off the walls from song to song, set to set. And he even took to the Jupiter bar later that night for another show. He definitely set a standard for the evening, which was full of memorable moments.” –  AL.com

“Grooving slice of southern rock with tasty Muscle Shoals-soaked guitars.” – THE GLOBE & MAIL/TORONTO

“This week’s Best Thing Ever actually goes to Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires, for their phenomenal new album There Is A Bomb In Gilead.  Once a member of Dexateens, Bains’ new group is currently touring with another hot Alabama band, the Alabama Shakes.  His Glory Fires achieve that difficult balance between deep Southern soul and hard alt.country. On tracks like “Ain’t No Stranger” and “Centreville”, Bains howls in front of a band that will please any fan of the garage-y grunge of bands like Black Keys.  Other tunes sound like they could’ve been penned by Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham”  – KRFC RADIO/ROUTES & BRANCHES

“THE FIRST GREAT ALBUM OF 2012! I’ll brand There Is A Bomb In Gilead the first true southern rock record of the 21st century. That’s what I hear in its grooves. You might hear something altogether different. It doesn’t matter in the end, though. Good music never really needs to be labeled as one thing or another. It’s a disservice to the artist and it keeps people from making up their own minds about what they’re hearing. But I’ve made up my mind about Lee Bains III and The Glory Fires. Pass me back the jar. I need another belt.” – THE RECORD CHANGER

“Debuting tunes off their upcoming debut, There Is A Bomb In Gilead, Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires deftly blew away probably half of the local talent that has ever graced Toronto’s Lee’s Palace stage. Impossibly young to be churning out some pretty intricate tunes, the technique and depth of their musical skills and knowledge was simply astounding, switching between some Southern-fried boogie, country twinge and some soul that would make Charley Pride, well, proud.” –  EXCLAIM!

“Lee Bains III is from central Alabama — Birmingham, to be exact — but the sound on his debut album with The Glory Fires is 110% Muscle Shoals, Alabama territory. The power, soul and vintage sound of There Is A Bomb In Gilead is indicative of recordings that have come out of Muscle Shoals Fame Studio by bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers and more recently, Drive-By Truckers.  There Is A Bomb In Gilead is an awesomely solid debut, and I wish I had the chance to hear it in its native form — blasting from a Ford truck stereo rolling down Highway 72 through the South.”  [4/5 stars] – MARQUEE MAGAZINE

“An amazing album.” – THE PERLICH POST

“True-to-form country rock.” – PHILADELPHIA CITY PAPER

“Blues-influenced southern rock, but with a nice edge to it.” – DAVE FM RADIO: ATLANTA

“The band’s debut album, There Is A Bomb In Gilead has a genuine feel to it — it’s good Southern music made in the South. With themes of country, rock and gospel, the album couldn’t have better represented all the deep facets of the region. It couldn’t have represented them any more truthfully, either. This album isn’t a hoax. It isn’t trying too hard. It isn’t too much or too little. It’s just right. Because, with a mix of many styles, There Is A Bomb In Gilead covers all its bases.”  –  THE RED & THE BLACK / ATHENS

“An album that not only has a uniquely Alabama sound, but draws from soul, gospel, country, rock and much more.” – LAGNIAPPE MAGAZINE

“The Glory Fires’ brand of rock ‘n’ roll could only come from the South, where the idea of being a conflicted and proud Southerner is so fittingly expressed with loud guitars. For all the struggle, grit and sweat, The Glory Fires has a record and a sound to be proud of.”  – TUSCALOOSA NEWS

“[New Rock/Soul Discovery: Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires – There Is A Bomb In Gilead] A spectacular Allmans guitar intro and that soulful voice fronting a screaming Southern rock band – what’s not to like? – WHEN YOU MOTOR AWAY

“The Birmingham, Alabama group takes the gospel music of their youth and reinvents it through a punk rock lens, resulting in a commanding set of impassioned songs steeped in Southern influences. There Is A Bomb In Gilead incorporates some of the most iconic regional styles of American music, from Muscle Shoals to Detroit garage rock to Delta blues of Mississippi.” – RECORD DEPT.

