I saw Cracker and Camper van Beethoven at my local university ballroom last night, and I could tell even before the night was over that my CD player is going to be playing nothing else for the next week. Amazing show that has got me all nostalgic for my long passed youth. Unfortunately, the place was only half full -- shame on you, lazy Calgarians who don't know what you missed on a pleasant Thursday night.
Camper opened up with a long set that hit all the pleasure buttons. It's beyond me why more rock bands haven't realized that having a fiddler on board is a great idea. They played lots of great songs, and of course "Take the Skinheads Bowling" had the place dancing and singing along. Sadly, they didn't play "I'm Not Like Everybody Else", my fav Camper song which everyone who likes quirky, dark country-rock should have on at least two media formats.
Dave Lowry announced that he would be back to play with Cracker after a short break (for those of you who who aren't hip to the info, after Camper van Beethoven broke up in the late '80s Dave formed Cracker). My friend and I debated whether both bands would hit the stage for the encore, and whether there would be room. Then Cracker hit the stage ... with the exact same lineup as Camper, except for the guitarists. I don't know why that tickled my funny bone, but I was giggling about it all night long. Maybe it was the reversal of expectation, or maybe it was the beer flowing through my system. I got a kick out of it anyways.
Awesome, great set out of Cracker. To my eternal gratitude, they played "Big Dipper", a song which would be at the top of my "stranded on a desert island with only mix comps to keep me sane" list and which I never thought I would hear live again:
Cigarettes and carrot juice And get yourself a new tattoo For those sleeveless days of June. I'm sitting on the cafe's inner steps With a book I haven't started yet -- Watching all the girls walk by.
"Could I take you out? I'd be yours without a doubt On that big dipper. And if the sound of this, it frightens you We could play it real cool And act somewhat indifferent."
That is fucking poetry. And the steel pedal guitar puts it over the top. It's beyond me why more rock bands haven't realized that having a steel pedal guitar on board is a great idea. Especially to play during amazing, awesome songs like "Big Dipper".
The one damper on the evening was the handful of boors who bellowed out "Low!" after every fucking Cracker song. They aren't a one-hit wonder, stop treating them like one, people! Dave shut them up temporarity by saying "we didn't travel all the way here to not play the song. We aren't assholes you know." Ha. Then a few songs later they did indeed play "Low" and the whole joint was rocking and rolling.
I have to work now, when I would much rather be lounging and listening to hours and hours of music and drinking. Bah.
(edited by Gavintzu on 13.2.04 0659) Don't know the reason, stayed here all season, Nothing to show but this brand new tattoo. But it's a real beauty, a Mexican cutie, How it got here I haven't a clue.
So my sentimentality last week wasn't entirely misguided, as I have decided to take a short break from doing the show. Winter is a little packed, and there are a few other projects on which I'd like to focus.