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I was just listening to Luna's encore from their "last ever show" again - from 13 years ago tonight. It sounded lovely even if it wasn't really their last show after all! I thought you might like to hear it too…

Luna NYC 050228
I kept asking myself, "How do you feel?" I should have felt sad, right? And I was sad, but I also knew I was ready for it to be over. We played "Indian Summer" for the very last time, and I thought, we're playing it for the last time. I had always enjoyed listening to Sean's beautiful guitar solo, the way he bent certain notes on his Jazzmaster. Tonight I moved stage left so I could hear it better. Then I counted down to the end, the two notes that go back and forth all through the song, and we were done playing that particular song, and launched into "23 Minutes in Brussels," which builds to a pounding climax but then falls apart softly and slowly. We exited the stage, and it was a relief to be walking upstairs, knowing that we would not be back the very next night.
Dean Wareham - Black Postcards (2nd edition, Penguin Books 2009)

The encores

Luna, final show, after party

… for ten years anyway.

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Damon & Naomi at the Night and Day Cafe, Manchester - February 2018
Damon & Naomi in Manchester

Just a quick summary of my encounters with Damon & Naomi last week…

On Wednesday I headed off after work and trained and bussed my way to Dalston for Damon & Naomi’s show at Cafe OTO - their first time back there since they had to cancel a show after Damon had a fall two years before. Chris had arrived early and parked himself at the front of the queue which meant that when the doors opened and we were let in out of the rain we nabbed ourselves prime seats front and centre (well slightly Naomi side of centre).

First support was Red River Dialect who had a good psych-folk/country thing going.

Damon & Naomi’s co-conspirator for the tour was up next - Thalia Zedek was just her, her guitar and an amp that needed occasionally to be reminded who was boss - and Thalia Zedek was boss!

Damon & Naomi at Cafe OTO, London, February 2018
Damon & Naomi with Thalia Zedek in London

Damon & Naomi played a lovely set spanning a good chunk of their career for there encore they were joined by Thalia Zedek for a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Dance Me to the End of Love and an emotional take on the late Tom Rapp’s Translucent Carriages. Despite efforts from the crowd to lure them back for another encore Damon explained that they didn’t feel they should follow theior tribute to Tom and so spent the rest of the evening chatting with anyone who cared to and signing the beautiful tour poster they had for sale.

London show details, more photos and videos

Damon about to chat about The New AnalogDamon with Laura Snapes in London

On Thursday I headed off after work and trained and bussed and biked my way to Shoreditch where Damon would be spending the evening chatting with journalist Laura Snapes about his book The New Analog and anything that came up in relation to that - the talk was gripping, Damon was articulate and funny and Laura helped keep the subject moving along and interesting and threw in some interetsing angles. The talk was close to two hours and never really seemed to lose momentum - the subject is so broad and affects us in so many ways it’s hard not to become engrossed. Afterwards Damon hung around and chatted and signed his beautiful book that they had for sale.

On Saturday we trained to Manchester for Damon & Naomi’s show on Sunday evening at the lovely and intimate Night and Day Cafe. This time the show was without Thalia Zedek as her and Damon & Naomi had gone their separate ways for a while (getting together again in Paris a few days later). Support came from dbh who played intricate and gentle acoustic guitar quite beautifully.

Damon & Naomi seemed to appreciate the venue and the relaxed atmosphere, everything seemed so good-humoured and with that came a fun and funny and thoroughly enjoyable show, very different from the more tense and edgy London show. They again finished with Translucent Carriages and the more relaxed atmosphere in Manchester gave the song a differnet energy that suited the room.

Damon & Naomi - Translucent Carriages, London

Manchester show details, more photos and videos

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Damon & Naomi with Tom Rapp and Batoh and Kuihara of Ghost

There'll be better and more detailed obituarys to Tom Rapp elsewhere on the web from people who knew him better, but he had an impact on my life and hearing of his loss I felt the need to write a few words.

Of course my first encounter with the music of Tom Rapp was via Damon & Naomi around the time of the first Terrastock in 1997. I knew absolutely nothing of Tom or Pearls Before Swine when the show was announced and the records were not so easy to get hold of. Luckily Bob on the Galaxie 500 mailing list was a fan and sent over a couple of cassettes of Tom and PBS. Shortly after the show Tom got in touch with me via email and sent me a recording of Damon & Naomi's set.

We only kept sporadically in touch - more often it was about Damon & Naomi and generally coincided with a Terrastock show. In 1999 Terrastock came to London - a last minute sceheduling change and childcare responsibilities conspired to mean that I missed Tom's performance and barely arrived in time to catch Damon & Naomi's set! But after the show was over Tom and I got chatting. I can't remember how, I think I'd been loitering around probably trying to catch Naomi's eye when Tom came over.

