Solana Want a Cracker?

This is the tale of two bands, Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker, both of which will play the Belly Up on Dec. 28.

The Redlands, Calif.-based songwriter David Lowery formed Camper Van Beethoven in the mid-'80s. The band gained acclaim after releasing three albums in an 18-month period and then broke up unexpectedly.

From the ashes of the Camper Van came Cracker, a collaboration between Lowery and fellow Inland Empire-native Johnny Hickman. With Lowery at the helm and Hickman on lead guitar, Cracker saw three Billboard hits in the early '90s: "Low," "Euro-Trash Girl" and "Get Off This." "Low," a song everyone has heard at least 100 times, cemented Cracker's place in the alt-rock lexicon and launched Cracker to No. 1 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart.

Unlike Camper Van Beethoven, Cracker kept recording: Since its heydey, the band has released 11 albums. Nobody really forgot about Camper Van Beethoven, though. The band maintained a strong cult following, leading them to reunite in 1999, releasing two post-breakup albums in 2002 and 2004.

At some point, Lowery must have realized that he could lead both bands at once, and now he's touring to bring songs by Cracker and Camper Van to fans worldwide.

Both bands will play the Belly Up Tuesday, Dec. 28. Got some Christmas cash burning a hole in your pocket? Get your tickets here.

T. Loper is a writer and photographer for the San Diego music blog Owl and Bear.

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