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Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker at the Middle East, Sunday 1/15/12

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David Lowery's two bands, Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker, make their annual mid-January visit to the Middle East this Sunday night.

The bands (who share not just Lowery but also drummer Frank Funaro, and have in the past shared bassist Victor Krumenacher) have braved the New England winters and played the Middle East on MLK Day weekend for the past several years. A year ago, they performed an album show, with Camper performing their underrated gem "Key Lime Pie" in its entirety, and Cracker following with their biggest hit album, "Kerosene Hat."

This time the both bands will be playing songs from their respective catalogs, and Camper might even have some new material in their set list. Lowery said that the band have written enough songs for an album, their first since their 2004 reunion rock opera "New Roman Times." Camper has been performing on weekends and recording the new material during the week when able, and Lowery expects the new album to be released later this year.

"Camper has always had an element of prog rock, and with this album, we're not hiding it," he said. While known more for their faux-ethnic instrumentals, post-punk attitude and clever songwriting, Camper Van has also been known to cover Pink Floyd's "Interstellar Overdrive" in concert, so the prog direction isn't unprecedented.

Lowery released a solo album last year, "The Palace Guards," and Cracker's "Sunrise in the Land of Milk and Honey" came out in 2009. After this year's new Camper release, Lowery said another Cracker album should be next in line.

Lowery noted that the bands try to play some different songs each time they come back to town, going back over past setlists and making changes to keep the show fresh and surprising. Both bands have deep catalogs of album tracks and indie rock staples to choose from, so it should be interesting to see what they come up with on Sunday.

Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven at the Middle East, Sunday 1/15. 18+ $20 Advance / $22 Day Of Show. Doors at 8pm, Camper Van Beethoven should hit sometime around 9:00, Cracker following at around 11:00.

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The Boston Show Guide: links to local music clubs, media, and upcoming shows.

Links to concert listings:

WZBC concert report

Boston Phoenix Club listings

Pollstar concert info for Boston

Club calendars:

TT the Bear's place

The Middle East

P.A.'s Lounge

Toad in Cambridge

Great Scott

The Lizard Lounge

The Paradise

Atwood's Tavern

Club Passim

Milky Way

Church of Boston

Johnny D's

Plough & Stars

Alchemist Lounge

Harper's Ferry

Sally O'Brien's

Precinct

The Beehive

All Asia

The Cantab

The Burren

Theatres and larger venues:

The House of Blues

The Orpheum Theatre

Somerville Theatre

The Wilbur Theatre

Bank of America Pavilion (formerly HarborLights)

Other useful sites:

Info on local bands and shows: Boston Band Crush

Jim Sullivan on local music & arts

Cheap, fun events, including music: Cheap Thrills Boston

The legendary local music scene mag: The Noise

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