Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven | Lincoln Hall | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Camper Van Beethoven

Camper Van Beethoven

Jason Thrasher

When: Sat., Jan. 7, 9 p.m. 2017
Price: sold out
There’s something a bit absurd about a rock band that has spent twice as much time reunited (1999-present) as it did in its initial incarnation (1983-1990), but then again Camper Van Beethoven long ago earned a reputation for bringing a wry silliness to everything it touches. The band has dropped a couple of passable records since re-forming—including an unlikely cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk in 2003—but none of them compare to the early output, especially the final two 80s albums, Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart and Key Lime Pie, both of which were given deluxe-reissue treatment by Omnivore a couple of years ago. On those records the group’s technical abilities finally caught up with its audacious conceptual brio, smashing together unexpected styles with the ambition of prog rock but the concision of punk. These days CVB is part of a cottage industry overseen by David Lowery, who’s also a founder of Cracker and today an impassioned critic of the music biz in the age of the Internet. This current tour will feature sets from both bands, whose new material offers little disguise for a bald nostalgia grab.
— Peter Margasak



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