Around this time last year, I hit up Camper Van Beethoven's stop through the Bowery Ballroom. Happily, they returned in 2010. Even more happily, they brought their Cracker Pants along and landed in the beautiful Highline Ballroom.
The night started off with some antics around the corner at The Park NYC, where when I arrived, some friends were already knee-deep in the first of what would be three pitchers of sangria. I don't like migraines, so I stuck to the mojitos. Once again, our timing couldn't have been more perfect. We were finished with our pregame at the same time as all the douchebags started to roll into that place. Highline Pregames at The Park NYC: MANY HUZZAHS!
Walking in during the Ambiguity song and missing the first 15 minutes of Camper Van Beethoven's set: NO HUZZAHS! It happens.
The place was jam-packed and officially SOLD OUT! Fortunately, at the Highline, it's all about location- and I knew exactly where there was space. But if I tell you where that is, then in the future that space may not be there for me. So, unless you're clever enough to deduct the secret location from the pictures I took- you Sir, are S-O-L. I said "Good Day, Sir." Suck it.
CVB were loud, brash, articulate, and wailing. The crowd was eating it up. There was so much nerdage going on, the Mars Rover became unstuck. Highlights: Take the Skinheads Bowling, Eye of Fatima (1 & 2), Turquoise Jewelry (so dark). Joe Stalin's Cadillac is always fun and David Lowery pronouncing the words "General Pinochet's Cadillac" in his slowest Valley drawl kind of rules. Pictures of Matchstick Men with it's haunting violin riff-- good stuff!
Erika wanted to take a pee break mid-set, but I wanted to wait til the break. She was worried it'd be too crowded, until I made her take a look around and pointed out that we were practically the only girls there. At setbreak the men's room line went past the soundboard and there was no wait for the women's. Fucking suh-weeet!.
After a short setbreak, Cracker formed and hit the stage. Johnny Hickman wore a white suit and he wore it well. They started off with Friends, a tender ballad about Bros Over Ho's. I See the Light was Beautiful. Cracker Soul was dirty in an awesome way. Earlier in the day, Cracker's facebook status asked for Highline requests and I threw a Sweet Potato out there. Can I claim responsibility for them playing it? No, but either way I dug it. Lonesome Johnny Blues always rules, but most especially when Johnny Hickman is wearing a white suit. Hickman also sang on Bob Dylan's The Man In Me, which was sweet.
Lowery told a few stories. One was about an old woman requesting he "play the song about the whore" (Eurotrash Girl). Another about their trip to Iraq, where one soldier told them his "parents are going to freak out" when they hear he met Cracker.
For the encore, Cracker came out and played I Ride My Bike (YAAAY). Then the remaining Camper Van Beethoven members got onstage**, Sal Maida the bass player left, and they kicked into a HUGE Interstellar Overdrive (Floyd).
Loud, abrasive, succinct, twangy, punchy, massive, dimly-lit, great fucking show. When these two bands get together for one night of music, they fucking bring it. Camper Van Beethoven & Cracker: The Traveling Apothecary Tour, 1/15/10, Highline Ballroom, NYC: 9 HUZZAHS! Fuck yeah, fuckity-fuckers!
[Total Time 1:16:17]
White Riot (Clash)
Wasted (Black Flag)
Shut Us Down
Take the Skinheads Bowling
The Long Plastic Hallway
All Her Favorite Fruit
Eye Of Fatima
Eye Of Fatima Part 2
When I Win the Lottery
Joe Stalin’s Cadillac
Mao Reminisces About His Days In Southern China
The History Of Utah
New Roman Times
One Of These Days
The Day That Lassie Went To The Moon
Club Med Sucks
Pictures of Matchstick Men
[Total Time 1:57:33]
I See The Light
This Is Cracker Soul
Lonesome Johnny Blues
Teen Angst (What The World Needs Now)
Merry Christmas Emily
Happy Birthday To Me
Been Around the World
Hey Bret (You Know What Time It Is)
Gimme One More Chance
The Man in Me (Bob Dylan)
I Ride My Bike
Interstellar Overdrive (Pink Floyd)^
^Cracker and Camper together (minus Sal)
DOWNLOAD THE SHOW: STEREO MATRIX MIXES FROM NYCTAPER (thanks, nyc taper!)
Camper Van Beethoven DL
QRO Magazine has an extensive fanboy review w/ great video.
* I very nearly went to Revolution Hall in Troy, NY to see them with the Old(er) TP a few days before on our bday.
** Erika began harassing Jonathan Segel, "Hey, Violin Guy!! You're the BEST! Play the violin!"