David Lowery and Johnny Hickman

Thursday, December 16, E-Town at the Boulder Theater, 303-786-7030; Sunday, December 19, Lion's Lair, 303-320-9200.

David Lowery is apparently in a nostalgic mood. This past August, he appeared at Boulder's Fox Theatre as the frontman of Camper Van Beethoven, a band that made the '80s a funnier and odder decade; the act's comeback CD, New Roman Times, embraced its trademark idiosyncrasies -- and sold squat as a result. Four months later, Lowery's back, but for this visit, he is in the company of guitarist Hickman, his partner in Cracker, a group that met with intermittent success circa the '90s, thanks to a sound that was crunchier and more broadly accessible than Lowery's previous work. On the surface, this pairing seems to signal a Cracker revival hot on the heels of the Beethoven reunion, but such an interpretation could be overly simplistic. Why? Word has it that Lowery and Hickman will be drawing on tunes from Cracker and Camper during the E-Town gig, which co-stars Shawn Colvin, and for the headlining slot at the Lair. If Lowery returns to the area in early 2005 with a combo called Cracker Van Beethoven, no one will be surprised.

 
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