Even within the ’80s underground that birthed them, Camper Van Beethoven was a pop curio. Whether penning a polka-punk tune like "Take the Skinheads Bowling," titling its second album II & III, or rerecording Fleetwood Mac’s entire Tusk album, CVB always brought a no-holds-barred adventurousness to its glorious wank. Singer-guitarist David Lowery moved on to form Cracker when CVB broke up in 1989, experiencing ephemeral pop success with his single "Low." Then, after 15 years apart, prompted by their work together on the odds and sods album, Camper Van Beethoven Is Dead (which included new "manipulations" and music), the band reunited to record New Roman Times, a rock opera (?!) about a juvenile delinquent who joins an elite military unit. Here’s Lowery’s five monomanias of the week:
5. Spliff decriminalized? I’m in Vancouver right now. How did Canada get hipper than the U.S.?
4. Send out the clowns: Bummed that Carnivale was canceled. Also partly because they seemed like they had to wrap it up real quick the last couple episodes.
3. Send in the clowns: I love the documentary Dig! about Brian Jonestown Massacre and the Dandy Warhols. It’s got one of the best narratives in a documentary.
2. Cornholing hypocrites: With the rash of outings of right-wing, anti-gay, family-values conservatives, I’m kicking myself for not putting an unreleased Camper Van Beethoven hoedown called "The Faggot-Hating Preachers Must Be Gay" on the new Camper Van Beethoven album. (We really have such a song.)"
1. Harmony in my head: I can’t get the Fruitbats album Mouthfuls out of my CD player.
Tuesday, June 7, at the State Theatre (2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-961-5450) with Modest Mouse.Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org