Monthly Archives: September 2012


Remember when rock’n’roll seemed to have it all? Passion, power, chemistry… and timeless songs that people could relate to? Hero Jr. does. And their forthcoming full-length debut Backup Plan is the perfect document to prove it.

On it, the Indy-based foursome combine soaring vocals, stinging guitars and driving rhythms and channel them into 11 indelible, hook-filled songs that help define the blur between ’70s classic rock, the angst of the Alternative Nation and modern indie-rock. The band consists of brothers Evan Haughey (vocals/guitar) & Matthew Haughey (drums/vocals), along with bassist Dave DuBrava and the most recent addition to the band, guitarist Ken Rose (Marianne Faithfull). Backup Plan was produced and engineered by Paul Mahern (T-Bone Burnett, The Fray, Iggy Pop, John Mellencamp, Afghan Whigs, etc.) and Ken Rose, and was recorded at both Livingston Studios in London and Mahern’s White Arc Studio in Bloomington, IN.

Some have favorably referred to Hero Jr.’s music as having a radio friendly edge to it, which is certainly true. These aren’t tunes tweely plinked-out on a toy piano with a banana by today’s cool kids, but rather thoughtful, intelligent and expertly performed songs that hit extremely hard – affecting the head, heart and, yes, ass in equal measure.

Hero Jr.’s Backup Plan will be released October 23rd through Desa Records in CD and Digital formats.



Aug. 31 Monkey’s Tale – Indianapolis, IN

Sep. 01 Uncle Slayton’s (w/ Po Brothers) – Louisville, KY

Sep. 06 Tidball’s (w/ Black Shades) – Bowling Green, KY

Sep. 07 Oregon Express (w/ Red Tone 6’s) – Dayton, OH

Sep. 08 Ruby Tuesday (w/ Red Tone 6’s) – Columbus, OH

Sep. 14 Funkyard – Indianapolis, IN

Sep. 20 Lava Lounge (w/ The Long Time Darlings) – Pittsburgh, PA

Sep. 21 The Level Room (w/ Boy Wonder) – Philadelphia, PA

Sep. 22 Fontana’s – New York, NY

Sep. 28 Czars – St. Joseph, MO

Sep. 29 Jake’s – Grand Rapids, MI

Oct. 06 Monkey’s Tale – Indianapolis, IN

Oct. 07 Funkyard – Indianapolis, IN

Oct. 12 400 Bar (w/ The Delta Routine) – Minneapolis, MN

Oct. 25 Czars – St. Joseph, MO

Oct. 26 Hamilton St. Pub – Saginaw, MI

Nov. 02 The Bird’s Nest (w/ The Delta Routine, Glendenning) – Chicago, IL

Nov. 03 Funkyard (w/ The Delta Routine, The Hawkeyes) – Indianapolis, IN

Nov. 03 Radio Radio (w/ The Delta Routine, The Hawkeyes) – Indianapolis, IN

Nov. 04 Ruby Tuesday – Columbus, OH

Nov. 06 World Cafe Live (w/ The Delta Routine, Boy Wonder) – Philadelphia, PA

Nov. 08 Fontana’s (w/ The Delta Routine) – New York, NY

(more dates to be announced soon)
(Shot entirely on an iPhone. Produced and edited by Hero Jr. and Liberty Kay)

1. Anne Boleyn
2. Strongest Weakness
3. What’s On The Inside
4. Naked
5. Holding On Without Handles
6. Bottom Of The End
7. Learning To Stand
8. Love Enough For Everyone
9. Cracked and Kindred  
10. Matchstick Tongue
11. I Was Made To Hold You

“Hero Jr.’s album is a polished survey of modern rock that isn’t too quirky or too brutish to turn off mainstream listeners. Lead singer, Evan Haughey, sounds like Kings of Leon front man Caleb Followill when he’s worked up and going for broke. Hero Jr. has everything in its right place. Haughey’s guitar licks, which range from gritty to artfully restrained, sound great, and his voice is radio-ready.” – David Lindquist / INDIANAPOLIS STAR

“Hero Jr. plays a solid post 90’s rock with a radio ready sound. They rock it out with a top 40 consciousness. In a music scene full of art rockers, I’m glad to see a band that’s not afraid to be likeable.” – Wayne Bertsch / NUVO WEEKLY

“Hero Jr. seemed to stumble on a formula for success right out of the gate: write a strong, catchy record, promote like hell and play the biggest shows you can get your hands on.” – Dan Fahrner / MUSICAL FAMILY TREE

“Straight-up, no gimmicks rock n’ roll.” – INDY CONCERTS

Tony Bonyata
Pavement PR
p: 262.903.7775



BOOMERANG (Larramie, WY daily) – Feature story with Johnny Hickman interview to preview Riverside, WY show.

Cracker plays Riverside
If genre-spanning band Cracker were an alcohol, they sure as hell wouldn’t be wine.

“Wines mature. If bands do too much, that usually means they are getting stale,” guitarist Johnny Hickman said. “David and I are both firm believers in the idea that rock songwriters and the bands they are in can constantly evolve and move forward as artists without ‘maturing’ necessarily.”

Cracker — featuring founding members Hickman and David Lowery on vocals and guitars, Frank Funaro on drums and Sal Maida on bass — has been playing rock, alt-country and punk over a music career that has spanned three decades. They will play at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 12 at the Bear Trap, 120 Riverside, in Riverside to support their newest album, “Sunrise in the Land of Milk and Honey,” featuring mostly frenetic songs with an angered, apocalyptic outlook.

While they’ve always played with energy and fervor, Hickman said their newest album brings some of the band’s punk influences into new territory.

“Every one of our records has a few sharp curves into new territory. Although not on all of the new songs, this record just naturally and spontaneously swerved into our punk roots a bit more than usual,” Hickman said. “These sounds, beats and guitar riffs just lend themselves to a certain urgency, I guess. It wasn’t planned, really. It’s just the way we were feeling at the moment, and we went with it.”

Formed in Redlands, Calif., many of Cracker’s songs have always been about the less sung-about parts and residents of the Golden State — the morose and depressed, the barely getting-by, the desert town denizen. “Sunrise” is no different.

Although the lyrics were written by Lowery, Hickman said “Hey Bret (You Know What Time it is)” is another song and story with a strong central character who has little in common with the money and glamour of Los Angeles, but most likely resides in the likes of Bakersfield or Victorville.

“To me, ‘Bret’ is yet another strong character (Lowery) developed and let speak. He’s definitely working class and has a strong sense of who he is and where he came from, even if he’s ‘trying to make a living playing on my SG Gibson, tending bar and sometimes selling herb’” Hickman said, quoting the song. “It’s one of (Lowery’s) characters that I can really see in my mind’s eye when I’m playing it live.”

Live performances played an integral role in the recording of “Sunrise.” While most songs Cracker has produced were worked in the studio before being played in front of an audience, the tracks on Sunrise came to fruition in concert venues around the country and world.

Hickman said how a song plays live is obviously important, but creating new songs and playing them live before recording them helps keep the music grounded and fun for both audience and musicians.

“If a song can’t be played easily live, it’s probably gone too far on the record. To use The Beatles as a reference, we don’t make ‘Sgt. Pepper,’ we tend to make more ‘White Album’ music. More raw,” Hickman said. “The stage is a good place to work the bugs out. There’s no choice.”

While Riverside is almost certainly the smallest town Cracker will play during their summer and fall tour, Hickman said the size of a town never matters to the band. Instead, what makes a good venue is a positive, welcoming crowd. If that’s the reaction Cracker gets Aug. 12, chances are they’ll be back to Wyoming.

“We have a sense of adventure and don’t judge towns by their size. We gauge the likelihood of any future appearances by the reaction we get,” Hickman said. “We have favorite large and small cities for good reason. We’re looking forward to seeing what Riverside is all about.”

For ticket information, call the Bear Trap at (307) 327-5277.

LARAMIE LOWDOWN (Larramie, WY A&E site) –Riverside, WY show preview.
Cracker – Live in Riverside
Year number two for a Cracker appearance at the Bear Trap Cafe and Bar in Riverside Wyoming.

Saw the show last year and it was awesome, great opening band and a BBQ buffet.
Well worth the trip over the mountain, and you could get close enough to David Lowery to touch him, how often can you say that?

Looks like not just Cracker this year, but the members of Camper Van Beethoven will also be playing for this show.
Opening act is The Piggies out of Fort Collins, check out their music at

Show starts at 7:30pm
BBQ dinner included starts at 6pm when the gates open
all ages show but need to have ID for cocktails
full bar outside for the show too.
C’mon people get to Riverside and see this show.  They want to make it an annual event and also possibly grow it into a weekend gig so get over there and show them the love.

