This is not the normal internet-style humble-brag, I’m actually bragging. I don’t do that often…or at least not overtly. But check it out—our family of musicians has a ton of records out, and a ton just recently. And they’re all just for you! Of course, this is understandably odd in these anti-musical/anti-artist times. Who’s making records? I guess everyone still wants to, but it’s certainly not completely viable commercially. We spend our own money on it anyway. And I personally have given up, at least three or four times just this year!
So, when I say, “our family” of musicians, I’m referring to the lineage of Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker. It’s a long sordid history that began in Redlands, CA back in about 1982 or ’83, then moved up to Santa Cruz after summer break. You can read the CVB history on wikipedia if you like: Camper Van Beethoven
The band split up in 1990, David Lowery went back to his roots in Redlands and got Johnny Hickman, they formed Cracker. Cracker was very successful, but regardless, in about 2000, Camper Van Beethoven started edging toward reforming. We did, began touring and recording again and now we’ve been a band longer the second time around than we ever were when we first started.
Both bands have been making records ever since. So have all of the individuals involved. We’re fucking old! (though nowadays we can actually play.) Victor Krummenacher, Camper’s bassist, and I started our own label in 1993, Magnetic, which we shut down in 2012 when I moved to Sweden. We’ve put out a landfill’s-worth of our own CDs as well as Greg Lisher (CVB’s lead guitarist) and others’.
In the past two or three years, though, we’ve hit some sort of stride. Camper made two albums:
these were “about” (inasmuch as anything can be “about” anything,) Northern and Southern California, respectively.
And now Cracker has followed them up with a new double album, “Berkeley to Bakersfield,” (see: http://crackersoul.com/store ) which are “about” California from west to east this time. We do love California…though nowadays only Greg and Victor live there.
These are obviously the most known of our albums, being done by the bands, whose names are probably more well known than the individuals involved, except maybe for David Lowery. But even for David, this comes on the heels of a solo album: “The Palace Guards” (2011)
And for the rest of us, these are above and beyond:
that’s a lot of music! I personally vouch for all of it. It’s all great, (I say, polishing my knuckles.) A quantity, yes, but a quantity of quality music. Many different directions can be found here, from country music to pop rock, from punk rock to space rock, from Americana to out-of-this-world.
Most of these will be available to purchase in physical CD form at our upcoming shows featuring Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven:
December 27th & 28th, 2014: Independent, San Francisco, CA
Dec. 29th: Lobero Theatre, Santa Barbara, CA
Dec. 30th: The Belly Up, Solana Beach, CA
Dec. 31st: Soiled Dove Underground, Denver CO
Jan. 14, 2015: 9:30 Club, Washington DC
Jan. 15: Lee’s Palace, Toronto, ONT
Jan. 16: Middle East Downstairs, Cambridge, MA
Jan. 17: World Cafe Live, Philadelphia PA
Jan. 18: B.B. King Blues Club, NYC
See you there!
I forgot to brag even more about the new rereleases! Omnivore Recordings, the amazing label that’s been releasing great things lately on vinyl and CD (for example, the entire Game Theory catalog is on its way) rereleased our records that we made for Virgin Records in 1988 and 1989, Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart and Key Lime Pie last year. And now, our 2004 album New Roman Times is coming out in February, all are expanded and remastered. They sound amazing. So that’s a baker’s dozen at least.