From The Desk Of Camper Van Beethoven’s Jonathan Segel: Other Things That We’re Listening To, Band-Wise

CamperVanBeethovenLogoLa Costa Perdida (429) kicks off Camper Van Beethoven’s 30th-anniversary year amidst an orchestrated (if deserving) surge in recognition for the group—everything from Paul Rudd donning a vintage Camper concert tee in the film This Is 40 to glowing quotes from members of R.E.M. and the Meat Puppets. The LP is CVB’s first album since 2004’s New Roman Times and was mostly recorded at multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Segel’s Oakland home studio a year prior to his move to Sweden. “The process was similar, perhaps, to the recording of Camper’s third album, in that we could experiment and had time to work on things,” says Segel. “The first two CVB albums were recorded in a weekend.” Segel will be guest editing all week. Read our brand new feature on the band.


Segel: I just sat in with a local Stockholm band called the Plastic Pals, who have had U.S. associations with such likes as Chris Cacavas and others. Check out their new video below. The band is a very nuggets-y roots/garage rock combo. Cool stuff! Their new album is called Turn Of The Tide.

A couple years back, the day after a Camper show in New York, we had a show at Pianos where my own band played, and then Victor’s band. There was an opening act also, named Sharon Van Etton, and she played solo. She was great. She’s still great!

There’s a new Bobby Womack record produced by Damon Albarn. Who knew that would be so good?

Plus, there’s Toro Y Moi, carrying on the weirdness of the South. And then there’s Japandroids; also Neil Young’s new long songs (but not the shorter ones) and Dirty Three’s latest. And Tame Impala’s new one (but not the single—sorry.)

John Kruth and Jeff Greene have a New York “world-music” outlet called Tribecastan, great for cranking while making pancakes.

Victor claims even Jeff Lynne’s new album of covers is good, but I can’t bring myself to find out.

There’s a thread of Boards Of Canada, Richard Barbieri and even Eno and Harold Budd running through here as well.

And in the old albums, back to Pink Floyd’s Obscured By Clouds and listening to a bunch of Serge Gainsbourg, again. That guy was a grade-A weirdo.

On the doom-metal front, I’d put Indesinence’s Vessels Of Light And Decay on for a cold day. (As with Krallice or Agalloch, most of the doomy guys who make more than 10-minute tracks are OK by me.) To a certain extent, Samothrace: awesome guitars, but I’m still not grooving to the cookie monster.

Aiha Higurashi is still rocking, even after Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her.

We still get more space rock every year from Øresund Space Collective from Denmark, and Greece’s Tuber.

And then there’s Goat’s World Music.

Video after the jump.

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