307 327-5277 for tickets or info, or stop in to the Bear Trap on your way by.

COLORADO SPRINGS INDEPENDENT (Colorado Springs, CO daily) – Feature with Johnny Hickman interview to preview local show.

Cracker barrels onward
The indie-rock godfathers celebrate two decades of droll devotion
by Chris Parker
Sunday, Sept. 2, 8 p.m.
Silver Tongue Devil Saloon, 10530 Ute Pass Ave., Green Mountain Falls
Tickets: $20/adv, $25/door, all ages;, 684-2555.

Cracker has cultivated a steadfast cult following over the course of its 20-year existence. Fans of the band’s punchy indie-rock sound are known as Crumbs, the kind of tribal appellation more typical of jam bands — which Cracker most definitely is not.

Whether you’re a diehard fan, or have just heard the band’s hits, there are good reasons to gravitate toward Cracker’s fusion of alt-country with punk-rock underpinnings: Songwriters David Lowery and Johnny Hickman fashion hooks so effortlessly ingratiating that we may one day discover they’ve been in cahoots with Fagin and the Artful Dodger. Whether the indelible wah-guitar riff of “Get Off This,” the surf-inflected lead of “Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now),” or the ringing call-return drone at the foundation of “Low,” they make undeniably catchy music.

And that’s not even their strongest point. They’re also damn fine lyricists with a sly, often ironic sense of humor reminiscent of Warren Zevon.

“Zevon’s one of my favorite songwriters,” says Hickman, brightening at the mention. “We also like Randy Newman and Captain Beefheart. Guys that have a skewed perspective on reality and a slightly twisted sense of humor.”

Although Hickman and Lowery were teenage friends in Redlands, Calif., they spent the next decade making music in other bands. But after Lowery’s critically lauded Camper Van Beethoven called it quits, the two musicians happened to find themselves without bands at the same time. They committed to partnership and vowed not to succumb to the standard bullshit that broke up Camper Van Beethoven.

“We made a decision to stay the course,” Hickman says of Cracker, which released its self-titled debut back in 1992. “You bury the hatchet and move on. You realize that you make great music together and the odds of that happening — finding someone you can write songs and make music with year after year — is a rare thing. So we value it.”

The bandleaders have given each other room to do other projects, and each released a solid solo album in the past year. But nothing’s prevented a steady stream of strong Cracker albums. It’s the kind of catalog and longevity that attracts fans of all ages.

“Those are one of the things that keep you going, the next generation of fans. It’s fantastic and we’ve been very fortunate that way,” he says. “A big part of the reason we’ve retained our stability as a band is that we never did get so big that our ego got in the way of the nuts-and-bolts business of going out and saying hello to people after shows.”

If you want, you might talk to Hickman about Colorado. When not on tour, the former California resident’s happy to call Loveland home.

“Every time we’d come through, in the back of my mind I’d tucked away the thought of retiring here someday. Then I met my now wife and I made her a deal if she moved to California for a couple years, I’d move to Colorado with her,” he says. “I’ve been here about 11 years now. I don’t think I’ll ever move again, I absolutely love Colorado.”

VENTURA COUNTRY STAR (Ventura, CA daily) – Feature interview with Camper Van Beethoven’s Greg Lisher to preview CVB’s local show with band photo and related links.
Indie-rock stalwarts Camper Van Beethoven will play Zoey’s Sept. 10
Rested and recharged, the members of Camper Van Beethoven head to Zoey’s on Monday
By Bill Locey
Nearly as nutty as the notion of camping with Ludwig himself, Camper Van Beethoven, NorCal’s finest goofball rockers of vast experience, will be at Zoey’s in Ventura on Monday night. This is the band, you might recall, that gave us “Take the Skinheads Bowling” and “The Day Lassie Went to the Moon” off their 1985 debut album, “Telephone Free Landslide Victory.”

While the old cliché “whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger” might be a bit extreme, the band did survive several bouts of the dreaded creative differences and now they’re back with a new album on the horizon. In any case, the band is well rested — their last album, “New Roman Times,” is from 2004. The breakups and resulting downtime were not spent at home moping about Days of Camper Passed. All the members have side projects or were in other bands, perhaps most famously, frontman David Lowery, who started Cracker in the early ’90s.

The band did play Ventura back in the ’80s at a place called Mogz, which became a place called Nicholby’s, but this time around, it’s artist-friendly Zoey’s, where people come to listen. Guitar player Greg Lisher discussed the latest during a recent phoner.

Hey, Greg. How’s the Camper Van Beethoven biz? What’s the latest?

Well, we just finished a new record.

How many is that now? A few, I would assume.

You know, I don’t even know what the number is … I think it’s seven.

Wow — that’s a career, man.

Yeah, and then there’s a couple of EPs in there.

Think you might stick with it a while longer?

Yeah, so far, so good. The record is recorded, mixed and mastered and I heard Jan. 22 is when it’s coming out.

So in rock ‘n’ roll time, that’s really fast then?

Yeah, I guess so.

I know you guys started out down here in SoCal a long time ago. Are you all up in NorCal these days?

We’re all over the place. I live in Santa Cruz. Victor, the bass player, lives in San Francisco, and Jonathan, the violin player, just moved to Sweden.

Whoa — hard to get hooked up for practice.

Yeah, but we don’t really get together and practice — we get together and play. David, our drummer, lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., and our singer splits his time between Richmond (Va.,) and Athens, Ga., where he teaches at the University of Georgia. He teaches … a music economics class.

Wow, spread out for sure. I saw you guys in Ventura in the ’80s at a place no longer there called Mogz; I still have the flier. So, ’80s Camper and 2012 Camper — what happened? Anything important change besides you guys got a little bit older?

Well, the new version is identical to the original version minus the drummer. Basically, the band started in 1983 — in Southern California in Redlands and Riverside, the Inland Empire — and a lot of those guys came up to school at UCSC (UC Santa Cruz), which is where I met them.

How ’bout those Banana Slugs?

Right, exactly. I didn’t go to UCSC, but I was the only person that lived in Santa Cruz. I officially joined in ’85 and we went five years and broke up in 1990. After 1990, David (Lowery) started Cracker, then in (1999) we started playing shows (again). We recorded our last album, “New Roman Times,” in 2004, and now we’re back with a new record.

So evidently you’re well rested, plus you’ve survived the dreaded creative differences many times?

Yeah, exactly.

This is supposed to be fun, right? And you guys have all these funny songs — “Let’s Take the Skinheads Bowling” and the one about Joe Stalin’s Cadillac.


Who knocks you out as a guitar player?

I listen to so many different styles of music, I don’t really have a favorite person, but as a kid it was all the basics — David Gilmour, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and the list goes on.

What’s the strangest Camper gig you’ve ever played — probably been a few of those?

I’ve had so many of those I don’t even know where to begin. Let’s see, I did a USO tour with Cracker — I subbed for their guitar player who didn’t want to go. We went to Kuwait and Iraq for two weeks.

Oh wow, what was Iraq like? When were you there?

In 2009.

By then everyone wanted to come home?

Yeah, exactly, so that was pretty much the most adventuresome/weird tour that I’ve done, but it wasn’t a Camper gig, it was Cracker. … Cracker went over really well there.

Can you discuss the transcendental power of music?
After their Monday night gig at Zoey’s in Ventura, Camper Van Beethoven head to San Luis Obispo and Fresno for more shows. Then they head to Pioneertown to perform at their annual Campout festival.

After their Monday night gig at Zoey’s in Ventura, Camper Van Beethoven head to San Luis Obispo and Fresno for more shows. Then they head to Pioneertown to perform at their annual Campout festival.

It’s kind of hard to describe, but if you’re a musician onstage and you’re performing, those great moments usually involve the music or your involvement in the music or your involvement in making the music. … Also, it’s always interesting to see what the audience responses (are).

How often does a guitar player like yourself have to practice to keep up his chops?

I play a lot because I have a home studio and record and write and do all that stuff on my own, but as far as the Camper stuff, basically we get together to start playing some shows. We make a set list, then I go over all the songs before we go out on stage to … refresh my brain as far as what we’re doing. By the time you’re done a few shows, it all just kind of comes back. I don’t sit around practicing Camper Van Beethoven songs at my house in my spare time.

When the history of rock ‘n’ roll is written, where do you suppose Camper Van Beethoven will fit in? What’s your particular hard-earned niche?

You know, that’s a great question, but I have no idea. Once upon a time we were considered the granddaddies of independent music.

That’s right — for sure.

