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13 Most Beautiful
13 Most Beautiful

A couple of Dean Wareham interviews have just been broadcast and well worth listening to.

First up Dean was interviewed on Saturday afternoon's Todd-o-phonic Todd show on WFMU - you can listen to the interview where Dean talks about the upcoming Dean & Britta / 13 Most Beautiful Show in Philadelphia and also touches on the new Luna covers album that has been hinted at over the last few months.

Todd: You're coming out with a new album of covers

Dean: That's the plan. We've been recording in a studio here, bit by bit whenever we're all in the same town and it's kind of an easy way to get back into it.

T: Are there any teasers regarding songs that you would like to share with my millions of listeners today

D: Here's one, talking about the Velvets still, we've actually done this song 'Friends' from the Squeeze album

Next up Dean Wareham talks about The Feelies debut album Crazy Rhythms for Fidelity High.

It's really hard to pick just one song fron this. It's an album that's perfect from beginning to end, and by that actually I mean from song one to nine, because there are subsequent CD editions that add other songs. But I think I'll have to go with the title track, which is the final track it's Crazy Rhythms.
Crazy Rhythms - The Feelies
Crazy Rhythms - The Feelies

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On the back of last weeks pay-what-you-want release of an album of rarities, Damon & Naomi have now made the rest of their bandcamp catalogue available for whatever you feel it's worth.

After the release of Spirit of Love Damon tweeted "So this album we posted for free now has not only the most downloads, but the most PAID downloads for us" so it comes as little surprise to find that this morning all of the Damon & Naomi releases on bandcamp have had their prices set to "name your price".

Lots of gems here including their fantastic debut album More Sad Hits, the Sub Pop Years compilation and the masterpiece that is Damon & Naomi with Ghost (and lots more just as good!) - all worth a few pennies if not more!

Damon & Naomi on Bandcamp
Damon & Naomi on Bandcamp

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Spirit of Love
Spirit of Love

Damon & Naomi have just released an album of "B​-​sides, bonuses, and soundtracks" onto bandcamp. Spirit of Love is available for a bargain price of whatever you want to pay.

As well as the excellent title track, from a Ptolemaic Terrascope compilation, there are their covers of "Femme Fatale" The Velvet Underground, Scott Walker's "The Worlds Strongest Man" and Irving Berlin's "White Christmas".

There's also a live version of Galaxie 500's Blue Thunder.

Head over to Bandcamp to grab the album.

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Cold Night

Back in 2004 I had the idea of doing a fan tribute album by folks on the Galaxie 500 Mailing List - it was a good plan, sadly it was poorly executed … over the next eighteen months the grand vision slowly (very, very slowly) fell apart - entirely due to my lack of any clue.

Lots of nice people had sent in recordings and after a shameful delay I finally burnt a bunch of CDRs, threw together a monochrome sleeve and sent copies out to anyone who wanted one. I have no idea how many - I just kept sending them out until folk stopped asking - and then I put it all on a website to download.

The album was a lovely mix from enthusiastic bedroom recordings, to full blown studio offerings; from straight covers to "interpretations". There were four Galaxie 500 tracks and nine Luna ones. And I love every single one of them.

At some point uring that eighteen months lead time, Ron Harrity offered to help out - and I shamefully never jumped at the offer - things would have been so much better if I had. Ron had been in a wonderful band called Nord Express, a few years earlier I'd been sent a tape of their stuff and had become a fan.

Ron had chosen to cover Cold Night - and it starts a gorgeous, gentle retelling of the Galaxie 500 song that builds beautifully and finished perfectly.

Sleeve of Decomposing
Sleeve of Decomposing
What album or artist has most influenced you as a musician?
Although I don’t make music that sounds anything like his stuff, Dean Wareham and Galaxie 500 were a huge influence for me. Despite being sort of quiet and pretty, their records to me always felt kind of urgent to me. I walked past security backstage after a Luna set at the old 9:30 Club to have him sign his first solo 45. Both he and the band were gracious and unfazed at my fanboy stalking.

I've never been too good at keeping up with folk I really should - Ron is currently part of An Anderson which you can checkout on here on Bandcamp.

There's some Nord Express on Spotify and they reall are well worth catching up with! I haven't found any on Bandcamp sadly.

Take a close look at the cover of the tribute album and you might spot a good friend of AHFoW making an appearance making with the sounds rather than with the words!

