Hieronymus Firebrain Here and There by David Shirley With David Lowery and Cracker recently making a play for major-laabel repectability, it's now left to Jonathan Segel to keep up the Camper Van Beethoven tradition of charmingly eclectic experimentation, post-hippie mysticism and complete commercial indifference. On Here (the bands studio debut) and There (a companion live recording), Segel and his trusty violin front a wobbly folk=rock quintet (with a couple of extra horns thrown in on the live tracks) on a predictably oddball recital of Segel originals and obsscure covers. For once, it really works, making this probably the best Segel project since the first two Camper albums. There are lively tributes to Can ('YooDooRight'), Skeleton Crew ('It's Fine'), and Albet Ayler (the violin intro to 'Atlanta Runs Ahead'); a couple of surf tunes; plenty of world music influences; and several songs that sound alarmingly like Jethro Tull. There's even one wonderful Segel original, 'Life Blood.' a sweetly misanthropic, Gong-style anthem that dares to ask, with a straight face, 'Once your blood spills to earth, what song can sing it back?'
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