Yeah, I guess when we started, the whole thing was just taking off. That might sound a little lame, but I’m not really sure where we fit in the realm of all the different bands. I think we’re fairly unique. We have our own sound and everybody’s able to get together, and we’re democratically able to do what we do. That sound … really shines through on this new record, you know?

What’s the next step?

We have three shows preceding our Campout festival we do every year down by Joshua Tree in Pioneertown. So the three shows in order are Ventura, San Luis Obispo and up by Fresno, then we drive to our festival and we’re down there for three days.

Sounds like an awesome place and a great excuse to drink to excess.

It’s really cool — I think this is our eighth year, and absolutely a lot of partying. So that’s where we’re at right now and then it’s all about getting the artwork ready for the record, and when that comes out in January, it’s touring time and we’ll be touring the world over.

All right, man, look forward to seeing you wonderful guys at Zoey’s.
The band will play at 8 p.m. Monday at Zoey’s, 185 E. Santa Clara St., Ventura. Admission is $20. Call 652-1137 or visit For more information about the annual “Campout 8” music festival featuring Camper Van Beethoven, Cracker and other acts, Thursday through Sept. 15 at Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace in Pioneertown, Yucca Valley, visit

VC REPORTER (Ventura, CA daily) – Brief “Picks of the Week” preview with CVB photo

VENTURA ROCKS (Ventura music blog) – Feature interview with Camper Van Beethoven’s David Lowery to previe local CVB show with band photo and related links.
Interview – Camper Van Beethoven
Interview with David Lowery
Camper Van Beethoven (CVB) will be releasing their forthcoming studio album, La Costa Perdida on January 22, 2013.  This will mark the first studio album they’ve recorded together since 2004′s New Roman Times!

Ventura will be the first of three shows in preparation for PioneerTown Palace, the band’s 8th annual end of summer camp out near Joshua Tree.
Ventura Rocks:  We caught both Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven last summer for Indie West Fest at the Fairgrounds.  It was extremely cool being able to see both bands on the same bill.  And now Camper is returning for an intimate show at Zoey’s.
David Lowery:  Yea, We really enjoyed that.  There’s a long history between Camper and Cracker stopping there in Ventura playing the Ventura Theater and even before in some weird places in some small bar off of downtown in the 80′s with Camper.  So a lot of history with the area.
Ventura Rocks:  You have a new album coming out.  Can you let Camper fans know what to expect along with trying to explain the vibe that is Camper Van Beethoven to those who are not familiar with the band?
David Lowery:    Well Camper Van Beethoven originally came out of the punk rock alternative scene.  We have a lot of sort of exotic sort of folky / hillbilly, old gypsy music sort of element to what we’ve always done.  I don’t know how that all really came about.  We just kind of mixed those things together…the punk and early alternative sort of folky things.  And we’ve had an enduring following since the mid 80′s all over the world.
This album we have coming out, it’s pretty much laid right up the middle of what Camper does.   It’s a lot like our other records, but there is a sort of California scene to the whole record.  We’re not sure how that came out, it’s not a “California Girls” sort of record, but maybe a “Northern California Girls.”
Ventura Rocks:  What can we expect at Zoey’s?
David Lowery:  We’ll be playing a half a dozen songs off the new album a dozen or so off all the other albums.  It will be a good mixed bag.  We haven’t played in a few months.  We have our festival that happens that weekend out at Pioneertown out by Joshua Tree
Ventura Rocks:  Yea, it sounds amazing.  How many people do you get up there?
David Lowery:  It’s not a really big place.  It only really holds about 700 people in the immediate area, so we sell 700 tickets, sometimes more people show up.
We’ve been doing it for eight years now. It’s a lot of fun.   But we were thinking we needed to do some warm up shows before this.  Cracker has been playing all summer but Camper Van Beethoven hasn’t been playing.  And so we wanted to do some warm up shows and we’ve had a long history of playing in Ventura so we thought we’d would play there.  Plus I don’t know if people know this, but the crew that works for us are all actually from “The Nard” or Ventura.
Ventura Rocks:  (laughs) That’s right!  The Nard.  So how much social media does Camper use?
David Lowery:  We use all that stuff.  You know it’s not like Camper Van Beethoven is all over the Television or the Radio, so this is the way they find out about us.
Camper Van Beethoven will be playing at Zoey’s on Monday, September 10, 2012.  Visit Zoey’s official website for more information and to GET YOUR TICKETS NOW.

NOOZHAWK (Santa Barbara online A&E site) – Feature interview with Camper Van Beethoven’s Victor to preview CVB’s local Ventura show.
No Apologies from Camper Van Beethoven for ‘(Don’t You Go to) Goleta’
By Jeff Moehlis, Noozhawk Contributing Writer
Eclectic alternative rock band will perform new songs and classics from their back catalog.
The eclectic alternative rock band Camper Van Beethoven released their first album, Telephone Free Landslide Victory, in 1985, which includes such classic songs as “The Day That Lassie Went to the Moon,” “Where the Hell is Bill?,” the Black Flag cover “Wasted” and “Take the Skinheads Bowling.” They released four more acclaimed albums before burning out — the independently released II & III, the self-titled Camper Van Beethoven, and the major-label albums Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart and Key Lime Pie.

The band re-formed at the end of the 1990s and has released several more albums, with a new one coming out in January 2013.

Camper Van Beethoven will be performing at Zoey’s Cafe in Ventura at 8 p.m. next Monday, Sept. 10.

The following is from a phone interview with founding member and bass player Victor Krummenacher. Click here for the full interview.

Jeff Moehlis: I work at UC Santa Barbara, and I live in Goleta. With that in mind, do you want to apologize for the Camper Van Beethoven song “(Don’t You Go to) Goleta”? [Lyrics include: “Baby don’t you go, don’t you go to Goleta.”]

Victor Krummenacher: Do I want to apologize?

JM: Yeah!

VK: Actually, I did not write the lyrics to that song, so I can’t really apologize for it. Maybe that’s a chicken**** answer, I’m not really sure.

No, actually, I don’t really care to apologize for that. You know, I went to [UC] Santa Cruz, so I’ll maintain a rivalry. I think rivalry is healthy.

JM: Fair enough. Any chance that’ll be on the setlist in Ventura?

VK: No, it’s really been a long time since we played that. I think we’re in a different phase these days. I don’t know, I think we’re just a little more serious than we were then. Not entirely. It’s hard for us to be completely serious. But I think we’re a little more serious.

JM: So, what can we look forward to at the show in Ventura?

VK: Well, we just finished our first record [to be called La Costa Perdida] in eight years, so you can look forward to some new songs. And you can look forward to us being a little loose, because I don’t think we’ve actually played since February, so we’ll be kind of getting our sea legs back on. I mean, I’ve been playing with Cracker off and on this summer, but we haven’t done any Camper dates in a while. It’ll be real rock ‘n’ roll. We’re not afraid to fall down in front of people. I don’t think we’ve ever been afraid of doing that.

JM: And how would you compare that record to the other albums you guys have done?

VK: This is an interesting record. First of all, it’s just really maturely played, which may sound boring, but it’s not actually. We play a lot more confidently and a little more reserved, a little more stately in how it’s played and how it’s articulated. It just kind of rolls off the fingers in a more adult fashion. But what we do musically is still unlike anybody else. There’s a natural chemistry between us that I don’t think resembles any other bands I can think of. It’s just a weird group of people and such a weird group of influences.

And then above and beyond that, I think it touches on the strengths of the last three records of the first run, which is to say the record called Camper Van Beethoven and then the two Virgin records. Like the lead track, I think, in some ways is really reminiscent of many things we were doing in Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart, but there are other things on there that are really reminiscent of Key Lime Pie, and then again there are other things that are reminiscent of the tape collage work we did back in 1986.

JM: Going way back, I’m quite fond of the first album you guys did, Telephone Free Landslide Victory.  o you have any reflections on that particular album?

VK: Rarely do I listen to my own stuff, but when I do listen to it — you know, I guess they say “lightning in a bottle” is the way to describe certain things that just kind of happen that are unexpected and spontaneous and very real. I think that record is a really good example of something that nobody anticipated being anything other than what it was. We were just making a record for a friend. We did it in four days — two days of recording and two days of mixing. It’s 17 songs or something. It’s basically about everything we were playing at the time. We just threw it in there, and had no clue that it would become this culty kind of thing that people like R.E.M. would be interested in, and basically it secured us a place.

You know, Camper was a joke band. Camper was the band that played at parties. We all had serious bands that we were trying to play with at the time. I think we were serious about making the record, we thought we were a pretty cool, interesting, weird garage band. But I don’t think we thought it would be what it was. Which is good — there were no expectations going into it. I think that’s when the best stuff is made, when you just don’t have an expectation. Expectation is really kind of the enemy of rock ‘n’ roll. Once you get too thinky about things it’s just not good.

