Originally uploaded by rustedrobot.

You know that baseball player? The one whose name you always forget but is always in the mix or consistently the guy who does something positive for his team and always plays a factor in the outcome of the game? Well, David Lowery is that guy. Lowery is the main singer/songwriter for Cracker, definitely one of my top five bands of the ’90s.

During the 1980’s Lowery headed up the ultimate college band, Camper Van Beethoven, where he saw some minor success, but his days in Cracker brought him some bonafide radio hits in “Teen Angst,” “Low” and “Eurotrash Girl.” You know all three. “Teen Angst” was the song where Lowery begged that what world needs now is another folk singer, “like I need a hole in my head.”

1993’s “Low” was probably their biggest single, with the memorable “Bein’ with you girl, is like being low” pulsing throughout the gritty chorus. Lowery’s super-clever and often very funny and sarcastic, but he still maintains a quite meaningful songwriting touch and his pen is rarely matched by anyone out there. He’s just got the sharpest lyrics in the west. If he’s not my favorite lyricist of the modern day, than he’s number 1A. David Lowery is Stephen Malkmus without the snotty-ness or Ryan Adams without the bitchiness and coming up with a single song to best represent his and the band’s style is simply impossible (although a portion of his genius is readily evident on almost every song – take a look at the lyrics to Movie Star or Mr. Wrong). You just cannot do it. Some say “stoner-rock,” but that’s really only 10% of their total output in my eyes.

Their styles range from fast-paced rock to turtle-paced ballads (you’d be hard pressed to find a better cover version of the Grateful Dead’s “Loser”), from accordian-inflected circus-style romps to alt-country flameouts. They do it all and they do it extremely, extremely well.

If I were to recommend a starting place, I’d say go buy 1993’s Kerosene Hat, an amazing collection of styles all brought perfectly together by Lowery’s brand of genius. I spent so much time with this album in 93-94 that it is downright obnoxious. However, in choosing an MP3 to offer up, I went with a cut from Gentlemen’s Blues (1998) called Seven Days, which is a pretty accesible tune, but really only a fragment of what Cracker is really all about. Enjoy. And remember, you can right click and “save as” if you want to download the song.

Cracker – “Seven Days”
So we were standing, like the last rock band on the planet
On vapor trails and alpine skies
It’s all green fields, yellow flowers, and brown liquor
Oh brown liquor!

Bug’s got a job in the Catskills
Met some fraulein along the way
Took her home, but then she had an episode
Though it did disturb him, he was strangely compelled

Seven days well I’ve been waiting
Seven days and seven nights
Seven days well I’ve been dreaming
Of the real thing…Of the real thing

So we were standing around,
fading in and out of fashion
While Amerikids dug Eurobeats
Well we know all of the doormen
and other bartendresses
And there ain’t nothing that you got that we don’t need
Did I say that right?

Seven days well I’ve been waiting
Seven days and seven nights
Seven days well I’ve been dreaming
Of the real thing
Of the real thing