January 20, 2015 |
David Lowery is an industrious fellow. Only two years after the laid-back singer/songwriter ended his influential, smart-aleck, folk-punk-world music ensemble Camper Van Beethoven in 1989, he started another group, Cracker, whose riff-rocking take on still-sarcastic lyrics inspired indie bands from Gogol Bordello and Pavement to My Morning Jacket and Dr. Dog. Lowery reignited Camper Van Beethoven in the early 2000s and had them open for Cracker...
January 18, 2013
Diplo Wesley Pentz, also known as Diplo, used Philadelphia as the launching pad for a career as DJ/producer and dance-floor archaeologist that has yet to reach its apogee. To say he's made the A-list would be an understatement: He's nominated for producer of the year at this year's Grammys for collaborations with Usher, Snoop Lion, Justin Bieber, and others, and Free the Universe , his second album as half of the electro-reggae-dancehall conglomeration Major Lazer, comes out Feb. 19. This weekend, Diplo, now L.A.-based, comes back to the area, and this time, he'll quite literally be employing a launching pad. In his marathon one-day "Trap Hawk Down" tour - the name is inspired by Mark Bowden's nonfiction book Black Hawk Down , originally published as a series in The Inquirer - Diplo will play Ottobar in Baltimore, Soundgarden Hall in Philadelphia, the Borgata in Atlantic City, and the Westway in New York, all in the course of 12 hours.
June 20, 2005 |
"The Good Times Are Killing Us" isn't just the name of the final song Modest Mouse played Saturday night at the Electric Factory. If the Pacific Northwest indie rock band's lackluster performance was any indication, that phrase summarizes the group's attitude toward its career right now. A beloved cult act suddenly thrust into the spotlight when its buoyant song "Float On" became a surprise radio and MTV hit last year, Modest Mouse seemed bored...
March 25, 2005 |
Japanese-American punk-rock kingpins the Spunks describe their music as "thrills, stupidity, and loudness," which sounds like a recipe for fun. Organizer of the Japunks festival in New York City since 2000, the band brings its super-hyper stage antics to the Khyber with one of the festival's performers - and the Japunks' totally adorable female counterparts - Gito Gito Hustler. Live Not Evil and Undergirl round out a promising bill (9 tonight, Khyber, 56 S. 2nd St., 215-238-5888, $8, www.the khyber.
May 21, 2004 |
April Disaster, the promising local indie-pop band that abruptly split late last year, is doing its promised farewell show tonight at the North Star Bar. Some members of the band, which evokes a female-led Belle and Sebastian, are still active in the music scene. Velvet-voiced guitarist Carolyn McNeel now fronts her own group, John Ziga now drums for True If Destroyed, and John Pettit plays with Friends of the Library. Tonight's show is a grouping of reunions: the very busy Raccoon (whose side project Dr. Dog embarks on its second tour with My Morning Jacket next month)
January 24, 2003 |
The Camper Van Beethoven story deserved a better ending than what was written for the under-heralded band when it splintered in 1989. The arty and arcane group's eventful six-year ride featured many lyrical non sequiturs, plenty of off-the-wall juxtapositions, and hours of clever, melodic oddball rock. Camper was indeed an alternative-rock act, and the fact that the group's alt tag wasn't a misnomer probably had something to do with the band's demise. "Our split wouldn't make a very good Behind the Music," vocalist-guitarist David Lowery said.
April 1, 2002 |
Like soap operas and decent restaurants, Cracker's success comes from sameness. Since its start, Cracker has maintained a flatlined emotion despite the irony of its lyrics, subtle melodicism and strummy, rolling country-pop. It's a far cry from the angular, avant-folk of Camper Van Beethoven, the delightfully unpredictable act that birthed Cracker's singer-lyricist-guitarist David Lowery. Perhaps dependability is what Friday night's crowd at the sold-out Trocadero craved, because it lapped up Cracker the way Dead fans did Garcia & Co. Like the Dead (or, better yet, a distant version of The Band)
November 17, 2000 |
Tonight, there are two brainy punk rock bands to choose from. At the Upstage (22 S. 3rd St., 215-627-4825) is Don Caballero, a Pittsburgh instrumental trio named after Guy Caballero, the sleazy station owner played by Joe Flaherty on SCTV (a perfect candidate for Comedy Central reruns). Since 1993, they've bridged the gap between Black Flag and King Crimson and developed a rabid fan base. "American Don," (Touch and Go), Don Caballero's latest, finds them turning down the distortion for a cleaner, precise attack, emphasizing their very fluid rhythm section.
August 21, 1998 |
Dave Lowery, songwriter, guitarist and lead singer of the wisecracking country/rock band Cracker, which has just released a fourth album, Gentlemen's Blues, is on the phone from a Hollywood studio. The 37-year-old rocker, who made a name for himself as one of the merry pranksters of Camper Van Beethoven, is producing the next Counting Crows album there, and he and Adam Duritz, Counting Crows' front man, were just talking about getting older. "I'm much happier. I think it's a little different for men; it's sort of easier being older," Lowery said reflectively.
May 14, 1994 |
Cracker, which played the Tower Theater on Tuesday, is one big joke, but a very good one. Guitarist Johnny Hickman and vocalist-rhythm guitarist David Lowery have been influenced by styles ranging from country to classic rock to punk. When combined with Lowery's sarcastic wit and twisted story lines, the result is as tasty and easily accessible as fast food. Certainly, more people can appreciate Lowery's tongue-in-cheek lyrics now than when he fronted Camper Van Beethoven, which goofed on alternative rock and world music.