JM: Could you comment on why Camper Van Beethoven broke up at the end of the ‘80s, and what brought you guys back together?

VK: You know, we broke up because we couldn’t get along, and we got back together because we could get along.

CBS 2 TV (San Luis Obispo, CA CBS TV affiliate)– Onsite interview with Camper Van Beethoven’s David Lowery & Victor Krumenacher with live CVB footage to air Sep 12 (also posted on youtube Fri Sep 14). Watch it online here:

FRESNO BEE HIVE (online A&E site) – Positive show preview with CVB photo.
Tonight: Camper Van Beethoven
By Mike Oz
Today, indie rock is pretty trendy and hip and, let’s face it, a tad bit mainstream. In 1985, that wasn’t the case. Back then a band like Camper Van Beethoven was a college rock favorite when it released “Take the Skinheads Bowling.”

These days, Camper Van Beethoven are considered indie rock pioneers. Alt-rock fans, also, have an attachment to the band because singer David Lowery went to form Cracker and guitarist David Immerglück eventually became a Counting Crow.

If you go back and listen to “Take the Skinheads Bowling,” it holds up nicely despite creeping up on 30 years old. See how it sounds live tonight at Fulton 55. Tickets cost $15-$18.

FRESNO BEE (weekly) – Show preview with CVB photo.
Camper Van Beethoven to play Fulton 55 Wednesday

9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12 / Fulton 55, 875 Divisadero St. / Cost: $15 in advance and $18 at the door; 21-plus show / (559) 412-7400,

Indie-rock pioneers Camper Van Beethoven will preview material from a new album, La Costa Perdida, scheduled for release on Jan. 22. This is first studio album since 2004’s New Roman Times.

The band was popular in the late ’80s and early ’90s with songs such as “Take the Skinheads Bowling” and “All Her Favorite Fruits.”

They perform music that is a mixture of pop, ska, punk, folk and more.


MY DESERT  / THE DESERT SUN (daily) – Feature interview with Cracker’s Johnny Hickman to preview Campout with band photo and related links.
Make camp in Pioneertown
Written by Judith Salkin / The Desert Sun

The Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven Campout at Pappy and Harriet’s started out as a joint birthday celebration for singer David Lowery and guitarist Johnny Hickman. Now in its eighth year, the event has grown into an alternative music festival that’s not just for fans of the namesake bands.

This year’s event — The Ocho — rolls out Thursday and continues through Sept. 15 at the high desert saloon.

Pappy and Harriet’s is a familiar venue for Cracker founders Lowery and Hickman. The band recorded its gold-selling 1993 album, “Kerosene Hat,” on the sound stage next door.

“We wanted to get away from the L.A. recording studio sound and the possibility of studio executive dropping in, and decided to make the disc someplace we were comfortable,” Hickman said in a recent interview. “And since we like to come and go at all hours and we can get a little loud, we made a deal with all the neighbors that we’d knock off by 10 p.m. every night. It was a great experience. When we decided to do the first Campout, we wanted to do it here.”

Hickman spends most of his year touring, but Lowery, who has started several music-related businesses including a record label and publishing company, is now a lecturer at the University of Georgia’s music business program, teaching courses in music piracy and copyright law.

“David has a degree in mathematics,” Hickman explained. “He he can talk for hours on intellectual property law. He’s fighting to get musicians their rights.”

Along with sets by Cracker, Lowery’s Camper Van Beethoven and various off-shoots, several supporting acts are set to perform, including Joshua Tree’s Gram Rabbit and Foo Fighters guitarist Chris Shiflett.

But the real highlight of the Campout is Hickman’s after-hours Porchstock jam sessions. “There are a couple of fans who cook and others who bring instruments,” he said.

“It’s nothing formal, and you never know who’ll turn up, musicians from the other bands on the bill and locals. It’s a nice laid-back way to experience the music.”
If you go

Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven 8th Annual Campout
When: 8 p.m. Thursday; 4 to 11 p.m. Friday-Saturday
Where: Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 536 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown
Tickets: Three-day pass $63; one-day pass $27; under 12 free
Information: (760) 365-5956;;
Palace stage:
The Dangers, 8 p.m. Inland Empire roots rock band whose members went on to found Cracker, Hickman-Dalton Band and the BellRays.
Cracker Duo with David Lowery and Johnny Hickman, 9 p.m. Founding Cracker members open their weekend celebration with a classic Cracker set.

Main stage:
Gram Rabbit, 8 p.m. Jesika von Rabbit and Todd Rutherford call their music “Desert Space Rocktronica,” blending elements of country rock, jazz, electronica and psychedelia.
Camper Van Beethoven, 9 to 11 p.m. Singer-songwriter Lowery leads this Inland Empire-bred band whose music blended ska-punk-world-and-folk.

Palace stage:
Niantic, 7:30 p.m. The first of two Camper/Cracker-inspired bands to play this year’s Campout.
Lightning Starts Fire, 8:30 p.m.
The second band, fronted by Indio Romero, influenced by Cracker and Camper.
Johnny Hickman, 11:30 p.m. A roots/country/alt-rock genius, this year he’s brought two of his side projects along.
Victor Krummenacher, 12:30 a.m.
A founding member of Camper Van Beethoven, Krummenacher has branched out into solo work and founding the CVB spin-off, Monks of Doom.
These days he splits his time as a musician, founding the Magnetic indie label and working as an art director for the San Francisco Bay Guardian and Wired magazine.

Band meet and greet, 5 to 6 p.m. Poster signings.

Main stage:
Chris Shiflett and the Dead Peasants, 8 p.m.
The Foo Fighters guitarist leads this band of Americana rockers.
Instead of big guitar sounds, we get Shiflett softer side with his Martin acoustic guitar.
Cracker, 9 to 11 p.m. The band that started it all, Cracker has been called the ultimate college band.

Palace stage:
The Piggies, 7 p.m. Hickman’s opening/back-up band.
The Calamity, 11:30 p.m.
By their own admission, they’re a rock/pop/alt-country band from Ventura County.
Jonathan Segel, 12:30 a.m. A multi-instrumentalist who plays guitar, violin, electric bass and also sings.

INLAND EMPIRE WEEKLY  (Inland Empire, CA online music site) – Campout 8 feature with David Lowery interview, band photos and related link.
California Born and Raised
By Jasen T. Davis
For local artist David Lowery a show in the desert is like coming home

David Lowery is a successful performer who is very familiar with the business of making music and the fame and fortune that goes along with it. As lead vocalist and guitarist for Camper Van Beethoven back in late ’80s/early ’90s, Lowery had already seen phenomenal success with the bittersweet single, “Pictures of Matchstick Men.”

After Camper Van Beethoven took a break Lowery and Johnny Hickman, lead guitarist, created the band Cracker. The hit single “Low” cemented the group as an independent act in its own right. Lowery grew up in Redlands and met the members of both bands while living in the Inland Empire, so performing at Pappy and Harriet’s on Sept. 15 will be like coming home for him.

“Camper was kind of alternative and folksy, while Cracker was rock with some country elements,” Lowery says. Camper Van Beethoven has its own influences, but Cracker has others. “The ’60s hippy rock band Kaleidoscope is a big influence on Camper Van Beethoven, along with UK’s The Fall and Nick Cave. With our next album we really plan to just carry on where we left off. Camper is more timeless, I’d say.”

Cracker is alternative rock with an Inland Empire twist. “A lot of the IE resonates throughout our entire catalog. We really are influenced by that part of Southern California, where we grew up.” Lowery is part of a proud tradition of music in the Inland Empire, which includes performers like Frank Zappa. “Zappa was here in the ’70s. A lot of surf bands also came from around San Bernardino County. The Rolling Stones even played one of their first U.S. gigs out here.”

Lowery always enjoys playing with Cracker, but he’s looking forward to touring with Camper Van Beethoven for its new album, set for a January 2013 release. “One of our songs is based on the Mexican drug lord ballads sung by artists like Chilean Sanchez, who was nearly assassinated onstage in Coachella.” This Latin flavor demonstrates the myriad roots Lowery has out in California.

“There’s a nice little ballad on the new Camper Van Beethoven album that starts out a little ska, south of the border, but it turns into a murder story,” Lower says. “It starts out all sweet and then you realize that the song’s hero is basically a homicidal maniac. It’s like the outlaw drug smuggler stories from Mexico.”

