03 August 2010


CRACKER and CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN (two bands, led by frontman David Lowery, that’ve both played major roles in the inception of indie, Americana and alt-rock) will be hitting the road together again starting August 19th in Seattle as part of their Traveling Apothecary Show Tour, just prior to their sixth annual CAMPOUT music festival in Pioneertown, CA on Sep. 10th & 11th.

Along with headlining performances from CRACKER & CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN, previous CAMPOUTS have also included the likes of Built To Spill, Quasi, Citay and a number of other various CRACKER & CVB solo and side projects. This year both Joshua Tree’s very own GRAM RABBIT and the Riverside, CA-based garage-meets-soul band THE BELLRAYS will be joining the line-up, along with The Dangers, Johnny Hickman, David Immergluck & Coby Brown, Miss Derringer, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Jonathan Segal and Ashley Raines.

Perhaps it’s the surreal nature of Joshua Tree National Park (just a stone’s throw from fest) that spurs on some of the rather (you say) peculiar, (I say) hysterical behavior during the fest. For example, as part of last year’s CVB performance the band requested that their fans all wear white to their performance. When they arrived at the show David was there serving grape Kool-Aid (ala Jim Jones) as they walked in. Whatever the reason, their fans are definitely encouraged to participate in the strange and fun goings-on. The theme for this year’s fest is Cowboys and Indians, where David has requested through his Facebook page that audience members dress up as Indians for Camper Van Beethoven’s Friday night performance, and then as Cowboys for Cracker’s headlining slot the following evening. Odd for a music fest?... perhaps, but it’s actually all rather fitting as the small town of Pioneertown got its start in the ‘40s as a live-in Old West motion picture set, where a number of Westerns and early television shows, such as The Cisco Kid, were filmed.

CRACKER, featuring co-founders David Lowery (vocals/ guitar) and Johnny Hickman (lead guitar / vocals), along with bassist Sal Maida (Roxy Music / Sparks) and drummer Frank Funaro (The Dictators / Joey Ramone / Del Lords), have had an extremely successful year since the release of their critically-acclaimed studio effort Sunrise In The Land Of Milk And Honey last year. They've toured the world (including a very special tour of Iraq for U.S. troops last November, followed by a three-week sold-out tour of Spain in January, and more recently, a string of high-profile shows with co-headliner Reverend Horton Heat), have scored great national radio play for their singles "Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out With Me" and "Friends," cracked the Billboard 200 Chart and received a wealth of media accolades for their latest album .

CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN will be reconvening for the first time since their highly publicized SXSW shows in Austin last March, where the band helped fund their travel expenses by offering fans and businesses the opportunity to sponsor a song for $100. In exchange, a Santa Cruz Roller Derby Girl skated across the stage carrying a placard with the respective fan's name (or business name) on it. As part of their Traveling Apothecary Shows with Cracker, CVB will be running through indie rock staples that span from their 1985 debut Telephone Free Landslide Victory (including their quintessential early alt-hit “Take The Skinheads Bowling”) to their more recent 2004 effort New Roman Times. Camper Van Beethoven’s line-up will consist of Lowery (vocals / guitar) and original bandmates Greg Lisher (lead guitar), Jonathan Segel (violin / guitar) and Victor Krummenacher (bass), along with Cracker’s Funaro on drums. Their most recent best-of album Popular Songs of Great Enduring Strength and Beauty was released in 2008 as part of the band's 25th Anniversary.

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