Rock/pop Clubs by Night
Rock/Pop Club Directory
Rock/Pop Bands in Town
Jazz Clubs by Night
Jazz Club Directory
Jazz Bands in Town
You can say this about George W. Bush: he’s made the world safe for rock operas again. First, before the election, there was Green Day’s great American Idiot. And, now — to tide over those who like their rock with a side order of irony — there’s New Roman Times, a presidential indictment that also happens to be Cracker frontman David Lowery’s first new album with his original band, Camper Van Beethoven, in 15 years.
The album is told from the point of view of a soldier who joins a military unit in a not-so-distant-version of the future — or so we’re told in the liner notes, since, like everything from Quadrophenia to American Idiot, the actual story isn’t that clear from the songs. But it doesn’t matter. Lowery’s tongue-in-cheek lyrics stand up even without the story, especially on "Militia Song," when he sings, "Let’s go get these commies/don’t forget the queers/and their intellectual allies," over a jaunty, old-time-country backdrop. The album closes with "Hey Brother," supposedly a song about a suicide bomber, but equally easy to interpret — pre-November 2 — as a things-will-be-better-if-you-wait mantra. Let’s hope that, four years from now, we’ll still want to sing along when Lowery moans optimistically, "Hey sister/we’re on our way."
BY JEFF MILLER
Issue Date: November 26 - December 2, 2004
Back to the Music table of contents
|© 2000 - 2013 Phoenix Media Communications Group|