“I write lyrics after I’ve written the music, but a lot of times I like to contrast the lyrics with the music. It’s more interesting to play a happy song with weird, f@*#ed up lyrics.” This approach is part of why his past hits have had the impact they’ve had.

Lowery’s own 2011 solo album, The Palace Guards, was a critical success, but Camper Van Beethoven is where he’s glad to be. “I was happy with it, but I didn’t tour for that record.” He enjoyed the time off from touring, but ended up focusing on Camper even more from the experience.

“I spent a week after playing with The Palace Guards making music for Camper Van Beethoven,” Lowery says. “The solo album really helped me focus on another angle when it came to song writing.” As much as he enjoys touring with Cracker, Lowery admits that the band needs new songs. “I’m going to write a lot more songs for Cracker after the new album.” All the more reason to look forward to this year’s camp out and next year’s Camper Van Beethoven LP.

Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven 7th Annual Campout at Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Rd., Pioneertown, (760) 365-5956; Sat, Sept. 15-Sun, Sept. 16. 1-day pass $25, 3-day pass $60. 12 and under free.

JAMBANDS (online music site) – Campout 8 news with band photos and related link.
Cracker And Camper Van Beethoven To Host Eighth Annual Campout Fest
Alt-rock groups Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven are set to host the eighth annual Campout Music Festival.

The festival will run September 13, 14 and 15 in the High Desert of Southern California’s Pioneertown Palace. The festival features sets from both bands throughout the weekend as well as solo sets from the members of each band. Other acts scheduled to perform at the festival include Christ Shiflet & the Dead Peasants, Gram Rabbit, Calamity, The Dangers, Lightning Starts Fire, The Piggies and Niantic.

For more information and ticket sales, check out the bands’ online storefront.

THE PRESS ENTERPRISE (Riverside, CA daily) – Campout 8 news with CVB photo and related links.
PIONEERTOWN: Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven Campout returns for eighth year
For eight years, two of college rock and alternative music’s most seminal artists have thrown a big party in the desert for fans.

The Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven Campout returns to Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace in Pioneertown Thursday, Sept. 13 through Saturday, Sept. 15. Since it’s the eighth edition, it’s being dubbed “The Ocho,” which makes me think of the movie “Dodgeball” and Jason Bateman’s role as ESPN 8 “The Ocho” announcer Pepper Brooks.

Both headlining bands have plenty of Inland history. David Lowery, frontman for both, is originally from Redlands, as is Cracker guitarist Johnny Hickman. Camper Van Beethoven’s Victor Krummenacher hails from Riverside.

The Campout started as a birthday celebration for Lowery and Hickman and turned into a party with Cracker/Camper side projects, Inland bands, other notable artists and fans.

This year’s lineup also includes the Foo Fighters’ Chris Shiflett and his band the Dead Peasants, Joshua Tree eclectics Gram Rabbit (who recently got a national boost with music played during the Olympics), Calamity, Inland power pop geniuses The Dangers, Lightning Starts Fire, The Piggies and Niantic.

As always, Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven will be doing full band performances. Camper is even expected to play some music from its upcoming studio album.

Plus, individual members will be playing in various acts over the weekend, including Jonathan Segel, Krummenacher, a Lowery/Hickman semi-acoustic Cracker duo set, plus a solo set from Hickman, who released gem “Tilting” earlier this summer.

A three-day pass is $60 and a one-day pass is $25. You can get them at . The event is all-ages. Kids 12 and younger get in for free.

Here’s the day-by-day lineup:

Cracker duo (David Lowery & Johnny Hickman)
The Dangers

Camper Van Beethoven
Gram Rabbit

Johnny Hickman (full-band)
Lightning Starts Fire

Chris Shiflett & The Dead Peasants (Foo Fighters’ lead guitarist)

Jonathan Segel
Victor Krummenacher
The Piggies

MELODIC (online music site) – Campout 8 news with Cracker photo and related links.

INNOCENT WORDS (online music site) – Campout 8 news with Cracker &CVB  photos and related links.

PLUG IN MUSIC (online music site) – Campout 8 news with Cracker & CVB  photos and related links.

ANTIMUSIC (online music site) – Campout 8 news with related links.


Daniel Wayne + Brian Olive + Mike Higbee
Cincinnati-bred, Brooklyn-based auteur Daniel Wayne pens dark Americana with indie melancholy and a distinct bluegrass twang. Arrive in time to catch Brian Olive, a laid-back, retro garage rocker who’s played with the Soledad Brothers, the Greenhornes and Dr. John. As if that weren’t enough name-dropping, his debut album, Two of Everything, was produced by Black Keys man Dan Auerbach.

CLEVELAND SCENE (Cleveland weekly) – Feature interview with photo to preview local show.
An interview with Brian Olive, who plays the Happy Dog on Wednesday
by Jeff Niesel

While his former bands the Greenhornes and the Soledad Brothers gained a certain amount of acclaim for their gritty garage rock, singer-guitarist Brian Olive is likely to earn more notoriety for his solo career. After all, his latest album, 2011’s Two of Everything, a mix of garage, rock, and soul that was co-produced by the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, received glowing reviews for its groove-oriented retro-leaning rock. And Olive worked on Locked Down, the recent Dr. John album that Auerbach produced. Olive, who spoke via phone from his Cincinnati home, performs at 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Happy Dog. Guardian Alien opens, and tickets are $6.

You were a founding member of the Greenhornes, who had a terrific run that extended even after your departure. Looking back on it, what did you take from that experience with the band?
I was just a kid really. I did manage to learn a few things about human nature that they don’t teach you in school. I also learned about my own nature and the nature of others. When we started that band, I was convinced we were the best band in the world. There were quite a few people who agreed with us. I wish the original five members could have made something more of it but what’s meant to be is meant to be.

And what about the time you spent with the Soledad Brothers?
That was really beneficial to me as well and maybe even more so. That was a slightly less volatile situation with personalities. We got along most of the time. I got to travel the world and play music, so I was happy about that. Playing with that band with [singer-guitarist] Johnny [Walker] brought out a more relaxed side of my playing. I could be content to be a rocker. I met Johnny when he was going to school in Cincinnati and started sitting in with him. When we started touring, we ended up living in Detroit a lot of the time and then London after that. I came back here to stay about six years ago.

So what was the transition like to making your first album?
At the time, it was like a dream come true. If you’re in a band, it’s supposed to be a democratic process but I felt some things didn’t get done that way. Doing it solo, I can make the decisions as fast as I need to.

You embrace such a wide range of music. Talk about your influences.
I think I’ve always been influenced by a wide variety of different artists and genres and that kind of thing. I think a lot of people are but with the Greenhornes we stayed within a garage sound because that’s what we knew we could do. That’s what everyone wanted to do. Now, I can do whatever I want. If I’m into Gilberto Gil, I can let that come out and do a Tropicalia-style song. As long as it still sounds like me, I can let all those influences come out.

What did you try to do differently with Two of Everything?
I brought in a lot of players and got to pick and choose a little more who I wanted to do certain things. I decided to finish the album at Easy Eye in Nashville. That helped. I can record what I want in my studio but it’s good to take it someplace else at least to mix it. Dan Auerbach made a big difference, too.

What was it like trying to manage what your press release describes as “the revolving cast of talent” that contributed to the album?
It’s a nightmare. On one hand, I enjoyed having different people on the tours and having fresh faces pop up. But it’s hard creating a vibe between all the people and making sure that everyone will get along. There’s always that bit of anxiety and hoping for the best. It always seemed to work out.

Talk about the Dr. John experience.
I don’t know where to start. Since I was like 19 years when I heard [1968’s] Gris Gris for the first time, and it changed by whole perspective on everything. I’ve been a fan of his music over the years. I got to meet him in London by chance because a friend of mine was opening for him. He’s the only person that made me star struck and nervous. Luckily, I got that out of the way years before Auerbach asked me about doing the album. I was excited and honored that Dan picked me. Working with him was cool because he started his career doing that same thing we were doing — coming in the studio and working out music with other musicians. When we got there, he sat down at the piano and said, “What do you guys want to do?” He’s a great guy who has music flowing through him. Anytime we got to a point where we couldn’t quite get it and everyone was throwing out ideas, he would just sit there quietly and then say, “What if we do this.” And he’d do the most amazing thing. It was always the right answer. He’s a great guy. Everybody down there had an amazing time working on the album.

INSIDER LOUISVILLE (Louisville, KY online A&E site) – Positive show preview with Left Side Rock video.
Honey, it’s the Weekend: Techno-Contra Dancing; Cheyenne Marie Mize w/ Brian Olive at Zazoo’s
By Staff | Published: August 30, 2012
Brian Olive and Cheyenne Marie Mize at Zazoo’s on Friday, Aug. 31

Well, Cheyenne Marie Mize is on a little local tear after playing Forecastle and Z-bar: The singer-songwriter is heading to St. Matthews this weekend to play at Zazoo’s.

