BEFORE the band Cracker was a twinkle in David Lowery's eye, he was the frontman of Camper Van Beethoven, a band that sprang up in the early '80s out of nowhere (well, Santa Cruz, actually) and redefined what a college band could sound like. Taking a wild, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach to alternative rock (with a heavy focus on the violin—not your average rock band instrument), Camper scored offbeat hits like "Take the Skinheads Bowling" and "Pictures of Matchstick Men" with the early alternative nation. The band is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.
Sunday June 29
Campbell Recital Hall
Braun Music Center
IT'S WELL KNOWN that a jazz band is only as strong as its weakest member, and that the bond between musicians is as important as individual talent. I guess it's no surprise then that the 3 Cohens (Yuval, Anat and Avishai) have an incredible musical rapport that exceeds even the tightest of bands—a genetic one. The three siblings grew up playing together, they all went to Berklee School of Music together, and now they play some of the most complex and exciting contemporary jazz, you guessed it—together. Like they say, three's company, and in the case of the 3 Cohens, that company is as tight knit as a factory-made sweater.
Saturday June 28
44 S. Almaden Ave
Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys
BIG SANDY and his Fly-Rite Boys stand in the ebb and flow of rock & roll evolution, planted firmly along the banks of the genre's early traditions. From Chuck Berry to Etta James, it is the original purveyors of rock that are held sacred by band leader Sandy and his quintet. Not many rock bands these days still don a suit and tie onstage, let alone delve into the roots of American music with more passion than a Bangkok Elvis impersonator. Join Big Sandy as he and his crew cover all the bases—Western swing, rockabilly and traditional country—in a nostalgic tribute to the birth of rock & roll.