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Poster for Luna at Irving Plaza, 1996
Poster for Luna at Irving Plaza, 1996

There are two Luna shows from New York in 1996 currently being seeded on bittorrent site Dimeadozen

The first is from The Irving Plaza on the 7th June:

The Luna show was PACKED, big room - they had nothing but greatest hits to play. Penthouse had had time to sink in, what an album. Stanley's snare is prominent in the mix, and you will need to crank this a bit, but it is a good sounding show and excellent performance and setlist.

The second is from The Mercury Lounge on 21st July:

Fabulous show at a WAY smaller venue that the previous month's Irving Plaza show. Guessing Irving is about 8 to 10 times the size of the Merc. Interesting setlist - I remember being totally knocked out by Hedgehog and Freakin' and Peakin' in particular. Also 3 out of the first 4 songs from the first album, a bit odd.

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tell me it's not just a dream

I adore ballboy and Gordon (of ballboy) has an oft-stated his love of Galaxie 500. This cover of Tell Me is from The Sash My Father Wore and Other Stories which is the ballboy album that's pretty much just Gordon. And it's a beauty.

I saw Gordon play a solo gig in Wimbledon library about the time of this release - he didn't play Tell Me - he said he couldn't because his version was all about the cello. He wasn't wrong - Tell Me is a beautiful song, and Gordon's almost angelic delivery of the lyric is a joy - but the cover is all about the cello. I'm glad he didn't play it. The gig was a joy but Tell Me had no place there.

Gordon Ballboy

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Update 2016-11-21: A couple of Galaxie 500 gems are now part of Dean's "Attic Sale" on his website.

Including the beautiful fiery breeze poster produced to promote the box set in 1996

Come ride the fiery breeze
Come ride the fiery breeze

Also there's a 20% discount at Dean's store until 1st December if you use the discount code TUGBOAT

And... there's a navy/yellow Galaxie 500 T-shirt!

Dean Wareham's online store has just put up four rare Luna poster prints for sale. There's only three or four of each so grab them while you can.

It includes the lovely artwork for Best of Luna by the always great Adrian Tomine, signed by both the artist and the band.

And also signed copies of the Chuck Sperry poster for Luna's comeback show in 2015.

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All the fun of the fair 2

To be honest I only came across La venganza de Cheetara a couple of weeks ago. I know very little about them - here's all of that: They're from Argentina, they're a trio, that's it.

Their cover of Way Up High is a beautifully gentle instrumental version, with brushed drums and gentle keys and carefully picked guitar.

La venganza de Cheetara - Way Up High

Their latest album, Valles, was released a couple of months ago - you can pay for it on Bandcamp, or get it for free from the label or the Free Music Archive.

<a href='https://www.instagram.com/p/BIj97sbg_OP/'>La venganza de Cheetera by soi_jhomeless on Instagram</a>
La venganza de Cheetera by soi_jhomeless on Instagram

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Oblivious

For a little idleness in the run up to the end of the year I thought I'd just post some of my favourite cover versions of Galaxie 500 songs. Now, I love covers of Galaxie 500 songs - I pretty much love them all, even when they're not that great, because a band choosing to cover Galaxie 500 already endears me to them. The ones in this series might not be the best, and I'll certainly leave out covers I love more, but they are generally ones that when I hear them they make me feel good for all sorts of reasons.

Hefner were a band I sort of missed at the time - I knew of them, but somehow managed to have a completely erroneous idea of who they were and what they were like so I never gave them any of my time. Then, I heard them... when it was too late to get the full benefit of them.

Their cover of Oblivious is a sort of reminder of my carelessness - it's a beautiful cover, and with Darren's voice berating me for just how ridiculously misguided I was to ignore them. And, as if it hasn't sucked me in enough it has a gorgeous Formbyesque uke strum [1] in the close out.

Hefner - Oblivious

Hefner split up shortly after I discovered that they weren't the band I thought they were but Darren has never stopped making reocrds, and is tirelessly imaginitive in his inspiration - from outdoor swimming pools, to dogs in space, from London's failed Eiffel Tower to his current project of music inspired by Thankful Villages. All worth a listen and a few quid! As is so much of the stuff he has on Bandcamp.

The cover of Oblivious first appeared on Elefant's Snowstorm: A Tribute to Galaxie 500 - a splendid double CD tribute album that appeared in 2001 and was more recently released on the expanded edition of Hefner's debut album Breaking God's Heart - which can be had for just a tenner - forty songs, including this one for £9.99!

Hefner - Breaking God's Heart
Hefner - Breaking God's Heart

[1] - All uke strumming is Formbyesque btw - no matter how contemporary you try and make it all I see is sweet George strumming and gurning.

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