She should find good company with rock-n-roller Brian Olive.
As you may know Mize is one of the premier acts in Louisville both for her soul-touching songs, but also for being down right beautiful. She is the complete package as she is uplifting, dark, and sensual … three ingredients that help Mize stand out amongst her musical peers.

Brian Olive is coming back to Zazoo’s, and he (like many touring acts) seems to have found a home at the St. Matthews bar, most likely because he fulfills the blues’ desires of the New Vintage Showcase. Olive possesses a sound that has been making a comeback over the past few years, blues-rock. Brian brings a little bit more soul to the genre than most, elevating him above the many who have fallen trap to imitating the Black Keys.

Mize headlines the night after Olive’s set, so she should inherit an already rocking crowd. It will be interesting and entertaining to watch the two acts dual Friday, so don’t miss out if you are a sucker for good vocals and good looking musicians.

The bill also features Graffiti; a band made up of former notable Louisville bands, Cabin and the Broken Spurs.

It should be a fun night at the ‘Zoo on Friday.

Show starts about 9 p.m.

Zazoo’s is at 102 Bauer Ave. in St. Matthews.

LEO WEEKLY (Louisville, KY weekly) – Feature interview to preview local show (per  Damien)
One man’s band
By Damien McPherson

Brian Olive sounds like he’s still got something to prove. The Cincinnatian’s catalog is strong, from his band work with The Greenhornes and Soledad Brothers to session work with The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach and Dr. John. But there’s an edge to his voice that suggests dissatisfaction with that earlier work.

Last year’s album Two of Everything, co-produced by Auerbach, echoes his self-titled starter, bringing a more melodic pop sensibility that his group work shunned. Olive shrugs, “There are things I always wanted to do in the Greenhornes and Soledad Brothers that I didn’t get a chance to do, maybe because there were so many people involved; so on Two of Everything, I said, ‘I’m going to do whatever I want. I’ll make it as pop sounding as I want.’ Each one of these albums that I do, it’s just making more and more sense as I stand creatively.”

The democratic process of bands can be restrictive. Olive says, “Greenhornes was four people who wanted to do straight-on garage and rhythm and blues. I was the odd man out, listening to different kinds of things and wanting to bring them into the fold. With Soledad Brothers, Johnny and Ben were more into experimenting. I was never quite satisfied with the outcome, completely. Now that it’s my name out there, there’s nobody really arguing with me about how the sound is going to be.”

Olive has been working on demos for a new record and will likely self-produce. “I’m always in the position that, unless I think someone else can do it better, I think I’ll just do it myself,” he says. Auerbach, Olive says, wanted to work on his first solo record, but Olive dismissed him. “I was out of the country for a while, out of the loop, and I was thinking, ‘Dan Auerbach? The guy who was opening for Soledad Brothers, in that band … what were they called?’”

His band plays at ZaZoo’s on Friday, Aug. 31. As for the show, Olive is no-nonsense. “What to expect? We’re just going to show up and play the hell out of it. We’re not a smoke-and-mirrors band.”

NEW YORK MUSIC NEWS (online NYC music site) – Feature interview to preview NYC show with artist photo, video and related links,.
NYMN Interview – Brian Olive

Call Brian Olive “butter” because he’s on a roll. His most recent album, Two Of Everything, is garnering praise across the musical landscape. In addition to these personal accolades, he and Black Keys member Dan Auerbach, helped write, produce, and perform on Dr. John’s newest album Locked Down. We asked Brian a few questions in anticipation of his August 27th show at Union Hall.

NYMN: Before we get into Two Of Everything, I have to ask you about working with Dr. John on his album Locked Down. How did you get connected with him?

Brian Olive: Dan Auerbach and I were talking after a recording session in Akron. He asked if I’d heard of Dr. John. I said, Of course, I even met him once. We listened to Gris Gris. A few months later Dan told me he’d be producing the next Dr. John album and asked if I wanted to be in the studio band. I didn’t have to think about it.

NYMN: Locked Down has received critical acclaim – Rolling Stone named it one of the best albums of 2012 so far. Where you surprised at how well it was received or did you think “I told you so, suckers”?

Brian Olive: I knew it was going to be a good album and when it was finished it was better than anyone might have expected.

NYMN: Do you do a Dr. John impression?

Brian Olive: Yes, it’s hard not to.

NYMN: So what is it: all is one or everything is two?

Brian Olive: Exactly.

NYMN: What is your biggest point of pride with this album? What makes you happiest about this album now that it’s complete?

Brian Olive: I’m just happy I made the album I wanted to make.

NYMN: How many and which instruments did you play on this album?

Brian Olive: I think 6 or so, guitar, tenor and bari sax, piano, flute, and some others.

NYMN: I loaded your album onto my iPod and listened to it on a recent flight to Miami. The guy next to me asked what I was listening to, as I was moving in time with the music. I said “It’s a guy named Brian Olive.” Then he asked me what it sounded like. I couldn’t really think of anything to compare your music to and instead lent him my headphones. I think not being able to say a band or sound is actually a compliment. I see a lot of comparisons of your music to other bands or genres and I wonder what album the reviewer listened to when they wrote the article. What would you say is Brian Olive’s sound?

Brian Olive: That is a great compliment. I could say what my sound is but half the people listening would call me a liar.

NYMN: You get a lot of praise for your studio work. What’s a Brian Olive show like?

Brian Olive: I’ve heard the live show is very different.

NYMN: Any outrageous promises for your NYC show to get our readers riled up?

Brian Olive: It will transform you into everything you’ve always wanted to be.

This Monday, August 27th – Brian Olive (with Daniel Wayne and Mike Higbee) will be performing at Union Hall located at 702 Union Street in Brooklyn New York. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 on the day of the show. For more information on the show call 718-638-4400 or go to For more information on Brian Olive please visit

RYAN’S SMASHING LIFE (online music blog) – Positive show review with streaming lconcert photo album
Photographic Evidence
images by Anne Cook

The Scene: O’Brien’s
Boston, MA – 8/28/12]
MAN BEHIND THE SOUND – Brian Olive’s name first came into the public eye as a founding guitarist/singer of the Greenhornes, and later as a member of the Soledad Brothers, for whom he provided saxophone and sundries under the pseudonym of Oliver Henry. Brian Olive’s latest release, “Two Of Everything,”* was recorded and produced by both Olive and Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys at The Diamonds in Cincinnati, and Easy Eye Sound in Nashville. It features a revolving cast of talent including long time right hand man Mike Weinel, Detroit psychedelic caveman David Shettler (SSM, the Sights), Daniel Allaire (Darker My Love), Jared McKinney (Greenhornes), and with Courtney Jaye, Leisa Han, Kari Kragness, and Sarah Benn on backing vocals.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I could seriously kick myself for missing this show… Get to know Brian Olive!

DRAW US LINES (Pittsburgh music blog) – Feature interview to preview Pittsburgh show.
Concert Preview (Tonight!) / Brian Olive
Brian Olive / Gooski’s / 10:00 / $6
Words by Brendan

Brian Olive is a man-about-town in the rock ‘n roll city. He played guitar (in high school!) in a band that became celebrated garage-rockers The Greenhornes. He later went off to work with The Soledad Brothers, whose debut was produced by friend Jack White. He worked on the latest Dr. John record, Locked Down, contributing guitar and vocals and woodwinds(?!). And he now has a couple of solo albums, both teeming with inventive rock sounds and song structures and lyrics. Two of Everything was released last year on Alive Naturalsound Records and was produced by Dan Auerbach (of The Black Keys), and it is a stellar album all-around. Check out standout track, “Strange Attractor”, below.

Brian Olive and his band are hitting up Gooski’s TONIGHT! They’re playing with Dewey Marquee and From Red Sun, which should make for an awesome rock showcase. Doors @ 9, music @ 10, so get yer asses out there.

We had a brief email chat with Brian Olive, so read on after the jump for his answers. (In particular, check out the question about movie soundtracks. Hilarious.)

See yinz at Gooski’s!

DUL: How has tour been going so far? Are you happy with the translation of the recorded tunes to the stage?

Brian Olive: The tour’s going great. Just crossed back in from Quebec.

Yeah, it’s different and I like it.

DUL: Where did the songs on Two Of Everything come from? What are your inspirational sources, musically and lyrically? What did you bring in to the recording of this album, and what sort of influence did Dan Auerbach have on the ultimate product.

