OK, so not everybody is exactly crazy about this new Cracker album (see Jesse Chadderdon’s review on Page 18). Myself, I’m of the persuasion that it is not quite horrible, but they’ve done a lot better in the past.
That said, the alt-country originals are still one hell of a live act. I caught their show in Cleveland over Spring Break, as I mentioned last week, and was duly impressed.
As the first song drew to a close, somebody in the front of the crowd flicked a lit cigarette that accidentally struck David Lowrey in the chest. He seemed a bit irate at first, and you’d think getting hit by a lit smoke would be grounds for stopping the show right then and there. Nonetheless, the band played on. And on and on.
Over the course of two and a half hours and two encores, Cracker banged out indie/alternative classics like “Eurotrash Girl,” “I Hate My Generation” and “Another Song About The Rain.”
Lead guitarist Johnny Hickman laid down jaw-dropping licks and countrified solos, and even shared vocal duties on a few cuts with sultry bassist Brandy Wood.
And as much as their tongue-in-cheek foray into hip-hop (“What You’re Missing”) seems silly on the new album, it’s a hell of a lot of fun in concert; each member of the band raps a verse, and they trade off instruments throughout the song. Say what you will about Forever; their show at the Troc tomorrow night is not to be missed.
On a totally unrelated note, but also not to be missed, is the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Art’s current offering: American Modern 1925-1940: Design For A New Age.
For those of you into, er, stuff, there’s plenty of it here. The exhibition gathers all manner of kitschy appliances and paraphernalia from the early 20th century: Radios, clocks, furniture and posters, all bearing that retro-futuristic look that’s just so damn amusing to behold.
A stars-and-stripes clock looks like it might have been a swap meet treasure in a different life, and the Electrolux vacuum recalls that old Flash Gordon ride at Dorney Park.
American Modern has been running since early January and is now in its final week (it packs up on April 2), so this is the last chance to catch it…so make sure you do, and drag your parents along while you’re at it.
John Vettese can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org