One of the great forgotten corpuses (corpi?) of the post-punk era is that of Camper Van Beethoven, of Santa Cruz, California. They incorporated elements of country, punk, ska, Eastern European folk music, psychedelia, and novelty songs into a sound that got more and more accessible (and less tongue in cheek) with each album, culminating in the twin late-'80s masterpieces Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart and Key Lime Pie. (They reformed and began recording new albums a few years ago. Due for a new one, what?)
What got me thinking about them again was an author interview that I'm procrastinating on writing. The book in question centers around the Mountain Meadows Massacre, a horrifying and little-known episode in US frontier history. Doing a bit of research on that event led me, in a few clicks, to the surprising fact that until 1976, it was legal in Missouri to kill anyone belonging to the Church of Latter-Day Saints.
•Camper Van Beethoven: The History of Utah (via RapidShare)
Camper Van Beethoven home myspace
CVB's output 1985–1987 (including rarities and previously unavailable tracks) available through eMusic's 25 free MP3s offer.