FOR MORE INFO ON LEE BAINS III & THE GLORY FIRES:
http://thegloryfires.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lee-Bains-III-The-Glory-Fires/148581995155439

FOR MORE INFO ON ALIVE RECORDS:
http://www.alive-totalenergy.com

FOR MEDIA AND INTERVIEW REQUESTS:
Tony Bonyata
Pavement PR
p: 262.903.7775
e: bonyata@wi.rr.com
http://www.pavementpr.com

HAVE GUN, WILL TRAVEL TO RELEASE THEIR FOURTH STUDIO LP “FICTION, FACT OR FOLKTALE?” 9/10!

Bradenton, Florida’s Have Gun, Will Travel have a natural instinct for combining folk, pop, rock and classic country influences to create a sound all their own. “Their music has a great energy to it with infectious, sing-along choruses and refrains” remarked NPR’s Robin Hilton. American Songwriter called HGWT’s music “organic, infectious Americana Pop. Their music has a refreshing immediacy to it.”

Over the course of three acclaimed albums, hundreds of shows and copious populist-radio airplay, they’ve nurtured a tradition of inviting all manner of gifted musicians to join the fray. The group’s inclusive nature allows it to flesh out tunes that run the gamut from foot-stomping front-porch spirituals and evocative Texas swing to strum-punk rave-ups, hill-country historicals and more.

HGWT’s music has been featured in a national Chevy TV commercial; multiple episodes of the PBS series Roadtrip Nation; and an episode of CBS’s The Good Wife. Their previous albums have spent months on the CMJ Radio Top 200 chart. And their live performances have been described as rousing, rollicking, energetic and dynamic.

The band’s highly anticipated, fourth full-length album Fiction, Fact or Folktale? will be available September 10th on CD and digital formats through This Is American Music. The album was mixed by HGWT’s own Scott Anderson and mastered by Rodney Mills (Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Drive-By Truckers).

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD & SHARE HAVE GUN, WILL TRAVEL’S NEW SINGLE “STANDING AT THE END OF THE WORLD”

Turns out that music isn’t the only thing Have Gun, Will Travel are passionate about. The band recently partnered with Tampa’s award-winning Cigar City Brewing to create their own craft beer inspired by their unique tastes in both music and brew. Their High Road Ale (a pale ale with a hint of citrus, and named after their song “High Road” from their new album Fiction, Fact of Folktale?) recently won the National Grand Championship at the United States Beer Tasting Competition in the Pale Ale category. Not bad for a bunch of beer-loving musicians.

HighRoadAle442

HAVE GUN, WILL TRAVEL TOUR DATES:

09/13 – Miami, FL @ Will Call

09/14 – Lake Worth, FL @ Bamboo Room

09/27 – Columbus, GA @ The Loft

10/03 – Sullivan’s Island, SC @ Home Team BBQ

10/05 – Gainesville, FL @ High Dive

10/18 – Tampa, FL @ New World Brewery

[more Fall 2013 tour dates to be announced soon]

HaveGunWillTravelART442

FICTION, FACT OR FOLKTALE? TRACK LISTING:

1. Standing at the End of the World

2. Trouble

3. High Road

4.The Places

5. The Show Must Go On

6. Another Fine Mess

7. Silver and the Age of Opulence

8. Finer Things

9. Fairweather

10. Take Me Home, Alice

FOR MORE INFO ON HAVE GUN, WILL TRAVEL:
https://www.facebook.com/hgwtmusic

FOR MORE INFO ON THIS IS AMERICAN MUSIC:
http://thisisamericanmusic.com

FOR MEDIA AND INTERVIEW REQUESTS:
Tony Bonyata
Pavement PR
p: 262.903.7775
e: tony@pavementpr.com
http://www.pavementpr.com

  • Tour Dates

    • 02/25/17 THE WHISKEY GENTRY in Tampa FL at Skipper’s Smokehouse
    • 03/03/17 THE WHISKEY GENTRY in Augusta, GA at Sky City
    • 03/03/17 DURAND JONES & THE INDICATIONS in Chicago, IL at Empty Bottle
    • 03/04/17 THE WHISKEY GENTRY in Charleston, SC at The Pour House
    • 03/04/17 DURAND JONES & THE INDICATIONS in Davenport, IA at Daytrotter Downs
    • 03/05/17 DURAND JONES & THE INDICATIONS in Bloomington, IN at The Bishop
    • 03/06/17 DURAND JONES & THE INDICATIONS in Cincinnati, OH at Memorial Hall

    View All