Camper and Cracker

Quick, what do a 1985 novelty song and a second-tier 1990’s alt rock band have in common?

If you answered “David Lowery,” then you’ve gone beyond knowing a lot about rock music and need to get out of my actual head.

But yes, rocker David Lowery (who turns 56 years old this week), is behind two classic songs that could not be more different from one another. A long time ago, in the mid 1980’s, Lowery fronted the seminal hardore/ska/folk group Camper Van Beethoven. Haven’t heard of them? You may have heard their debut single “Take the Skinheads Bowling” (which may be the only non-Weird Al rock song to appear on the Dr. Demento show). It’s kind of a silly, goof-dick, insanely catchy little ditty.

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Eventually, Camper Van Beethoven broke up, and Lowery formed the band Cracker in 1990. Cracker was a much more easily classifiable group, fitting right in with the grunge-influenced alt rock of the time. You may remember their minor hit “Low,” which is actually a pretty decent song all these years later. Here it is, for those of you that like music.

If I had a million years to think about it, there is literally no way I could draw a logical path from the first song to the second, but that’s the beauty of creativity: you never know how it will manifest itself this time. For now, let’s just pause and wish David Lowery a happy birthday. Thanks for constantly keeping us guessing! I look forward to your upcoming Afro-Cuban-krautrock record, since that may as well be the next step on your journey!


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