MoRST THE ARCHIVE King: JJ’s dream comes true

MORST THE ARCHIVE KING: JJ’s dream comes true – an archive king pick

As Archive King, it is my formal duty to bear the news of a fantastic new entry to the online Camper Van Beethoven listening community.

Recently, a fan of Camper Van Beethoven had his dream come true, when CVB played a show at his bar in Racine, Wisconsin. They arrived from Chicago, where they had just played a private engagement at some sort of esoteric intellectual conference called the TEDx Midwest convention. Now JJ McAuliffe runs a great little bar, where Cracker played in August 2007 and debuted the full-album treatment of their 1993 album Kerosene Hat. At that time, JJ expressed his dream to David Lowery, and David said he’d work on putting that together.

Saturday October 16, 2010. A good day in sports for Badgers fans, as the UW football team defeated Ohio. Music fans in Racine that day would wait until the sports fans were finished with their game, if not satisfied by the outcome. And they would be rewarded for their wait with a 34-song Camper Van Beethoven show featuring a full two sets, theramin solos, rare songs, and one very excited and elated club

To select one highlight will be difficult, but that makes up for when as the wise Mel Brooks said “Sometimes it’s good to be the king.” The set started strong, with this year’s seeming opener of choice – Waka and then on to Matchstick Men. A very strong first set filled with popular songs of great enduring strength and beauty, ending with Lottery and the South American folk song – L’aguardiente, a setcloser in three parts. No, those are not my choices, I’m just givin’ ya the rundown.

Second set started out on a trip with a theramin-laced ZZ Top Goes To Egypt proving that Jonathan Segel doesn’t need frets to make music, or for that matter, a fingerboard! Then to the Box ‘ o’ Laffs classic Flowers and a bunch more songs of great enduring strength and beauty. Perhaps not as many widely popular songs in the second set, I found the choices to be remarkably strong, very much to my liking, and proving what a deep catalog CVB has.

But the king grows long in his doteage and his jester is not able to easily access his tome of previous picks. At the risk of repeating myself, of course, everyone loves a ripping Intersteller Overdrive, but the medley was a little different from the way it’s been in recent years. After a very raucous The Day Lassie Went To The Moon with some heated vocals from David, the band stopped. Like, ended the song instead of going right into Club Med Sucks like “usual.” And lo, another Popular Song Of Great Enduring Strength And Beauty was to be heard, for the first time in recent memory. Opi was heard to ride
again, as the band played the classic intro section to Club Med Sucks then after Club Med, things got Pink. As in Floyd. We call it Intersteller, but there are some other classic Floydian themes floating around in there. And theramined around too.

And after Lassie, David sang not, and the rest sang not, and three encores were played, including a damn fine Cattle (Reversed) and JJ was happy because his dream had come true. Morst was happy that the soundboard recording came out just fine, after caveats from Bob the house soundman that it might not even work at all, and the next day, DigitalistOne showed morst a thing or two about audio editing on the
way to preparing the soundboard-audience mix version you can listen to

So to be clear and non-linear, Abundance was particulary strong and possessed endearing beauty, but the Lassie, Opi > Club Med > Intersteller has to be the pick this round.

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