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Camper Van Beethoven
"Popular Songs"
Irish Release Friday 20th June 2008 on Cooking Vinyl / /

For Information / Interview requests / Promotional Copies contact Berube Communications on or phone 0872442695

Behold! The popular song of great enduring strength and beauty.

But what is it that makes a popular song?

Mostly it has to do with repetition - not only the repetition that Camper Van Beethoven experiences in their renaissance as a band, after years of solo activity among its members, reformed for a new century and playing music they had played before, repeating and updating the performance of a music that came before "alternative" was mainstream, the repetition by means of muscle memory more than thought—no, not only this, but also, also too, that virus in your ear that will make a piece of music "popular": the ear worm. The ear worm repeats what a listener hears, repeats it within their own mind, forcing them to replay the melodies and forms of a song in the confines of their own head, cunningly suggesting that only by listening to the song once yet again will this repetitive pop virus be eradicated, burned from the brain.

But in actuality, it may never leave, and you, dear listener, will be coerced by this worm again and again to listen to this very CD, a precisely created and lovingly produced collection of some of Camper Van Beethoven's finest, most enduring, strongest and most potent phonological loops.

Forewarned is forearmed!

Available on CD and as a digital download bundle, “Popular Songs” features 18 tracks, 5 of which have been re-recorded specifically for this release. Explains Camper Van Beethoven band spokesperson, Col. Jack “Cheese” Sandwich (ret.) of Limone sul Garda, Italy : “We endeavored to present an enticing set of popular songs from the much-acclaimed "secondary and tertiary recording periods" of the band, 1985-1990. We were, however, thwarted in this effort by a certain recording company which had released the later (tertiary) output of these original recordings. We made offers to buy back our own catalog, but they were rebuffed. Hence, still owning the publishing rights, we decided to re-record a few of these later songs. We have attempted to remake them to so closely resemble the original recordings as to be essentially exact forgeries, but keen ears may be able to sense an underlying maturity that the originals might have lacked. We apologize for that, but it couldn't be helped.”

Camper Van Beethoven are an American alternative rock group. Founded in 1983 in Redlands, California (though they soon moved to Santa Cruz, California), Camper Van Beethoven mixed elements of pop, ska, punk rock, folk, country, and acid rock. The group's trademark violin-coated melodies and ironic, Frank Zappa-influenced lyrics progressed from silly tunes to experimental music with the intricate, psychedelic pop meanderings of their self-titled third album.

After signing to Virgin Records in 1988 and releasing two eclectic yet slightly more accessible LPs, they disbanded in 1990. Singer David Lowery founded the band Cracker, while the other members - guitarists Greg Lisher and David Immerglück, bassist Victor Krummenacher and drummer Chris Pedersen - played in Monks of Doom. Immerglück later joined Counting Crows. Violinist Jonathan Segel played with Dieselhed, Sparklehorse, and fronted his own bands Hieronymus Firebrain and Jack & Jill, and has more recently been involved in experimental music, including collaborations with Fred Frith and Joelle Leandre, and a duo with Dina Emerson called Chaos Butterfly. Krummenacher and Segel collectively run their own record label, Magnetic.

In 2000, ex-members regrouped to compile the experimental rarity set "Camper Van Beethoven Is Dead. Long Live Camper Van Beethoven". In 2002, they released "Tusk". Allegedly recorded in 1987, it had all the same tracks as the Fleetwood Mac album of the same name, and a parody of the original album's cover art. A series of reunion tour dates followed with many of the band's former members.

The group reformed in 2004 to record New Roman Times, their first studio album in 15 years. A live concert disc was also released, entitled "In The Mouth of the Crocodile", capturing a 2004 reunion performance in Seattle. Segments of a 2004 performance in Chicago were released the following year as "Discotheque CVB: Live In Chicago".

Teenage Fanclub's cover of CVB's 1985 staple "Take the Skinheads Bowling" was used as the title track for the 2002 Michael Moore film 'Bowling for Columbine'. A portion of the original Camper Van Beethoven recording can be heard as an introduction to the DVD release of the film. The song has also been covered by the Manic Street Preachers, and can be found on their B-sides album "Lipstick Traces".

Members of Camper Van Beethoven collaborated with Eugene Chadbourne on a number of records under the name Camper Van Chadbourne.

Full tracklisting is as follows :

1. The Day Lassie Went To The Moon
2. Border Ska
3. Take The Skinheads Bowling
4. Pictures Of Matchstick Men (re-recording)
5. Skinhead Stomp
6. Opie Rides Again/Club Med Sucks
7. Eye Of Fatima Parts 1 & 2 (re-recording)
8. ZZ Top Goes To Egypt
9. Sad Lovers’ Waltz
10. When I Win The Lottery (re-recording)
11. The History Of Utah
12. Seven Languages
13. All Her Favorite Fruit (re-recording)
14. Good Guys And Bad Guys
15. Circles
16. One Of These Days (re-recording)
17. Ambiguity Song
18. Shut Us Down


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© Danny Clinch


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