The leader of country-inflected rock band Cracker, singer/songwriter/guitarist
David Lowery has been busy on the producing front. He is working on
tracks for an upcoming Counting Crows LP and helmed Sparklehorse's
acclaimed Good Morning Spider (1999).
Lowery was born 39 years ago today in San Antonio, Texas, and was raised
in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley. His first band, Sitting Duck, included
musicians with whom he would later play in Camper Van Beethoven. Sitting
Duck's experimental music mixed psychedelic rock and foreign-language
Throughout the early '80s, Lowery played intermittently with bassist
Victor Krummenacher and guitarist/drummer Chris Molla in bands Box o'
Laffs and the Estonian Gauchos. Krummenacher and Molla followed Lowery
to the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1983.
At college, the three met guitarist Greg Lisher and composition student
Jonathan Segal and soon formed Camper Van Beethoven. The band's debut,
Telephone Free Landslide Victory (1985), yielded the cult classic
"Take The Skinheads Bowling." The song was a spoof on racist punk-rock
CVB spent the next few years issuing experimental rock on their own
Pitch-a-Tent label before being signed by Virgin in 1988. Later that
year, they released Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart, and in
1989 they issued their swan song, Key Lime Pie, featuring the
political "Jack Ruby."
After the Campers split, most of the band formed Monks of Doom, but
Lowery took a musical hiatus. In the early '90s, he and guitarist John
Hickman formed Cracker, a pop-rock band with a country twist. Cracker
had a college-radio hit with its 1992 self-titled debut, featuring "Happy
Birthday to Me" and "Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now)."
Kerosene Hat (1993) was a modern-rock radio hit and featured tracks
such as "Low," "Movie Star" and "Get Off This." Cracker contributed a
cover of "Good Times Bad Times" to Encomium: A Tribute to Led Zeppelin
(1995) and "Rainy Days and Mondays" to the Carpenters tribute LP If
I Were a Carpenter (1994).
Cracker's The Golden Age (1996) was less commercially successful
than its predecessor. Last year, the band issued Gentleman's Blues,
which featured the single "The Good Life" and also included "I Want Out
of the Circus" and the blues-ballad title track (RealAudio
excerpt). Also in 1998, Lowery acted in the indie film "River
Red." This year he appeared in the movie "This Space Between Us."
Cracker, with new drummer Frank Funaro, opened several dates for the
Dave Matthews Band this year.
Other birthdays: Yma Sumac, 72; Arthur Tripp (Captain Beefheart, Mothers
of Invention), 60; Danny Hutton (Three Dog Night), 57; Jose Feliciano,
54; Barriemore Barlow (Jethro Tull), 50; Joe Perry (Aerosmith), 49; Don
Powell (Slade), 49; Pat Mastelotto (Mr. Mister), 44; Johnny Fingers
(Boomtown Rats), 43; Siobhan Fahey (Bananarama/Shakespeare's Sister),
39; Bill Stevenson (Black Flag), 36; Robin Goodridge (Bush), 33; Miles
Zuniga (Fastball), 33; and Big Daddy Kane, 31.