Lovers Lane
Copernicus Center

Stage Buzz: Camper Van Beethoven

| May 9, 2013

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.)

— John R. Worth

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Category: Featured, Stage Buzz, Weekly

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