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January 24-31, 2007

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Camper Van Beethoven

Camper Van Beethoven: Coming to a pleasure cruise near you


Lunafest and Lunacies

By Bill Forman

Bollywood swinging How does one "mainstream" human rights?," asks Mallika Dutt. The founder and executive director of Breakthrough--an organization that uses popular media to raise awareness about women's human rights violations--has answered her own question by producing a hit Indian pop song whose music video will open this year's Lunafest at the Rio Theatre this coming Saturday, Jan. 27.

Mann ke Manjeeré draws upon the story of Shameem Pathana, a woman Dutt met who broke with Indian gender conventions by leaving her abusive husband and driving a bus in order to support her child.

As upbeat and colorful as any Bollywood musical, Mann ke Manjeeré is especially noteworthy for the transcendent singing of acclaimed Indian vocalist Shubha Mudgal, who herself faced controversy for crossing over from Indian classical music to more pop-oriented fare.

Presenting nine short films in 90 minutes--including a wonderful animated film about a cow maddened by the media--this year's Lunafest again sets out to raise awareness of women's issues (such as health, body image, spirituality and breaking down barriers) while creating goodwill for its energy bar sponsor.

The touring film festival, now in its sixth year, has raised over $140,000 for the Breast Cancer Fund and over $250,000 for community nonprofits. Tickets for the Rio screening, which begins at 7pm, are $5 for students and $10 for the rest of us.

Crackers at sea Rarely is the question asked--how does one "mainstream" Camper Van Beethoven? A multimedia event of an entirely different stripe takes place Sunday as everyone's favorite Santa Cruz surrealists take over the Attic for an evening of music and video.

Following a debut screening of Cracker and the Campers First Annual Camp Out Live DVD, Camper Van Beethoven members Victor Krummenacher, Jonathan Segel and Greg Lisher will take the stage for an acoustic set featuring songs from Krummenacher's forthcoming The Cock Crows at Sunrise CD.

The DVD, meanwhile, chronicles a two-day festival in Pioneertown, Calif., featuring performances by both bands (the common denominator, of course, being frontman David Lowery) as well as the Monks of Doom and other side projects.

The three performing Campers will also be giving away, selling and signing merchandise. The festivities get under way this Sunday, Jan. 28, at 6pm.

For those who feel the need for a more immersive Camper experience, Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven are both scheduled to perform on, of all things, a pleasure cruise (along with Gin Blossoms, the Tubes and numerous other acts, that sails Feb. 16-19 out of Long Beach.

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