camper-van-chadbourne

Eugene Chadbourne The Eddie Chatterbox Double Trio Love Album

A sequel of sorts to Camper Van Chadbourne, the 1987 collaboration between Eugene Chadbourne and Camper Van Beethoven, The Eddie Chatterbox Double Trio Love Album features a six-man (“double trio”) band half comprised of CVB members. The album is split between five of Chadbourne’s originals and five fairly straightforward covers of Tim Buckley songs.

 Chadbourne’s songs are fully realized, accessible compositions that rank among his best, particularly the hilarious “Life x 2” and “Used Record Pile.” The heavy metal parody “Voodoo Vengeance” resurfaced a year later in a different recording on the Monks of Doom’s album The Cosmodemonic Telegraph Company. The political content is unusually low on this outing except for “Sword + Shield,” a general critique of Star Wars-type defense programs.

The band works up the same kind of horns-and-strings cacophony heard on Camper Van Chadbourne, sounding like a Salvation Army band tooting through the apocalypse, with a few extended jams and noise-fests Chadbourne fans have come to love or tolerate. The Buckley songs show Chadbourne’s sensitive side and fall in line with his ongoing tributes to the work of great songwriters.

Whether or not it was Camper Van Beethoven’s influence that ushered him toward conventionality, Chadbourne’s collaborations with CVB are among his most approachable efforts.

Camper Van Chadbourne is one of Eugene Chadbourne’s best albums, and perhaps the best introduction to his weird world. He offers up his usual assortment of cover songs, medleys, and socially conscious originals, but what makes this album different is the participation of Camper Van Beethoven. Rarely doesChadbourne work with such capable accompanists, and the difference is pronounced. While Chadbourne still flies off on meandering guitar tangents and noise excursions, the instrumental talents of CVB provide a better anchor so that the individual tracks don’t degenerate into chaos. Many of the original lyrics concern current events and consequently have become dated, but that’s par for the course with protest music.

One of the reasons why I haven’t been able to listen to ooioo’s Feather Float very much might be because I’ve spent most of my time listening to this absolute gem of a cd. Revenge Of Camper Van Chadbourne is a three piece experimental country cd, but is honestly much, much more. The three musicians on this cd: Eugene Chadbourne, Victor Krummenacher, and Jonathan Segel; come together beautifully… a little bluegrassy, a little avant-garde if you will… To me, the standout on this cd has to be Eugene, who has become a favorite musician of mine after getting to know his wonderful daughter in college. Oh, memories… Anyways, I picked this cd up at Amoeba for $4.99, can you believe it? because it is very real. Support your local record store. Goddamnit.

Also, if you haven’t heard of Eugene Chadbourne, I suggest you check him out on youtube. Here is a link I was shown of Eugene playing his infamous “Electric Rake." 

It is no secret that I’m a huge Camper Van Beethoven fan, hell I even like a lot of David Lowery’s post CVB band Cracker’s music. On this strange tape, however, redneck avant-gardist Eugene Chadbourne does lead vocal duties, but present still are the honky tonk ska vibes that made Camper van Beethoven amazing. Jonathan Segal’s violin is front and center, as is Chadbourne’s weirdo banjo picking. The album has some North Carolina inside jokes like “Fayettenam” designed to make the boys back in Greensboro laugh. There are some pretty good half-assed David Lowery vocal parts, though he seems a little awkward paired with Chabourne. Really what makes this release work is Chadbourne’s deranged redneck on psychedelics outlook. His playing is utterly bizarre, foregoing normal rhythmic conventions. It all makes for a fun record, though the production has a strange subdued quality reminiscent of CVB’s Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart. It takes some getting used to.

ENJOY