Posted in music | tour dates on January 8, 2009

by Bill Pearis

Camper Van Beethoven

Currently celebrating their 25th anniversary, Camper Van Beethoven are playing Friday (1/9) (tickets) and Saturday (1/10) (tickets) at Bowery Ballroom in NYC - the band's first shows here since 2006 (thx anon). They also played some shows in 2004 when they released New Roman Times, their first album of original material in 15 years.

Camper Van Beethoven were one of the few bands of the '80s loved by both punks and hippies, taking the f-you attitude of the former and the laid-back vibe of the latter, mixing it with various forms of ethic music plus their own Santa Cruz style and humor. Whether punks and hippies ever acknowledged each other's presence at shows back then is a different story. (It took me till the late-90s to admit that "Good Guys and Bad Guys" sounds a lot like The Dead.) While best-known now for their their early single "Take the Skinheads Bowling," CVB were also capable of thoughtful, insightful, and moving songs as well. Time has been kind to them, actually, and records like their 1985 debut, Telephone Free Landslide Victory, 1986's eponymous third album, and the finale of CVB's initial run, 1989's Key Lime Pie have held up more than a lot of other records from the same era. And New Roman Times was a fine addition to their discography, almost like they never went away.

If you're a big CVB fan, you might want to consider hitting both shows. The band's 2-night stint in Chicago back in November saw sets of around 25 songs, with only 9-10 of them being duplicated both nights. I last saw them was at a 2-hour plus, sweltering show (literally) at Knitting Factory in July 2002. It's almost all of the original lineup and, if anything, the band have gotten better as musicians since.

Opening at the Friday show at Bowery (1/09) is McCabe & Mrs Miller, which is CVB bassist Victor Krummenacher's project with Alison Faith Levy (formerly of The Loud Family) and also features Camper members Jonathan Segel and Greg Lisher.

Additionally, Krummenacher and Segel are both doing solo sets at Pianos on Sunday (1/11) - a bill that also includes local fave Sharon Von Etten. I wouldn't be surprised if other members of Camper make appearances. Segel also plays in Noodle Shop at Le Poisson Rougue on Wednesday (1/14).

But wait there's more. Monks of Doom, which is basically Camper Van Beethoven minus frontman David Lowery plus David Immergluck (who has played in Counting Crows but spent the '80s in the bizarre theatrical band The Ophelias), are playing Europa in Greenpoint on March 12 and 13. Tickets are on sale. Lowery, meanwhile, continues to play in Cracker too. These guys stay busy.

A few classic CVB videos, and all dates, after the jump...

"Good Guys and Bad Guys"

"The Eye of Fatima"

"Take the Skinheads Bowling"

"Pictures of Matchstick Men" (Live 2006)

Camper Van Beethoven - 2009 Tour Dates
Jan 8 - State Theatre Falls Church, Virginia
Jan 9 - The Bowery Ballroom New York, New York
Jan 10 - The Bowery Ballroom New York, New York
Jan 11 - Pianos, NYC *

* Jonathan Segel band featuring Mike DuClos and Eszter Balint, + Victor Krummenacher

Monks of Doom - 2009 Tour Dates
Mar 12 - Europa, Brooklyn, NY
Mar 13 - Europa, Brooklyn, NY

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Comments (27)

Camper played a few shows here in 2006.

Posted by Hi Anlois | January 8, 2009 10:16 AM

they opened up for built to spill at irving plaza in 2006. they were booooooooring.

Posted by wembley | January 8, 2009 10:21 AM

David Lowry is awesome! I prefer Cracker though to CVB!

Posted by Anonymous | January 8, 2009 10:30 AM

Cracker suck. Camper Van doesn't.

Posted by Anonymous | January 8, 2009 10:37 AM


CVB's "All her favorite fruit" has always been one of my favorite songs.

Posted by Anonymous | January 8, 2009 10:38 AM

wembley - totally agree. Their set was painfully long the night I saw them open for BTS.

Posted by mp77 | January 8, 2009 10:38 AM

Good to see CVB getting some love here.

