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Cracker is an American alternative rock band fronted by Camper Van Beethoven singer David Lowery, with guitarist Johnny Hickman. They had a few minor hits in the early 1990s, including "Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now)" and "Low". In 1995, Cracker contributed the song "Good Times Bad Times" to the Encomium tribute album to Led Zeppelin.

Avant-garde in a hippies-in-art-school sort of way, Camper Van Beethoven were "slacker" before the term even existed. But when front man David Lowery left the cult-hero band and regrouped with high school buddy Johnny Hickman around 1990, they became Cracker, a rootsy garage-rock outfit that echoed Tom Petty more than it did anything as adventurous as Camper. Hickman once called Cracker "semi-hip"--not nearly as alt-rock cool as, say, Nirvana, yet too twisted to be just another American beer-endorsed bar band. Semi-hip, indeed. No more, no less.

You can hear it all over Cracker's self-titled debut, especially so in a song like "Teen Angst (What The World Needs Now)," the punky anti-anthem that smart-assed its way onto commercial radio with lines like "What the world needs now is a new Frank Sinatra, so I can get you in bed." While totally catchy and readily digestible, Cracker was screwy and subversive enough to be considered that side of weird. The desert-baked Kerosene Hat furthered the cause. Including songs like the groove-laden "Low," the frat-humored hidden track "Eurotrash Girl" and the pesky "Get Off This" (featuring the finest use of voice box since Joe Walsh), Kerosene Hat captured Cracker at its smartest and most-effortless. It was also the band's million-plus breakthrough--not a bad feat for a band digging country rock and '70s chooglin' while the rest of the world was OD-ing on grunge.
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06/11/17
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06/11/17
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Cracker then relocated to Richmond, Va., and steered from the roots with 1996's The Golden Age, a piece of psychedelic pop that shimmered in its studio glory. Not nearly as far a stretch as the band might have hoped, Golden Age sometimes dazzled, but sometimes fell short, as Lowery's anti-anthems occasionally sounded rehashed, only with greater sheen. Nonetheless, The Golden Age has helped Cracker cement its one-of-a-kind spot on the outskirts of the mainstream. Or is that outer edges of the underground?

A series of personnel changes ensued in the late 90s and early 2000s. The group left Virgin Records (which had distributed their entire output) in 2004 with the independent release "Countrysides".

A recent collaboration with Bluegrass band Leftover Salmon, Oh Cracker, Where Art Thou? (2003), contained bluegrass versions of old Cracker songs.

Discography
Albums:
Cracker (1992)
Kerosene Hat (1993)
The Golden Age (1996)
Gentlemen's Blues (1998)
Forever (2002)
Oh Cracker, Where Art Thou? (2003)
Countrysides (2004)

Compilations:
The Virgin Years (1995) Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker
Garage D'Or (2000) Greatest Hits Album
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