Brian Olive: I’m not sure where they came from. I’ve heard a lot of music in my life. Os Mutantes, Dr. John, Chuck Berry are some that I always come back to. Everything influences me one way or another.

I started the recording/production at my place and then brought it to Dan’s for finishing. He really made a great difference.

DUL: Personally, I’ve noticed some heavy influences from garage rock and British rock/pop (musically), as well as some more philosophical elements (lyrically). Specifically, I’m thinking of “Two Of Everything” and “Strange Attractor” and their mathematical/physical connotations.

Brian Olive: I’ve been into all that since I was a kid so it makes sense to hear. I’ve also, for quite awhile, had an interest in things that could be called mystical. I think numbers have a lot to do with it.

DUL: One of your songs is going to soundtrack a scene from a famous movie. What’s the scene and what’s the song?

Brian Olive: “Two Of Everything(reprise)”. Transdimensional travel or porno.

DUL: Any thoughts or experiences from Pittsburgh you want to share?

Brian Olive: I’ve always liked playing Pittsburgh. It reminds me of home. We’ll come correct.

More info: Call Gooski’s n’@ 412.681.1658

Brian Olive on the web: Website / Facebook / Insound

HUGHS SHOWS  (Pittsburgh music blog) – Feature interview to preview Pittsburgh show.
First/Last-Brian Olive
Brian Olive
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Polish Hill

“Following his 2009 self-titled debut , which was praised for skillfully blending soulful R&B with raunchy garage and psychedelia, Brian Olive (Ex-Greenhornes guitarist & Soledad Brothers multi instrumentalist) takes us further on his latest full length Two Of Everything. Listeners will recognize a number of musical touchstones here (Night Tripper era Dr. John, Exuma, early Funkadelic, Canned Heat, West Coast psych, etc) but the end result is completely Olive’s own, an insanely dynamic, soulful, psychedelically-rich summer album perfect for intergalactic flight, night visions, or voodoo rituals. Two Of Everything was recorded and produced by both Olive and Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys at The Diamonds in Cincinnati, and Easy Eye Sound in Nashville and features a revolving cast of talent including long time right hand man Mike Weinel, Detroit psychedelic caveman David Shettler (SSM, the Sights), Daniel Allaire (Darker My Love), Jared McKinney (Greenhornes), and with Courtney Jaye, Leisa Han, Kari Kragness, and Sarah Benn on backing vocals. The hauntingly beautiful artwork is by Laura Dolan. Brian is also laying down sax parts for Dr. John’s upcoming album.”

Brian most recently co-wrote and performed on Dr. John’s album “Locked Down” on Nonesuch. He returns to Pittsburgh tomorrow night for gig Gooski’s. My thanks to him for taking a few moments to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
Queen, “The Game”.

Your last album bought?
“The Rough Guide to Desert Blues”.

Favorite album of all time?
Dr. John, “Gris Gris”.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
The one where David Bowie was still Davey Jones.

First concert attended?
The Stray Cats.

Last concert?

Favorite concert ever?
Neil Young in Golden Gate Park by accident. Some friends talked me into going to see Pearl Jam. I had seen them before and wasn’t very excited. When it was announced that Eddie Vedder couldn’t perform the crowd freaked out. A mass exodus had begun when the band started playing “Powderfinger”. Neil Young walked out on stage. I went straight to the front and watched him play a 2 hour set!

Least favorite concert?
I saw “The Coasters” in high school. We showed up expecting the original members but what we got was five dudes looking/sounding like Bobby Brown.

Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Pittsburgh’s always been good to me. It’s a beautiful town. I’ll never forget the first time I was shot out of the mountain onto the bridge!

Thanks, Brian. That’s a great Neil Young story. How about the saps that left and found out later what went down? Ha!

CBS PITTSBURGH (local TV station KDKA) – Brief mention on their website.
BRIAN OLIVE with Dewey Marquee and From Red Sun
Bluesy garage/psych from the frontman of the Greenhornes on Alive Naturalsound
Wednesday August 29 // 10:00 pm
Garfield Artworks
4931 Penn Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15224

BLOGTO (Toronto music blog) – Brief positive show preview with album art.
BRIAN OLIVE of The Greenhornes (Cincinnati.OH) @ The Silver Dollar
BRIAN OLIVE is no stranger to Toronto or the world of garage- and indie-rock, first as a member of The Greenhornes, then The Soledad Brothers, and most recently as a guitarist and co-writer on Dr. John’s highly-acclaimed 2012 release. Olive returns to Toronto with his new band and their full-length Bomp/Alive album with…
SET TIMES: Lordy Lordy (9:30), Speaking Tongues (10:20), Sphinxs (11:10), Brian Olive (12:00)

THE PERLICH POST (Toronto music blog) – Simple show listing with album art.

DOSE.CA (Toronto A&E site) – Show preview with artist photo in their ClubZone section
Brian Olive
Silver Dollar
Brian Olives name first came into the public eye as a founding guitarist/singer of The Greenhornes, and later as a member of the Soledad Brothers, for whom he provided saxophone and sundries under the pseudonym of Oliver Henry. However, unlike those prior genre-specific endeavors, this album, his self-titled debut, is a breakout multicolored affair that takes musical and lyrical cues from the British psychedelic sixties, as well as the soul-pop hit factories of Memphis, and wanders through the erstwhile streets of the Ninth Ward.The sessions took place in Cincinnati, in what was once the basement vault of a pawn shop, and were produced, recorded and mixed on analog tape by Brian himself. Beside playing guitar, woodwind and piano, Brian Olive is accompanied on the album by friends Jared McKinney and Craig Fox of The Greenhornes, Mike Weinel, formerly of the Heartless Bastards, and Dan Allaire who did time with the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Brian also sings lead and is backed by the Kadish Sisters with Donna Jay, a vocal trio brought together in the studio for the occasion. A touring band will be assembled with various members of the sessions.
Venue Details
Location: Silver Dollar
Address: 486 Spadina Ave., Downtown, Toronto

WHEN YOU MOTOR AWAY (online music blog) – Positive album review with album art, video, tour dates and related link.
Brian Olive – new video and free download from Two Of Everything
Brian Olive, former Greenhorne, has released one of my favorite records of 2012: Two Of Everything. Olive has rightly become very well-known this year: he’s a multi-instrumentalist who worked with Dan Auerbach on Dr. John’s latest record, and Two Of Everything is meeting with nearly universal approval (if not ecstasy). I’ll just go ahead and add my voice to the chorus of praise.

From the funky, hard-rocking groove of opener “Left Side Rock” (free download available – click here), to the hypnotic electric piano and flutes of “Go On Easy” to the Motown rhythm section and horns fronting Lennonesque vocals on “You Can’t Hide It”… the common elements are an explosion of talent and an amazing facility with different styles, tempos and genres. Everything on this record – the rhythms, the guitars, the horn sections – is well done, and Olive’s vocals are certainly up to the task of carrying such a big-sounding record.

Here’s a video for “Left Side Rock”:

In a way, though I wouldn’t call this a rehash or even particularly “retro”, I’m reminded of two old records: Rick Danko and Dennis Wilson’s Pacific Ocean Blue. And you would say, those two don’t sound much alike, and I would agree but still say those are the ones Two Of Everything reminds me of. Both are subtle masterpieces arising out of the totality of their creators’ musical journey, that forced us to look at them a little bit differently. The same thing is probably true here, although I must admit that, other than kind of enjoying the Greenhornes’ sound, I was largely unaware of Olive’s work before this record. Happily, that is no longer the case. Highly recommended, and available via Alive/Naturalsound Records. Alive/Naturalsound makes our world a better place.

Upcoming Brian Olive tour dates, with more to come:

CT CENTRAL (Connecticut online news site) – New Haven show preview.
Manic Productions Presents: Brian Olive (ex-Greenhornes, Soledad Brothers)
Sunday, Aug 26 8:00p
at Cafe Nine, New Haven, CT
Price: $8 advance; $10 door

Following his 2009 self-titled debut, which was praised for skillfully blending soulful R&B with raunchy garage and psychedelia, Brian Olive (Ex-Greenhornes guitarist & Soledad Brothers multi-instrumentalist) takes us further on his latest full length ‘Two Of Everything.’ Listeners will recognize a number of musical touchstones here (Night Tripper era Dr. John, Exuma, early Funkadelic, Canned Heat, West Coast psych, etc) but the end result is completely Olive’s own, an insanely dynamic, soulful, psychedelically rich summer album perfect for intergalactic flight, night visions, or voodoo rituals. ‘Two Of Everything’ was recorded and produced by both Olive and Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys at The Diamonds in Cincinnati, and Easy Eye Sound in Nashville, and features a revolving cast of talent including long time right hand man Mike Weinel, Detroit psychedelic caveman David Shettler (SSM, the Sights), Daniel Allaire (Darker My Love), Jared McKinney (Greenhornes), and with Courtney Jaye, Leisa Han, Kari Kragness, and Sarah Benn on backing vocals. The hauntingly beautiful artwork is by Laura Dolan. Brian is also laying down sax parts for Dr. John’s upcoming album.

