NEM #38: Jonathan Segel’s Long-Form Songs

Jonathan played in the ’80s with Camper van Beethoven and has since put out 40+ solo albums, sometimes with songs, sometimes guitar improvisations, or instrumental music for dance or film.

We discuss his lengthy art-rock songs with political content: “Sleep for a Hundred Years” and the title track from Superfluity (2017), then look back to “Civil Disobedience” from Edgy not Artsy (2003). End song: “Hey You (I Know You Know Me)” from All Attractions (2012). Opening music: “Auspicious Circles” from Site (2008). Closing music: “Still Wishing to Course” from Camper Van Beethoven (1986).

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PEL Special: Nakedly Examined Music #1 with David Lowery

Welcome to Nakedly Examined Music, our first spin-off of PEL. Hear more at or find it via iTunes. Mark interviews songwriters about why and how they do what they do. Think of it as applied philosophy.

Four episodes are now posted; this cross-post of our pilot features David Lowery of Camper van Beethoven and Cracker talking through three of his songs. He’s as well-spoken and full of ideas as many a decent philosopher, so sit back and turn on your active listening function!

NEM#1: David Lowery on Story Songs and Songs About Nothing

Welcome to Nakedly Examined Music, an offshoot of “The Partially Examined Life” focusing on the head and heart of songwriting. The front man of Cracker and Camper van Beethoven joins Mark Linsenmayer to discuss his songs: “All Her Favorite Fruit,” “I Sold the Arabs the Moon,” and “Take the Skinheads Bowling.” Plus “Almond Grove.” Learn more at

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Episode 118: The Musical Life with Guests from Camper van Beethoven

Victor Krummenacher and Jonathan Segel join Mark and Wes to discuss songwriting and authenticity in the age of Internet consumerism. This episode prefigured Mark’s Nakedly Examined Music podcast.

Includes a preview of the Aftershow featuring more musicians including ex-Camper Chris Molla.

End songs: “The Bastards Never Show Themselves” by the Monks of Doom and Mike Wilson’s “RG.”