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Luna in London (Photo: Joakim Bengtsson)
Luna in London (Photo: Joakim Bengtsson)

It's looking like Luna's tour of Europe is now pretty close to being finalised. The tour will be bookended by dates in Spain and will also take in shows in France, the UK, Germany, Denmark and Sweden.

Here are all the dates so far announced - I'll update this post if they squeeze any shows into the few free days that are left in the schedule.

30th August 2018 Claustre de Sant Domingo, Pollença, Mallorca, Spain
31st August 2018 Auditoria Parque Fofó, Murcia, Spain
1st September 2018 Terraza Malabar Del Veles E Vents, Valencia, Spain
3rd September 2018 Salao Brazil, Coimbra, Portugal
5th September 2018 Petit Bain, Paris, France
6th September 2018 Academy Islington, London, UK
7th September 2018 Thekla, Bristol, UK
9th September 2018 Nachtasyl, Hamburg, Germany
10th September 2018 Atlas, Aarhus, Denmark
11th September 2018 Loppen, Copenhagen, Denmark
12th September 2018 Debaser, Stockholm, Sweden
14th September 2018 Kafe Antzokia, Bilbao, Spain
15th September 2018 Get Mad!, Madrid, Spain

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Luna - Lunafied (proposed sleeve)
Luna - Lunafied (proposed sleeve)

The Run Out Groove Records poll last month found Luna's Lunafied coming out as the (no doubt comfortable) winners (well done everyone). The shop is now taking pre-orders for the double vinyl release.

Over on the label's Facebook page they're having a secondary poll on vinyl colour - so feel free to head over there and pick a colour (I wouldn't want to sway the vote but seriously, don't choose C :) it looks like a spliiage)

Lunafied has until now only been available as a digital only release put out by Rhino in 2006 and, in a different form, as the bonus disc with the UK edition of Best of Luna. The Run Out Groove copy will include all the tracks from both versions in a double album.

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Luna - Lunafied (proposed sleeve)
Luna - Lunafied (proposed sleeve)

Run Out Groove Records has a monthly poll which allows us to choose an album that they will then press in a limited run. For May's vote they are throwing Luna's Lunafied into the ring. Head over to Run Out Groove to vote to get a double LP release of some of the finest covers ever recorded!

Lunafied has until now only been available as a digital only release put out by Rhino in 2006 and, in a different form, as the bonus disc with the UK edition of Best of Luna. The proposed Run Out Groove copy will include all the tracks from both versions in a double album. Now, that has to be worth your vote!

Vote for Lunafied

  • If voted to win, ROG will release this brand new collection that includes all cover songs, many of which have never been released on vinyl.
  • Includes many out of print and rare tracks originally released as singles outside the U.S., collected for the first time on a full length record.
  • Will be sourced from the original masters with lacquers cut at Sam Phillips Recording Studio
  • Would be pressed on 2-180g colored vinyl at Record Industry in the Netherlands and come in a deluxe gatefold tip-on Stoughton sleeve with original design by Frank Olinsky.
  • Each 2LP set would come numbered and strictly limited based on pre-orders
Spent a chunk of today sorting through and tidying up "the AHFoW archives" - came across this postcard from Dean that arrived with the Lunafied CDR. Link in the bio if you haven't yet voted for a vinyl pressing of the @luna_nyc covers album
Lunafied CDR that Dean sent me around the time of its digital release ~ you can view to get a vinyl release from @runoutgroovelps - link in profile

Vote for Lunafied

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Galaxie 500
Galaxie 500

Dean Wareham has written a Galaxie 500 centred introduction to Dream Pop for Pitchfork's The 30 Best Dream Pop Albums

Galaxie 500 were called a lot of things. New York magazine called us “plain soporific.” A VJ at MTV England told us we were “wimpy.” Later, we were dubbed “slowcore,” along with bands like Low and Codeine who played a lot slower (and in a more controlled fashion) than we did. “Proto-shoegaze” was another, but I know we were not shoegaze; those bands buried their vocals and the guitarists strummed chords through a whole slew of effects pedals or a multi-effects processor. […] Shoegaze bands are more of an assault, a wall of sound, while there is more empty space in dream pop—allowing more room for melody and counter-melody, whether on vocals, keyboards, or guitars.

In the article Galaxie 500's On Fire rolls in at No.4 and writer Jenn Pelly suggests that …

as in all great dream pop, these impressionistic elements congeal into a single atomic sound, as if the instruments have eclipsed one another, moving with the crawl of a cloud.

… and Today shows up at 16 and Quinn Moreland points out that…

No matter how high Damon Krukowski’s primal, jazz-inspired drums, Dean Wareham’s psychedelic guitar ramblings, and Naomi Yang’s robust basslines soar, their playing always returns to Earth. Their heads, however, stay in the clouds…

Damon tweeted that back in the day he simply thought of Galaxie 500 as "punk rock" and now aspires to get filed under 'acid folk'!

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Galaxie 500 merchandise
Galaxie 500 merchandise

Just added to Damon & Naomi's online store are some gems including a couple of very rare Galaxie 500 singles - but you'd better be quick because there aren't many!

Firstly the absolute gem of a single released on Caff Records featuring live versions of The Beatles' Rain and Don't Let Our Youth Go To Waste - there are just 10 copies of these beauties up for sale so grab one while you can!.

Oh, as if I could go a whole day without listening to Galaxie 500, that would be mad! #harkive #galaxie500 #rain #thebeatles

You can also grab one of only eight copies of Galaxie 500's split single with Straightjacket Fits - the single features Blue Thunder and Victory Garden.

Also added to the online store are some Eclipse T-shirts in new coloured designs - a beautiful "Antique Gold" one and a white one with a blue print.

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Luna takeover the @granadatheatre Instagram
Luna takeover the @granadatheatre Instagram

On Friday Luna are back on stage again for the first of four dates in bits of the US that missed out during January. They'll be playing at The Granada Theater in Dallas and the band arrived a day early and are Instagramming their rehearsals on the @granadatheater account.

They play in Austin on Friday before heading off to Dallas, Santa Fe and Boulder.

6th April 2018 3Ten ACL Live, Austin, TX, USA
7th April 2018 Granada Theater, Dallas, TX, USA
9th April 2018 The Bridge at Santa Fe Brewing, Santa Fe, NM, USA
10th April 2018 Fox Theatre, Boulder, CO, USA

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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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