Basically the Camper Van Beethoven records would explore the north and south of the state and the songs I had already started with Cracker, country stuff, represents the Bakersfield part of the state. Did you start writing the Camper Van Beethoven albums with a concept in mind? It started because we had gone down to play in Big Sur at the Henry Miller Library and we got rained out.
So we hung out and started writing the songs that were the basis of those two albums. Pretty much from the beginning we found ourselves writing about California. When you were living in Santa Cruz you must have encountered that Northern California disrespect for Southern California. Yeah, but, do you know what I found? I found the people who complained about Southern California the most actually were from Southern California and they moved to Northern California.
My friends from Northern California were always up for a weekend to Hollywood or L. I think more has been made of that and often times the real partisans are the real native Northern Californians. I felt like to do the country record, it was almost like method acting. So, that was the first one that really began to put that disc together.
Berkeley became a character and the people became characters in a story. There are a lot of places in California that could be characters.
Is Pioneertown like the perfect place to reflect and play your California albums? Until fairly recently I had a place up there. All ages. They come back year after year and some become friends who meet up even when Lowery is not in the vicinity. In , we thought it was time to touch on that again, so I started writing these songs that were largely sort of country-based, which was sort of the idea for the next Cracker record. It was going to be a sort of Americana record. Along with the two headliners, the popular annual shindig features lots of friends, solo projects and local artists, including Inland power pop purveyors The Dangers and Jesika von Rabbit from Joshua Tree outfit Gram Rabbit.
Joined by bassist Davey Faragher, another Redlands native who was also in the original Cracker lineup, the trio wound up with recording nine songs of original material that were distinctly different from the nine songs Lowery had started out recording for this project.
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It proved to be an interesting conundrum, according to Lowery. But for Lowery, who is currently teaching a course on the economics of finance in the music business at the University of Georgia and is working on his long-delayed mathematics doctorate, his geographically driven creative urges were actually stoked by authors Joan Didion and William Vollmann.
I think California represents that in this really great way. People think about it coast-to-coast as being all about hippies and vegetarians and Hollywood, but at the same time, just drive through the Owens Valley sometime. There are herds of thousands of cattle out there and cowboys. You could be in a completely different time. It just has to be experienced.
People come from all over the U. The roster is also filled with individual members side projects, solo material and includes other bands who are special to us and have become part of the extended musical family. Plus other bands that are outside the musical family that are invited to play too. This is an all ages event and includes a meet and greet with many of the artists performing at Campout There will be no physical tickets sent. This is the first time this lineup has recorded together in almost 20 years.
For this reason we chose to stylistically focus this disc on the music we most associate with the East Bay: Punk and Garage with some funky undertones. To further match our sense of place we often took an overtly political tone in the lyrics. But more than anything Cracker are survivors.
Victor Krummenacher was added on bass and soon they were joined by Greg Lisher guitar and Jonathan Segel violins, keyboards, mandolin. Morgan Fichter had replaced Segel by this time. Krummenacher, Pedersen, and Lisher continued to play together in what began as a side project in , Monks of Doom, which turned into a full-time job for them, with four albums and an EP to their credit.
Though no longer working as the Monks, the trio, along with Segel and Camper touring guitarist David Immergluck, continue to play together in various formations. Krummenacher has released several solo records, Out in the Heat, St.
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Now operating as her own free agent, the Von Rabbit solo assault comes in the form a characteristically sizzling celestial psych-disco sound—with wildly redefined versions of songs by everyone from the Dickies to Garth Brooks—while the kinetic stage presentation is one significantly enhanced by a writhing trio of terpsichoreans. Johnny Hickman Hickman is best known for co-founding the band Cracker. Cracker, founded in with childhood friend David Lowery, has nine full-length releases to date.
Kerosene Hat remains an alternative music collection staple. Lowery and Hickman together are seen as godfathers of the alternative music scene, who turned gently away from plaid-clad grunge in the s with more countrified and bluesy stylings. Their collaboration with the jam-band Leftover Salmon in further proved that no one genre could contain them.
The real, serious fans need to be close, much closer to their favorite acts.
If you truly love a group, you want to camp out right there with them. This is an opportunity that will soon be afforded Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven lovers.
This is because the groups have planed their annual three-day campout music festival to take place in Pioneertown, in California from August 27 to This full-length was recorded at a now-closed movie soundstage next to the Palace. When you add it all up, both of these bands have put out four albums in the last two years.
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In addition to drawing from these fresher releases, the bands will also be dusting off a lot of older songs, too. Lowery formed Cracker with Johnny Hickman in So, would Lowery now advise folks to take the skinheads camping? Is that the next step after a bowling trip? Well, whether the skinheads make it out or not, you should make firm plans now to be there.
However, David Lowery—the frontman of hosting bands Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker—promises the move is just for this year, and that the event will be as good as ever. The group would reunite in Those first two albums went gold and platinum, and the third album never really reached gold, but it was a pretty good run there. Most notably, drummer Frank Funaro suffered a severe arm injury that continues to sideline him.
At the same time, we got back our old drummer, Michael Urbano, and worked in a studio in Berkeley just to see if we could write any songs. We ended up more or less banging out most of that album in three days up there. Camper Van Beethoven also has two new songs coming out that are on the Sharknado 3 soundtrack. With all of the touring, writing and recording, one has to wonder how Lowery has time to sleep. With all of the other things that are going to happen up there in Yucca Valley this year on Labor Day, we were colliding on the same weekend. For tickets or more information, call , or visit www.
FM music site Positive Campout preview with band photo and poster art. Cracker to play Bearsville this Saturday Twangy roots or gritty proto-indie rock? It is hard to say exactly what Cracker is; but whatever it is, they still are. Rock On! Concert Cruise, Rowes Wharf. Performing at 9 p.
They come for the food and stay for an evening of free rock and roll.
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