Wednesday, April 23, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Camper Van Beethoven celebrates 30th anniversary in Davis

Camper Van Beethoven — front row, Jonathan Segel, left, David Lowery, Victor Krummenacher, and back row, Greg Lisher and Frank Funaro — performs in Davis on Monday, Feb. 18. Jason Thrasher/Courtesy photo

Innovative, indie rock originator Camper Van Beethoven is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a new album and tour.

For the first time in more than 25 years, the band will perform in Davis at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 18, at the Odd Fellows Hall, 415 Second St. in downtown Davis. The Davis Live Music Collective is hosting this all-ages event. Tickets are $18 in advance at www.davislivemusic.com, or $20 at the door.

At 2 p.m. Feb. 18, Camper Van Beethoven will put on a free in-store performance at Armadillo Music, 205 F St. in Davis.

The band’s eighth album, “La Costa Perdida,” the first in nine years, is a musical road trip through Northern California.

“If you want a visual landscape of this album, start at Big Sur, go up through San Mateo, skip over to the San Francisco waterfront, leap to Marin, and up to Humboldt,” bassist and founding member Victor Krummenacher said in a recent interview. The band spent many years traversing the Northern California coastline. “We did a lot of time in Santa Cruz, about six years. We were the kings of weekend runs.”

“La Costa Perdida” translates to the lost coast.

“We’re looking at California with nostalgia and rose-colored glasses, but with an awareness that the idealized California is kinda gone,” Krummenacher explained. “We’re creating a musical and lyrical language of these lost places. There’s something about Camper that can be very happy and sad at the same time. It’s bittersweet coming down the coast.”

It’s the poignant aspect of Camper Van Beethoven that sticks with the listener.

“We’re at an age where we can get reflective,” he said. “There are a lot of parents in the band. Friends are dying. There’s a lot of light and dark.”

The gentle album opener “Come Down the Coast” perfectly captures the reflective nature of the band.

“It’s a much more traditional song,” Krummenacher said. “We’re trying to emphasize the delicate. That is the playing of guys in their 40s. If we did that in our 20s, we’d be playing all over each other.”

Don’t let the mellow opener fool you — Camper Van Beethoven has not gone soft. The punk rock energy remains. After all, the band practically invented alternative rock with its sonic hybrid of folk, punk, gypsy music, ska and psychedelic rock.

“Peaches in the summertime” perfectly encapsulates the band’s genre-hopping.

“I spent a lot of time listening to mid-‘70s Turkish prog-rock,” Krummenacher said. “I found a chord progression that I really liked. The drummer and I went in and bashed it out really quick. It has this syncopated ska rhythm guitar and a vaguely Asian-sounding guitar line. It’s a good example of what we do.”

“La Costa Perdida” recently hit No. 1 on the alternative charts.

“I’m stunned that after nine years we’d go straight to Number 1 on the charts,” Krummenacher said. “It’s a conundrum, but we do have a dedicated fan base.”

While the album is doing well, Krummenacher and his bandmates still have day jobs.

“In the mid-‘80s to ‘90s I was a full-time musician, but by 1996 I was tired of being poor,” he laughed. “I went off the road from ’96 to ’98 and didn’t tour at all.”

While not a full-time musician at the moment, Krummenacher said, “I can’t complain. I’m very fortunate to be pushing 50 and still able to play. I’m playing with really talented bands.

“Sometimes when I’m playing a smaller place on a weeknight, I think being home with the dog wouldn’t be so bad,” he added with a laugh. “But as I get older it’s easier to realize the grass is always greener. The traveling life is impossible to get away from. If you obsess on it, it will drive you crazy. You just roll with it.”

Why has the band waited so long to play Davis?

“I don’t know, it’s been a while,” he said. “I’ve played in Winters a lot on my own. I opened for Dave Alvin at The Palms. Jonathan Segal is from Davis. We wrote a good chunk of Camper’s third album in Jonathan’s mother’s living room in 1986.”

What’s next for Camper Van Beethoven?

“We have another record that’s about halfway done,” he said. “There’s five songs recorded that I think are great and a few more that aren’t recorded that I think could be done.

“I don’t intend to wait another nine years,” he said. “I don’t know how active Camper can be at any point just because of the weird economics of being middle-aged and doing music. But I don’t think we’ll stop until we’re in wheelchairs.”

— Reach Landon Christensen at landonissuch@hotmail.com

Landon Christensen

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

News

New mosaic mural reflects Peña family history

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
UC Davis biodigester hungers for food scraps, belches out electricity

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Team Blend hosts fundraiser for Nicaragua project

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A3

 
Sign up for enviro organizations during Earth Week

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Davis businesswoman presides over conference

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Bible fun featured at Parents’ Night Out

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Fire damages Woodland home

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

 
Davis Arts Center: See ceramics, join the Big Day of Giving

By Erie Vitiello | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Register to vote by May 19

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Birch Lane sells garden plants, veggies

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Sunder hosts campaign event for kids

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Fundraiser benefits Oakley campaign

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Odd Fellows host culinary benefit for nonprofit

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
UCD to host premiere of autism documentary

By Cory Golden | From Page: A4

400 bikes go up for bids at UCD auction

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Fire crews gather for joint training

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
UFC hears from two local historians

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Church hosts discussion of mental health needs, services

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
UC Davis conference showcases undergraduate research

By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Train to become a weather spotter

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Fly Fishers talk to focus on healthy streams, rivers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Learn survival skills at Cache Creek Preserve

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Veterans, internees may receive overdue diplomas

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

UCD professor to talk about new book

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Slow Food tour showcases area’s young farmers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

.

Forum

Will anyone notice?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
My votes reflect city values

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

I support Sunder for board

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
A plea on the Bard’s birthday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Sharing fire services has been a success

By Our View | From Page: A6

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

.

Sports

Walchli is under par in another Devil victory

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
DHS/Franklin I goes to the Blue Devil softballers

By Chris Saur | From Page: B1 | Gallery

DHS thunders back to win an epic DVC volleyball match

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Seniors send Blue Devil girls past Broncos in a lacrosse rout

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Davis gets to Grant ace and rolls in DVC crucial

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
 
Sharks go up 3-0 with OT win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Baseball roundup: Rangers rally to beat A’s in the ninth

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Features

Field to fork: El Macero’s chef offers spring tastes

By Dan Kennedy | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
.

Arts

Celebrate spring at I-House on Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Music, wine flow at Fourth Friday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Biscuits ‘n Honey will play at winery

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Five Three Oh! featured at April Performers’ Circle

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Catharine ‘Kay’ Lathrop

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Wednesday, April 23, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6