Posted by CN | January 8, 2009 10:42 AM

Saturday nite's opening band is Wormburner. David Lowery produced their LP. They just sold out the Mercury Lounge last month. Great songs. Great live band.

Posted by whopperjunior | January 8, 2009 10:51 AM

Camper van Beethoven toured with Modest Mouse in 2005-ish. Isaac Brock is a huge Camper van. I saw them in Central Park. Great double-bill.

Posted by Lenny | January 8, 2009 10:55 AM

monks of doom are fun. saw them back in teh day.

maybe a trip to NYC is warranted.

Posted by Anonymous | January 8, 2009 11:03 AM

i thought they were great when they opened of BTS.

Posted by Anonymous | January 8, 2009 11:05 AM

that promo photo is amazing.

Posted by Lori | January 8, 2009 11:18 AM

How can a band that broke up for, like, 15 years, be celebrating a 25th anniversary?

Ya gots ta earn it, fellas.

Posted by Anonymous | January 8, 2009 11:39 AM

@anon 11:39... I was thinking the same thing too, but I guess they're billing it as the 25th Anniversary of the first album more than the band.

Posted by bill p | January 8, 2009 1:51 PM

i'll show you a Wormburner

Posted by Anonymous | January 8, 2009 2:18 PM

All of the members of Camper are supposed to be in the audience at the Pianos show on Sunday which is why KEXP is reporting that its a secret Camper Van Beethoven show, although the guy producing the show says that it isn't.

Posted by Anonymous | January 8, 2009 2:26 PM

first off, not all camper members will be in the audience at pianos, it really will not at all be a secret CVB show. second, apropos of this, CVB wasn't a band from 1991-1999, during which time both Victor and I made a bunch of our own records, (as did David, of course), so when we started playing again as camper we took to it what we had all learned from the interim period. I think that shows on our later records like "new roman times." it also allows us to claim that the band, which started in 1983, is having its 25th anniversary in 2008. you guys are a bunch of argumentative fucks aren't you?
Pianos show will be a set by me, material from my latest rock music CD called "Honey". check it out. Then a set from Victor, music from his latest CD called "Patriarch's Blues."

also-- if you thought we were boring opening for BTS, come back to it in a few years, when you grow tired of this years' model not knowing how to play their instruments (i'm not speaking of BTS here at all!) and i think you'll learn to appreciate Camper.

Posted by jonathan segel | January 8, 2009 3:57 PM

Boy that sure shut everyone up, didn't it?

Posted by Lenny | January 8, 2009 5:21 PM

Holy shit, I'm listening to one of their 2008 shows from San Fran on archive.org and it totally rips.
http://www.archive.org/details/CVB2008-06-28.matrix

Posted by Anonymous | January 8, 2009 6:20 PM

I love this. More musicians need to come in here and house you morons. You people suck.

Posted by Anonymous | January 8, 2009 7:05 PM

> you guys are a bunch of argumentative fucks aren't you?


dude, smoke a blunt and head back to santa rosa. in new york we argue about stuff.

Posted by Anonymous | January 9, 2009 11:22 AM

Victor Krummenacher and Alison Faith Levy are not married. I believe VK is an openly gay man.

Posted by Anonymous | January 10, 2009 10:06 AM

11:22 -- Well-played.

Posted by Anonymous | January 10, 2009 10:25 AM

All I can tell you, folks, is that Friday night's show -- both CVB and McCabe and Mrs. Miller -- ROCKED! If you like good music, you best not miss Saturday's show. These guys are funny, they play together like it's something they really love to do and they are AWESOME musicians. All rock music should be this good!

Besides, what other band would come in here and slug it out with the likes of y'all?! Funny! very funny!


Posted by Anonymous | January 10, 2009 6:40 PM

Yeah it was pretty great last night. I was upfront near Segel and some guy requested a song from New Roman Times, and Segel said they would play that on Sunday night at Pianos. So BV maybe right after all about there being a CVB set there that night.

Posted by Anonymous | January 10, 2009 7:14 PM

This is a really good read for me, Must admit that you are one of the best bloggers I ever saw.Thanks for posting this informative article.

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