Review: Cracker & Camper Van Beethoven

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Cracker & Camper Van Beethoven
The First Annual Camp Out Live

MVD Visual
Street: 01.30

Concert films are usually a let down. Reunion tours are also generally a drag, especially when fans that spent their whole adolescence singing along with a band have to witness their older and uninspired heroes fuck up the chorus to their favorite songs. This DVD somehow manages to avoid all of these pitfalls. Singer David Lowery leads Camper Van Beethoven through such classics as “The Long Plastic Highway,” “51-7” and “Take the Skinheads Bowling.” He follows this with a Cracker set that includes “One Fine Day,” “Movie Star” and “Low”, the song whose video was an MTV mainstay in the early ’90s, despite the band being both musically overqualified and lacking in the pretty-boy good looks normally required for music TV stardom. Both bands deliver quality sets, and the several solo performances and member side projects also featured on the disk show how large and variable this family of bands has become (Monks of Doom are especially cool). I would’ve liked some sort of documentary aspect to the event, but as a straight forward concert disk it is still very much worth watching. My only question is how long before we can start calling the whole, massive collective Cracker Van Beethoven? -James Bennett