ALAN CROSS: A JOURNAL OF MUSICAL THINGS (online music blog) – Positive post with album art and Left Side Rock mp3, with related links.
Artist: Brian Olive, “Left Side Rock”
Album: Two of Everything
Olive’s blend of classic 70’s blues-rock and soulful psychedelic vocals ride along with nothing but ease, and bring it all the way back home.
Sounds like:  That’s blues baby, with a whole lot of soul.

LARGEHEARTED BOY (online music blog) – Left Side Rock mp3 with related links added to their “Daily Downloads: Aug. 6

HANGING AT THE BACK (online music blog) – Positive post with artist photo, tour dates, two videos and Left Side Rock mp3, with related links.
Brian Olive Announces August Tour Dates
By hangingattheback
Brian Olive, ex of Greenhornes and Soledad Brothers, has announced a series of tour dates through the eastern US and Canada.

He’s hitting the road in support of his latest album, Two Of A Kind, which as produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. Olive and Auerbach also co-wrote and performed on Dr. John’s latest acclaimed album Locked Down. Check out a video of the session below. For a preview, head here to check out the track ’Left Side Rock’ and be sure to catch him on the following dates.
8/22 Cleveland, OH – Happy Dog
8/23 Toronto, ON – Silver Dollar Room
8/24 Montreal, QC – La Divan Orange
8/25 Quebec City, QC – Le Circle
8/26 New Haven, CT – Cafe Nine
8/27 Brooklyn, NY – Union Hall
8/28 Boston, MA – O’Brien’s
8/29 Pittsburgh, PA – Gooski’s Bar
8/31 Louisville, KY – Zazoo’s

HELLHOUND MUSIC (online music site) – News story (from press release) with Left Side Rock mp3, artist photo, tour dates and related links.

FLOCKED MEDIA (Western Michigan online music site) – News story (from press release) with Left Side Rock audio stream, artist photo, tour dates and related links.


The Bohannons inhabit a musical universe that, while certainly drawing influence from all over, is firmly rooted in their Tennessee home. With their full-length debut album Unaka Rising, they are clearly taking their homegrown, handcrafted rock to a new level, and we think they’ve set the bar pretty damn high with this one. The album’s title references the Unaka province of East Tennessee and western North Carolina— “One of the finest areas in all the world,” according to singer/guitarist Marty Bohannon. The region has certainly fueled the Bohannons’ fire, providing endless stories and situations from which these songs draw. With a quiver of new material ready to follow up 2011’s stellar EP, Days of Echo, the Bohannons spent the better part of the last year tearing up the road between Chattanooga and Athens, GA where they recorded Unaka Rising at Chase Park Transduction, first with David Barbe and later Drew Vandenberg.

The Bohannons’ Unaka Rising is out now (released July 10, 2012 through This Is American Music) in CD and Digital formats. Fall/Winter tour dates to be announced soon.


As Marty Bohannon explains about the song ‘Goodbye Bill,’ “It’s an ode to martyred labor organizer Joe Hill approaching the 100th anniversary of his death. The words are from his last will, as well as from Ethel Raim and The Pennywhistlers’ song ‘Joe Hill’.”

THE BOHANNONS (left to right: Nick Sterchi, Marty Bohannon, Matt Bohannon, Josh Beaver) Photo credit: Jason Dunn

1. Goodbye Bill
2. Two Riders
3. Tim Tim
4. River Above
5. Cold Dead Hand
6. The Ballad Of Christian And Other
7. Built A World
8. The Cradle
9. Ponchatrain
10. In The End

“The Bohannons new album, Unaka Rising is a real scorcher. It’s an odd thing to say about a band, but their approach to music makes so much sense that it’s difficult to understand why their particular cocktail of heavy Southern rock jangle hasn’t already been done to death by someone else. A little Two Gallants, a little Black Sabbath, they’re as heavy as they are twangy. They manage their heaviness without venturing into melodrama, which is difficult for many artists that venture into darker territory. Their music begs to serve as a soundtrack to a genre of film that doesn’t currently exist—some kind of violent, stylized-but-gritty (a la Tarantino) Southern road movie patterned after the classic Western model.” – OXFORD AMERICAN

“Are they Country? Are They Blues? Are they ’70s glam metal? Yes.” – Bryan Childs / NINE BULLETS




Tony Bonyata
Pavement PR
p: 262.903.7775


Wendy James [photo credit: Ricardo Gomes]

On her last solo album, 2010’s critically acclaimed I Came Here To Blow Minds, Wendy James recorded with French indie musicians who shared her passion for NYC punk, Detroit garage and new wave, but now she’s going straight to the source. Working directly with The Stooges’ James Williamson (guitar & bass) and The Bad Seeds’ Jim Sclavunos (drums & percussion) the former Transvision Vamp lead singer has created two stunning tracks on her new double-single that capture the urgency and spirit of not only early punk but rock’n’roll in general. The A-Side is a version of Sonic’s Rendezvous Band’s “You’re So Great,” where Wiliamson’s signature search-and-destroy guitar riffs retain the gasoline-soaked essence of Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith’s original, yet the song is transformed into a high-energy slice of modern power-pop with Wendy’s boyant and soaring vocals throughout the track. The B-Side finds the trio digging deep into Bob Dylan’s vast canon with their own snaky and seductive take on “It’s Alright Ma.”
These two tracks are but an early sneak peek at Wendy’s forthcoming solo album.
Release date for Wendy’s new “You’re So Great / It’s Alright Ma” Double-Single to be announced imminently.
[Feel free to post these audio streams for your viewers]
Sonic’s Rendezvous Band are one of my favorites. They wrote song after cool song, like ‘Keep On Hustlin,” “Do It Again,” “City Slang,” “Sweet Nothin” and of course, “You’re So Great.” I got my chops singing hard and fast pop songs with Transvision Vamp, and when I heard “You’re So Great,” it viscerally hit me that Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith had written the complete essence of what I was good at. I stored the song in the back of my mind, and waited for the right moment to record it. When I met James Williamson the dots connected and we decided instantly to go and do this together. For all the reasons above and of course, he is bandmates with Drummer Scott Asheton (Stooges and SRB) and he represents Detroit and Ann Arbor, no-one captures the guitar sound of Michigan like James Williamson does. It’s obvious. It was just a question of who was going to shout ‘1,2,3,4…..’
I, like millions of others, begin and end with Bob Dylan. Since I can’t remember when, maybe 12 years old? Bob has been my touchstone. His songs are what I listen to when I need to calm my soul, find my peace, find my strength, affirm my wisdom. Bob Dylan has tracked my soul for all my life so far, and always will. There are of course, so many many perfect moments from him, it’s mind-blowing the simplicity, the complexity, the effortlessness, the timelessness of his words and his melodies. Blood On The Tracks, Bringing It All Back Home, Desire, Slow Train Coming… I mean, I’m just going to list you everything. But… when I was about 13 years old I heard “It’s Alright Ma, I’m Only Bleeding” and that was it for me. He knew everything. Job done. Life explained.

So, now, 2012, when James and I had decided to do “You’re So Great” as a special Single Release, he asked me what my favorite Dylan number is and always, ultimately I go to “It’s Alright Ma.” Enthusiastically we decided to record both songs, and then… Let me tell you, there’s a big difference between listening to “Its Alright Ma” and singing it. I understand his rhythm, his intention, his breath, his humor, his message, to be clear: I understand his choice of words. It was heaven in the studio, losing myself on the microphone, telling the tale, singing the truth, having my few hours bathing in that High White Noise… and James in the control room watching on proudly…Yes. It was a good day… It was the kind of day that explains exactly, innately, why one does this in life.

Wendy James [photo credit: Ricardo Gomes]
Bruised beatnik blues from blonde survivor. Wendy James comes on like a wild-eyed prophet, a fire-breathing feline and a disenchanted cyber-cowgirl.UNCUT

A racier, bolder, more confident set of songs, from gothic Americana to revolving new wave garage where she sounds like the Shangri Las meets Joan Jett.MOJO
TUMBLR: http://wendyjames.tumblr.com
Tony Bonyata
Pavement PR
p: 262.903.7775
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