TONITE: Take The Skinheads Bowling

This is what happens when you have too much time and pot on your hands. Emerging stoned and immaculate in the mid-’80s from the remote boho-hippie-grad-school outpost of Santa Cruz, Calif., CBV was the Pavement of its day: college radio darlings for the smug zine scenesters and heard-it-all-before record store clerks who thought R.E.M. was for tourists. Their debut, Telephone Free Landslide Victory, pushed ska, Tex-Mex, Slavic folk and ’60s psych through the looking glass of their absurdist proto-slacker filter — and the result was a pile of smiles. The toker jokes kept coming on II and III, hanging their punch lines on Day-Glo garage-psych pastiches, with the kicker being the seamless conversion of Sonic Youth’s “I Love Her All the Time” from arty New York cool into home-on-the-range valentine. By their self-titled third LP, arguably their finest moment, studied satire gave way to new sincerity. Two serviceable major label albums later, the band unraveled as the clock ran out on the ’80s. They return to World Cafe Live tonight along with a reconstituted Cracker. Now that’s my idea of an ’80s revival. — JONATHAN VALANIA

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