Frontman for long-running '90s act wins a David-vs.-Goliath battle for songwriters
Not only is Cracker still touring and recording, but frontman David Lowery (formerly of underground alt-rock act Camper Van Beethoven) has become a relentless champion of songwriters in the digital age. Lowery went so far as to sue Spotify, which is known for its free, wildly popular streaming music service and also for the meager, Oliver Twist-like royalty payments it doles out to artists who aren't household names.
Lowery sued for copyright infringement, and his suit was combined with that of another songwriter, Melissa Ferrick. In late May, Billboard reported that Spotify reached a settlement with the songwriters and “will set up a fund worth $43.4 million to compensate songwriters and publishers whose compositions the service used without paying mechanical royalties.” So say what you will about Cracker's '90s hits (“Low,” “Get Off This”) or latest double album, Berkeley to Bakersfield, but Lowery's zeal for fairness in the music industry is tangibly improving the lives of his fellow songwriters.
Also playing this show, which is free with a $5 festival admission wristband: Dave Pirner's similarly long-running alt-rock act Soul Asylum. (Safe bet)