The middle of January in Philadelphia means its time for one of the best live one-two rock ’n’ roll punches around — Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker. World Café played host to their sold-out performances Saturday and both bands were at the top of their game. Led by David Lowery, one of the foremost crusaders for fair compensation for musicians, they cruised mainly through California settings, transporting their frigid fans to sunny musical highs. Continue reading →
The Indie Rock Hit Parade returns to its full two-hour majesty tonight at 10pm on WXPN! Listen in for a spotlight on the newly released album from Parquet Courts, plus a few of these freshly minted tracks:
As it’s another Final Friday, it’s time once again for a ‘Compact,’ one-hour edition of the Indie Rock Hit Parade! Tune in at 11pm (immediately after Land Of The Lost with Robert Drake) for a concentrated dose of new tracks from around the globe. We’ll spotlight the newly released record from Sharon Van Etten and hear a number of Land Of The Lost icons who are still making great records to this day. Plus a few of the following:
A January tradition continued Saturday night as David Lowery’s bands Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker rocked a sold-out World Café Live. Both bands sounded glorious as they took a crowd full of memories for Camper and Cracker from the 1980s and 1990s for a rock-infused two-hour-plus ride.
Camper began the night with its eclectic mix of guitar and violin, quick songs, and the occasional instrumental. Lowery, bassist Victor Krummenacher, string-player extraordinaire (violin, mandolin, and guitar) Jonathan Segel, guitarist Greg Lisher and drummer Frank Funaro blasted through a set mixing new and old. And the freshest work, like the instant sing-along “Northern California Girls” from 2013’s La Costa Perdida, fit in perfectly with such set staples as their brilliant cover of Status Quo’s “Pictures of Matchstick Men” and, of course, their ultimate tongue-in-the-cheek moment in “Take the Skinheads Bowling.”
Lowery used a rare solo moment to ease into the set by Cracker, the more straightforward rock cousins of Camper Van Beethoven: With just a banjo and his voice, he delivered a glorious rendition of Camper’s “O Death.” The next two numbers were only played with Cracker’s other larger-than-life personality, guitarist Johnny Hickman. The glorious intimacy of the set gave way to Cracker’s blunt anthems of desire, like the always welcome “Low,” with the help of bassist Sal Maida and another double-duty performer in drummer Funaro. With a crowd that rearranged between bands to accommodate the ebbs and flows of taste, Cracker delivered with such memorable moments as “Big Dipper” and encore “Eurotrash Girl.” The show was as energetic and passionate as anyone could demand, and it was reassuring to know, as you savored every guitar strum and gravel-voiced utterance, that you’d be back next January to experience it all over again.
Philly blues rock band John the Conqueror will be heading up The Legendary Dobbs this evening, before going on a European tour and releasing a new album The Good Life on February 25th. Soulful tracks make their blues sound attractive and inviting, and they’re sure to be even louder and entertaining live. Make sure to check them out before they leave the States for a good month; it’ll be their last Philly show until March 7th at MilkBoy.
Eclectic 80s rockers Camper Van Beethoven are performing at World Cafe Live on January 18, co-headlining alongside frontman David Lowery’s other band, Cracker. Last week, they released a new song from their latest record, La Costa Perdida called “Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out.” Download it below; for more information on the show, visit the WXPN Concert Calendar.
“It’s like Camper Van Beethoven leaning towards the Beach Boys’ Big Sur period and the Grateful Dead. There’s this Beach Boys album called ‘Holland’ that we have long had a fascination with in Camper, and we sort of ended up paying tribute to it by accident.” The track “Northern California Girls,” he says, also takes a page out of the Beach Boys’ songbook; “Instead of ‘California Girls’ I started fucking around and singing about northern California girls,” he says. “Then I very quickly developed a story to it and finished it off.
WXPN Welcomes CVB to World Cafe Live on Friday, January 18th. Go here for tickets and more information about the show.