Camper Van Beethoven is an [[NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly eclectic]] American AlternativeRock band from Santa Cruz, California, whose output mixes elements of CountryMusic, {{Ska}}, PunkRock, and FolkMusic. They are best known for their 1986 single "Take the Skinheads Bowling." Their lead singer, David Lowery, would go on to form the band Cracker -- who would have a mainstream hit with "Low" -- in TheNineties.

!!Camper Van Beethoven provides examples of:

* AccentuateTheNegative: "Life is Grand" is a big TakeThat to people who felt they didn't do this enough.
-->''And life is grand''
-->''And I will say this''
-->''At the risk of falling from favor''
-->''With those of you''
-->''Who have appointed yourselves''
-->''To expect us to say something darker''
* AffectionateParody: Bradley Nowell of Music/{{Sublime}} recorded an acoustic parody of "{{Lassie}} Went to the Moon" about his missing dog, Lou Dog (as well as releasing a more straightforward cover of "Eye of Fatima Pt. 1"). Camper Van Beethoven would later cover "Garden Grove," one of Sublime's songs.
* ChronologicalAlbumTitle: Sort of - their second album is titled ''II & III''
* ConceptAlbum: ''La Costa Perdida'' and ''New Roman Times.''
* CoverVersion: "Pictures of Matchstick Men" (originally by Status Quo), "Interstellar Overdrive" (originally by Music/PinkFloyd), "Photograph" (originally by Music/RingoStarr), "Who Are the Brain Police?" (originally by Music/FrankZappa), "I Love Her All the Time" (originally by Music/SonicYouth), a countrified cover of Music/BlackFlag's "Wasted," a live cover of Music/ButtholeSurfers' "The Shah Sleeps in Lee Harvey's Grave," Steve Reich's "Come Out," and the [[CoverAlbum entire album]] ''Music/{{Tusk}}'' (originally by Music/FleetwoodMac).
** "Peaches In The Summertime" is a loose adaptation of 18th century folk song [[ "Shady Grove"]].
** "Take The Skinheads Bowling" has been subject to many a cover over the time it's been released, most notably by Teenage Fanclub (which was included in the film Film/BowlingForColumbine) and Music/ManicStreetPreachers (twice).
* CreditsGag: The back cover of ''Key Lime Pie'' gives the track-list and other pertinent information in the form of a long paragraph formatted to scroll around the CD case, and includes a couple of humorous asides: Besides alluding to the Cut Song on the Trivia page, the text also laments that having to include legal notices "makes it a little more difficult to have a stark artsy sleeve like all those cool British imports".
* EpicRocking: "Surprise Truck"
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: The lyrics to "Ambiguity Song" largely consist of the repeated line "Everything seems to be up in the air at this time."
** "Border Ska" is a ska instrumental with Mexican influence.
** "ZZ Top Goes To Egypt" combines the blues-rock of early Music/ZZTop with a stereotypically Ancient Egyptian-sounding violin melody.
* GreatestHitsAlbum: ''Popular Songs of Great Enduring Strength and Beauty'', which covers material from 1985 to 1989 (i.e. all of the albums released before they initially broke up, but nothing from the reunion onwards). "Pictures Of Matchstick Men", "All Her Favorite Fruit", "When I Win The Lottery" "One Of These Days" and "Eye Of Fatima" are all re-recordings specially made for the album, since they couldn't license them from their two albums on Virgin Records.
** A somewhat rare Best Of compilation is ''The Virgin Years'', which was released in 1994 and features eight songs each by Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker. This is mainly notable as the only official release of "Eye of Fatima Parts 1 & 2", a special radio edit of "Eye Of Fatima Part 1" that segues directly into a shortened version of "Eye Of Fatima Part 2".
* HiddenTrack: The reissue of ''Telephone Free Landslide Victory'' adds one to the end of "Ambiguity Song" - it's a dub-influenced experimental remix of their song "Heart".
* {{Instrumentals}}: Tons, from "Border Ska" to "Eye of Fatima Pt. 2"
* NWordPrivileges: The name of Lowery's band Cracker is a tongue-in-cheek invocation of this trope, referring to "cracker" in its racial sense.
* ProtestSong:
** Parodied in "Club Med Sucks", which uses the same kind of rhetoric as political HardcorePunk songs of the time to describe a teenager's parents forcing him to going to Club Med instead of just letting him hang out on the beach on his own all summer ("I want no part of their death culture/I just wanna go to the beach"). Played more straight with "Might Makes Right", from the point of view of a disillusioned soldier.
** "Sweethearts" is an oblique criticism of UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan and his militarism.
* PunnyName: The band's name is a punny portmanteau of the phrases "camper van" and "Music/LudwigVanBeethoven."
* RecycledLyrics: Both Camper Van Beethoven's "The Long Plastic Hallway" and Cracker's "Big Dipper" mention "Cigarettes and carrot juice". ''Cigarettes And Carrot Juice'' was also the name of a CVB box set - oddly, this was back when only Cracker had used that for a lyric. Also, the title of their GreatestHitsAlbum ''Popular Songs of Great Enduring Strength and Beauty'' was later used as a lyric in David Lowery's "The Palace Guards".
* RockOpera: ''New Roman Times''
* ShoutOut: "All Her Favorite Fruit" is based on the romance between Roger Mexico and Jessica Swanlake in ''Literature/GravitysRainbow''.
** "The Long Plastic Hallway" is a reference to a common Creator/HunterSThompson quote, "The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side."
* SiameseTwinSongs: "Opi Rides Again" and "Club Med Sucks", sort of: On the original version of Telephone Free Landslide Victory they were listed as one song called "Opi Rides Again / Club Med Sucks", but the most recent reissue of the album converted them to separate tracks. They're always played together live, too.
* TheSomethingSong: "Ambiguity Song", "Devil Song", and "Axe Murderer Song".
* SubvertedRhymeEveryOccasion: from "Take the Skinheads Bowling":
---->Some people say that bowling alleys got big lanes (got big lanes, got big lanes)\\
Some people say that bowling alleys all look the same (look the same, look the same)\\
There's not a line that goes here that rhymes with anything (anything, anything)\\
I has a dream last night, but I forget what it was (what it was, what it was)
* StepUpToTheMicrophone: Jonathan Segel, Victor Krummenacher, and David Lowery more or less split vocal duties evenly for ''Tusk'', which is otherwise highly unusual for the band. This is most likely because the lineup of Music/FleetwoodMac that recorded the original album also featured a three-way VocalTagTeam. In fact, the three of them are generally paired with a specific Fleetwood Mac member: David Lowery mainly sings on songs originally sung by Christine [=McVie=], Jonathan Segel mainly sings Lindsey Buckingham, and Victor Krummenacher mainly sings Stevie Nicks.
* SyntheticVoiceActor: No one in the band wanted to sing "Sister Of The Moon" on the ''Tusk'' cover album, so they had a text-to-speech program read the lyrics instead. They also gave it some ''Film/ThisIsSpinalTap'' references and quotes from Creator/WilliamShakespeare and Pindar to recite, seemingly just for the hell of it.
* WordSaladLyrics: "Take the Skinheads Bowling" surprisingly isn't really about skinheads or bowling -- or anything else for that matter. WordOfGod is that the lyrics were intended to make less-and-less sense as they went along.
** "Eye of Fatima Pt. 1" arguably counts as well, containing lyrics such as "cowboys on acid are like Egyptian cartoons" and somehow relating them to the eye of Fatima, an Arabic name for the eye on a hamsa.