Hearing the news that Tom Rapp has left us. Very sad news. I only met him in the flesh once at the London Terrastock. We chatted for a while and at some point got onto the subject of Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music, of which I was barely aw

We chatted a while and the conversation eventually came around to Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music - a collection I was only superficially aware of. Tom suggested that I really should look into it further and it got filed away in my musical todo list (and you know what todo lists can be like?). A few weeks later, unannounced, a parcel arrived from the US. It was a beautiful box set of the 5xCD edition of the Anthology and a note from Tom:

Hello Andy Congratulations. You have won The Terrastock UK ticket stub drawing. OK - Actually I have 2 of these - one was a gift - so now this one is a gift to you. Good to meet you at T3. Tom Rapp

We only sporadically got in touch after that (I'm rubbish at maintaining relationships) - the last time I heard from him was when he emailed to thank me after I posted a 65th birthday tribute to him on this web site. I wrote back and said I'd send him a postcard. I really hope I did!

I barely knew Tom and felt like a friend and I feel his loss. My heart goes out to those who knew him better because they must feel it more. I'll be celebrating Tom's passing by playing some records. It's all I really know how to do. These will be amongst them…

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The Sour Notes

A couple of years ago Jared from Austin band The Sour Notes got in touch with me before Xmas asking if I could plug their upcoming New Year's Eve set they were playing as Galaxie 500. I liked what I heard of the band and did what I could - not sure if my influence sold any tickets but I always like to pretend my influence is greater than it is!

The band have now been in the studio and recorded a cover of Galaxie 500's Fourth of July along with a bunch of other cover versions by artists as diverse as The Beatles, Patti Smith, Beyoncé and The Ronettes (and many more).

Last week Jared of the band got in touch with me and let me hear their cover it's rather lovely, he then asked if I'd like to premiere the track on A Head Full of Wishes…

The Sour Notes - This Is Not Our Music

I figured it'd be cool to premiere the Fourth of July cover through AHFoW, since we're all fans, doing it for the fans! I mean, I wouldn't be playing and recording music at this rate, if it weren't for that desire to achieve the sonic bliss I hear in bands like Galaxie 500. We're just showing our appreciation to the bands we love by releasing a covers album for free.

We got the idea to record the track after we learned and performed a set of Galaxie 500 songs a couple New Year's Eves ago at Hotel Vegas in Austin.

We had a few recorded covers sitting around, that we'd released as bonus tracks previously, and decided to record a bunch more to make an album out of it. I tried to make each cover a little uniquely-different from the original and ended up substituting Dean's lead guitar for analog synth. After picking apart every piece of this song from the original recording and even Galaxie 500 / Luna live performances of it… it still sounds as exciting and new to me as ever!

Listen to The Sour Notes cover of Fourth of July.

The band are releasing a new track from their covers album, This Is Not Our Music, each week - Fourth of July is out now. They have a stack of other great music to check out on their bandcamp.

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Ahead of next month's co-headline European tour Damon & Naomi got together with Thalia Zedek to make a video.

Thalia Zedek, Damon & Naomi - Dance Me To The End of Love
On the coldest day in New England in 100 years, Damon & Naomi and Thalia Zedek cover a favorite Leonard Cohen song, "Dance Me To The End of Love."

Before heading to Europe there's a show at Feeding Tube Records in Florence MA, before heading to Spain, the UK, and France, Switzerland and Italy.

26 January 2018 Feeding Tube Records, Florence, MA, USA
6 February 2018 Fun House, Madrid, Spain
7 February 2018 TBC, Ourense, Spain
8 February 2018 Kafe Antzokia, Bilbao, Spain
9 February 2018 Sala Be Good, Barcelona, Spain
10 February 2018 Teatro Arniches, Alicante, Spain
11 February 2018 16 Toneladas, Valencia, Spain
13 February 2018 Rough Trade, Bristol, UK (New Analog book event)
14 February 2018 Cafe OTO, London, UK
15 February 2018 Second Home Spitalfields, London, UK (New Analog book event)
16 February 2018 Henry's Cellar Bar, Edinburgh, UK (without Thalia Zedek)
17 February 2018 The Old Hairdressers, Glasgow, UK (without Thalia Zedek)
18 February 2018 Night and Day Cafe, Manchester, UK (without Thalia Zedek)
19 February 2018 Rough Trade, Nottingham, UK (New Analog book event)
20 February 2018 Rough Trade East, London, UK (New Analog book event)
21 February 2018 L'Olympic Cafe, Paris, France
22 February 2018 Le Bourg, Lausanne, Switzerland
23 February 2018 Freakout, Bologna, Italy
24 February 2018 Spazio, Milan, Italy

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This week Luna kicked off the next US leg of their ongoing 'reunion' (when does it stop being that?) and to coincide WFUV have broadcast the session that the band recorded when they were in NYC on the last leg back in November.

The set included the first public outing of their cover of Sweetness by Yes.

Audio: Luna at WFUV

Source: WFUV

Luna stopped by Studio A to play us a song from each of the new records and a classic from their past. I also spoke with Wareham, Phillips and Eden about their music during this episode of FUV Live.
Luna at WFUV, November 2017

You can see video of them playing Hey Sister and GTX3 from the session over on VUHAUS.

Other stuff turning up include:

A good Q&A with Dean over at The Creative Independent

When you break up with someone you have to convince yourself that it’s really intolerable and really awful. That’s what you must convince yourself of in order to leave—you’re building that story in your mind—so it’s like watching myself do that. Looking back, maybe we should have just taken a break.

The session they did for 88Nine Radio Milwaulkee is also online - audio of the whole session and video of 23 Minutes in Brussels.

On 23rd January Luna will be doing a live session for KEXP - the web site says its open to the public so you should be able to sign-up for tickets somewhere if you're in the neighbourhood.

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It's all about me

Last month Jenell from It's Psychedelic Baby and myself sat down for a chat about all things A Head Full of Wishes. As much as I love to talk about AHFoW it did seem rather odd the idea of me being interesting enough to be interviewed but Jenell was a good interviewer and was happy to let me ramble on.

I finally got the nerve to talk to Dean after the show at LA2 in October 1997. He was really nice, he signed my ticket, and I must have given him my phone number because a few days later I got home from work to find a message from him on my answerphone. Obviously not being there to take the call was the best thing that could have happened, we were both spared an awkward conversation and I have kept that recording of Dean Wareham ringing me up. It’s one of my favourite bits of memorabilia!
The first time I was brave enough to talk to Naomi about Galaxie 500 was after their Terrastock London performance in 1999, and even then I left most of the talking to another fan who didn’t have the anxieties I had. But over the years things became much more relaxed

So if the thought of me wittering on at length about websites, gigs and hobnobbing with heroes then head over to It's Psychedelic Baby for the full interview - I do of course get to mention Motörhead!

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So that's A Head Full of Wishes 22nd complete year done - so let's see how that went.


In January Luna played three consecutive nights in San Francisco playing a complete album on each night…

Luna playing Penthouse in Chicago (photo: Joakim Bengtsson)
Luna playing Penthouse in Chicago (photo: Joakim Bengtsson)

The first night was for Bewitched and featured a guest appearance from Kelly Kyle on trumpet for the title track

Luna (feat. Kelly Kyle) - Bewitched, San Francisco, Jan 2017

Suddenly someone picks you up, you can fly. Luna - three nights in San Francisco (1: Bewitched)

Read on…

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Luna - Rock Your Baby label (Feral Child, 2017)
Luna - Rock Your Baby label (Feral Child, 2017)

Luna aren't playing a sahow this New Year's Eve so there'll be no chance to hear their rendition of their traditional New Year's cover of Rock Your Baby - Luckily, as ever, AHFoW can come to the rescue:

Luna - Rock Your Baby (Tell Me Do You Miss Me)
Luna - Rock Your Baby (San Diego, December 2015)

2017 was also the year that a studio version of the track appeared - coming out on a splendid 7" on Feral Child records - hunt around and you might find a copy…

Luna - California Blue / Rock Your Baby (Feral Child, 2017)
Luna - California Blue / Rock Your Baby (Feral Child, 2017)

Have a Happy New Year everyone!

Happy New Year!

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Luna  - Time/Egg Nog

I've never had an egg nog. To me Egg Nog is primarily a Luna tune, and secondarily some strange unknown seasonal beverage. This year I decided to make an egg nog! You can catch most of my egg-nogging as an Instagram story for the next 24 hours! Or just stay here, look at a couple of photos and listen to the aforementioned Luna gem.

After some egg nog research I opted to follow the recipe Felicity Cloake posted to The Guardian - to be honest whenever I make almost anything I've never made before Felicity's How to make the perfect… series is invariably where I end up.

I made half the quantity, because there's only three of us, and one of us (me) almost never drinks! And Felicity's recipe had a lot of booze in it - a mix of rum and madeira. Also lots of cream, lots of sugar … and of course eggs.

It's dead easy to make and is a beautiful, thick, creamy concoction and one ladleful has me feeling quite light-headed. Hazel's done her best to get through some but there's still a jug of it in the fridge!

Luna - Egg Nog

Have a fantastic Christmas and a fab 2018 full of all the good things!